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Renfield
Had a strange dream last night. Scott and I were living together as roommates. Still exes, but the kind of exes who talk and get along. I still never had any idea what to talk to him about and felt rather stupid around him, but that wasn't so oppressive anymore, since it wasn't that important to me. I even suggested at one point that he should date occasionally, bring a girl home, it would be fine -- there's really no need to live like a drunken monk. (Though if he ever plays in another band and releases an album, it should totally be called "Drunken Monk.")

The dreams about Scott stopped being nightmares awhile ago, and I've dreamed of him before without any fear or depression or wish-fulfillment. But this is the first time I woke up from a Scott dream feeling good -- not just about the dream, but about being awake.

There's still a lot of lingering stuff. It's sort of aggravating how often a problem that arises between me and Captain Hammer winds up coming down to, "But Scott used to do this, that's why I'm so neurotic about it." But as for Scott, the guy, the ex-boyfriend -- I think I'm over it. I think I can say, without any fear of contradiction, that if he showed up on my doorstep tomorrow professing his undying love, I'd be like -- um, thanks, but no. And not just out of self-preservation, or because I'm still in love with him... but because I'm not. I looked at his picture on MySpace the other day, and it wasn't just that I didn't feel any of those painful pangs -- I just didn't feel anything but "...huh. He looks drunk. Was he always that sweaty?" I confess, I'm still more than a little curious what has become of him, which is why I was looking him up on MySpace. But I don't feel especially invested in what his life is like now.

It's not news to anyone that what I felt for Scott was unhealthy. But heroin is unhealthy; once you've had it, you want it anyway. It's only now, with more than a couple years of distance, that I think I can honestly say I don't long for that feeling anymore.

It probably helps that I'm happy. Really, truly happy for the first time in -- well. A long time. I was recently promoted at work, I like my boss and my office, I don't have to ever worry that the axe is hanging over my head, I'm respected by my superiors and peers, and I really care about the work that I do. I've been involved with theater, for better or worse, and I've made a lot of friends there. I'm surrounded by my best friends, and I even live with one of them (Erik Harrison Whose Name Should Be Known Throughout the Land has been awesome and living with him still feels a little bit like vacation all the time). I'm in a supportive, affectionate relationship with an adorable, smart, talented guy who holds my hand in public. We all just spent the last week together at the beach, me and Captain Hammer and Erik Harrison and Princess Monster and My Favorite Pirate and The Virgo Queen. If I'm not posting much anymore, it's because I don't have much to complain about.
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
 
Renfield
09 January 2010 @ 12:59 am
Got a haircut this afternoon. Enjoying the part where I look put-together, at least for a few hours. Which I spent at home, watching half of The Haunted World of El Superbeasto. (I gave up halfway through because Rob Zombie had done something I thought he could never do: he bored me. Oh, well. Hard 'n' Phirm's music was good, anyway.) And now I'm wondering if there's any point in turning out the lights and trying to go to sleep. (I've had insomnia for that last few weeks.)

big-ass haircut pic behind the cut; your f-list format thanks meCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: awake
 
 
Renfield
So I checked my voicemail on Christmas. I'd gotten a call from HB on Christmas Eve, I discovered. He was telling me that the thing he had been pushing me to do with him in January -- the thing I'd already rearranged my schedule to do, mind -- he was now reconsidering. Which should not have come as a shock to me -- I should have known that he never had any intention of doing it.

Part of me is furious with him for being a lying asshole, obviously, but part of me is furious with myself for being naive enough to believe a word he'd ever said when I knew the man to be an inveterate liar. Or rather, for ignoring the huge alarm bells going off every time he spoke in favor of the tiny, insistent voice saying, "Why would he lie about this? There's no reason to lie. Maybe he means it."

I'm really not sure which is worse -- the liars or the self-righteous honest ones, like Scott. I should have known better than to believe anything HB said, because he'll always lie, whether he needs to or not -- it's a compulsion, and it's a power trip. Scott, on the other hand, always at least believed he was telling the truth, even when the truth was brutal and vicious -- which is just as much a power trip as lying. But they're both a pain in the ass, really, because there will always be a little voice thinking that HB is being honest this time, while Scott always claims to be telling the truth but never tells the actual truth -- rather his current interpretation or recollection of the truth -- which has been known to develop spontaneous and convenient blind spots.

I had this dream about Scott last night. I was in New York on Institute business and ran into him in a university library. After initial hostilities on both sides, we came to a civil truce and managed to have drinks and renew our acquaintance platonically without any great pain or angst on either side. My subconscious is torturing me again -- this is the same brain that, not too long ago, gave me this gorgeous dream about what might've been if I'd met Perfect Tommy in college. It would be fine, if it weren't for waking up to the harsh light of day.

I just looked up Scott on Facebook for the first time in two years. His profile is blocked, obviously -- he's actually got a blank green block as his user picture now. (Initially I thought he'd blocked his profile pictures, but I don't think there's a way to do that, and certainly not a way to do it and have a blank green block appear instead.) He did have one public note that was a link to an article telling people not to go to grad school in the Humanities, which is kind of interesting, since he was the one who was always so gung-ho about grad school. In fact, he was the one who told me that the private sector is hell and that grad school is the only refuge for intellectuals. He, obviously, had never considered working for the Banzai Institute.

I guess the point is that, psychically speaking, he's back. Not like he was before my Renaissance moment, but I always had a feeling that a relapse of some kind was inevitable. Although I can't say so far that there's any of the usual angst or self-flagellation associated with this resurgence of memory; so far it's primarily, if this isn't too ridiculous, a bit wistful. I am honestly tempted to get in touch with him; I'm not sure whether I could honestly say I miss him at this point, or for that matter what we'd talk about now that I have determinedly forgotten most of the theory I learned in grad school. I suppose we would have to talk about his girlfriend, the thought of whom... honestly doesn't really affect me anymore. Maybe if his profile picture had been of the two of them together, it would have. I mean, I don't know, maybe once I heard her name in his voice again it would, maybe it would rip the wound right back open. Maybe now that the scar has been there for a while, I've forgotten how much it hurt before.

I think it's as much as anything a desire to salvage something, to feel like those two-and-a-half years of my life weren't wasted time, just a mistake to be written off and forgotten. Over the course of my nomadic life, I have lost so many people to time and distance and other things out of my control -- but this I can control. It's been two years and three weeks since I told him I needed him out of my life, and at the time I called it temporary. I've since accepted that it really wasn't meant to be, but maybe. I don't know, maybe it should be, maybe for once I should try to keep a bridge rather than let it burn.

Commence the telling me I'm crazy now.
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
Renfield
28 October 2009 @ 09:47 pm
...or, The Bitter Spinster's Lament)

Several of my polyamorous friends have been lamenting the state of their love lives lately, as humans are wont to do. This third guy doesn't want another secondary, I haven't had sex in a week, blah blah cry-me-a-river-cakes. Meanwhile my -- well, I have to say sex life, as I have absolutely no love life at the moment -- has also been slightly complicated. In a long chat with J. one day, she very earnestly informed me that what I needed was a schmoopy boyfriend. Here's part of the IM exchange that followed:

me: well, if I had one this wouldn't be an issue
but despite many years of trying, I've never had one
so if that ever becomes an option, my life will improve dramatically
but this is all I got
*is annoyed*
J.: chant with me, "I can do SO much better than this"
"I WILL do so much better than this"
...
J.: It continues to baffle me how people who say to themselves, "I am desirable and capable of getting what I want" generally do, and people who say to themselves, "I am not particularly desirable, and I will never get what I want" rarely do.
me: I don't think that's true, though - it's all very puritan and american, all "hard work will make your dreams come true." lots of people with tremendous ambitions and expectations of success fail utterly.
J.: true again, to a point
people who seek The Perfect Relationship are doomed to misery
people who seek The Good Relationship are much, much happier
me: all I want is the Remotely Passable Relationship, though Good would be fantastic. but then, all the guy who lives in the refrigerator box wants is a hot meal and a cozy bed, but he's unlikely to get it either... and I rarely fully appreciate the fact that I've got that all the time
or how impossible a dream it is for a lot of people
and I'm like, well, just get a job! like other people are like, just get a relationship! duh!

It may be a metaphor that only bears up under so much close examination. I've never personally been financially destitute, at least not within memory -- even when I had absolutely nothing but debt, I still had middle-class parents happy to lend me money and positively eager for me to move back in. Technically I experienced extreme poverty as a baby, but by the time I was two and I have actual memories, our family had moved into the realm of the reasonably well-fed, clothed, and housed. So I'm not going to say that life without romantic love (and that specifically -- I'll come back to this) is "like" trying to survive without life's physical necessities. Maybe if we limit the scope to the inner life or the emotional life... but we're starting to get into distinctly flaky territory here. Maybe, if it's not too sentimental, I could say that the absence of love is to the heart as the lack of shelter is to the body -- though again, it's not as though homelessness has purely physical effects.

And why romantic love? In a life full of incredible friends and two extremely doting parents, why am I still unsatisfied? There are a couple of facets to this. One is that romantic love encompasses the depth of parental love -- this is someone, or someones, for whom your happiness will always be their highest priority -- and the freedom of the love your friends have for you -- unlike your parents, who (one very much hopes) are biologically and socially compelled to love you, your friends chose to love you. But the other point that needs to be made here is that the privileging of romantic love is very much culturally-defined. My conversation with Julie touched on this point too: in many eastern cultures, the parent-child bond is considered unequivocally the most important in life. And I'd argue that, until fairly recently, the same could be said of "western culture," and can still be said of some western cultures. But for middle-class American white people, Disney has convinced us that romantic love is more important -- especially, of course, for women. (And once again, I blame the patriarchy.)

But to get back to the rambling conversation I had with J.: the rubric we worked up was something like, poly people with multiple partners, especially if you have a primary (and, for my money, doubly especially if you're married or lifelong committed), live in mansions. Castles, even. Castles of Looove. Monogamous married/committed people live in five-bedroom Victorians or generous ranch houses in the suburbs (of Looove). And so on. By this reckoning, I am living in a refrigerator box (of Bitter Spinsterhood). With occasional stays in the shelter (of Fleeting Sexual Encounters).

So when my poly friends go on about how the ceiling is leaky in their fourth bathroom, I can only sympathize so much. I mean, to step out of the metaphor for a moment, I actually am a homeowner, so I understand the frustration of a leaky ceiling. And when your ceiling is leaking you're not appreciating the fact that you have a ceiling at all, you're just upset because it's leaking. I also wouldn't expect the guy who camps in front of my work building to appreciate or sympathize with my leaky ceiling. And telling him about my leaky ceiling is probably just going to make him angry and bitter.

The upshot of all this (vaguely masochistic, on my part) emotional rhetoric was that poly people -- I love you guys, all my lovely poly friends -- but sometimes, poly people need to STFU.

This doesn't apply to single poly people, and I know they're out there. I could be poly as the day is long, it still wouldn't change the fact that I can't get a date I want to go on.

Which, again... the actual guy in the actual refrigerator box? Probably has his tiny violin playing "My Heart Bleeds for You" right now. Or he would, if he had a computer and internet access. The point being, I suppose, that we've always got to have a degree of perspective about ourselves.

(For the poly perspective, check out J.'s take on this subject at ipcookiemonster)
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
 
 
 
Renfield
18 October 2009 @ 04:06 am
I just had such a good night, y'all. I haven't seen 4 am from this end in well over a year -- and I haven't seen it sober in a lot longer than that -- and I've been enjoying the heck out of the last ten hours. It was nothing extraordinary, just a great final show, a great strike. J and My Favorite Pirate came to see the show, as did a friend from work and her husband, and I got to stand in the lobby and chat with them after the show like a normal person -- I haven't had a lot of people come see it, so that felt so good. And then HB's wife didn't come, which was a relief, since she usually seemed to want to come to cast events and hang all over him, which was always irritating. And HB was flirty with me all night, which I love. And basically the cast member I don't especially like bailed early on strike so the rest of us got to hang out without her, which was also a relief. It was like the best-possible-worlds version of this show. And after strike we went to IHOP and were silly and stupid and ate platefuls of carbs. And now I am retiring to bed a happy flamingo.
 
 
Current Mood: happyhappy
 
 
Renfield
07 September 2009 @ 11:11 pm
So Labor Day was productive. Today I have:

1) Cleaned out my car. This was a big thing that I have been putting off for, oh, about a year. Kinda sad that this is what it took to get me to do it.
2) Cleaned the downstairs bathroom and took most of the wallpaper down. It peeled right off in full sheets, which is a huge relief. I didn't get the last of it because Door had started to make antsy noises (her litter box is in there). But with the wallpaper down I can start priming it to paint. I did discover that I'm out of the floor tiles I had been using to cover the floor, so finishing that will have to wait until I can get to Home Depot and get more, plus a cutting tool good enough to make them fit around the toilet.
3) Cleared off the dining room table (aka the crap magnet).
4) Finally sewed my futon cover onto the futon. I'd been trying to find a way to make it easily removable since about a year ago, but it's not going to happen. So I've just sewn it in, and will hope it doesn't get stained with anything anytime soon to necessitate taking it back off. It was really a bigger project than I expected or fully thought through -- as is usually the case, really. I thought, oh, it's just six rectangular pieces of fabric sewn together, no big deal. It was only months later that I fully acknowledged that I was basically doing DIY upholstery, and with no plan to speak of. Anyway, it's done now and very cozy and retro in orange and brown.
5) Got another few steps closer to finishing the laptop bag I've been working on since well before I left Wisconsin. I keep having inspirations for this one -- recently I noticed the dimensions on a cardboard box that had been sitting in the spare room and realized it would be a perfect fit for the sides, so they'd have some structure. Then I pulled out the shoulder strap and started again, because with no padding and a crap buckle it was basically useless anyway. Now I've got one that's double padded and covered in soft brown velour (left over from the futon cover). There are so many layers, though -- working on it makes my fingers hurt, so I can only do so much at a time.
6) Cleared all the clothes off my bed; started the laundry and put the first load away.
7) Did a spot of vacuuming.
8) Went through all of my handbags and cleaned out all of them. I own a lot of handbags, and stuff tends to just linger in the ones I don't use often.
9) Cleaned and reorganized the shelves in my closet.
10) Dyed my hair. Clairol makes a touch-up dye that I highly recommend; it actually works surprisingly well and I have yet to accidentally dye anything I didn't mean to with it.

I should get stuck at my house without a car more often, obviously.
 
 
Current Mood: productiveproductive
 
 
Renfield
06 September 2009 @ 08:53 pm
So I was in a car accident yesterday. I'm all right, though my chest and right arm are are still bruised up and sore from the airbag. Which is better than the alternative. Dad's also okay; he was in my passenger seat. He was sitting further back and so didn't get quite so much impact from his airbag.

A woman ran into me trying to make a left turn from the center lane. She and her passenger are okay too. Smashed up my passenger side and caused the airbags to deploy. The car may be totaled. We'll see.

Sigh.

At least the other driver took full responsibility. In fact, she's still terribly worried that I'm hurt and called me at 8:00 this morning to make sure I was all right. She's a woman in her 70s who was taking her husband home from the hospital after he had a pacemaker put in. The insurance companies will sort it all out, but it's impossible to get mad at her for it.

My dad, who is a confirmed saint, actually drove the two of them back home to Warrenton last night, about an hour-and-a-half drive, because their car was completely totaled and they couldn't find anyone to pick them up. The tow truck driver who was called to take their car away, when he heard my parents arranging to get them home, leaned over to my mom and said, "Are you really from this area? People around here aren't usually this nice."

And mom of course insisted that if I refused to go to the hospital, I had to at least stay with them last night just in case. There's nobody at the insurance office until Tuesday, so I can't take the car to a mechanic or get a rental until then; the windshield is busted and one headlight is gone, so I can't really drive it around even though the key systems seem to be okay. There's also two airbags deployed -- did you know the driver's side airbag just breaks through the plastic on the steering wheel when it inflates? I always figured the middle of the wheel would flip open or something. But again, that makes replacing airbags a very expensive deal. If the insurance company pays out the blue book value of the car, that ought to be enough, or almost enough, to buy a used car.

I guess it's a good thing I didn't have any plans for the weekend, huh?
 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
Renfield
"There's a fine, fine line / between reality and pretend / and you never know 'til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb / there's a fine, fine line / between love and a waste of time... I guess if someone doesn't love you back, it isn't such a crime..."

Eventually, though, someone has to. Right? I mean, before we're both old?

I mean, I know the odds would be better if I could actually find somebody in my league who I was remotely interested in. Neil was most assuredly in my league; Neil was in the very same ballpark, I suspect. Which makes me feel very slightly better, I think, in that I don't necessarily think Neil is objectively unattractive, just not at all for me.

But the apparent rejection from Perfect Tommy last night has me worrying that I've just drastically overestimated my own attractiveness and what my league actually is. I knew Scott was out of my league, but I honestly thought Perfect Tommy was in it. I mean, he's incredibly short (seriously, like, any shorter and he'd have to have some form of dwarfism, he's barely any taller than me) and he dresses kind of weird (one, he dresses entirely in black, but two, that sometimes takes the form of, like, acid-wash black jeans, seriously) and he's pretty awkward in conversations and he's handsome but not, like, incredibly handsome and he can be quite rude and off-putting. I just... I don't know, I guess I reckoned that my sexual currency probably roughly equaled his. Obviously I was wrong...

I started a post for I'm Into Survival about Re-animator, and realized that Perfect Tommy is basically Herbert West, with slightly (only slightly) more in the way of social skills. Cripes.

And then, of course, I find myself wondering. I mean, how clueless could he actually be? This is all because I sent out an invitation to the communications group -- a group of six, including the two of us -- for another happy hour, like we had last week. Last week's happy hour was because two of us were having birthdays, and this weeks was basically just because -- well, because I wanted to know how he'd respond, actually. Yes, I initiated a group social outing as a litmus test for a romantic interest. I should probably know better, because even when he didn't show up -- or even respond in any way to the invitation -- and basically informed me that he wasn't going by saying "See ya" on his way out of the office, I still had to go to happy hour and pretend to be remotely happy, because it was my stupid idea. And so I sent him an email just saying basically that I guess he wouldn't be going with us, and that was fine, it was just a last-minute idea. To which he never responded in any way.

So to me, that pretty clearly communicates that he's not interested in me in any way -- he's not even interested in me as a friend or co-worker, much less romantically. But I don't know what any of this means from his point of view. And I've got to stop finding loopholes and just live with it, because every loophole I find makes this happen again, because I start to hope again, and then I get my heart smashed into little tiny bits. Again.

And it keeps happening because my pool is so damn small. I've been interested in -- by my count -- five men, ever. My first boyfriend (dated for a month), Scott, Dear Hubby, Chief, and Perfect Tommy. I've been attracted to a few others, but those were the only ones I actually wanted to go out with. My first boyfriend was insane but meant well, and the fact that he was just too needy to cope with for long and that I thus dumped him after a month may be the karmic reason why my love life since has sucked so hard. Scott, we all know about. DH used me for sex with no intention of actually being seen in public with me. Chief is the only guy who's ever given me exactly what I wanted from him, bless his twisted little head, but of course I did realize I didn't want to date him. And now this. What is this about? Surely these five guys can't be that unusual or rare or special. Is there really that dearth of eligible men in my life?

It's just never, ever been worth that uphill climb. Maybe it's time to stop trying.
 
 
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
 
 
Renfield
Well, that answers that.

If anybody needs anything this weekend, I'll be at home drinking until I black out.
 
 
Current Mood: disappointedheartbroken