Thursday, April 25, 2013

Frienemies - A Love Story

Friend?

Enemy?

Who decides?  Mutual?  One way?

One day you are bopping along, not a care in the whole wide world.  The next day you are a villain.  What did you do, you monster?

Victim of caring too much? 

"Victim of love I see your broken heart."

Victim.  You don't see yourself that way.  But you are.  Victim of yourself.  Of your circumstances.  Always a victim never the bride.

Why do I care?  I don't.  I stopped caring.  I tried.  I really did.   I wanted to help.  I really did.

But apparently I'm a monster.  I'm manipulative and evil.  I twist and turn brains.

Is this really about me, though?  Really?  Or was I just the thing to strike out at.  The punching bag of the moment. 

You've moved on.  That's totally great.  The question with you though is not from what, but to what?

"Move along..... there's nothing left to see.  Just a body...floating down a stream."

Far from perfect.  I agree.  Flawed to a crisp.  But evil?  That's a new one.  Or a new old one.

Perhaps that's the difference.  I see my flaws.  I admit them.  I tell the world what they are.  We certainly don't need to invent new ones.  There's plenty.

You - you were born flawless.  You are the perfectly rated gem.  Perfection.  Any thing about you which could be conceived negatively - that's my someone else's fault.  But you?  Perfection personified.

Friend?

Enemy?

Who decides?  You decided.  and quite honestly, I'm thrilled.  You showed a spine.  For perhaps the first time ever.  Tell me was it hard to not be so passive aggressive?  I'll bet it was.

Anyway.  This wasn't cathartic.  Mostly because I didn't really give to shits to begin with.  I tried.  I wanted to do good. 

Evil?  Manipulative?  Mind control?  I guess i failed.

 #epicfail.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Power of The Moment

Pre-David (PD), I think it would be safe to say that I had an extremely healthy disdain for sports.  All the sweatyness, the running around chasing after balls or pucks or whatever. The violence.  It just wasn't my thing, to say the least.

Post David (PD - oh wait, that isn't going to work), however, things changed.  David and his friends are massively into sports.  They play sports, they watch sports.  And because of their circumstances, they were (and are) able to attend many professional sporting events at their local venues.

And because I am a part of David's life, I made an effort to try and be interested in the things he is interested in. 

Which included sports.

And to be honest, the first few experiences were a total yawn fest.  except the footballs games, which were freeze fests.  And that was quickly ended.  No football for me (though I do watch the super bowl and would so go this year in New jersey if we get tickets.  But that's just cause I'm a cool-event whore).

Bu then came Lin-Sanity.  And I admit it, dear reader, I got swept up.  The excitement, the energy.  Madison Square Garden, for those 4 or 5 weeks, was the place to be in New York.  everyone, even the biggest anti-sports people around, knew Jeremy Lin.  And even I can appreciate me some Ryan Callahan hustle and the poetry of Rick Nash (especially when someone explains it to me).

All this by way of intro. 

Last night, it was fun to be in the Garden. 

Last year the Knicks got to the playoffs, only to be summarily dispatched by the Miami Heat in embarrassing ways.  Apparently, the Knicks have been so bad recently that winning one game in the playoffs was considered an accomplishment.

So being in the Garden last night, standing like a fool and shouting things like "DEE-fense" and "MVP" and "KG SUCKS" and Paul Pierce SUCKS" - along with like 18,000 other people (!!) the energy, the joy - it really is something to get caught up in.

Do I always know whats going on?  No (especially in hockey which I absolutely cannot follow).  Do I care that I don't?  Definitely not.  Does it suck when the team loses and I'm thinking to myself "those are three hours of my life I'm never getting back"?  Sure does.

But still.  In moments like last night, when I'm gleefully slapping high fives with strangers (and spotting a baseball cap wearing Jake Gyllenhal [!!!] in the crowd) then it's fun and cool and exciting.

And it's in moments like that where you get it.  When the crowd is showing love for a 6 foot, 6 inch guy with tattoos on his neck (um, ew?) after he shot a hoop from the halfway line.  And they are shouting his name as he celebrates with a dumb dance.  And everyone's loving it.

It's the power of the moment.  And it can sweep up anyone who has any interest in the human condition. 

To me, it's not about the sports.  It's about the emotion.  The joy that a bunch of giant men throwing a ball into a little hole can bring to so many people.

So thank you David - for introducing this to me.  And pat a on my back for showing an interest in something he liked.

Now if only I can get him to appreciate shopping.....

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Remaining Relevant

Dear Me:

I was wondering if you remember me. 

Do you remember what I used to be? 

Does it even matter?

I was thinking about you.  And me. 

Us. 

How it was in the old days.

Where has the time gone?

Forward. 

We've moved on.  We've moved on from pain.  And from healing.  And from recovery.

We have become.

Become a person of interest.

We have survived.

Nay, we have, dare i say........ thrived?

Remember what we were?  And look at what we are now.

Glowing.  Thriving.  Working.

Happy.

A person of interest.

Do you miss me at all?  Us.  The way it was?  The things we did? The fun we had? 

Do you miss getting high and having sex with random guys for random reason?

Do you miss waking up in strange places?

Haha.  Does it matter if you do?

But maybe you miss independence?  Being your own person.  Not being "tied down"?

I thought about it.

Still do.

Long and hard.

I admit, I miss it.  Sometimes.  A little. 

Very little.

Not enough.

Do you think I'm a good person?  I'm not sure.  I mean, for the most part, yeah, sure.  But not always.

I think.  I feel.  I act.  I do.  It's a consequence of being me.  Worse before, but not totally gone.

I will, forever, remain imperfect.  A series of good stuff and a slip up.  Two steps forward (three?) and one back.

A person of interest.

Do I even want to be good all the time?  Do you? 

What do you think?

Perhaps I'm ok with two (3?) forward and one back.  Perhaps it fits me, like a perfectly fitting pair of jeans.  They slide on, and are gone.  After all, do you remember one step forward and four back? 

I do.

I remember.  Everything. A blessing and a curse.  A lesson and a pain.

A person of interest.

Do you miss Tova?  I didn't.  For a long time.  Fuck her very much.

But now I do.  And it hurts.  Did I abandon her?  Did she abandon me?

Does it matter?

So there you have it.  Still clearer on the surface and murkier as you go down.  Nothing fixed and perfect as it should be.

Still fucked in the head.

But you know what?

Still a person of interest.








Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston

Sorry for the lack of any flow in this post.

In Newtown, we asked why.  Why did something like this happen?  (And it's most direct result was not to remember those who died tragically, but that the tragedy became a springboard for gun control regulation.)

But Boston. 

Should we ask why?  Does anyone really think, though everyone is careful not to jump to conclusions, that they don't know why?  Or who is behind this?

And what does that say about our world?  Is peaceable existence occasionally shattered by violence going to be the "new normal" in the US, the way it is in third world countries?  The way it is in Israel?

That is a lot of questions.  Questions with, scarily, no answers.

Except.

Except now we are reminded of what we so easily forget.  There are so many out there who hate us.  They hate us for our "meddling" or our prosperity or our freedom.  They hate us because we are different and because we stand in the way of what they so desperately desire the world to look like and ruled.

The next question is, however, what do we DO with this reminder?  How quickly will Boston be yesterday's news?  How quickly will we have moved on, only to be reminded again in a sudden jolt of horror?

The one thing I truly hate about living in the city is that I know I exist in what is probably the number 1 terrorist target in the world, certainly the US.  I don't think about it while I'm on the subway but days like yesterday remind me that it can happen anywhere and at any time. 

And that's the whole point of random terrorism.  To strike fear into people.  To make them afraid to live.

And therein is also the best revenge.  To keep living.  Not to let them defeat us psychologically.

But also - I want revenge.  This isn't live and let die.  This is about retribution for three deaths, including a young child and lost limbs and psychological damage which even I, thankfully, couldn't begin to understand.

And I hate saying this, but I know who i want the perpetrators to be.  I want it to be our existing enemies, not another, new player.  How many fronts can you fight a war on?

I would say this is a wake up call.  Except has anyone really woken up?  Will we still have this fresh in our minds in q week from now, like 9/11 stayed with us for so long?  Or has the new normal sucked the feelings out of us as well.  Have we become so immune to violence that we can quickly move on?

To that I cannot say "Boston, we will remember". 

But I can say "Boston, I will remember".

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Holy Land

Though the subject of another post...

I strongly identify with being Jewish


Did you jaw break when it it the floor?  Does this surprise you?

Truthfully, anyone who reads me shouldn't be surprised by this at all.  I've never been opposed to Judaism, or Jews and I have always loved Israel and everything it represents. (My issues, not for this post, have everything to do with misplaced orthodoxy.  But like i said that's a post for another time  - or the archives). 

After all, one should never judge Judaism by the Jews.

So today is the day that we celebrate Israel.  Well, first we remember, and then we celebrate.  The struggle, the loss of life.  The threats literally on all sides.

And the victories.  The reshaping of the land.  The re-growth of what was barren.

Israel is a lot of different things to many people.  It represents holiness to many religions and is the cause for many a war.  It is a symbol of modern day "apartheid" to many and the absolute symbol of hope to many more.

It is hated.  It is loved. 

But for Jews, it is the ultimate Phoenix arose from the ashes of the Holocaust.  It is a symbol of strength.  A beacon of hope to the lost.  I strongly identify with this.  With having something to hold on to in the midst of a terrible storm ("a harbor in the tempest" to quote Bono).

Not because of today, but coincidentally, David and I have commenced planning a trip to the Holy Land.  Either this summer or at the end of the year.  It's been a while since I have been there. 

And even in these early stages, an excitement is starting to build.  That feeling of anticipation.  That desire to walk its cobbled streets, to feel cool Jerusalem stone against my fingers.  Even to ride a bus and get jostled and yelled at. 

Today we remember.  Then we celebrate.  I celebrate, literally, my home away from home.  Because I truly do feel that way about a place I have been to but a handful of times (and not all the memories are happy).  But it is something that latched itself onto me when I was there. 

The Holy Land.  My land.  The land of my people (even the ones I can't stand).

Today is her day.  Celebrate it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Hidden Destroyer

It is always there, just beyond the nearest shadow, lurking behind the veil.

It was be glorious out, there may be not a care in the world, but the fear...the fear remains.

Because life has taught me lessons.  And I don't forget them.  Even if things look great, I know that they will come back, these demons.  There is no stopping them.

And when they come....oh when they come.  Pain, suffering.  More suffering than pain.  They follow always. There has been no escape, not for the last several years.

The hidden destroyer of good times.  Of happiness.  Dementors, in a sense, sucking goodness and light and hope from a person's soul.

And this torture, you can't hide from it.  No magical cure can completely rid me of their existence.  No pills or shots for me, oh no. 

I suffer.

And why now, of all times?  Right when the weather is turning and the promise of summer is finally here?  Where despite "global warming" we spend a horrible winter freezing and flooding?  Why now?

Why?  The unanswerable question.  Well, that's not completely accurate.  There is a very long, complicated litany of an answer.* 

But here I sit, on a beautiful day and instead of appreciating the turning of the season, I'm scared and worried.

Because, Allergies, I know that you are coming.

And there's no where to hide.









*Something about mold spores and pollen count.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rejoice Oh Beaten Down Ones

"Oh what a beautiful morning"

 - Famous old song

Yes, I'm officially making the call - Spring Has Sprung!

Congratulations to us all.  We have survived winter, we have survived Sandy.  And now we get our reward - a couple of sunny days with the weather in the 70's.

Perhaps it's too early to lay a towel on the beach, but even so, we can begin to dream about it.

And:

 - Take off the tights/leggings
 - Shorten the sleeves
 - Commence wearing denim jackets!
 - Open toe shoes!!
 - Break out the sunglasses (without being too pretentious)


(We won't be discussing the allergies, oh no - not today)

Yes my friends - Spring has sprung.

Rejoice.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Remember...Lest You Forget

What does it truly mean to be Jewish?

Is it a lineage to kings, scholars and great leaders?  Is it following a certain set of laws or a true moral code (when not perverted)?  Is it lighting candles Friday night? 

I'm not sure, to be honest, but I am sure about one thing. 

We need to honor those who fell in the Shoah.  We need to honor their memories, preserve the past for future generations.  We also need to celebrate those who survived, who are still here to tell their stories and make the past a living thing, not a museum curio with no real value.

When I hear a survivor's tale, I almost invariably cry.  Why?  Because you are hearing truth, from the very mouth of the one who experienced a pain and a suffering that is inconceivable to us in our luxurious, me first world.

Truth.  Denied by lunatics.  Denied by world leaders.  And eventually, who knows what will be the "truth".  Who knows who will be writing history books in a generation.  Or two.  Or three.  Truth is established by those who rule.

But we do have today.  And today, we have survivors.  They may be getting into their 80's and 90's, but we still have them.  At least for a short time more.  And we must continue to remember, to listen.  To experience a living holocaust, not a museum curio.

What does it mean to be Jewish?  I'm not sure.  But I know one thing...

We must remember.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Survival!

Two distinct families and family dynamics?  Check

Two totally different cities and weather settings?  Check

Tons of conversation about how matzoh acts as a natural "stuffer"?  Ew

Still alive?  Check!!

Looks like another passover has passed over.  And we live to tell the tale.

Good times.

Couple of quick thoughts on the Holiday:

 - Miami rocks. I know it's not for everyone and I know it's expensive but damn.  Pesach is much warmer in Miami.  While NY was ashiver in crap weather, Florida came through yet again.  It wasn't perfect, but it definitely got the job done.

 - Family dynamics are....dynamic.  I really cannot get over how different my family is from David's.  even now, several months later, it's amazing how much of an adjustment this all is. Obviously, the first part of the holiday was significantly more laid back and..well, fun than the second days.  I really enjoy David's family and how well I am accepted.  His little sister has really become my little sister too.  She looks up to me and everything!  (Of course, it doesn't hurt that David's older sister is not exactly anyone's favorite in that family - but that's a long and annoying story).

 - Being home with reinforcements is much better.  Having David with my at my mom's was a truly great help.  just knowing I had someone who had my back made dealing with everything much easier.  And David just has this was of making people feel at ease  - I think my mom has a hard time disliking him despite her best efforts.  (And you think I'm kidding.)

well, maybe it's just that he puts me at ease, but i don't think so.  One of his strengths is how comfortable he is with people, all people, and that makes them more comfortable around him.  I believe I witnessed with my own eyes David and my mother laughing about something together

It was like seeing a unicorn.

So I got some color, had some good times and some not bad times.  And no one killed anyone else.

all in all, we'll call it a successful holiday.