Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve

A year ago tonight I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I am ready to wash my hands of the entire drama that was 2007, and start over. The end of this year marks a huge turning point, almost like a curse has been lifted from my head. A force bigger than me knows what's going on, and it's all good, true and real from this point on. My job is simply to ride it out, whatever 'it' is.

My 2008 anthem, from a 1978 performance on The Midnight Special.


Surrender, but don't give yourself away.

Happy New Year to all my dear friends. I hope you have lots of champagne and someone to kiss at midnight.

Bisous from Julie

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Milestone



I.
Had.
Sex.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

What This Blog Needs is More Woody Allen



Damn, I'm living a Woody Allen movie.

Here's another, that has nothing to do with my life whatsoever. Except that I am writing fiction, and I love New York:



I never thought about how important the openings to Woody Allen's movies are. These are my two favorites, maybe because of the neat and tidy openings and the equally orderly, tie-it-all-up-in-a-ribbon endings.

If only life would come full circle and have everything make sense.

Samuel Beckett, "Krapp's Last Tape," short clip

Portrait of the character as a young man.




Though I've never seen it, or even read it, I love the idea of this play. A man finds a tape of himself that he made years before as a youth. He listens to his young voice, his earlier ideas and ideals, and wonders about who that person is. His young self is a stranger to him now. Which makes me wonder, where is our identity? Time moves so quickly that as soon as we've grown comfortable with something, it's changed, and often before we've even realized it.

In short, who am I at this moment in time?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Peripheral Paul

I last spoke to Paul on the phone on Tuesday, December 4. That’s three weeks and three days ago. I haven’t called him. I haven’t texted him. I haven’t emailed him. I haven’t seen him. I have no idea what he is doing with his life. Does it feel good? Sometimes. Do I still miss the hell out of him? Of course. Do I still think about him? Um…what do you think? But lately I catch myself spending actual time spans not thinking about him at all. So far I’m up to about 20 minutes of uninterrupted no-Paul time. It is amazing. I am able to enjoy spending time with someone, going to lunch with my kids, shopping with my mom. I am making real strides in myself and how I see and treat others. It’s an uphill battle, full of tears and regret, but I am coming out of the darkness.

My dear friend C. told me today when I gave her this exciting “three weeks and three days” news that popular wisdom says it takes 21 days to form a habit. So what does this mean for me? Though I am not over him, I am now in the habit of not having contact with Paul. I am living my own life and I am healing. Soon I’ll make it to an hour without thinking about him. One day I’ll get to a whole afternoon without thinking about him. Then maybe an entire day. I look forward to that time. But these three weeks mark a turning point for me. Paul is moving to the periphery of my life, of my reality, of my soul. I still love him. Duh. I always will. But I can live life without him, as unnatural and weird as it seems. I don’t want to, but I have to. It is what it is, as someone used to always tell me.

I have a new love interest in my life. He will remain nameless, because I really don’t know where any of this is going, or if I even want it to, but I have a thing for someone. That is huge. I have to be sure it isn’t some kind of rebound, however, so I am not going to say anything more. Except that I refuse to pursue a relationship until I know that I can do it cleanly and honestly. I refuse to put anyone else through the confusion and lack of direct communication that I threw at Paul. This time I am going to do things right. So I am taking my time and not really doing anything with him, except watching. Having never been a “keep calm and don’t push it” kind of gal, this feels very freaky. But it’s the only way to live. I can’t make anything happen; I can’t make anything not happen. I am getting very good at going with the flow, and seeing where it leads. It’s too late for the person I wish I could have done it with, but it’s not too late for me. And maybe for my new man.

But you know what? It's total rebound. I don't even have to think about it. I can't pursue something new when I still miss Paul like a runaway freight train. I was browsing photos looking for one to put on this post and just seeing this one, taken in December 2004 in Athens, fills me with amourousness and warm feelings for him. He's my soul mate and it's gonna take a lot longer than three weeks to start anew with someone else. So the love interest may just have to chill for a while. Oh well, he won't know the difference anyway.

Happy Friday, peeps.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas, Cruel World



I am going to Rome for Christmas in about an hour. My mom doesn't believe in the Internet, so I'll be more or less offline for the next few days. On the bright side, she has cable.

I'll be thinking about all my friends out there over these next few days, and thanking my stars that I have you all. Be safe, eat lots of food, and love the people you're with. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"If life were only like this..."



My apologies to Gray Charles, who used this clip on his blog not long ago. It's such a perfect scene, and reflects exactly how I wish the world operated. We should always have an expert on hand, hidden behind a giant posterboard, waiting to prove that we are right, and that the other asshole is wrong. I'm so tired of wanting someone to verify my side of things, to give proof that I didn't imagine the last three years. As that sexy bastard Taylor Hicks said, "I just wanna have my voice heard." Indeed.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

If You Were a Jacket, Wheah Would You Be?

This video shows the winding down of our Christmas party through the eyes of Rosie. Look for a cameo by yours truly.

video

All in all, the party was a huge success. Everyone I invited came, except for three families, and as I expected, it was tres crowded, but in a good way. The first guests arrived at about 7:15, the last group left after 11:00, and as Rebecca says, anytime people stay longer than the invitation says, it's the sign of a good party.

The food was fabulous, as usual. But today I realize I didn't take any pictures of it! You will just have to use your imagination. The top three hors d'oeuvres were, in order of platters emptied: 1. Kim's Party Potatoes...the name says it all, 2. Deb's Chinese dumplings...fried, not steamed, 3. Nancy's marinated antipasto and mozarella...served with country French bread. So delicious. The top drinks were the Sam Adams something or other, and the spiked Evan Williams egg nog. It comes pre-mixed! Such a deal and actually, really good. I drank too much and ate too much. It was great.

Here are the few shots I was able to get with my camera, which has decided to randomly stop taking pictures at the most inopportune times.

My tree, pre party. Note the one present underneath. Someone needs to get on the ball:
My table, pre party. :


Rebecca, Angela, Tony, and the back of a girl Reb brought whose name I forgot:
The youngest guest, Sophia, who is already an old hat at parties, not to mention ADORABLE:
Crowd shot - Jeep and Emma in the foreground, Molly by the tree, Juan and Mike in front of the entertainment center, Tammy, someone and Deb on sofa...Today I'm tired and a little headachy. But it's all good. We ended up with lots of leftover food, lots of ownerless platters and dishes, and one kids' coat. How anyone went home last night without a coat is beyond me...it's freezing here.

So, that's my party. We'll do it again next year!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Throwing a Party

What are y'all doing for the holidays? How's the weather where you are? I'm getting ready for a HUGE Christmas party I throw every year (it's tomorrow night,) and it's getting really cold here. I wish I had one of those outside stove things so guests could gather on the patio...a chiminea (I looked it up). This one is nice:


No, I like this one better:

Do these start to look oddly sexual the more you look at them, or is it just me?

Anyway, big party tomorrow night. I've overinvited, considering my small house, but the truth is I did it on purpose. I think it will be fun to have a really huge crowd all crammed in here together...it kind of makes it more festive. As always, I'm providing Honeybaked ham and turkey and heating up some delicious Sister Schubert rolls. They make mini-sandwiches to die for. I've got cheese straws, cashews, wine, beer, sweet tea, mixers...am I forgetting anything? My guests bring their own favorite dishes so we have a regular smorgasbord by the time it gets going. They also bring their kids. It's a big, noisy, fun evening.

This year is a little bittersweet, though, just like everything else in my life. I remember preparing for this event the last few years and how different my heart felt as I pulled all the details together. Tonight, even though I'm really having a good time getting everything ready, I keep thinking of the one person I wish I had here with me, to help me with the last-minute, pull-it-all-together panic, like he did two years ago. I remember that year, how rich and complete I felt, and how incredible my party was. I also remember last Christmas, thinking "this time next year, I'll be single, and doing all this with him." But that time never came.

I will brave tomorrow night alone, and enjoy the hell out of it, too. I have to do it sometime, right? I mean, life does go on, not the same, but good in its newness.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Phone Call with Taylor

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wow. I just realized it was a year ago tonight that I spoke to Mr. Taylor F. Hicks on the telephone. It was probably the highlight of my year. Here's how it happened.

I was on good old Gray Charles chat the night of Taylor's CD release, December 12, 2006. We had talked to him earlier and he told a few of us his secret plans for the night: he was going to dinner with Taylor in NYC (see photo above). This was not news that he wanted spread around, for some reason, so we were being good and not talking about it except to those already in the know. So I told a couple of people in chat "Damn, Gray is with Taylor right now. How jealous am I?" and someone (tif?) said "Hey, why don't you call Gray on his cell and see if he'll answer?" I thought that might seem too pushy, and God knows I'm NOT PUSHY, but I said "Well, I guess a friendly text message couldn't hurt!" so I texted him "Gray, we are cheersin' you and Taylor in chat. I am jellis. Drink one for me." I told the chat gals what I had just done, and as we were talking my cell phone rang. I looked down. It was Gray. I kind of freaked, cause I knew where he was and who he was with. I told the girls "Brb. Gray is calling me back." When I answered he said "Hey! I got your text! We're drinking wine!" and I said "Yes, I can tell!" He said that Taylor was concerned, cause they had just left an audio blog on GC.com, and afterwards they were second guessing themselves, thinking they might have come off sounding drunk and somehow disrespectful on the blog. I said "Oh no, y'all sounded great. It was a big hit as far as I can tell." Then Gray goes "Hang on a sec...there's someone here who wants to say hello." Well, damn, I knew who "someone" was. So my hands got all sweaty - don't laugh...I am a teenybopper in grown up's clothes - and I waited.

"Hello?" his big ole tenor rang out in my ear.

"Hey, Taylor. This is Julie."

"Well hey, hon. How you doin'?"

"Great. It sounds like y'all are doing better than great!"

"Well, we just had a good dinner and now we're sittin' here talking. I've just switched to water. We had red wine but now I'm drinking water."

"You are wise, Taylor."

"I have to go on Martha Stewart tomorrow and I thought it was a good idea to stop while I was ahead."

"Good thinking." Damn. How am I speaking to him so calmly? In the meantime I remember my chat pals and look down at my computer. "What the hell is going on Julie??? Are you talking to Gray?" I type back in "Hang on. Taylor on phone." HA! I knew that would flip them out, but I couldn't say any more. I had to pay attention to the phone conversation.

"Hey, I wanna ask you something," Taylor said.

"Okay, shoot."

"Did you hear the audio blog we just did?"

"Yes, I did."

"Was it okay? We didn't sound like we were being sarcastic or anything, did we? Cause we didn't mean to sound sarcastic, or like we were drinking or something."

"No, it was wonderful. Everyone loves it. All the comments are very positive. You made it sound like you were very excited to meet the president and to be on Martha Stewart...very sincere."

"Good! That's what I thought it sounded like, too!"

"Well, Taylor, you're the one who recorded it, so I guess you would!"

"Good. Thanks."

"This is a big night for you, and I know you're having a great time in New York. I am really looking forward to getting a copy of the CD."

"Thanks! Have you heard the songs that are already out there? What do you think?"

Yes, I was now in a tricky position. Truth is, I HATED that album, and still do. Taylor is so much better than that record. His earlier stuff proves that. I wanted to tell him all this, and the direction I'd rather see his career go in. But I'm talking to the man himself, on the night of the album release. What can I say but "I really like what I've heard so far. I can't wait to listen to the whole thing." Sorry, but you can only be truthful to a certain point.

"Great. I hope you like what you hear."

"I know I will." I sensed the conversation was winding down, so I said to him, "Well, it's been nice talking to you. I hope you have a good Christmas."

"Thanks, hon. Same to you."

"Thanks, Taylor. I guess put Gray back on the line."

"Nice talkin' to you. Bye."

At this point, I start to shake. I made it through the whole conversation being cool as a cucumber, but now that it's over, I'm literally shaking and having to take deep breaths. I talked to Taylor for a good three minutes, on the night of his first major CD release! Holy shit! So I continue the conversation with Gray for quite a while, then return to my chat buddies, who are all flabbergasted. But not as much as I am. It was a fabulous, unexpected, wonderful conversation.

This era is over, and I never talk to most of those people anymore. Gray and I had a falling out, and though we've kind of talked since, it's never been the same. I want to take this opportunity to say again, thanks, Gray Charles, for letting me talk to Taylor. It was the highlight of the very tough year I've been through. I owe you one.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pylon, 40 Watt Club, Tonight

Photo by ME!

Should I go? Can I go? Is this a totally bad idea?

I REALLY want to see this show, but I fear the emotional fallout.

Wiser minds and hearts, please advise me on this. The show starts at around 10:00 pm, so I ain't got much time to decide.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I need it bad

Guess where I'm going?



Okay, it's still a maybe, but it's gonna happen one way or another.

Sometimes I just want to get in my car and drive. Like today. I feel like I've been in Atlanta for years with no real vacation, probably because I have. Damn wanderlust. When I was younger (cough cough) I never stayed in one place for long. Somehow I always had the funds and the time to buy a plane ticket and just take off. But it's hard with school and kids and money...I'm truly stuck. I'd been thinking it was time to reschedule that trip to San Francisco.

But then yesterday my dear friend Jean-Sebastien invited me to stay a while with him in Paris. He's got an apartment in the 11th arondissement, he's fun, and I miss him. We knew each other when I was in grad school there, and I always had a mad crush on him. It's been...damn...14 years???? How is that possible? He and I used to hang out for hours and talk about music. He's the one French person I ever met who I totally connected with, not to mention that he's a doll. So I am tempted to take the last of the student loan money and just go. I need it bad.

In other news, I have a new career possibility. Yes, again. I've been writing erotic fiction on a website centered on a certain singer-who-shall-remain-nameless, and damn! Not only is it fun, I'm beginning to think I'm actually good at it. I may try to publish this singer stuff if I can get enough of it together. Or maybe I'll write that epistolary novel I was thinking about. Or maybe I'll write a combination of the two, and tell The Story, complete with incredible sex and passion. Who knows? But this erotica stuff is cool. My pen name shall remain a secret for now. One person out there knows what it is. Look for books by me soon, okay?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Moving on, or pretending to...

I spent the evening with a good friend, who told me "Girl, you need to let it go. Stop trying to make a bad situation feel better. It's painful and you have to grieve, cry, break shit, then let go. Otherwise you will never be yourself again."

So I am doing just that. After I threw out all the mementoes, I thought I'd be healed. I wasn't. After I bought a new cell phone, I thought I'd stop calling. I didn't. After I went out and had sex with someone else, I thought I'd forget. I haven't.

But at least I've done those things. I am able to enjoy an evening out with friends. I am able to sleep with a man without crying. I have lost tons of weight. I have two fabulous children who love me more than life itself. I am single and smart and funny and talented. I like my life.

Does this sound as pitiful to y'all as it does to me? Suddenly I've turned into that "I like myself" guy on Saturday Night Live. But only temporarily. Yesterday another friend said to me "Once you've gotten past this, the next storm you weather won't knock you down. It will barely make you bend an inch, you'll be so dang strong." How long till I get there, do you think?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Can't shake it

I wake up every morning having somehow forgotten. Sleep sends me to a place where everything is okay, where I still have P in my life - then I wake up and have to accept all over again what's really happened to me. It doesn't help that for the last four nights I've dreamed of P just before waking up. Last night it was a dream where he was telling me how Ugh had talked him out of being with me. He had realized it was all wrong and was telling me how sorry he was that he listened to her. He was kissing me just as I woke up. We were at Taco Stand somehow...The night before that I had some confusing dream about Molly Read's house, Leslie's Kitchen Cam, and Paul and me still being a team. Night before that it was a dream where he was with his new 'girlfriend' but she was young and pretty. We were at some old house and he had been kissing her and when she left, I snuck into her place and he started kissing me. I realized that he knew it was me, and he kept kissing anyway. When she came back, we all had a civil conversation...nothing like the reality of this mess. The night before that I dreamed one of those horrible dreams where P called me and said "I didn't mean any of it. I love you. Let's just be together and forget all the bullshit." Those are the worst.

It's all a big fucking mess. I can't seem to shake it, even with the little snippets of progress I sometimes feel that I'm making, I can't get rid of this awful feeling that nothing will ever be okay again. For all the very real bad stuff he did to me...very real, very bad, cruel and horrible and humiliating...I miss him. I miss him a lot. I think of stupid things, like how I'd do something clumsy and he'd look up and say "French?" in a joking "what the hell?" kind of way. I have fleeting unexpected glimpses of stuff, like me sitting in his lap and him looking at me with his eyes full of love, and my heart breaks all over again. He treated me like a dog; why do I still miss him?

And now it's Thanksgiving. How can I help but think of the first Thanksgiving with him, before we'd even seen each other but were still emailing back and forth? It was so fun, and this is so not fun. Bah humbug.




Friday, November 16, 2007

Oh why the hell not...



Did I mention that Ugh is seven friggin' feet tall? Here is her nice message to me. I've had to reply here on my blog because she blocked me from replying directly to her. Kind of goes along with everything else I've learned about her.


What's interesting is how entirely clueless you are about me, Paul, my son and our life.


VERY interesting, considering I thought I was his girlfriend until three weeks ago.

Paul made all of these decisions on his own, Julie and he decided against you. I have been friends with Paul since long before you two broke up. I know all about your relationship. He has shared those things with me from the begining, before we fell in love.

Beginning has two n's.

Um, no one is "on his own" when he's living with you, "sharing" things with you, and co-depending on you for sex and pot. And his deciding "against me" was news to me Monday night. See, he kind of forgot to tell me that part. He only said "I just don't know how we can make this work." And I asked him outright three weeks ago if he was in love and he told me "I'm not in love with ANYONE right now. I am sleeping with someone."

Our relationship has evolved over time.

Yes, ours did, too. Over the span of 25 years, in fact.

Has it occured to you that perhaps he was lying to you to minimize the affect it may have had on you?

Occurred has two r's. Affect is a verb, effect is the noun. And yes, that did occur to me, which is why I asked him repeatedly if he was just doing this as a way to ease me out of the picture quietly. He always insisted the only reason we had to remain separated until my divorce was final was for his own "survival". He swore up and down there was no one else. He said repeatedly that we would begin again as soon as I was single. Please refer to the September 12 email from Paul for details.

Let's be honest, your behavior is strange, eratic and highly unstable. Perhaps he was AFRAID of what you might do if you really knew he was in love with someone else. (And rightly so, it seems.)

Let's be honest, you weaseled your way into a relationship that was already "going through a rough patch" (Paul's words, from August of this year) and helped him by "being there" while he struggled. How honest shall we be? You and he talked about me without my knowledge. He and I talked about his wife without her knowledge. He left her and ran to me. He left me and ran to you. Hmmmm, what's next?

And he's not in love with you, no matter what he says under duress. Sorry but it's painfully obvious why he's "with" you.

And erratic has two r's.

According to you he is still lying to you about being in love with someone else and you are STILL making unwanted advances, not only to him but his friends as well.

I have no idea what this sentence means. But yes, he did say flat out that he was not in love with you. Love was never mentioned, only "sleeping with". Sorry, you need to take that issue up with him. He knows what he said to me. I know what he said to me. For once here, you're the odd man out. It's kind of funny - you have no idea what he said to me over the summer and into the fall, do you?

I have not responded to you in the past because I am ill suited for such games.

In fact, you're ill-suited for a lot of things.

I am only responding to you now to tell you to stop contacting me. If you have issue with this, it is with Paul alone.

Yes, it is. And I tried to contact him Monday night...remember? I couldn't talk to him for all the shrieking you did in the background. Made it kind of hard for me to talk to Paul "alone". Him never being alone anymore and all...

As for the substance abuse BS.....uh.....what? You know absolutely ZERO about my recreational time, or his! That's how you want to get him back?! Telling everyone he is drinking himself to death?! That is just plain wierd, Julie!

Oh dear. Where to even begin with this...I know Paul so much better than you do. He drinks. He drinks a lot. He has a serious drinking problem. I was genuinely concerned about him after several people in Athens reported to me that he is back on the party wagon, with you holding the reins. Since he's shut me out, I can't approach him about it. I went to his best friend, and asked him in confidence if he could watch out for Paul, because I was very worried about him. Early in our relationship (yes, he and I had a "confiding" stage, too, just like y'all did) he told me some things about his history with drugs that scared me for life. I know what he is capable of when he's under a lot of stress. It sounded like the stress of deciding to isolate himself from me for an entire summer drove him not only to you, but to new abuses. I wanted someone to be looking out for his well-being. I'll be glad to forward the email I sent Keith to anyone who wants to read it. There is not a trace of malice in it.

And I have no need to "get him back" - his having to be with you is enough payback for ten men.

And it's spelled weird, not wierd.

He is a fine man with a great heart, why would you try to do something like that to him? Especially if you claim to love him like you do.

Yes, he was a fine man with a great heart in my eyes, too. Until three weeks ago, that is. And I loved him. And I planned to be with him. And I thought he was my one true love. Until three weeks ago. You can't know the degree of hurt I've felt since I found out what he was capable of. I wait for the day that you know that feeling as well.

This ends today. I don't want to hear from you again. I don't want anymore fake profiles trying to dig up information. I want you to stop contacting my friends. I want you to forget all about me. That is providing you truly don't give a shit about me. If that is the case..so be it...I would love it that way.

Again, I'm not following this sentence. Whatever.

Paul is a grown man, a man who I happen to truly love.

Whom I happen to truly love.

Been there, done that. You know nothing about what love for or with Paul feels like. I can show you in one greeting card more love than you will ever experience. Just ask him the meaning of one phrase: "As far as the east is from the west." See if he can tell you what that means. Then see if he can tell you that he feels that for you.

I am tired of seeing him wade through this crap with you.

It was our crap. It was between him and me. You had no reason and no right to see him "wade through" anything. You have no right now to be tired of anything. It had nothing to do with you. You should not have been in the picture at all. You are not a part of Paul's and my relationship, our "crap", or our decisions. It was between Paul and me. You should not have ever been involved. You are the third wheel that caused the cart to crash.

Take the hint, please. Refrain from further contact. If you think that these e-mails are creating some sort of rift between Paul and I you are sadly mistaken. It is only causing problems for you.

Between Paul and ME, not between Paul and I.

There's a hint in here somewhere? All I'm seeing is a misplaced sense of having been affronted. You know nothing about what Paul told me over the course of the entire spring and summer. He lied about your existence. He swore he had not even kissed anyone (I specifically asked him.) He told me "NO! I'm not in love with anyone right now!" The day I confronted him about sleeping with someone else, and he finally admitted it, we spoke later in the day. He said the following things to me: "I am shocked to hear you are finally divorced. I don't even know what to say. I never thought I'd hear those words coming out of your mouth. If you turn your phone off, how will I be able to call you? It was great to see you this morning. Julie, I think about you EVERY DAY, even now. I just don't know what's gonna happen to us; it may be too late, you know." All these things, he said to me, three weeks ago. So don't get all high and mighty about our "crap". He gave as good as he got.

You have absolutely no clue what he's been telling me. Someone seems to have been playing both sides of the fence. For some reason, he felt like he had to keep me hanging on. Perhaps he didn't want to really give me up?

Look, Paul is all about convenience, all about ease and lack of effort. The day I found out about the sleeping with someone else, I asked him, "Why did you feel it was necessary to fuck someone else? I would have come up here and fucked you every night if you'd just asked me." Do you know what his reply was? "Not every night." You are convenience, you are every night. Don't delude yourself that you are more important than you are.

You are treading on dangerous ground. I will get law enforcement involved if you become any more threatening. Thank you.

You're welcome.

You are seriously not very smart. I have never threatened anyone. I have done nothing that law enforcement would be the least bit interested in. Can you say the same?

You need to get off your high horse and realize that you are already history. Nothing you say will change what he and I had together. I know he is out of my life forever. I realize that. It's too late for us. But your overblown sense of self-importance is just annoying, plain and simple. You're way out of line. Paul's and my relationship was much bigger than you can even imagine. You should have butted out long ago, and let him solve it with me alone. I have no pity for you. You deserve everything you are going to get from him. He did it to his wife, he did it to me, you're next.

Now, I'm done.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Instant Karma

The more I think about this situation, the sicker I get. Can you believe ANYONE could love someone as much as Paul said he loved me and then treat me like a piece of dirt?

So I'm not thinking about it any more. I had planned to come on here today and address one by one the issues the Jolly Green Giant brought out in her nice email to me, but I decided, why the fuck bother? He has "chosen" her; good riddance to bad rubbish, or whatever the saying is. A friend of mine posted a comment yesterday on my last entry, saying "Wipe the dirt off your boots and haul the trash to the curb." I am doing just that. Another friend said "Just picture him sitting in her living room, listening to her shrieking voice with the snot-nosed toddler crying in the background...he's already paying for what he did." Even the brief maternal replacement she represents now, the free pot, and the what's-gotta-be-boring-as-shit sex (after what he and I had) are not gonna make up for the hell he's just entered. I can find solace in that.

So instead, today I am starting over. I have a new phone, with no memories of his voice, his text messages, or the pain he caused me attached to it. I threw away all the birthday cards, Valentine's Day cards, just-because-I-love-you cards, anything he wrote and gave me...I mean "Frenchie"...cause that person doesn't exist anymore. I actually went to the top of Stone Mountain this afternoon and threw the silver locket he gave me for our first Christmas together - three years ago this December - which had a picture of him inside and has been my prized piece of jewelry for these past years, off the mountain. That was hard, but felt really good. I'm working on clearing out all the photos we ever took together as well as the million emails he sent me over the years, too. That might take longer, but I'll get there.

Today I told my therapist "I woke up for the first time in weeks without that knife-in-the-heart feeling. I think Paul has moved 1/4 of an inch further to the back of my brain." It feels good.

Today I also realized the real reason I hesitated getting a divorce, which was a kind of ton of bricks moment. You see, I spent the day with my twelve-year-old son, who's been home from school sick all week. We were riding in the car and suddenly I looked in the rear-view mirror at him and it hit me: "You saved him, Julie." It's true...the reason I didn't get divorced before now is that I KNEW Paul was bad news for my children. Actually accepting that thought into my psyche was incredibly freeing. But I did it. I allowed myself to really look at how he was with them, and it was huge.

Every time Paul was with my children he paid them the most minimum of lip service, then brushed them off. That is, when he wasn't getting drunk and yelling at Nicholas. He showed no interest in them as individuals whatsoever, but made token attempts at being their mentor by talking about what he would do with them one day...the eternal "one day"...build them a treehouse, teach Nick about music, show him "how to be a man" (holy fuck, that's a good one...I know more about how to be a man than Paul does), teach Rosie how to play the harmonica. I sometimes think he honestly believed he was capable of these things, but I always knew once he "had" me, it would all blow away, like the hot air that it was in reality. He wanted in - in my house, in my life, in my bed, in my warmth - but with none of the responsibilities that come with an honest, mature relationship. His way of operating - telling others "You go fix what's wrong, then come back. I might take you back and I might not," or "You hurt me. I was innocent in everything that I did. I won't talk to you about it, I just don't ever want to see you again" would never fly with me and my children. He's sad, truthfully, because he has no idea how to live or how to love another person. Just look at what he did to his daughter. But that's a whole 'nother story.

Okay, so maybe I haven't moved on so much. But I'm realizing that before this summer, I instinctively knew something wasn't right with Paul and his approach to the world. That is why I stayed married, as some kind of protection for my kids, I think. But what happened is that he played me, perfectly, since he knows how to manipulate even the smartest of us. By enforcing our separation over the summer, he made me miss him, want him, regret my actions and see myself as the bad guy and him as the victim. He put me in the position of the guilty party, and I bought it hook, line and sinker. So I think the last few weeks of agony for me have been a result of looking at him through those warped lenses, the ones I wore all summer, rather than through the truthful lenses that I had worn prior to our separation, in which he was bad news for my kids.

Don't get me wrong - I seriously wanted a real, deep, honest relationship between the two of us. I loved that man more than I've ever loved anyone before. But I think way down deep inside I knew that he was nothing but trouble for me and for my family dynamics. Had it just been the two of us, it might have worked, but never with my children involved. Since I have to be a mom AND a lover, it could never work. He doesn't know how to share, and no matter what he says about me and the kids being a "package deal", the kids would have been forced into second place. Paul always has to be number one.

So I guess in the end I'm starting to see the whole situation a little more realistically. Maybe that's the first step of healing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"I love you in ways that I don't even understand"

Here's how I started out my summer I sent this email to Paul after weeks of thinking about why I had been delaying getting divorced. It was written right after he read me the riot act, saying he could not see me until I was single because it hurt him too much. This is from June:

--- "Julia E. House"
wrote:

> Dearest Paul,
>
> It was getting hard to say all I needed to say via
> text message, so I'm going
> to write you a real letter. Well, as close to real
> as it gets these days.
>
> I talked to some friends last night who made me
> realize that I've been selfish.
> I didn't mean to hurt anyone or do anyone wrong, but
> I think probably everyone
> has suffered because of my delay. I know that the
> kids know something is wrong
> between their mom and dad, and prolonging the
> inevitable is not saving them any
> hurt. I know that for you and them to grow close
> they need to know the truth
> and how we all fit together. I know that for you and
> me to grow close we have
> to be in a real relationship, where we plan
> EVERYTHING together. We have to be
> able to depend on each other and consult each other
> when stuff is happening. We
> have to be able to embrace and kiss anywhere at any
> time, and to spend quality
> time together, and a lot of it.
>
> The truth is that I am afraid. I know that you know
> that, but I guess I just
> realized the degree to which I am afraid as I talked
> to my friends and told
> them the whole story. One said "You might have to
> give up some expectations.
> You can't make everything exactly the way you want
> it to be." Another said "My
> parents stayed together for the kids and all we
> wanted was for them to end it."
> And another said "Your kids DO want you to be happy.
> They want to know the
> truth, too."
>
> None of this is earth-shattering, or even anything
> new. But I guess what's new
> is that I feel like whatever happens between us, I
> have to let it happen. If
> things work out, fine. If they don't I have to find
> that out, too. I guess I
> have been afraid that once we go full force with
> this thing, we will find out
> that we can't live together, or that the love isn't
> strong enough to weather
> whatever is ahead in the coming years. But my friend
> Kenzie said "My mom is
> always analyzing stuff too much. I wish she'd just
> let things happen and then
> just let them be." I do the same thing, but when
> that's the stuff you're made
> of it's hard to say "I don't want to be made like
> that anymore." I am still me,
> but I have to somehow let things go - expectations,
> the way I think everything
> should be, my imaginary live for my kids, etc. It's
> what you've said before, I
> know I know. But sometimes you have to learn things
> for yourself. It has to
> come from inside me, or it's just someone else's
> idea.
>
> Sorry, I'm rambling, but I miss you and need to tell
> you these things. When we
> fight, I feel like I couldn't possibly hate anyone
> more than I hate you. I want
> to kill you. When we don't fight, I love you. When
> we are really close and in
> love, I feel like I've never felt with anyone ever
> before. I feel like I'm
> walking on air, living a dream, in a magical place.
> What's more, when I feel
> what it's like without you in my life at all, I
> can't imagine it. It is beyond
> horrible.
>
> Last night I couldn't sleep, as usual. I imagined
> being in your arms, and it
> was like I was home. Even just imagining it, I could
> feel the warmth of your
> strong arms, smell your shirt, hear you breathing,
> feel you caress my hair the
> way you do. I can't live without that, Paul. I am
> doing all I can to get there.
>
> This is not the time to try to explain what the last
> months have been like. I
> wanted something different from you, but I was
> unreasonable in that desire. I
> will explain it one day, for now I just want to tell
> you that I have been
> through a very bad time, and I am coming out of it.
> I need you and I will be
> good for you.
>
> I love you deeply,
> Julie

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 2:37 AM -0400
From:
Gateway "Paul E. Scales" Add to Contacts

Subject: Re: hi
To:
Regular User Julia E. House

Dear Frenchie,

Having read and re-read the email below, I'll share,
as close as I can get, to how I feel about us right
now.
I cannot stand the fighting, yelling, name calling and
intense negative vibe that we have exchanged recently.
Please accept my sincerest apology for my part of our
most recent confrontation.
"I know that for you and me to grow close we have
to be in a real relationship, where we plan EVERYTHING
together. We have to be able to depend on each other
and consult each other when stuff is happening. We
have to be able to embrace and kiss anywhere at any
time, and to spend quality time together, and a lot of
it."
Living and building a life together, in real time is
all I've ever wanted. Both of us single or married to
one another is the way it has to be, whether we live
together or separately or even in the same town for
that matter. I just can't continue to pretend that Its
All Good, when I know that it is not, not at least in
my heart.
As far as our being able to "make it" as a couple and
weather the trials and tribulations of life, I ain't
skeer'd. I'm afraid that we may never get the chance
to try for real.
If you have been this way for too long to change, I
can respect that. I understand some of your fears and
others I can't grasp at all. You do over-analyze and
have expectations that only you can want and
understand. I can't help you to realize any of your
dreams (or mine) while you are entangled in the
current circumstances. I love you just the way you are
and don't want to change a thing about you. I can live
with your faults. I hope that you can live with mine.
That's where we will learn how to work things out
together as a team and a unified front. I promise,
that if and when you find yourself single, I'll be
there to help you pick up the pieces. The waiting is
and will be hard to deal with for now, but I think
that it will be far easier and less painful/stressful
than the cycle in which we now
find ourselves. No more, please.
I think that you are beginning to see that our future
together rests on your shoulders. How and when you
choose to deal with it is entirely up to you and you
alone. The only person that I can change is me. I want
to be your man so badly that it tears me up inside
knowing that I can't be. Just so long as it is you and
I navigating the unchartered waters of life and not
having to depend on anyone but each other to make
good, sound decisions that affect our loved ones, I
have no doubt that it will be more than OK. No more
pretending. No more living in two worlds and acting
like this is a normal, healthy relationship cuz we
both know that it is not. That's where most of our
friction originates. I want us to be real and
legitimate. Yes, I need you and want you too, but not
like it is now. You are always on my mind. Sometimes
good, sometimes bad, but always there none the less.
Obviously, I had rather go our separate ways as to
keep marching down this same road.
I don't know how to help you. I am reluctant to make
suggestions as a big-ass nuclear fubar'd mess usually
follows. You said it best when you said "sometimes you
have to learn things for yourself. It has to come from
inside me, or it's just someone else's idea." Could
not agree more. There is nothing wrong with having
goals and expectations in one's life as long as they
are real, attainable and flexible enough to withstand
the obstacles and curve balls that this life
inevitably sends our way. Again, as you said, these
are things that should be discussed and acted upon
when we are in a real relationship. Part of the growth
process to which you refered.
This last year and a half has been murder on me
emotionally, and I know that it isn't any easier on
you. I agree with you.
I still want to be your man. I love you in ways that I
don't even understand.

One day - Paul

**
That's the man I loved. That's the man I waited all summer for. That's someone I knew.

Here's how it ended. I knew something was wrong, but he continued to assure me that our separation was purely because he could not bear being around me if he couldn't have me for real, single, legal, legit. But I knew; in my heart, I knew. Notice that I ask him outright if there's someone else. This is from September:

--- "Julia E. House"
wrote:

> Okay, dude. You say you don't understand why I "keep
> communicating" with you
> when you've "told me" not to. I am here to say that
> I guess the reason is that
> I don't understand how you can keep away from me for
> this long. Given the
> passion of our relationship for two and a half
> years, it scares me shitless
> that you can turn it all off. Then I start thinking
> that the only thing that
> could explain it is that you are no longer in love
> with me and are involved
> with another woman. You see where my mind goes, and
> it's not pretty for you or
> for me.
>
> It made sense, even though it was impossibly hard,
> to have no contact up until
> I filed for divorce, because for all you knew I was
> gonna be a flake and not do
> anything at all. You had every right to protect
> yourself and give me a kick in
> the ass at the same time into taking action.Well,
> now I have. The papers are
> happily ensconced at the Dekalb County Courthouse,
> waiting their turn in line.
> I will be divorced before three more weeks are out.
> But I have gone as long as
> I can possibly go wondering what our future holds.
> The fact that you can
> pretend that someone named Julie was never in your
> life is more than I can
> stand. It scares me more than you know. I need
> something from you, Paul,
> whether you understand it or not, whether you can
> see even a tiny bit where I'm
> coming from or not. I'll explain it one day if you
> want to hear, but for now
> I'm just going to ask you.
>
> Tell me that you are still in love with me. Tell me
> that you are not involved
> with another woman. Tell me that you hurt being
> apart from me for so long. Tell
> me that you need me in your life. Tell me ANYTHING
> so that I know you are still
> my man, otherwise I can't make it till the end of
> September. I have used up all
> my reserves to get this far. The combined stress of
> not knowing where my life
> is going now (you know how that feels, right?) and
> not knowing if you stil want
> me to be your woman is too much for me. I need this
> from you, Paul. Just tell
> me where it stands.
>
> I agree we should not see each other until I'm
> single. I won't push that. I
> understand why we can't be together till that time,
> but I need to know from you
> that we are going to try to be together then, and
> that you are not using this
> time as a way to gradually and quietly break up with
> me. Please give me the
> peace that I need to get through this. I was there
> when you went through the
> fear and uncertainty of your divorce. Just give me
> this.
>
> xo
> French
>
>
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 6:12 PM -0400
From:
Gateway "Paul E. Scales" Add to Contacts

Subject: Re: Where we are
To:
Regular User Julia E. House

Okay dudette. For my own sanity and general well being
the only way I can deal with you while you are still
married is not to deal with you at all. The fact that
you didn't get all gung ho about about getting serious
about the whole divorce process till now hurt me to
the core. I know that you were/are scared to death and
worried about your kids and yourself, and that is
responsible. I'm hurt that you didn't/don't have the
faith in me as provider for a new family. Some of the
things that you've said to me in anger hurt me so
badly that I've yet to get over a few of them. The New
Years debacle is still ringing in my ears.
Anyway, I want to start entirely from scratch with you
just as soon as you are single. No bullshit, no games
and certainly no more drama. For me, this separation
is a matter of survival.
That's it in a nut shell. My POV, if you will. It is
what it is and nothing can be done about it at this
point in time. I'm waiting for the day when we can see
one another on a level playing field. Give me a call
when that day arrives.

As ever - scales

***
Wow. There's a change. No more "Frenchie." No more "Paul". Cold and distant, but nevertheless it sounds like he's there, right? Still waiting, right? Upset about the past but looking to a future together, right?

Wrong. He was living with Ugh. He was "talking to her" about me and about our relationship. She knew all about me; I knew nothing about her. He is a lying, cheating dog, yes, but I can also smell her influence in his words. There is nothing more lowdown than sidling yourself into someone else's floundering relationship, and that's what she did.

I am not in the wrong here. I did what I was supposed to do. I got a divorce. We were going to be together. Even though it had been a long hard road, the end was in sight. Or so he said, and so I hoped. Yet while he was writing that email, the fucking bastard was living with Ugh and "falling in love" with her (according to her) or "just friends" (according to him). Either way, he's a complete lying bastard. He hurt me more deeply than anything has ever hurt. I won't stop writing about it until I'm healed, which could be a long goddamned time.

I get so angry when I read and re-read these emails that I start to shake. Sandwiched in between the two of them is my summer, a summer from hell, a summer spent waiting, marking off days on a calendar, not eating, losing my shit, barely holding on till he came back to me. He told me he'd be there. He told me we'd pick up the pieces together. He lied. He lied. He lied.

All I've heard out of his mouth since July is how much I hurt him. He has never acknowledged how much he hurt me. Our relationship was very difficult and often explosive, but is was also full of possibilities, passion and genuine love. We could have had such a beautiful life, had he really been the person he pretended to be in the June email, - the person I loved. That person is not even real, or at least, not any more. He died three weeks ago.

Paul has never admitted any wrongdoing. His response to my finding out about dating the bitch since spring? "You can't cheat on a married woman." He has morphed into a cold, heartless bastard. I guess he always was one, according to people I'm now talking to, who say things like "Why the hell were you with him to begin with? He's a user. He's an egomaniac. He cares nothing for anyone but himself." Well, he goddamn had me fooled.

I am not sorry for being bitter. I have a right to this anger. What I am sorry about is that he will not apologize. He will not admit having done anything the least bit wrong. All I hear from him now is "You need to get our of my life. I'm done with you. I wouldn't come back to you if you were the last woman on earth. You stepped over the line now."

STEPPED OVER THE LINE???? Is he kidding me?

I'm sick inside. I guess that's fairly obvious. I can't shake it. I am scared.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

For Paul

This is a blog entry from back over the spring, when P still loved me. I took it down when I began to realize things were not what they should be. He, however, had put it on his Myspace page, so it's not lost forever. When he transferred it there, he removed a key term, 'my boyfriend Paul', and replaced it with 'my friend Paul.' I guess I knew then that something was very wrong, and that he and I would probably not make it, even though it's taken me this long to let that truth into my heart.

I'm reposting it as a tribute to what we had together, to how much we loved each other, and even now, after all that's happened and the incredible hurt I'm in right now, to him, because I still do and always will love him.

Letting go is hard, and three years is a long time to be attached at the soul to someone - and we were - but this is my way of doing it. Messy, ugly, needy, but honest. I am learning to see truth and right now, truth sucks.

This is cut and pasted from Paul's page, so the first comment is his. The later comments that are mixed in were placed by real live people, but it looks funny cause it's all been taken out and put back in.

***

The following is an excerpt from a blog known as "ciaomanhattanbaby" and is one of the kindest blurbs ever written about me:

My friend Paul and I were watching YouTube videos last night. I am trying to convince him that Taylor Hicks is more than someone who just "won a fucking singing contest." It's a hard row to hoe. In watching music clips we strayed from Taylor to Jimmy Hall to a bunch of old videos I had bookmarked from Ash's board, like Son House, Koko Taylor and Big Mama Thornton, and others I was less familiar with, like an incredible clip of Hound Dog Taylor and Little Walter. In watching those videos it suddenly struck me how many talented and one-of-a-kind musicians go their entire lives without being recognized as such. Paul is one of these musicians.

Lemme tell you a little about him and perhaps get his 15 minutes started. First off, you gotta understand, Paul is a madman. Absolutely insane. Here's my favorite picture of him, taken when he was maybe in high school. This photo captures who he is more than any words could do:


Little has changed in the 25 years or so since that picture was taken. Paul treats life as a giant adventure, and his weapon of choice is music, specifically a Yamaha keyboard and Hohner Special 20 harmonicas. He is bad ass, all the way around. But here's the deal: this man is seriously talented. He sings, plays harp, keyboards and guitar, he mixes and produces music AND he was the founder and first owner of the Fabulous Forty Watt Club in Athens, Georgia.

But do you know him? Of course not. His music is only available to a small group of people who are both in the right place and the right mindset, and who are able to seek out unknown talent. Paul has played with some of the greats - Jack Hall, Chicago Joe Jones, Cindy Wilson, June Carter Cash - but most of you probably won't have a chance to see him perform his special brand of throw-down raw stinky sweaty blues, and that's a shame.

So my question is this: how much mind-blowing talent will we never know about? How many artists, musicians and writers out there will never be able to touch the masses? Taylor's whole "I wanna have my voice heard" schtick is not far from the truth, because for every Dylan there is a Nick Drake, for every Jack White there is a Dexter Romweber, and in this case, for every Jimmy Hall there is a Paul Scales.

How amazing would it be if we could give them all a chance.

Posted by Julie at 2:27 PM

Labels: Athens, Paul, pop music

4 comments:

cherie said... Amen. I've always thought that the best music is not the stuff you hear on the radio. Is it because the teenyboppers are the ones who buy the cds and determine what's popular? May 5, 2007 5:11 AM

Peanut said... Damn! Paul has played with some legends, including June Carter Cash! Man, I bet he has some great stories...I'd love to chat with him someday. Maybe one day we'll all be able to hang out at Fatt Matt's or something? May 5, 2007 3:32 PM

Paul Scales said... Such kind words from such kind folks. My playing piano on "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" with Mrs. Cash at the Midtown Music Festival was a total random thing. Mrs. Cash was the anchor talent on the gig, so naturally, she closed out the show. As fate would have it, the abreviated version of the Cindy Wilson Band (Cindy Wilson - vocals, Steve Baskin - guitar, and myself on piano)were the last to perform just prior to the closing segment of the show featuring Mrs. Cash. Mrs. Cash launched into the gospel classic and there I sat at my piano...what else could a poor boy do but play as the tune morphed into a giant sing-a-long. A once in a lifetime circumstance, no doubt, and trully an honor and a privilege. Julie is right, there is an unbelievable amount of talent just under the radar of public recognition, so it makes sense to support local music as much as possible as that is where the ball starts to roll. May 6, 2007 7:10 AM

Peanut said... Paul! Good to see you here! What a great story! No matter how it happened, you went with the flow, and ended up sharing the stage with a legend. That's awesome! It's a shame how great talent like yourself, and the others that Julie has mentioned, go unnoticed. Why does the music business (and its consumers)have such a narrow view on what is "mainstream?" I've always been into the blues, and it seems that this genre of music gets the shaft more than any other. I am a big fan of Jonny Lang, and have been since he released his major label debut when he was like 17. He's young, hip, nice-looking. Got all the makings of a star...or so one would think. But he is only known to those who enjoy the blues. He gets no airplay around here, and word-of-mouth is probably how he gets new fans. Supporting local music is right! I have seen many of my friends do what they love, and that's play music, for little or no money. They live and breathe music. Someone needs to give them a chance!

***

I remember the night I refer to up there, watching the videos together. We were holed up in the Quality Inn, as usual, watching videos and porn on my laptop, probably naked and smoking cigarettes, too. It was a really special night, and I remember thinking "Who else on earth would I sit here with and watch old blues videos on YouTube, discuss and critique them, take breaks to play his harp for me and kiss me, and who would actually enjoy spending the whole night doing it but Paul?" It was a fun, close, wonderful night, and so ordinary. That's what I miss the most.

So that's how it was once. It's all changed now. Now I'm a girl who was betrayed, lied to, and who spent the last four nights in the psych ward at Emory. I'm somewhat better now and next week will go into what's known as 'intensive outpatient therapy' for the next five weeks. That's all I really know.

Don't ever think you know someone, cause you don't.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Death and rebirth

My greatest fear came true, and I survived it. Well, so far. My summer of waiting, anticipating, working hard to get to the end, looking forward to the time when I'd be reunited with my love, mentally and emotionally planning our future...all that is over. I arrived at my destination - I AM DIVORCED - and saw a vast nothing. There was no man at the end. There was no passionate reunion. There was no kiss and planning our future. There was a wall with a stranger standing behind it, looking at me with cold shielded eyes. I'm shocked, astounded and very, very hurt.

All I want is to listen to Jimmy Cliff, Ahmad Jamal and the Modern Jazz Quartet. How odd is that? All other music makes me kind of feel sick.

I am going to California (with an aching...in my heart, for real) next week. Years ago when I had a huge breakup that bruised my heart, I went to Frisco to see an old boyfriend. We went out walking in the sunny cold air, took a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge on his BSA, and sat on the beach somewhere up there on that coast. I cried and cried. He made love to me, which in truth only complicated the situation. But all in all it was a rejuvenating, cleansing trip. California represents that to me: clarity, freedom, life.

This time I am going to visit my dear, dear, dear friends, Leslie and Bob. They are the most California people I know. Leslie has a psychic, earth mother spirit that not only heals you, but makes you feel like you're the most beautiful creature on the planet. Plus she only wears green and orange, which makes me love her even more. Bob is just Bob. He's funny and kind. They have a beautiful garden and sweet cuddly cats and dogs. And I've been told, now a fish. So that feels so good.

I am also going to see my dear, dear, dear friends Bug, Sandy and Daba. These are my Taylor Hicks friends who, along with me, are the only sane Taylor Hicks fans on the planet. But that's not why I love them. They are the kind of people that you meet and you just say to yourself "We're gonna be close friends forever." They are so excited about my trip that it makes me cry a little.

Speaking of friends, this whole bullshit fucking ridiculous experience has shown me lots of things about life and love and how I put myself out there in the world and how I treat those I love, which is not good, let me admit that first. But mainly it's shown me that I have the most kind, giving and supportive friends in the world.

I guess the moral of this story is multiple: Never trust that things will turn out the way you want and expect them to. When your heart tells you something isn't right, it isn't. Love, no matter how strong-and I'm talking STRONG- can and does die. The universe changes every day...embrace that and let it go. You can't control anything. Ask yourself "What do I want" and go with that, cause it's all you got.

I am very angry, but I'm letting it pass through me. I'm also going to walk up Stone Mountain today - the steep side. When I am very sad, I cry and beat the shit out of my mattress and it fades. Somewhat. But weirdly enough, I still love this man. A lot. More than a lot. How do you deal with that? I guess love is what it's all about, whether it "works out" or not.

The truth is that I will survive. But sometimes I just don't want to. If I could live in this photograph forever, I would. This is the best it gets, and thank God I lived there, even for a short while.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Time

Geez, what happened to August? For me it has been like a wasted month, a time spent marking days off a calendar, waiting. And I've still got so far to go.

I am finally ready to file for divorce. It has taken this long for everyone to agree on the wording of certain (money-related) items. We've had to write and re-write, and the delay has radically drained my spirit. I feel spent and empty, and very tired. On the bright side, it will all be official on Tuesday. I feel liberated and relieved about that. But I think I've aged about five years in the last month, and I fear I'll age another ten before it's finalized and I can see my man again. Ouch.

Today's entry is not really going to be about much. I'm just marking time. I'm going to see John Wesley Harding tonight at Eddie's Attic. He's a good friend of mine and I haven't seen him in about three years. It should be fun. Here's a sampling of his stuff. It's from some in-store performance, but is the only video performance of one of my favorite songs that I could find. Listening to the words today, I realize the song could be about me, though Wes and I aren't like THAT, of course.



That's my pal Rob Lloyd on the keyboards. Ah, music. See, I feel better
already!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Therapy


Well I've decided to go back into therapy on a regular basis. I've been feeling very scattered, very scared, kind of like my heart is being ripped out over and over. I realized things were getting out of control and that I couldn't handle them by myself; I was going to make a bigger mess of things than they already were. I called for help.

It was a wise move on my part. I like my new therapist. She is young, pretty, has fabulous warm eyes and great shoes. She told me lots of good stuff that I hadn't even thought of. First thing: "You are holding up remarkably well given all the crap you're going through." Thank you for noticing. She also said that this was a period of real loss, and lots of it. I told her I hadn't looked at it that way but she was totally right. The loss of my dad still hasn't worn off, and I don't think I've really grieved for him. The loss of P. is downright tangible, and the ways he reminds me of Dad make that loss double. The fact that I have no real friend network - actual physical friends in town who I can stop in on and just talk, not you fabulous online friends - make the loss of P. triple, in fact, since he's been my person to lean on for so long. And lastly, the divorce, as much as I want it and am honestly looking forward to it, is nevertheless a loss. The family structure, fucked as it is, will be gone. The children will experience a loss. The entire experience is new and frightening. But that is where the good part comes in. She told me "You feel completely powerless. You can't do anything about P.'s decision. You can't stop the children from feeling hurt and scared. But you do have power. Be conscious of everything you do today and make it a moment of power. You chose to come here. You will choose to go to the lawyer today. View everything you do in a positive light, and don't forget you hold all the power over yourself." Then she told me to remember to eat, since I haven't been able to in about two weeks. She said to pamper myself, treat myself to stuff, go swimming, ask a friend to sit and talk with me. She said "Tomorrow I want you to go get a massage." I like her.

So as freaky as my life is right now, it's much better than it has been the last two months. Things are actually progressing. I am going to have my own family, a real, honest family. I will be able to say "my ex-husband" and have it be true. The strained and false family outings and dinners will be over. I will be single and clear of all deceit, and that feels wonderful. It's a whole new direction and a whole new life.

Oh. And I've hidden my cell phone. It is turned off and in a drawer in my bedroom. When I have gotten control of my texting compulsion I may take it back out. Or I may wait till the divorce hearing is over and I'm single. I haven't decided. But all you fans out there who may have tried to call me, you ain't gonna get me! Send an email, will ya?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More Raspberries, for CW

This song is corny, beautiful, sad and oh, so 1973. And the sentiment has never been more appropriate.

I played the hell out of this record back in the days of Don Kirschner's Rock Concert.
Hearing it takes me back to the age of 13, which, in retrospect, was not such a bad time at all.

Enjoy, CW.


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Monday, August 13, 2007

Strength in love

All you lucky people out there who love someone, I have some advice. It's simple and non-earthshattering, but so important.

Count yourselves among the luckiest people in the world. Embrace the gifts given to you by that person every day. Be patient with them, respect them, honor them and never forget that their love is God's way of telling you how important you are. Reciprocally, your love and your treatment of them is how they know their own importance in the world. The way we act towards another person should not be taken lightly, for it is a powerful tool which can be used to lift them up or push them down. Never take love for granted. Treat it as the fragile, precious, beautiful gift that it is, for it can be gone in an instant.

We are all lost in this world. Giving kindness and understanding is a way of making each other less lost. Embrace your power and use it wisely.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Exactly how I feel right now

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Just change the "she" to "he"...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Athens Rewind Two Years Out



Two years ago this weekend we were immersed in the blow-out that was Athens Rewind. Now it seems so long ago. Given the direction our lives have taken I can't see this event ever happening again. Here are some images from Athens then and, well, then again.



















Oh yeah, we're still the coolest fucking people on the planet.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mark Hollis and Talk Talk



First I want to say that I find it kind of funny what my blog is turning out to be. I had envisioned a space where I would incorporate a little bit of everything that interests me - music, Francophilia, food, counterculture. But I see now who I am based on what I blog about. 1. Music 2. Books 3. Love 4. Angst. Wow. Kind of a shocker.

Okay, today I am absolutely in love with a singer. Check out this face:

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Watch the whole thing and see how his expressions change and how his face lights up when he laughs. Not only does he have an incredible face but he's also in possession of a very beautiful voice, which I had taken for granted back in the '80s when it was (well, kind of) all over the radio. I've recently, as in last night at about 3:30 am, rediscovered this band and wonder why I never realized how good they were back then. The whole band was talented - watch the drummer in this clip, and that keyboardist - damn! And watch his movements as he sings:

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Mark Hollis moves me. He had this amazing voice, and an amazing band that had moved from pop synthesizer cuteness into a very different, experimental kind of phase with their last album. They seemed to be on the cusp of a real creative breakthrough when they decided to call it quits in 1991. Hollis retired from making music and moved into the English countryside with his family. Except for one solo jazz-influenced album in 1998, he's basically lived life as a "recluse musicale" as one French article put it.

I always liked Talk Talk, and even understood that they were very much an underrated talent. But watching and hearing them now makes me realize how incredible they really were. Their songs, especially the later ones, are complex works of art. The band strived for something beyond traditional pop sensibilities, resulting in music that is timeless. Mark's voice is rich, powerful, melancholy. I can't say anything about this band that will do them justice, so I'll borrow Glenn McDonald's words. This is one of the most astute observations I've ever read, on any subject, actually. It's from his blog "The War Against Silence" and he's referring to Talk Talk's next-to-last album, Spirit of Eden:

The spaces between notes are as carefully articulated as the notes themselves; the sounds of fingers coming off strings are as important as the sounds of them going on; it is less an album of songs than a forty-one minute aural-Cubist magnification and refraction of the pooled essences of two dozen musicians sharing a room for a single reverent moment. No work of art has ever made me more sure that there is an animus in human lives that transcends physiology, because I could swear, when I'm listening to Spirit of Eden, that I can hear it whispering.


One more clip, this one of my favorite song of theirs, Renee. Ah, Mark...:
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Pay special attention from about 5:40 on. Based on what he does vocally it makes sense that he later moved into a more jazz (read improvisational) kind of direction. I love what one commentor said on the YouTube page: Yes, he's the one. The great lost "heavy soul" of our genaration. Spelling difficulties aside, I totally agree.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sadness


I apologize in advance for yet another poor me post. Quit reading right now if you aren't in the mood.

I will begin with a question: Why can't people resolve issues? I'm not talking war or poverty, of course, as I'm not naive enough to believe any of that can ever be satisfactorily resolved. I'm talking personal relationships. Is each of us so isolated from those around us that there can never be any real communication? When we think we're reaching someone, or communicating on some deep level, are we just fooling ourselves, so blind by the pleasure of "really talking" that we don't realize we're actually doing nothing more than some weird verbal/communicative masturbation?

Surely we share something as fellow human beings, a commonality that allows us to go into the heart and mind of each other, at least to a certain degree. When that person is someone we love, someone we know well, it should be a given that we can reach each other and, at least sometimes, be in the same psychic space. But I am finding more and more that the concept of knowing someone is completely false. Each of us lives in our own private world. Each of us is protected by some kind of wall, some kind of shell. For some that shell has openings, for others it's impenetrable. All I can do is surmise at how someone feels, what they want, how to reach them. But it's always a guess, a shot in the dark. I don't really know anyone. How sad that the hardest thing to understand is our own fucking species.

I find myself once again facing the shit that is my life, alone. I tried to figure out some way to make my man understand me and stick by me. But he can't see where I am or who I am or why I do the things I do. And I even feel now that I can't blame him for it. However, seeing the finality of how far he'll go to protect himself made me realize that any concept of "us" is long gone. That, in turn, has made me realize that the whole idea of "us" is false. If we are closed off from one another, how can anything ever happen between two people? How can there be a concept like "love"? Does love even exist? If so, what is it if not a merging, a blending, a painful acceptance and attempt to understand that mysterious being called "You"?

What scares me most is this: If I don't know him, if I can't reach him, who the hell do I know?