Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fog (Again)

I have been in such a daze these last few days (no pun intended - ok, pun intended).  I'm tired from lack of sleep, my hands are roughed from hand washing.  My head cannot wrap around the idea that summer is over.

Yes, kids, summer is over.  We cannot pretend any differently anymore.  Our vacations are done or ending, schools right around the corner (and has even started for some).  The feared word "September" will be heard all around the world tomorrow.

But for me, it's all just a daze.  I'm tired, I cannot think straight.  No matter how many ounces of coffee I drink, the world remains a fog.  I need a kick start.


In my neighborhood, they are starting a program for the Jewish holidays.  Basically, they want people doing good deeds over the next 40 days to prepare for the Days of Awe.  They are stressing things like smiling at people - people in stores, at the checkout lines, the stock boys in groceries. 

All I can think to myself is, shouldn't we be doing that all the time?  Should being nice be the default option?  I'll never really understand people.  I know I'm young and I'm certainly jaded but my experiences have taught me that people are, by nature, selfish beings - capable of doing good deeds and acts of kindness when it suits them.  Not that people aren't inherently good (they may be) or that they are evil (though they may be that too), but they are selfish nonetheless.

Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule.  But still.


I was talking to an online friend from this blog the other day via g-chat.  We were discussing something personal in nature - a question about something "frum - BY-type" girls may or may not do  - as opposed to what they claim to do to the public.  She suggested I put it up on my blog as a survey question.  I go back and forth on it.  Y'all will remember how popular my "tennis" post was, but I am not interested in dragging Obscured into the gutter either. 

Any thoughts?

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 25, 2011

What is a date?

It's a day experienced...... and then forever frozen in time on a calendar.  It's April 24, 1967.  It's September 3, 2002.  It happens and then it's gone. 

Some dates, though, are remembered.  Birthdays, anniversaries.  People attach significance to days for a variety of reasons, good and bad.  Celebrating a wedding, celebrating a divorce, marking a death or a new life.

Some days live in infamy.  Ask any grandparent-age person what they were doing when Kennedy was shot.  They know exactly.  Same for a black grandparent.  Ask them about the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed.  They know. 

Ask any person over the age of 30 about their 9-11memories and they can tell you every minute of that day in colorful detail.  Every emotion they felt, every single thing they did from the time they heard until the day ended.  Surreal.

What is a date?

It's a moment in time.  It's another stone in the endless road to the end of time.  Each day holds meaning to someone and remains virtually meaningless to almost everyone else.  It's a symbol of the expanse of time - a link in an endless chain.

Some dates, though, are remembered.  For good and for bad.

August 25, 2011 - the day he told me he loves me for the first time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

And In Other news

Today will be the last day of internship before school starts.  Next week I'm away (!!!) and then I want to take some chill time before school begins again.

I really enjoyed my time here and I've learned an awful lot about things that really interest me.  I'd be extremely upset that I'm leaving except.....

They have offered me a part time role here starting in September!!  I'll be working Fridays as well as fitting in as much time as I can during the week (schedule permitting).  But instead of working with the general counsel, I'll be working with the business side people.  There's even a little (and I stress little) salary.  I'm way psyched.

So that's it then.  Tomorrow night I pack all my stuff and I'm off to the country.  Hopefully the weather will be agreeable, the rivers will be high and the beer will be cold.

So as they say in French - Sayonara suckers.  Try not to miss me too much and


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Goin' Away Y'all

Yes, I have been talking about this forever and ever.  Yes, the time has pretty much arrived....

I'm going on my vacation!!!! 

Approximately 12 of us (I'm honestly not sure of the actual number) have rented a house in upstate New York for a week.  The plan is to combine some fun, some relaxation and some quiet time with my BF (who, incidentally is coming too!!  What a coincidence!!) into an 8 day extravaganza of awesomeness.

I took a "sick" day yesterday and did all my shopping with my girlfriend who is coming with me.  I also watched the last three episodes of Friday Night Lights, season 5 (the final season), which ended with a lot of tears (by me).  Thank you to whoever it was that originally put me on to that show!  I'll always have a place for you in my heart (right next to that giant spot reserved for Tim Riggins).  TEXAS FOREVER, bitches.

So there it is.  I'm going away.  Don't plan on having much in the way of Internet time (or connectivity for that matter), but I will check my emails from time to time.

Hope y'all can survive the week without me!

And if you can't, there's something seriously wrong with you.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A General Feeling of the Blahs

The last couple of days I have been suffering a really bad case of the blahs.

Part chemical (figure it out), part weather related (though staying up half of Saturday night to watch the storm was pretty cool) and part Tova, I've just been in the dumps.  This isn't a case of the Darkness, which I've talked about in the past.  No demons are coming to pull me down to the depths of Hell.  Rather, I just feel like crap.

The summer hasn't exactly gone as I scripted it. I lost a whole bunch of time to being sick, my best friend too a turn for the worse, all my weekend excursions didn't pan out.  My road trip down south fell apart due to the last paragraph.

Now I'm starting to worry that my trip next week will fall apart.  There's no real reason to feel this, but there are so many things which could go wrong.  What if Tova takes a turn for the worse?  What if it rains all week?  What if?

So blah. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer's Gone By

I looked at my calendar today.  Somehow it's August 12.  It made me reflect on my summer:

I went into hibernation to study for finals, took finals, only to emerge from school.......

with the worst recorded case of pneumonia in the history of mankind.  I suffered with this for weeks, losing weight and disfunctional, until......

I recovered enough to go to work!

In short, this has been pretty much the most un-summer summer of all time.

Sure, there were a couple of pool parties, some BBQ's and a week upstate coming up, but this hasn't exactly been the most stress-free, battery recharge of summers (and I've completely left out this summer's biggest energy sucker).

YET, as I sit here sorting through and collating signature pages, I'm listening to this and all of a sudden it's summer again.  It's distant bells, and new mown grass smells so sweet.  It's by the river and holding hands, draw me up and lay me down.

Still, it's depressing to realize that summer is winding down and the "real world" is about to start up again soon.  There's something about experience of flip-flops, short shorts and ice coffee that winter just cannot duplicate.

But vacations and good times, much like life, marches on.  Everything eventually gets left behind.  So there will always be next summer.  And maybe when we become adults the fun quotient starts to diminish - but maybe we all just learn how to squeeze more enjoyment out of the lesser amounts we have.  Not sure.

Here's what I do know though - it's August 12 and summer's running out of time.  When I walked to my car this morning, it was almost...chilly outside.  And I know that up in the country at night its probably freezing already.

And this post, much like my mind today, shall complete with no ending.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How Quickly a Post Becomes Stale

As quickly as a determined girl can check herself out of hospice care and into her own house.

Perhaps still to die, but at least on her own terms.

I spend several hours with her.  We sat in her backyard (the nurse wouldn't let us take a walk) and it was just like old times.  We laughed, made irreverent jokes about cancer and death, and we re-lived a hundred old memories.

I remember.  I remember all the good times.  All the times with you are good Tova.

I told her I didn't know how to say good bye.  Her response?  Why bother with good byes?  She has no use for good byes.  Alive or dead.  So there you go.

A day?  A week?  Twenty five years?  I don't know how much longer she has.  But we will ALWAYS have this night.

"At Peace"?

People throw that expression around.  "I'm at peace with X".  What they mean is, they've accepted that X is going to happen and there's nothing they can do about it.

So am I at peace with Tova?  No.  Am I at peace with her decision (supported by her family) that I am no longer welcome to come to the hospital?  No.  But I accept it all the same.

I'm pretty sure Tova is now beyond anyone's help.  Outside of some sort of miracle, she doesn't have much longer for this world.  She's in pain.  Her body is betraying her.

It's her decision.  She doesn't want everyone's lasting images of her to be in agony on her deathbed.  So her friends are no longer allowed to be at her side.  Instead, when she's up for it, we chat on the phone or online.

So the last time I saw her was Sunday.  She looked fine.  Now it's Wednesday and it's a whole different world it seems.

A lifelong friendship.  The problem is, sometimes the lifetime isn't long enough. 

"Some days are better than other", she emailed me yesterday afternoon, after I jokingly asked if the reason she wasn't on was because of her fasting (she's observant).  "Hopefully tomorrow will be better than today." 

Honestly, I'm not sure she expects to live another week.  I've written a goodbye email to her, but I cannot bring myself to send it.  It makes everything  And she'll probably just make fun of me anyway.

I've said my peace to her.  More than once (which is probably why she doesn't want me around anymore).   There's nothing more to say than I love you.  I'm certainly not going to burden her with how hard it's going to be after she's gone.

So do I comprehend?  Yes.  Do I accept?  What other choice is there? 

Am I at peace? 


Monday, August 8, 2011

Turn For The Worse

My friend has taken a turn for the worse.  Though she seems ok on the outside, it is not good on the inside. 

I feel very empty, very hollow right now. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blog Side Story

I'm thinking about writing a Broadway play about my experiences in Blogland. I think there is certainly no shortage of rich material and interesting characters.

Obviously, the play would take place in the land of make-believe and would center around the lives of our plucky heroes:

There's Hannah, the brainy, melancholy force of nature, who creates a whirlwind of energy whenever shes on stage.

Eric Dish, the thirty-something, world weary guy who holds a giant part of the world together with his easy vibe and intelligence.

Maria, the endlessly optimistic bundle of perky energy that flutters through each scene bringing raw positiveness to the production.

Doc, the young sushi chef who quotes Confucius and tries to figure out the world.

Miri, Hannah's younger, idealistic sister, who sees the world in black and white as she struggles to come to the realization that there's a couple of varieties of gray mixed in there too.

Esther, the married woman who struggles to hold together her marriage, her relationships with her family and the desire to see the world as well.

Kvetch and Observer, who sit in the balcony like those 2 guys from the Muppets and make sarcastic, funny observations like, "this play really sucks" - before bursting out laughing.

Baila, Shprintsy and Malky, three young, single frum girls who struggle to find a balance between their religious beliefs and their personal feelings.

So there it is, my next great unfinished project. 

And what's so great is that it's the story of us all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

There's A Lack Of, Let's Call It....Tennis, In My Life

I started playing, um, tennis when I was like 15.

 Even as young as say 13 I was doing things that were like, um, tennis, but it wasn't quite tennis.  I started as a form of rebellion, but the truth is I discovered that I actually really liked tennis.  Maybe more so than most girls do.

So for the the last seven years, I've played alot of tennis.  I've played it with people I've cared about but often I just played it, for acceptance, for "love" or just to get stuff.  It's also one of life's great stress relievers.  After a game of tennis, I always feel much calmer. 

Now I ain't no Serena Williams, but you know what they say about practice - I've gotten to be pretty good at tennis.

 But despite it's lack of....permissiveness in some worlds, I've never lacked for tennis partners or a good game of tennis whenever I've needed one.

And tennis is one thing that I really stuck with, even as i was "recovering" from my problems.  See I separate tennis from rebellion.  I just like tennis and, dammit, there's nothing wrong with playing it - either with a regular partner or with a just a casual tennis fling.  Plenty of people argue I'm wrong.  That there are rules forbidding playing tennis whenever you feel like it.  But those aren't MY rules.  So don't impose them on me.

Unfortunately, David doesn't play.  Sure, we have volleyed a bit, but he doesn't actually play TENNIS.  Apparently some of the rules are problematic.  So no tennis there.

So a few days ago it dawned on me.  I haven't played tennis for a really long time.  And now I'm in a bigger bind - cause I won't play with anyone else if I'm seeing David.  Somehow that just doesn't seem right.  Actually it ISN'T right. 

And I obsess.  So I've been thinking ALOT about tennis.  Or specifically, the lack thereof.  Sure, there's always practice.  But tennis alone...well we all know it's not the same.  I'm concerned I will be consummed by my desire to play tennis until all i'm thinking about is an epic 5-set tennis marathon which leaves both players on the brink of physical and mental exhaustion. 

So to sum up.  I can't play tennis and I miss it.

The end.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Storm Tossed Friendships

Show me two "best" friend who never fight and I'll show you two people who aren't truly best friends.

Tova and I have had some real blowouts over the years.  We've fought about boys (of course), clothes, and about nothing at all.  We've yelled and screamed and made really biting comments (sorry guys, never had a cat fight with her). 

But the one thing we've never done is stayed mad at each other.

The old record was maybe 2 days.  Then one calls the other, makes a really mean spirited joke, and everything back to normal.

So when a week and a half ago she bitched me out for spending too much time with David, I let it slide for a day and then called her to make a mean spirited joke and move on.

But a funny thing happened.  She didn't take the call.  Or the next half dozen.  And when we did finally talk again, it ended up in another fight. 

Since then it's been rocky.  She doesn't pick up when i call and she doesn't return my texts.  She has been invisible on G-chat too (though I have a sneaking suspicion she's actually just making herself invisible so she doesn't have to talk to me).

But then a funny thing happened.  I spoke to her sister on Friday.  Tova's back in the hospital.  She has been for a week. 


So  went to visit her yesterday.  It was really uncomfortable.  She was bitchy and angry and when her brother walked in she told me it was better if I just went and spent time with David.  Hurt and pissed, I said fine and left.

When realization dawns on me, it's like the sun coming out.  Everything lights up.  And it dawned on me yesterday.  Tova is pushing me away because she thinks shes going to die and she doesn't want me to be hurt.  Tova has always been my rock, so to speak.  She's always been the strong one.  The one who had to be there for me when i was going through my stuff.  She's gone through so much, but she always managed to just brush it off - her past battles with the cancer, the loss of the one SHE loved, family issues that would make most people sick.  But it was always "nah, that's nothing Cym, don't worry I'm only here for you."

Scoff - go ahead.  I don't care.  I know I'm right.  I know her and I know how different it's been this time.

And so I was up all night last night.  Running it through my head.  As I do.  How serious it must be.  How much she hasn't been telling me.  I know she's been getting transfusions pretty much every week, but it must be much worse even if she's in the hospital.  And why else would she be treating me like crap in the bathtub?

And so I dragged myself out of bed and to work extremal early.  And sat here writing this post all depressed.  But funny coincidence - someone else was on early this morning too.  And someone else had some really good advice for me.  TALK to her.  Don't let things go unsaid.  Don't set yourself up for regrets.

She's right.  I haven't thought about Tova's sickness, because the truth is I cannot handle the idea that she might die.  I cannot even fathom the concept of losing my best friend.  But no matter how much I don't want to deal with the possibility, I can't pretend it ISN'T a possibility. 

And that's why tonight, after work, i will detour to the hospital. I am going to tell her I love her.  And that I am there for her.  And that I'm strong enough to take whatever comes.

And then I'll batten down the hatches and wait for the hurricane.