Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gone Fishin



One of the good things about being a good student with fairly good attendance is your professors won't usually blink (too much) if you miss a class or two.  So in honor of my surviving Passover with my family, and Tova's surviving in general, I'm taking Tova's sick ass to Florida for some serious R & R.  Of course, I use the expression "I'm taking" very loosely as it's her parent's apartment that is available and about to get hit with some serious usage!  And she's paying for her own flight.  But otherwise, it's all me baby.  There will be some relaxing, some laughs, some more relaxation and hopefully some, um, physical exertion as well (see below).

Sadly Tova has insisted we cannot take any luggage save our carry-ons.  She is an impossibly harsh task-master.  Therefore, I probably will NOT be taking my laptop.  Which means no blogging.  I know, I know, how will you all manage without me? I'm sure you will all manage just fine.

As I have but one carry on (though it's a great size), I shall be packing light.  2 bikinis, 1 tankini, 2 pairs of short-shorts, 4 t-shirts, 2 tank tops, 2 cami's, 2 cover-ups, one flip flops, one pair of jeans, 1 capri pants, undergarments and one (shudder) skirt and top just in case.  My trusty mp3 player and my toiletries (all in less than 3-ounce sizes).  And I will for sure get it all in.  I shall spend $4 million in the airport in trashy magazines and books to read.  If anyone has suggestions for good books, email 'em to me - commenting here will be worthless.

Our itinerary - sitting by the pool.  All day, every day.  Hopefully very cold beverages will be involved as well.  Nothing else.  Nights are still under discussion (see below).

So forgive me, dear readers, if I do not respond to your comments or promptly answer your emails.  I will have my trusty 'droid and will periodically check, but that's about it.

As an aside, many of you have commented or (more usually) emailed me about what's up with David.  So here's a quick update:

1.  Monster McBitch called him after passover and with great drama and sadness told him she has met the newest love of her life in Palm Beach over Passover at some fancy golf hotel she went to with her parents with the express purpose of showing herself off to thousands of eligible guys.  David was more upset by the playoff losses of his beloved Rangers and Knicks.  So was I, incidentally.

2.  Oh and it just so happens that his company is sending him to south Florida this week on business - I mean what are the odds of us going to be down in Florida at the same time????  Well pretty good considering we had the following conversation recently.

Him:  "I'm going to be in Florida the week of May 1st."

Me:  "No way!"

Him:  "Way."  He's extremely clever with his comebacks.

Me:  "You know me and Tova were planning a trip.  Maybe we should go down then too."

Him:  Well, I'll be pretty busy during the day, but my nights are open."  Wink wink. [Ed's Note:  I can only assume he winked because we were on the phone, but I like to think he did.]

Me:  (Swooning).  "Sold."  [Editor's Note:  I can assure you that I actually swooned since I was there, swooning.]

So life is funny sometimes.  One minute you're hating Monster McBitch, the next you're in Florida with your 2 best friends.  Good times are gonna roll.  You hear me world?  GOOD TIMES ARE GONNA ROLL!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

High Hopes

The following is an email I sent to Lil Sis last night - reprinted here with her express permission - god bless her :)

Lil Sis:

I hope that I don't kill this budding flower before it has time to plant roots.  I have been thinking about this the last few days in my spare time over the Holiday (and believe me, there was mucho spare time).  So I have to get this out.  Please try and read it in the spirit in which it is being sent - the spirit of friendship.

Sis, we chat, we email - we have now spent quality time together.  I hear the words you say to me.  The message that you constantly portray about who you are - I hate to break this to you but your vision of yourself is very much in need of an overhaul.

  Why are you so hard on yourself?  Why do you view everything in your life as a negative?

You constantly express to me, in just our short time together, that you are - not pretty, plain, unfunny, unsure, not smart, insecure, unloved and friendless.  You question your place in the world, your place in your religion and your relationship with your God.  The "what do you see when you look in the mirror" question is clearly one you've considered before.  Perhaps too many times and without a counterbalance.

Why can't you see yourself the way I see you? 

Because here is what I see when i see you.  I see a smokingly hot, extremely intelligent young woman who has the world in her hands for the taking.  You are funny as hell (and I'm a very tough judge of funny), worldly (for your age) and kindhearted.  You have parents who love the shit out of you.  Who would do anything for you to make your life better.  You seem to get along with your siblings.

Honey, you are a young teenager - OF COURSE you have angst.  Of course, the world is confusing.  You are a girl - of course your friends can seem so fickle - girls are catty bitches.

I had a really good time with you Friday - we walked, we talked we laughed.  We shopped.  All the food groups covered :)   But everything leads me back to the same road.

 The more I talk to you, the more I see - you need to stop - stop being so down on yourself.  Stop seeing with your eyes closed.  Stop obsessing over the things you cannot control.

Here's the facts - not as I see them, but the FACTS facts.  You are a very pretty girl.  Until your recent troubles, you have always done well in school - indicating you are a SMART girl .  You have mentioned about 693 girls who you are friends with - indicating that you are FAR from unpopular.  You are, dare I say, popular.  And you can certainly count me among your friends (and I'm not even catty - usually).

You have a strong tie to your religion.  Don't let that go because you are confused. Believe me when I tell you - the godless path is a very lonely one to walk.  Don't tread it lightly - it's harder to get back to the road then you may realize. 

Boys - I'm not going to tell you to stay away.  Though perhaps your mom would want me to.  What I WILL tell you - be careful.  Your body is not something you should lightly give away.  Certainly not because you want to feel accepted.  You know how I feel about sex - it's not dirty or wrong or whatever - but it's not something you should EVER have to feel wanted by some guy you know doesn't want you.  You are in a slightly different situation than me.  Protect what you have with everything you have.  Use the support we talked about.  it's available to you 24/7.

Drugs and drinking - LOL.  You looked at me like I had 5 heads when we brought that up.  You go.  You don't need it and you are smart enough to already know it.

Finally - your mommy.  Sis, you are the luckiest girl in the world to have her.  And you know it too.  You are in a rebellious time in your life.  I get that you are supposed to rebel against your parents in high school.  All i will say is, if I were you I'd make an exception.  Your mom is a special person.  She is smart and caring and a good ear.  I wish she was my mom - wanna trade?  (I'd never inflict my mother on you, don't worry).

To sum up.  You asked me last time why I'm "wasting my time" with you - because I'm not.  Seeing you - it's like seeing me 6 years ago - only a smarter, more grounded version.  One with a better support system.  And dammit - I feel i can make a difference  - AND learn some things about myself along the way.  So don't fret about me "wasting my time".

I gots me some high hopes for you Sis - and we are going to make em come true.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Great Day For Freedom

The whole passover thing hasn't had much meaning for me in a very long time.  I think the it's been 8 years since the last time I was forced to say somethnig at the Seder and a few since my dad has given up on asking me if I want to.  It's been yet another of the endless meaningless rituals that I have suffered through in my time on this earth.

Let me set the scene. 

We had one of my mother's gym friends and a neighbor, Mrs. Rosenrosen, along with her husband and her spinster daughter (who, by the way, is 21 years old).  By sad coincidence, all of Mr's Rosenrosen's other, married children found themselves at their respective in laws for the first days, leaving the poor tortured woman alone with just her husband and said Spinster.  My mother, always looking to garner favor with Mrs. Rosenrosen in her quest to be the "in" gym friend, was quick to step in and offer our table.

Mrs. Rosenrosen and Spinster show up about an hour early.  The boys are all in shul. My mother takes Mrs. Rosenroeon into the kitchen where they happily prepare for the next four hours and dish on all the gym gossip (for the thousanth time), leaving me and the Spinster to fend for ourselves.  Luckily, Spinster pulls out some sort of Jewish self help book, letting me off the hook. 

Seder starts as per usual, with my mother strategically putting me on her side of the table but as far away as possible, thus limiting her having to look at me during the course of the seder.  Seder starts - blah blah blah -drink wine, blah blah blah.  Clearly Spinster has been told the local gossip about me since she keeps taking quick, furtive glances at me with wide eyes that suggested she expected me to whip out a hundy and start snorting lines of coke off the table.  Then my youger sister says the four questions, followed by alot more blah blah blah.

At this point I'm usually so zoned out, im on another planet.  But I dunno - maybe it was the REALLY nice pre-holiday email I got from David or maybe it was the Spinster's snide looks - I couldnt help myself.  "Iv'e got something to say", I blurt out - surprising myself the most.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see my older brother covering a smirk with his hand.  I see my dad's look of surprise. And of course I hear my mother saying she has to go check on the food to make sure it's not burning.  God bless her, at least she's consistent.

This is what I said - in brief:

I wonder why the seder puts such an emphasis on the trappings of freedom.  We drink like free people, we recline like free people, we tell over the story, in great detail of the time before we were all free peoples. Why?  Don't we know we are free people?  So I discussed the difference between freedom and the illusion of freedom.  I spoke about how, ironically, the people of modern day Egypt marched for freedom, only to have power shifted from one leader to the military, who was always in charge anyway.  I spoke about all the seders through time when people were living in bad places - and how they had to feel free.  I wondered about Berlin in the mid 30's - how the Jews felt at their seders. 

Sometimes it isn't east to feel free.  In America we are lucky to have some level of true freedom.

"A place to stay
Enough to eat
Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street


Where you can speak out loud
About your doubts and fears
And what's more no-one ever disappears
You never hear their standard issue kicking in your door.

You can relax on both sides of the tracks
And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control And everyone has recourse to the law
And no-one kills the children anymore.
And no one kills the children anymore
."

But we are required to be free on this night.  So the seder is chock full of reminders - hey you are free.  And if you don't feel it, do these things to feel it.

Well, that was it in a nutshell.  I said my peace and the seder rolled on.  There were no great flashes or anything.  My dad seemed happy, my mother put out.  Spinster seemed appaled I could manage to get out somethnig at the seder while she didn't have the stones to.  But I contributed on a topic I often think about.  Freedom. What it really means.  How it differs from the illusion of freedom.

Of course the funny thing about reality is it always sets in.  Like the next day when my mom made a snide comment about me wanting to impress Mrs. Rosenrosen and that's what it takes the get me to open my mouth at her seder.  Her seder.  Here I thought Passover was about all people joining in.  Well, that's life. 

When the crappy weather broke, I put on sneakers and a light jacket and took an extremely long walk.  I was away for hours, just thinking and clearing my head.  It didn't really work - my head is always in a state of jumble. 

But as I re-read David's email for the 400th time, I know that life aint so bad.

It's a great day for freedom/

Friday, April 15, 2011

Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert

So I've been avoiding David like the plague - feigning sickness, schoolwork, even death.  Anything to avoid having to talk to him.  I feel like he'd be able to see through me like i was made of glass.  Or like I was wearing an "I love you" sign on my forehead.

So imagine my surprise when he tells me we need to speak.  "Do we?" I ask, cautiously optimistic.  We do. 

Te following, although in quotes, has been liberally changed.  Mostly because I obviously don't remember exactly what was said but also because I'm a bitter jealous person.

"You know Monster McBitch right?"  he asks.

"Um, yes."  I already do NOT like where this is going.

Little background.  Monster McBitch is one of the perky type girls who has been out with every single Jewish guy in the entire United States of America, as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.  She spends 2 months with a guy and moves on.  Shes like a Jewish version of Sandra Bullock only MORE annoying (if that's even possible).  Obviously I slightly changed her name to protect her ID. 

"She wants to go out with me."  Now I REALLY don't like where this is going.  Monster is totally wrong for David.  He doesn't even like perky people.  Besides, how can she be right for him if I am???  Clearly I am going to have to put the kibbosh on this.

Oh and by the way, if there was a way to mentally Tazer a person, David would be lying on the floor of his apartment, whimpering in the after-effects of 20,000 volts of Cymbalinetricity.

"Why would you even want to go out with her?  She's perky.  You don't even LIKE perky people." 

"True.  But she's nice, sweet. I'm not really seeing anyone anyway.  And besides, she's cute." 

"So is Medusa till she takes the hat off."

"What did you say?"

"Nothing."

"Anyway," he says to me, "what do you think?  You know me so well.  You think it's a good idea?"

So he's opened a door and I see the two roads laid out before me.  On the left, I am telling him all the reasons why Monster is terrible for him, why shes really a single Jewish male maneater.  Her last name is McBitch for chrissakes!!!  On the right, I take the plunge, bite the bullet, let it ride on black, etc etc etc (insert your own cliche here) and tell him that he shouldn't go out with her, because she should go out with me.  Because I'm the one who really wants to be with him, and not just for two months so I can get a few good meals out of it like Monster and her already too ample bosoms.

Except I can't really bring myself to do either.  The left road would make me a vindictive bitch and the right one requires a greater strength than I currently possess.  I care too much for him to make things bad for him and I'm too damn weak to chance losing him. 

So I will stay Swiss - neutral - vanilla.  I tell him I need to think about it.  I'll call him back tomorrow.  Which I won't.  Because of school, or sickness, or death.  Instead I am going to stay in my pajamas and sulk all day.

And think evil thoughts about a certain perky little monster.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Speak To Me

How do you reach a teenager in today's day and age?  Tea and crumpets?  Sharing a trip to the museum followed by a nice opera?

No.  You text them. And then you exchange emails and G-chat. 

And that's how I got rolling with Mrs. B's daughter. I told her a little about me. I told her her mom is worried about her and wants her to have an ear. Someone who doesn't represent The Man. Because, after all, damn The Man.

 I told her about this blog.  I told her to read this blog.  She did.  I asked her if I could write about her every once in a while so long as I protect her anonymity.  She asked to think about it.  Then she said yes.  I told her the ground rules.  This isn't going to be a running diary about our relationship.  I don't plan on writing her secrets or her issues.  The second she feels uncomfortable with anything I write she tells me.  Then I take it off the blog and never write about her again.  That's rule 1.  Rule 2 - she never comments on this blog.  Anything she wants to say, she says to me.   Rule 3.  In the event I feel that writing about our relationship is making it harder for us to connect, I stop.  Done, done and done.

And so begins my journey with Lil Sis.  That's how I will refer to her.  Lil Sis.  Hey Lil Sis, I know you are reading!!

Anyway - I spent some time cleaning up that piece of crap I posted yesterday and I emailed it in.  I am deeply disappointed in myself.  In my head, it was a great idea and a good story start.  On paper...not so much.  For whatever reason, I just wasn't able to give it my best efforts.  I don't know why but I HATED writing it.  Absolutely hated it.  I just wanted to get it done. 

I enjoy writing.  I find this blog therapeutic.  I always feel better after I post.  So I wonder why writing that thing was so damn hard.  Maybe I like writing about what is real and relevant to me.  Maybe I couldn't get behind the story because I didn't really want to write that story.  I hope so anyway.  Not that I dream of being a famous author, but I do want to write a book someday. Even if it never gets published.  Just something I can pull out of a box when I'm cleaning out the garage with my kids and say "wow, i totally forgot i wrote this thing!" before telling them they can't read it because there's too much sex and cursing in it.

David's been texting me, wondering why I don't call.  Because I'm in love with you stupid really really busy with schoolwork, dude.  Gimme a few more days and all will be good. Yeah right.

Oh and finally, I got the internship offer at Company X.  So I got my summer lined up.  Which is sweet.  Thanks Dad.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Homework

So I have a creative writing assignment.  One line assignment - Write the first chapter of a book.  Oh, JUST the first chapter?  The one where everything begins?  Where you get your first taste of the characters?  Why not give me something HARD instead.

Luckily, I spent no time thinking about this assignment and it's almost due.  So I was brainstorming with Chana (http://curiousjew.blogspot.com/) and she started talking about Milton and Paradise Lost and Dante's 34 levels of Hell. And tons and tons of other really smart stuff that I didn't get. 

After my eyes finally unglazed, I realized she made an excellent point about starting a story in the middle - thus giving you the ability to go both forwards AND backwards.  I loved it. 

Four hours later I realized I wasn't going to be able to write it.  I found out even non-writers can suffer from writer's block. So back to the drawing board we went.  And came up with something else.

Since Chana helped come up with the idea, and expressed an interest in reading "the book" (though I kept telling her there isn't going to be anything beyond a first chapter, she seems to have faith in me writing something more) and since I've become some sort of lunatic who opens themselves up to public ridicule, I decided to post the chapter here and...well I'm not sure about the and.  But who can really understand the mind of a crazy person

Note - I don't know a thing about guns and everything here is based upon research I did on the internet.  If anything is wrong...call it writer's license.  And no, i'm not really happy with it.  But don;t let me cloud your opinions. 

So without further ado, Chapter One of "Untitled"Have at it.
 


PROLOGUE.

A professional treats his craft with the utmost level of seriousness.  There is no room for levity.  Or sloppiness.  Only the cold hearted perfection of a dancer or sculptor.  A true artist never treats his work like an afterthought.

And so, despite its perfect state, the man known to most only as The Shooter disassembled his Swiss made sniper rifle one more time.  He cleaned each part meticulously, almost lovingly, with gun oil and ran his bore brush through the barrel until each piece gleamed like they had just been manufactured.  He wiped off the excess oil, put away his cleaning implements, and carefully placed the broken down pieces into a specially designed duffel bag.  The Shooter took a moment to marvel at the wonders of Swiss manufacturing.  They made fine watches and even finer weapons.  Reliable at over a thousand yards.   After, he took the .762 mm rounds and loaded the magazines, placing them into the bag as well. 

A professional and his craft.

The Shooter packed an overnight bag with a change of clothes, toiletries and something to sleep in.  Food and drink for his ride went into a small cooler, placed on the floor of the driver side seat of his nondescript American made truck.  The truck was in his windowless garage, free from the prying eyes of nosy neighbors.  The Shooter never took chances.

The overnight bag and duffel containing his tool went on the floor of the backseat.  A 9mm Sig Sauer went under the driver's seat.  He didn't expect to get pulled over and searched (he was, after all. well practiced in the art of nondescript) but one could never be too careful these days.

He left the garage and went back into the house, a simple three bedroom ranch with a nice view of a quiet street.  A house for a nice family and a dog.  Except this one held a cold-hearted killer.

The Shooter went through the house one more time, even though he knew it was clean.  He made sure that anyone giving the place a proper search wouldn't find anything,  If all went to shit, they would eventually find the house.  

And so he went through the house, room by room, foot by foot until he was satisfied it contained no traces.  He then went back to the garage and got behind the wheel of his truck.  He checked the gas gauge, knowing it was full, and only then pressed the button to open the garage door.  He was momentarily blinded by the late morning sun,  He reached into the glove compartment and pulled out a case containing a pair of Ray-Ban wayfarers.  He then started the engine, pulled out to the driveway and closed the garage door behind him.  He used his specially designed remote to arm the alarm in his house. 
The Shooter was not a believer.  In anything.  He did jobs for money.  He just happened to be extremely proficient at his job.  He took it to another level.  So he didn't accept this job out of some ideological thought process.  He didn't really care, to be honest.  He accepted because of the amount he was being paid.  A small fortune.  Stupid money, really.  But, he reasoned, you get what you pay for.  And these guys were getting the best.

He turned on the gps unit, pre-loaded with two destinations - the nondescript hotel he would stay at tonight and the final destination.  And off he went.

***********************************************************************

Half the country away, the man who had hired The Shooter swallowed two more antacid pills and washed it down with his lukewarm coffee.  Though his stomach was shot to hell, he knew it was the right thing.  The world was full of wrongs that needed to be righted.  And he was the man who had to take care of such things. 

Maybe he would be vilified by some, but so be it.  He knew what had to be done and by God he had the balls to do it.  He took the last swallow of his coffee, grimaced, and picked up the phone.  There were still arrangements that needed to be made.

***********************************************************************

200 miles away from The Shooter's house, FBI Special Agent Mary Hartley sat in the kitchen area of her small studio apartment, reading the Times, drinking badly brewed coffee and wondering, not for the first time, why she was stillworking for the Bureau.  Thirty-two years old, no man, no kids and barely any friends.  "I'm an old maid," she said aloud to the empty room.

It wasn't too late, she thought.  She could get out, find a career that would let her have a life.  A normal life.  With a family, white picket fence, the whole nine.

Her cell phone buzzed on the table next to her.  She looked at the number.  It was the Director.  She picked up.

"I sent a car to your apartment. It's outside.  Pack a bag and get your ass in it.  We've got something very big." He clicked off.  The Director wasn't one for mincing his words.

And just like that, the buzz was back.  Visions of normalcy faded, replaced by the adrenaline juicing in her veins.  This is what she lived for.  The thrill of the hunt.  The "somethnig very big".  Mary finished her coffee, set the cup in the sink and went to pack, game face on.

***********************************************************************

The Target watched the people moving all around him.  He couldn't herlp but smile.  These people who all trusted him beyond measure.  Well not him per se, but rather what he represented.  What he stood for. 
He ate his small breakfast.  Fruits and cheese.  He didn't imbibe in vices, whether it be strong drink or caffiene.  That was the way.  And he stood for the way.

He felt the anticipation growing inside him.  Two more days, less, and the event would take place which would begn the process they had all been waiting for. Mecca, Medina and, finally, America.  The next step towards the Ascention.  Praise Allah. 

The Target smiled again and returned to his breakfast.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Welcome to the Machine

Saturday night I got the strangest call - out of the blue - from a woman who lives in my neighborhood.  How she even came to my cell number remains a mystery to me (mostly because I forgot to ask her).  She askes if it would be at all possible for me to come to her house Sunday at noon for a few minutes. 

Now to understand - I have a paper to write on the United States post depression economy that, for some odd reason, refuses to write itself.  And I have another paper - a story to write for English class which not only won't write itself  - it refuses to even let me come up with an idea for it.  I have set aside the entire day Sunday to do these things.  Or at least make a nice dent.  So having to stop right smack dab at noon would suck royally.  So I of course, hem and haw and try to avoid this mysterious meeting with this woman who I barely even know. 

But she's very persistant, and you can almost hear the desperation in her voice.  What the hell right?  I accept.

So yesterday at noon(ish) I pull up in front of the address she gives me and I ring the bell.  This woman, let's call her Mrs. B, answers the door.  She leads me into the house.  It's big and quiet as a tomb.  "I made sure everyone was out so we can talk", she says.  I'm already getting that sinking feeling in my stomach that I've made a huge mistake.  But what the hell.  Though I make a mental note that the second she tries to come on to me I'm out the door.

She takes me to the kitchen and sits me at the table.  It's bright and airy and my seat has a great view of a nice backyard and some evergreen trees.  She offers me coffee (which I accept) and some food (which I decline).  Everythniog with a smile.  At first glance, this is one of the nicer people I've met in a while.

God bless her, she gets right down to it.  In fact the story is coming out in such a rush I can hardly process it.  Long story short - her daughter is showing all the signs of "at risk" and rebellion".  Once a good student, her grades are tanking.  She's hanging out with a terrible group (mom's words, not mine) and her sense of religion, once quite strong, is suddenly absent.

And I feel it growing inside me.  A twisted gut full of anger and annoyance.  Here it comes, my brain is saying.  She's going to ask you where you went wrong.  Tell me all the mistakes you made so my daughter won't repeat them.  Though more artfully asked - how can i make sure my daughter doesn't make all the dumb decisions you did?

Except none of this comes.

Instead she askes me to talk to her daughter.  To let her know there's someone who she can turn to who maybe went through some of the same things she is going through.  Someone other than a friend (who doesn't know anything), a parent (who she is rebelling against) or a rabbi (who she seems to have lost interest in).

I'm taken somewhat aback by this on two levels.  Look, the truth is I try to be little miss plays along when I am local - but the truth is I don't take great pains to hide what I am.  I'm sure the rumor mill has ALWAYS been abuzz about how Cymbaline is "off the derech" and a "rebel".  But still, this is a bit much for my brain.  Also, even if I did want to help, how could I really help anyone?

Why me? I ask.  There are organizations who deal with this kind of thing.  There are professionals.  I'm nothing but a mixed up, muddled up kid who is trying to work out her own head.  I'm not able to help anyone, I can't even help myself.

She gives me the sweetest smile ANYONE has ever given me in my life.  It lit the room up mch more than the giant windown with the light streaming in ever could.

I see you around Cymbaline, she tells me.  I see you shopping for your mother or running your errands.  I see how you interact with people.  I see you smile at everyone and have nice words for everyone.  I've asked about you too.  Not from the yentas who would say bad things about you, but from people who would know you better (though despite much prodding, she refused to tell me who these mystery supporters are - pretty damn frustrating).  No one has a bad word to say about you.  And that says alot to me.

Still, I protest.  So what, so I say hello to the checkout lady at the supermarket.  It doesn't mean I'm equipped to deal with a confused teenager.  In fact I'm not able to help anyone!! 

Just talk to her, she replies.  I'm not asking for you to help her.  I just want her to know she can talk to someone who she won't feel threatened by.

I really don't know what to say.  I'm sitting in this nice woman's kitchen, drinking my third cup (how did THAT happen) of her really good coffee, and I'm so far out of my league, I feel like I'm being asked to balance the Federal budget.

So I did the only thing a sane, sensible woman who has her own issues would do.

I accepted.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Your Possible Pasts

"they flutter behind you your possible pasts
some bright eyed and crazy some frightened and lost


a warning to anyone still in command
of their possible future to take care

by the cold and religious we were taken in hand
shown how to feel good and told to feel bad


tongue tied and terrified we learned how to pray
now our feelings run deep and cold as the clay


and strung out behind us the banners and flagsof our possible pasts lie in tatters and rags"

(R. Waters) 

The weekend that was:

I had my interview with Blankety-Blank from Company X Friday.  It couldn't have gone any better than it did.  We spent about an hour together.  He talked to me about the law, about real estate - about what I could learn over the summer if I took an internship with him.  He smiled and shook my hand when it was over and told me that we would be seeing each other again.  :)

I left feeling like a million bucks.  Or two million due to inflation.

On my high, I called The Guy I'm Seeing and turned him into the Guy I WAS Seeing.  I told him it wasn't going to work out.  Honestly, he didn't sound all that disappointed. Perfect.  The two-sided, no pain breakup is a beautiful thing.  (Incidentally, this also explains, by the way, why I'm home on a Saturday night updating my blog.)

I caught my dad right as he was leaving for shul Friday night.  I hugged him and told him thank you.  He smiled.  He told me I deserved it.

The next 24 hours were intense. Sitting at Shabbos meals - going through the motions. Washing for bread, listening to my siblings tell over a d'var torah staring dutifully at my bentcher while spacing.  Like I said, their house, their rules.  It's all meaningless to me but I participate like all my siblings.

I woke up late Saturday morning.  After lunch I put on a sweatshirt and sat in the backyard.  I looked at the blue sky, the budding flowers and the greening trees.

And I thought.  I thought about David (oh ye astute readers who realized right away who I was talking about - kudos to you all) and I thought about my place in the world.  I thought about living in a world and believing in nothing versus finding something to believe in.  I thought about my feelings towards god - and WHY I so strongly feel the way I do. Am I just reacting to my upbringing?  Did I turn away from god because no one could answer my questions?  Because I simply don't fit in orthodox Judaism's box?  Because I hate my mother?

Before I knew it, It was almost four hours later and I was freezing and miserable and confused.  I went inside and played cards with my younger siblings till Sun down.

And here I am - sitting in my room at 10:45 on a Saturday night.  I can't call David until I work it all out in my head.  I can't focus on my schoolwork because my teeny tiny brain is too confused to focus.  I don't know WHAT to do. 

I know my life will always lack something if I don't believe.  I know that it can have purpose, but it will be forever without ultimate satisfaction if I cannot find my anchor.

And this scares the living shit out of me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wish You Were Here

"How I wish, how I wish you were here
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year


Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears


Wish you were here"

(R. Waters/D. Gilmour)


I wish it was you with me all the time.  You are the one.

It is you I wish I woke up next to in the morning. I wish it was you who would give me a hug as I run out the door to a big meeting/interview/project and tell me it's going to be great.

You give the best hugs.  You always cheer me up.  You know how to calm me down.  When I'm with you I'm always happy - even when we are doing things I don't normally have interest in doing.

I think about you in ways that would make you blush if you knew.  You and your cute face and your million watt smile. And your green eyes.  And your laugh.  And I'll stop the list there before I embarrass myself.

It's always been you - I'm just too thickheaded and wrapped up in my own problems to see.  You who have ALWAYS been there for me, listening patiently as I spew out the same vitriol over and over and over again.  You who always can pick me up after with a smile and a kind word.  Or saying something so funny that despite all of my pent up frustrations and anger, I have no choice but to laugh.  Or who can wrap me up in the warmest, most protective light in the world and make me feel like I am...home.

And when you say something "mean" and I say "fuck you" and you answer "when?" - I want you to mean that.  I want you to want me as much as I do.  And when you tell me about the girls you are dating I secretly want to get their addresses and have them killed.


And now - now that I've figured this out, I'm terrified

I'm terrified that if I tell you, you won't feel the same way.  Instead you will give me that sympathetic smile that says you feel bad for me.  I hate when you feel bad for me.  And if I see that smile this time it will tear my heart in two.  And our relationship will forever be ruined because of its inequality. 

I've never seen a sign from you.  Not one tiny bit of interest in me beyond a friendship.

So now I know.  And knowing is worse.

Big, giant dramatic *SIGH*

My life is about to get even more complicated.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pigs

"Bus stop rat bag, ha ha charade you are
You fucked up old hag, ha ha charade you are

You radiate cold shafts of broken glass

You're nearly a good laugh
Almost worth a quick grin
You like the feel of steel


You're hot stuff with a hat pin
And good fun with a hand gun

You're nearly a laugh
You're nearly a laugh

But you're really a cry"
(R. Waters)
At least it's not about me.  That's the only positive.

There's this girl.  She's a friend of a friend.  She's from a very upstanding frum family.  I've spoken to her a few times here and there by chance meeting and mutual acquaintance.  I've always had the skeevies after talking to her.  She just gives off this feel like she's....dead inside.  Her demeanor, her tone - it's almost like talking to a re-animated corpse.  But hey, to each their own right.  I don't have to live with her, just occasionally say hey how are you.

Last night I went to a social gathering, the type or place of which is not important.  But this girl is there.  She's there but she's not there.  She's sitting off alone, staring at who knows what.  Everyone else was wrapped up so I walked over, asked her why she wasn't participating.

At first she didn't answer.  It seemed like she didn't even hear me.  I was about to walk away when she told me to wait.  She started to sob - except no tears came.  She was dry sobbing - it was scary to watch.  Then she told me her story.

Quite frankly, it is one of the most awful things I have ever heard. 

Her stupid lack of self esteem.

This poor girl did something stupid and now her life is being ruined by an evil person.  It makes me so mad.  It makes me furious.  I keep finding myself balling my hands into fists.  I want to do this evil person physical harm. 

But I can do nothing.  No one can.  She begged me not to tell anyone.  If this gets out, her life will be destroyed and her family will be a laughingstock.  So she's suffering a continuing pain with no end in sight.

I told her she needs to speak to someone about this.  She said that she just told me.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  I told her she needs to speak to someone who knows something.

No, she can't.  She won't.  And if I tell anyone, she will kill herself.  Because suicide will be less of an embarrassment for her family than this other thing.

Pigs. 

People with no morals or values of any sort.  people who think only of themselves.  The world is full of them.  They deserve whatever cosmic fate awaits them.

But in the meantime, watching their collateral damage is heartbreaking.

Pigs.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Let There Be More Light

Okay - so I re-read my blog posts yesterday afternoon and it struck me how...dark the damn thing is.  God, even I'M depressed after reading about myself and I lived it already. 

So in the hope spirit of being a bit more light, I will recount the remainder of the day yesterday AFTER the "primal scream":

I needed to talk out my morning and then decompress. So I called the Guy I'm Seeing around noon.  I begin telling him my pain and suffering but I sense distraction on the other end.  "Are you there?" I ask.

"Yeah babe, I'm here.  I'm just catching up on some articles on the net while we talk."

Oh really?  "What kind?"  The answer better be somethnig like -  psychological journals, to better understand you.

"Stuff on ESPN."  That's a sports thing.

Sadly, the Guy I'm Seeing will soon be the Guy I WAS Seeing.

So I called my best friend.  David.  David and I have been friends a long time.  Little background on David.  He's older than I am by a few years.  He describes himself as Modern Orthodox, with emphasis on the modern part.  So like he's shomer shabbos and he eats kosher (for the most part), but he's significantly more liberal in his views than most.  And he's seriously cute.

He's heard the primal scream before.  Many times.  But despite him being a busy person with things to do, he patiently listened to it again. 

"I need to do somethng fun," I said.

"I have just the thing. Come to the City.  Meet me at 34th and 7th at 6:00.  Dress casual."

Sounds exciting!  And vague fun.  David never let's me down so....I put on a skirt and a top, throw jeans and a different top in my bag (yes, I know how absurd it is that a 20 year old has to go through these charades  - but it's their house, their tuition and, therefore, their rules) and a pair of boots and I'm out the door.

As an aside, try changing out of your skirt and top in the bathroom of a moving train.  Not good times.

So I meet David at the designated time and the designated place. First, he gives me the most needed hug of all time.  He always knows when i just need a hug, god bless him.  He takes me to eat. 

Over pizza (he's clearly a big spender) we just talk about nothing.  "Where are we going?" I finally ask, extremely excited.  Hanging out with Davis is always fun.  It's even MORE fun when we are doing something fun.  I'm thinking bar hopping, maybe a casual club. 

"I've got four words for you," he replies "New York Rangers hockey!"

Dead silence.  I mean HE looks really excited and all (his face has this sheen to it that I normally associate with people at tent revival shows when the minister makes a blind person magically see - PRAISE JESUS!), but did he just drag me into the City to watch a freaking hockey game?????  "You didn't drag me into the City to watch a freaking hockey game did you?"

Aparantly it's not JUST a hockey game, it's a battle for the playoffs!  And I'm going to appreciate the intensity.  He totally dissed a friend he was going to take to give the ticket to me.  Oh, AND the Rangers goalie is really cute (apparantly he's akin to a rock star in Sweden) so I can stare at him the whole time.

Sigh.  I guess since I'm already here, and David looks so damn excited.  I accept.

Before I even know what the hell is going on, the Rangers are losing 2 to zero.  David now looks depressed.  And what's worse, the Rangers goalie (Lundqvist) is wearing pads from shoulders to skates and a mask which covers his entire face.

Everyone in "the Garden" (which is where we were, though there are no growing things to be found anywhere) seems bummed. 

But then somethng happens.  The Rangers score some points.  People start chanting something in a sing-song voice and then screaming something.  I ask David about it.  He says they are saying Potvan sucks.  Who is Potvan I wonder.  He played for the Islanders and, apparantly, 30 years ago he did something dirty to a Ranger player.  30 years ago? I thought only Sicillians held grudges that long. I guess that is why "fan" is short for "fanatic".

Looooong story short.  The Rangers won.  It's really good for their playoff chances.  And you know what?  I had no idea what the hell was going on but it WAS exciting.  The fans were screaming like lunatics and standing up alot.  Oh and there were a bunch of cute players who didn't wear masks so I had that going for me.

After the game I called my dad.  Of course he was still in the city.  He's always working.  Sure, he'd give me a ride home.

He gave David the evil eye when he picked me up.  We rode the first 20 minutes in silence.

Them all of a sudden out of nowhere:  "You know, I spoke to (blankety-blank), he's counsel for Company X, a big real estate company.  I asked him if he would mind having an intern over the summer.  It's unpaid, of course, but you would learn an awful lot about both law and real estate."

I'm looking at him.  It's funny,  he's always been too busy, always workling, never home.  He makes a great living for his family.  But every time I think he was out of touch with me or what's going on, he surprises me.  There were literally tears in my eyes when I told him that sounded great.  Unpaid internship with Blankety-blank and Company X sounded like an ideal way to spend my summer.

"Well, it's not a done deal yet, he's thinking it over.  But I told him how smart and hard working you are.  So hopefully he'll say yes."  Silence.  Then "you know Cymbaline, I am proud of your accomplishments."  Followed by alot my silence as I (and he, too, I think) struggled to keep my composure.

He dropped me off at the train station to pick up the car I had driven there earlier.

 I sat in the car smiling like an idiot for about 10 minutes before pulling out of my spot and heading for home.

Oh and I looked at the goalie on Google Images.  He is cute in a greasy European way.  So there you go.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Crying Song

"We cry and cry
We cry and cry

Sadness passes in a while"
(R. Waters)

I am broken.  I am a shell.

I am suffering from such profound, soul wrenching sadness that I cannot breath.

All I can do is cry.

I have been crying since I woke up this morning at 4:00.  Sobbing some of it - whimpering alot more.

I am lost.  I know from where I came.  I know where I am.  But I have no idea where I'm going.  I am on a dark road with no lamps to light the way.

And I'm scared.  I'm terrified.  I'm like a six year old girl afraid alone in a lightless room and terrified of the dark.

I want a man who loves me.  Iwant to raise children.  But how can I when I am so adrift?  I have no...place in this world.

How can I raise children in a godless world?  How can I tell them the creator built the world and left?  How can I be a good mother when I'm empty inside?

I am alone.  I am apart from the ones I should love the most - my family.  My friends cannot begin to fathom my pain - they are, after all, my friends for that reason.  They don't believe in anything apart from their self-interest and good times.  My therapist is limited.  He can offer me advice and an ear but he isn't a soothing voice in the storm tossed waters of my mind.  The guy I'm seeing is nothing more than a nice distraction.  My best friend is dying in a hospital room and though she insists we talk about my problems, if she thinks i'm going to burden her with my issues she's even more delusional than I thought.

I am alone.  I am suffering. 

90% of the time I am good.  Better than good.  I am confident that i will figure this all out.  9% of the time I'm OK.  I'm pretty sure i will figure it out.

Then there are times like these.  I am wallowing in a despair so deep all I can see is emptiness.  All I can do is cry.  Occasionally I also throw up. 

These are the times I wake up when morning has been born but not yet the sun.  When I am so alone I feel as though if I close my eyes my existence will simply end.

Where am I going?  I can't see anyhting.  I cannot see a life for myself.  Only solitude.  I cannot see a family that i can love.  I do not see friends who believe in things.  I do not see...NORMALCY - only calamity.

I'm so lost and hurting I want to just make it all stop.

All that is keeping me this morning is this primal scream to the vast Internet.

 And the knowledge that, though I cry - even THIS sadness passes in a while.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Interlude - Thank You's and a Solicitation

Wow.  All's I really have to say.  Wow

I started writing this blog just a short time ago - for myself.  As a way of getting my thoughts down on "paper" so to speak.  Another chance for me to step back and look at things from a different perspective.

I did not expect. 

I did not expect anyone to read the damn thing.  I didn't expect anyone to care. 

I am a little overwhelmed by the traffic I have been getting.  Touched if I want to be honest about it.

I wanted to say thank you.  To The Prof for following me from day 1.  To the Enchantress for linking me one day and sending hundreds (literally) my way.  To burntdredlocks for adding me to his roll right away.  The fact that you took the time to do it means alot to this blogger neophyte.

But especially thank you to those who have stopped to read.  And to send me emails of encouragement.  And even those of you who have sent me emails condemning me.  Or soliciting me.  Shows I must be doing SOMETHING right.

I have received ALOT of questions.  So I will provide answers.  One of the next few posts will be a Q/A from you, the readers. 

So please - ask away.  You can leave your questions in the comments section or email me at cymbaline91@gmail.com.

And thank you all for caring.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Comfortably Numb

I took my first drink of alcohol when I was 12.  It was some cheapo bourbon - maybe Jack Daniels or something equally hideous.  It totally made me want to hurl - but I controlled myself lest anyone think I was a wuss.

And like all great drunkards, I built up an immunity to it.  And I drank quite a bit over the next few years.  To this day I'm 110 lbs soaking wet and I can hold my Vodka just fine, thank you very much.

By the time I was in high school, and in full tilt rebellion mode, I had moved on to drugs.  Weed was the obvious start - weed made me feel mellow.  But I snuck shit out of my mothers medicine cabinet - the woman is a walking pharmacy - after all it's hard to work out all the time and not eat unless you have meds to keep you going.

I smoked heroin once (yes, you CAN indeed smoke heroin - significantly less powerful than snorting it or injecting it).  I snorted coke a few times. And I drank.  A lot.  I was sneaking out of my house on Friday nights and partying with friends pretty much every week.  I was ditching school and raiding friends parents' liquor cabinets. 

You might ask why?  Why did you drink?  Why drugs?  What's the purpose? 

Well that, dear reader, is a multi-layered, difficult question to answer isn't it.  I started to fit in with the kids I was hanging out with.  I expanded because I was rebelling against the system I hated so much.  Classic reasons both.

 Hey, I never claimed to be original and I am a self-admitted cliche.

But it also made me numb.  It made me forget.  It made me not worry.  I worried alot. I hated, I was full of anger.  And sadness.  And hurt.  Alcohol or drugs - they made that hurt go away - at least for short periods of time. 

In the end you wake up and realize that the drugs and drinking are not a miracle cure to your issues - they in fact exacerbate them.  Or they leave you so vulnerable to outsiders who would take advantage of you in your high state.  God knows what I've done when I've been too high to control myself and too far gone to remember.  I guess Im lucky I never got a communicable disease (no I never used a needle to take drugs - I meant the OTHER way you get them).

Or you don't realize what they are doing to you.  And eventually you lose.  Or you die.

Luckily I did.  I was killing myself slowly.  I was in a haze - becoming dependant on the escape of pills and drink.

So I stopped.  Cold turkey. No more drugs.  No more drinking.  Ok, well that's not 100% true.  I still drink occassionally.  I may be 110 lbs soaking wet - but damn son, I can hold my vodka and cranberry juice with a 300 pounder.

Now I find escape other ways - novels and tv shows.   And Pink Floyd of course.  Nothing beats a 20 minute Pink Floyd song. 

And I spend my time thinking - not floating in an alcohol soft haze. 

So take it from someone who knows.  Don't drink.  Don't smoke.  Don't do drugs.  Live a clean lifesryle.  All that shit doesn't help you.  It's all fake.  You can never outrun your problems - those fuckers need be solved or they will chase you forever and ever amen.

Amen.