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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


i was delighted to find a copy of the new york times at my coffee shop this morning. as i settled in for a good long read, i discovered that it was from february 10th. i had to read about "super tuesday" and see valentine's day advertisements all over again.

i got to the birth and death notices and a photo of one particular woman with a beautiful smile stuck out. i read the notice. it was written by "your guy". it said something about the stars and his fog of pain.

someone at a neighboring table asked me a question. i turned to him with wellage in my eyes and he asked why i was reading the obit-s. i ignored his dumb question and just told him that she was too young to die.

"jeune et jolie," he added.

i turned away and he apologized for bothering me.

i returned home to a message from my mom that one of my uncles passed away in his sleep. found by his wife in the morning. instead of placing my clean laundry away, i found myself angrily and messily throwing it into the closet. he, too, was too young, having lived a healthy life of fishing and eating fish every day. we ate his cod when visiting last. it was the best fish i ever tasted.

and now my aunt is all alone.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

oh(d) to the blind date

a friend thought it might be a good idea to set me up on a blind date. with someone that he hasn't seen in over a year. a year during which this person got divorced.

we spoke on the phone. he seemed nice enough. smart enough. sushi was our destination. but somehow i got talked into parking my car at his place because “finding a place near the restaurant would be impossible".

i, not uncharacteristically, showed up late. and i noticed that a divorce can take a toll. or add to a toll. or make you - and others - simply lie about your "stature". looked like a turtle, he did.

apologizing for my tardiness, i declared that we should immediately head to the restaurant. he explained how he was unable to secure any reservations. well, nothing before 9:15 anyway.

"ugh..." i bemoaned. "well, there are dozens of restaurants out there."

"come in. take your boots off and relax. i ended up ordering in. i brought the sushi here."

my first reaction was one of thrill, as though my best friend had just ordered in and we were going to eat in front of the tv. but then reality set in: turtleman had bamboozled me into spending the evening in his home.

and this is where everyone says "that's when you should have left."

yes, that is when i should have left. because he changed our plans, and switched the power dynamic, all that stuff. but at times, i can be terribly unwise. especially when hungry.

he presented a bottle of - and i use the term loosely - champagne. i smirked and accepted it. we drank it on the couch while chatting - about him. he spilled most of it, and what he didn't spill, he coughed up on himself. i tossed aside his pamphlet of "fabulous things elton, tina, and mick and i did in the 80s" and got up to get some water. while in the kitchen, he came at me. lips poised and pursed, arms outstretched and outreached. in the international sign of "nuh uh" i pressed my hand into his soft and yielding chest.

"stop," i said.

then came the stream of uninspired "you're so this..." and "you're driving me so that."

the lips lurched again. i shook my head, incredulous that i was going to have to duck under his arm to get away from him, i ducked under his arm to get away from him.

i walked to my coat, boots, hats, mitts, and bag.

"that's an actual move, the duck and run," a friend informed me.

"how gross," i thought.

i promptly received hate-mail from he-who-ate-too-much-during-his-divorce. it stated how he spent much of the week looking forward to meeting me and how he spent precious time (and resources!) to host me a nice dinner. not only was i quite distant, but i left as quickly as i could - "exactly like one would at a restaurant!"

and that he could fairly say that he felt "used" after the events of the evening finally sunk in.

"don't do it!" advised a friend. "don't take the low road. just leave it... LEAVE IT!"

"no. i'm tired. i always take the high road. here is a perfect opportunity for me to go low. really, really low. i WANT to take the low road."

"please consider the high road," she implored.


my email stated that i appreciated his time and resources (he meant money, right?), but i also provided a few tips. “thank someone when they clean up your spills. and try not to remove your shoes in the middle of a conversation. and if a woman doesn't want to kiss you, back off. unless she understands what you're paying for.”

he replied to that with a slew of joke-mails about how women use you for money, how all we can do is spend money, and how it takes us 3 hours and 26 minutes to buy a pair of pants at the gap, how we are fat, and how we have a bunch of knobs and dials while men are simply an "on/off" switch. he's 47.

i wanted to go lower.

"how old are you? 12?” my friend screamed.

"he had man boobs!" i screamed back.

"leave it. delete it and leave it."

"nope," i said.

i emailed him and informed him of his moobs.

oh, he emailed back, thanking me and whatnot. but i'm now back on the highroad. it was just a minor detour. an unpleasant detour.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

i, too, shall topple

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.
several years ago, shortly after returning from a 6-week stay in italy, i was jetlagged and tripped and fell off a curb.

i landed on all fours and knocked the breath out of me. i remained on the street for a few seconds while realizing what happened. when i stood up i saw that a large patch on my knee was completely white – all of the skin had come off. then the white patch turned red with blood pouring out of each and every capillary. hundreds of tiny little dots formed, which all joined together to cause blood to flow down my leg.

the jetlag, the jolt, and the bloodshed made me burst into tears. tears like a child cries. i limped to the theater where i was to meet my friend. i told him, in between sobs, that i fell and skinned my knee. and he looked confused.

five weeks ago i had to fly from new york through chicago to a tiny hellhole of a city in michigan for work. an ice storm had hit chicago, and as a result, i was rerouted three times. the three-hour flight took 14 hours. while i was rebooking one of my flights, i stood at a counter where the next flight, upon which i was not booked, would take me home. i contemplated foregoing the work trip to assmunch, michigan and simply returning home.

but something told me i would not like what i would find if i returned home that night. i continued on to shitballs, michigan.

when i did return home later that week, i was met with a reticent boyfriend. two weeks after that our nine-year relationship ended. because of that night i was rerouted: the night i didn't come home.

my appetite and ability to sleep promptly departed. i lost 10% of my body weight. my immune system was compromised. i fell ill with a kidney infection. writhing in pain, a doctor not only prescribed painkillers and antibiotics, but also atavan.

i returned home to news that the city would have to cut the water on my street for 36 hours. i purchased 8 liters of water and lay on my couch.

the pain abated and the water returned. and i had to fly to toronto for business, where i contracted strep throat. each time i swallowed, i wanted to cry out in pain. lying in bed at 4 am, i convinced myself that i had taken on too much. but i met my client at 8:30.

upon my return home i was prescribed imovane, dalmane, and paxil.

people tell me that i'm "a strong woman” and that i’ll “get through this." some even tell me to “hang in there.” after my own sister offered me the latter piece of advice, i told her she might as well send me an e-card with the image of a kitten hanging from a branch. the next day she did.

i’m taking care of my hairdresser’s cat. for five weeks. last week when i was leaving her apartment, i slipped and fell on the icy stairs. the pain of twisting my wrist made me cry out into the morning air. i sat down on the icy stairs and held my hand so that the winter air might have an impact on the impending swelling. i prayed it wasn’t broken so i wouldn't have to return to the hospital.

i sat on the stairs for about 15 minutes. i couldn't even shed a tear.