Hmm...despite Adam Gottleib's Ode to his bicycle singing in my head, I may not get on the trail today as Penny isn't at all anxious to go indoors. I'm a little out of writing steam so I'm poking around in my ninety (really) vignettes that await editorial decisions adn wathing duckings that are still too quick and tiny to count swim in the marsh leaving trails behind them in the thick yellow pollen coat on the water's surface.
This is a 'Dear Diary' entry that I can find nothing redeeming in but if you are curious to see some really bad writing, here you go. This was written around the time I was dismantling my coaching office, closing out my business bank account, shutting off the phones, feeling like I was erasing myself off the face of the earth in some respects and also feeling a little abandoned in other respects. The Patrick I refer to here will be known to some of you who have known me for years. If you don't know that story and are curious, ask me sometime when you see me and I'll share it. Not really something I want to go into great depth on here at this point.
It seems as though life is happening faster than I can process it.
Of course, everything about that sentence is a complete lie.
Everything is always perception, so “it seems” is probably one of those phrases that should just be added to every sentence, just like “in bed” gets added to Chinese fortune cookie pronouncements. “It seems” like this happened. “It seems” like he said this to me. “It seems” like she was thinking that way about her circumstance. “It seemed” like it was the best of times. “It seems” like it was the worst.
Of course, it all seems a certain way until something happens to set the kaleidoscope spinning and before you know it you have a whole new take on things that seems even truer that the view you had before. What do we ever really know?
“Life is happening.” Well, that is true but the way I jus said it implies that I have been in some kind of passive role, maybe not a victim of life exactly, but feeling a bit helpless, awash in its tide. But what I am referring to in actuality is nothing but the result of my own actions, the dismantling of my life. You see, I said “life” when I really meant to say “my” life, making that statement even more of a lie than I originally realized.
And all this makes it clear I must restate my position.
If feels like I am ripping the band-aid off my life too fast.
And that is interesting, too, because whether you do it fast or slow, band-aids come off as they do, painfully. But they don’t damage you.
I still find a bit of humor in the way my surgeon said, “The good news is I only have to do this once.” And before I could say, “Do what?” she had ripped the bandage from my belly with such speed it almost sent me through the roof. I was just about to yell when the words “The good news is…” reached my brain. I would have laughed even then if I wasn’t smarting so much.
So maybe it’s the same here. I only have to dismantle this chapter of my life once. And it really hasn’t been fast. I’ve taken a good year to do it. Almost exactly. Dad went into the hospital twelve months ago. My life started to shift then and it was clear almost that soon that my life would not be going back to some prior status quo.
So what AM I trying to say, Diary? Maybe it’s just that I’m letting so much go that “seemed” to be ties to something and now I’m simply letting the cords go, lots of them, and its got me feeling unsettled.
Yesterday, in preparation for having my phones shut off I cleaned out my voicemail messages. There were three there from Patrick from that first AIDS ride in California--500 hundred hilly miles—the June after Sue’s murder. I kept them for three years. It’s been the last two of those since I’ve had any contact with him. I’ve written. I’ve called. I’ve sent cards. Gifts. No response.
He told me the first time we met, our “blind date” for the fundraising walk to benefit the women’s shelter, that it was as though Sue had given him the gift of a new sister. He put an entire chapter and then some about our relationship in the lovely book he composed for her. Sitting with him on that pier that first night while he wept beside me is one of the tender cherished memories of my life.
But somehow, despite the hugs and the “I love you’s” and the Shagadelic Mojo he just…went away.
I was going to record the messages before deleting them but I just didn’t. As I write this now, I think maybe I should have for his mother, or Maggie. In fact, I erased one from his mother, Mary, as well. I even erased one of Hannah’s on our home answering machine but stopped at that. I think I still have four or five and I do think I’ll record some of that in a more permanent place. I don’t know what it is about the sound of a voice that makes me want to preserve it.
Patrick’s messages were so lovely—full of emotion and love and weeping and exhilaration. How could that just be gone? What did I do to make him shut the door against me? Or is it nothing I did but just the fact that I exist…existed…at such a horrible time and he’s moving on from that now, both the dead and the living? And there we have it again. “It seemed” as though we had a bond and it was an important one to me. Patrick touched my heart and I love the man, even now I still do, but his season of me has now passed.
I let the messages go.
It just seems like there should have been a ceremony or something.