Thursday, November 22, 2012

Grace and Thanksgiving

I'm a little fragile today.  Yesterday, I was a little fragile too.  Next week, I will have been between apartments for six full months.  As tricky as that has been sometimes, I'm glad to know that I'm the kind of person people like having around.  It's nice to fit in so completely to somebody else's home that they miss having you around when you're gone.  At least, that's what Gigi said, and it feels like that here at Diane's too especially now that her cat is starting to cozy up to me.  There will be ten people here for Thanksgiving today, including me and Velvet.  That means Velvet and I are now official part of the extended family which is humbling and a blessing.

Before I started floating, I was pretty sure that I never wanted to live with another person again as long as I live - except Velvet, of course, but I've come to see that I kind of like living with a good friend.  Buzz Kill and I were good friends for a while, and I liked living with him then.  Once Velvet got beyond the lazy-assed, disrespectful High School Senior year, living with him became a pleasure most days.  He and Cupcake are still playing house over at Buzz Kill's - and Buzz Kill is still gone all the time doing his own thing.  Velvet was supposed to go upstate with that side of his family, but he ditched them.  He said he wanted to be with me, but I know that those people are so uptight and judgmental that he's uncomfortable around them.  If they were any fun, he'd be up there causing a commotion right now. He'll be here for a while before he goes over to eat another Thanksgiving dinner with Cupcake's family.

Gigi is working for the fitness guru this Thanksgiving.  She started babysitting again once she lost her job this summer, and landed a nanny gig for some fitness guru with a shit ton of money.  So she's taking care of his kids in the afternoons and writing her thesis in the mornings.  It's worked out well for her, especially since one of her best friends needed a roommate about the time Gigi couldn't afford to live by herself anymore.  As it happens, she's just a few blocks from my new place, so we can get back to having dinner a couple of times a week once I finally move in.  She may even come over to do her laundry.

Unless, of course, she's got a date.  Gigi has been very involved in the dating scene ever since she signed up with HowAboutWe.com about six weeks ago.  Naturally, she convinced me to try it too.  I'm glad I did even if I'm not having nearly as much fun with it as Gigi.  Actually, I'm not sure Gigi is having any fun with it either, but I haven't talked to her in a while because she's been so busy.

Here's Velvet and Gigi last Thanksgiving when we were all very thankful for Cafe Luxenbourg


Here's me trying to look sober:


I think we make a lovely little family.

Last Sunday, I went out with a fellow who turned out to be nearly 10 years older than his profile said which is not unusual in the land of computer dating.  That he was a crazy Vietnam vet was a little unusual.  He clearly had a lot going for him because he was smart and insightful.  After he got out of the Air Force, he went to college on the GI Bill and wound up in broadcast news for years and years. He's in the city trying to get work as an actor. I learned all this over coffee because I went out with him without asking any questions.  His email approach was fine, and by this time, I'm pretty good at spotting the red flags of asswholery in a dating profile.  This fellow wasn't an asshole at all. It looks more like he was so damaged by the Tet Offensive that he was never, ever the same and that over time, the damage grew so complete that it's all you can see anymore.

We were talking in the plaza at Lincoln Center when I was finally able to leave gracefully,  He grabbed me by the shoulders in a clear attempt to kiss me as if it was the big moment in his audition for the romantic lead, and I actually turned and ran away.  He said, "You're leaving?!" and I said "Yep!" and bolted down some stairs that lead to Juliard.
The stairs are to the right of the lawn on the roof of this restaurant. The movie theater is underneath the restaurant on  West 65th and Juliard is across the street.  As it happens, I was only a few blocks from home
After looking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn't followed, I called Woody right away since Woody knows all about crazy Vietnam vets. Woody knows all about a lot of things - kind of like Owl in Winnie the Pooh.

But that's not why I'm fragile. The other morning, I realized that there hasn't been a Menopausal Stoners World Headquarters for 18 months now. All in all, it's been a smooth transition - even though it's taken three times longer than I ever thought it would.  It's been smooth because I've had the support of dear friends who have shared their homes while I haven't had one of my own.  Floating between homes has been unsettling, for sure, but I've been able to look at myself differently because I haven't been surrounded by my self, if that makes any sense.  When you're in your own home, with all your books and treasures and other stuff - you're sort of insulated from your Self by the trappings of your outside life.  Without the things that physically or concretely make up your persona, all you can see is the you on the inside.

I suspect I'm fragile because I feel so great about everything in my life that it's alarming. It reminds of me of this little video narrated by Marianne Williamson that Max shared with me a long time ago. Thanksgiving seems like a good day to share it again:

  Some people get bent out of shape the minute they hear the word, "god," and given how much shit has been disturbed in the world because of God, it's a reasonable response.. Tripping Jesus, as I've come to know the narrator in A Course in Miracles, says that God is Love, and Love is inside all of us. That's it.

Real Jesus may have said the very same thing, but that message has been lost over the years. Plenty of people think that God is just in your head, and it seems to me that is the best place for God to be. That way, you remember Love. It's easy as pie to forget all about Love if you trap God in Church and the government, giving dominion over the planet to the military, the fossil fuel industry and corporate farmers with GMOs. Not to mention the Walton heirs and Wal-mart, where 6 people have the combined wealth of the lower 40 percent of the country.

It's a drag when the idea of Love gets all fucked up just because a bunch of patriarchal dick wads used God to bully their way to the top of the food chain and generally fuck up the planet. Even though those guys may say God gave them dominion, etc, God had nothing to do with it. Grandpa In the Sky may have had something to do with it - and he's just imaginary.  But that doesn't mean Love is imaginary.

With that in mind, I have to get up and face the world this morning.

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

Happy Thanksgiving my friend. Living in other people's homes, in a temporary state, knocks you off kilter, even if you have all the love and support around you to keep you upright. I know this feeling. And that's why I can't wait for you to be in the brand new (but charmingly old and renovated) MS World Headquarters. To understand the relief and pleasure you will feel to be HOME, with all your things around you, gives me not a little joy inside.

mac said...


I tried living with my mother for a while after the hurricanes in 2004 destroyed my home. While I love my Mama very much, it wasn't happening. I felt like I was 12 years old all over again. I finally found a fleabag apartment to live in until we could get the house back together. Then again, after the divorce, the dog and I spent 6 weeks in the Notell Motell (we were the best customers, paying by the week, not the hour).

I understand, a little, that feeling of displacement. However, you handle it with much more grace than I ever could.

Happy Thanksgiving, :-)

PENolan said...

Jennifer - I'm betting we're unpacking inside of two weeks. The kitchen arrived yesterday, and the living and dining rooms are painted. The bathroom sink is delayed due to the hurricane, but we should see it during the first week of December. I'm looking forward to experiencing the sense of joy you describe. So many things of beauty have been happening,though, I better go back and add them to the list. Like all these loose ends about men being tied up once and for all - that's a thing of beauty for you.

Thanks for saying so, mac. Hope you're having a happy holiday out there in Tennessee.

Susan Partlan said...

Oh lord, that story of the date! It reminds me of the scene in "Fargo" when Marge meets a weird old classmate from high school for coffee and he puts the moves on her.

I never thought about how the trappings of our outside life insulate us from ourselves. It makes sense, but it's a little unsettling to think so.

Divinity is inside us, yes.

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