Tag Archives: friendship

Murphys Pt 6

There are levels of problems. I think I worry a lot but only to a limit for primarily no more than 2-3 things at a time. When I was in the bay area it was sometimes more than this because you think you have all you want to worry about and then something unexpected happens. I hate surprises and there were always surprises there that in time led to my decision to come out here to the middle of nowhere.

Some of these things were little things, like not being able to find parking at Trader Joes or taking up smoking again and all of the consequences involved in that and the look my dad gave me when he found out and reminded me that my grandpa’s last words were asking for a cigarette.

Some of these things were bigger, like the DUI, and the near fatal accident that caused it, and the crazy lady craigslist move into the city, and the mugger in Berkeley and alcoholic neighbors in Oakland.

Some things were continuous. The traffic. The Alpha type A personality people and the lack of sincere friendships. Maybe it was me. Maybe I couldn’t hold down to a friendships because I was too wrapped up in my own problems. And the effort involved in seeking and holding onto a friendship wasn’t ever inspired there. The first month in the bay area and I had run from the farm and used the money mom wired me to find that little basement apartment with the manic depressive girl. The first month I was unstoppable and exhilarated to be free, so I got a job and befriended the creative artsy girl and soon after walked around Halloween night with a cute coworker who was also a Triathlete at Cal and had pretty eyes. I became close to both of them and just as soon as it started it was over. She was jealous and flighty, as I learned most of my artist friends were, and he had a girlfriend abroad who would be back in December. So it was over by the end of autumn and I never carved out any potential long-term friendships after that. Just acquaintances and small gestures of affiliation like a concert here or a one night stand there. It wasn’t always by choice and I’ll probably talk about that more later.

But back to these problems and how I tried to leave them behind and remain in the bay area. The last year of grad school I moved to the north bay, at the foot of Mount Tam and only a 40 minutee drive from the ocean and the redwoods. I could hike and explore. I could park without too many problems. It seemed like the perfect solution and the weather, though one of the driest years recorded in California, seemed closer to how I remembered it in Oregon with mist and fog. The only snag was the price of everything, from rent to food to gas. I couldn’t afford it and so I graduated and I came here for $1 a month. The parking is even more incredible here. I can park anywhere I want, within reason, and only once have I seen a sign for $3 parking and that was for the Fourth of July when the town park played free music and had a fireworks show I could see and hear from my hilltop on Saturday night, the day after the 4th.

The land here isn’t covered in mist and fog. It’s dry dry dry. They said a dry year, watch your water usage, and I see signs of this everywhere. Yesterday the soil around my camping chairs in front of the house started smoking. It was literally turning black and smoking. I couldn’t figure out what it was from or the accompanying smell that reminded me of toxins we’d studied in safety class at the beginning of entering my fine arts school. Here was a little black spot next to another little black spot mysteriously starting to catch fire and I grabbed the hose behind the house and soaked the whole front lawn down. And by lawn I mean patches of gold grass I’ve been watering morning and night since no one is here to scold my water usage and I want a garden. The black spots blended in to the rest of the soil, and everything turned a dark brown but I couldn’t figure out what the smell and smoking was caused from, and now I have a little problem with only a couple of hypotheticals. Is it from the two stumps I brought from my MFA exhibit? The dark spots were near enough one of the stumps and so maybe it has chemicals on it. I found them in a junk yard after all. The other idea was that it might be something already buried in the ground, but if that is the case, and this is the second time the soil has smoked, then I am in trouble. I’ll have to be near most of the time just in case it happens again and I need to hose it down. I’m not sure if this is a big problem or a little one. It seems like a big one but that’s only in relation to the lack of problems I have here, which are this, a problem receiving my mail, and the problem of knowing no one and doing nothing social, which are both problems I can fix if I just go out and do something about them. The latter, regarding mail, I’m working on. The former, regarding people, I will get to when I’m sufficiently tired of being alone, but with a dog and cat seeking other accompany and the problems they could initiate seems unnecessary.

It’s early and the sun isn’t out with full form yet, so this could be a good day to drive to Yosemite. The drive would be about the distance it used to take me from Eugene to Portland, and with less traffic and more winding roads. I fill up my camelback and nalgene, and a ziploc bag of dog food. I’m still debating between that and watching the tour de france in England online. Each morning is a decision like this- remain on the hilltop and do little rings, or go out and explore new unknown things. I think today I will explore. Every other day seems to be good for an exploration. The sky is still calm and the rooster down the hill is still sleeping (I think it doesn’t come out until the heat is unbearable) and a humming bird is occasionally dropping by my cup of coffee as if asking for a taste. My dog is grumbling at every little noise and the mouse is still hiding in a corner of the house ignoring my death bucket of water and peanut butter held by chopsticks

If you are quiet and sitting right at the edge of the hilltop looking over Murphys, you can hear the clouds moving. I’m not sure if it’s the clouds or if it’s traffic or a plane in the distance near Columbia, but I always assume naturally that it’s clouds, and they’re rumbling in the distance, and that maybe it will rain and it will be the greatest welcome surprise of all.


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Maybe it’s not friendship…

“I must do something or I shall wear my heart away”. (Charles Dickens) I will name the five now: Loren, Michael, Josh, Sean, Adam, and Jeremy. And the whole names to boot. It will make it easier for my self-reflection. Let’s evaluate. First there was Loren. I fell in love! Haha, this deserves a blunt list to organize my brain:
1. Loren: me 19 english/philosophy major UO, him 22 psych major UCB, coworkers at calpirg in Berkeley, he’s my instructor first day, first day he’s wearing gold shorts, flamboyant, if he’s not gay I will like him I note…he is also laughing with a girl he later was gaga over though she had a beau…sex twice, ecstasy three times, overdose once, rejection: began after initial sex, and full-blown after second time….I knew from his words I was a good lover. What was it? My bad response: calls, gaga eyes, completely smitten, annoying…
2. Michael and Josh: neither was a coworker. Josh: friend of friend, came up to me, drunk at a party, sex many times the first night, hip hop music (I was in a hip hop phase, the roots, black eyed peas…) he cut his achilles in the shower, lots of blood, stitches…I consoled him with Billie Holiday, bad luck, Me: sold guitar, gas money to visit him at Western Oregon, beach night, sex. Michael comes along: smitten immediately. Sex: 0 times. Make out, beach, hot springs, popsicles, and cigarettes not to mention lemon drops: many many. Outcome: wishy washy Josh declines, I am wrapped up in Michael. He follows me on the street on campus. Gives me a flower behind the ear. “Youre mine for the day”. We meet at the library, he passes a note of ISBN numbers. And then an email. “Want to get popsicles sometime?” I have concluded romantics can be the most devastating. He nearly gives me a heart attack at the hot tubs, my heart is beating so fast with excited romantic feelings. I nearly puke. Michael maybe meets someone then, because a decline. I’m being a weirdo. I like him alot. He knows it, and no chase. He declines more, and then beings this girl Windsor to a party. She has a high-pitched voice and is chubby. I hate. Then he sees Josh, and weird moment, (friends circle stuff). But I moved to Spain. Good thing too because I was starting to be smitten again with a friend of mine and that was getting wonky too…(“men and women can never be friends, the sex part always gets in the way” I feel jealousy from this old movie quote and how true it is for some boys)….Michael is still my friend, he writes randomly, he’s married. Josh: meh, who knows. I hear he’s married. I really could care less.
3. Sean: barely noticed him at first. As usual, he pursued me, my regular charming cashier at Sundance. Everyone liked him, that big smile, those sparkling eyes. I was indifferent. And then a night: wine, red tie, walk in the dark, stories. I always want to move slow. I absorb things slowly. I react slowly. I lose my heart and recover it slowly. But I move into these things too fast. So Sean: sex maybe 4 or 5 times. What then? His ex back in town. Post ex: less communication. Our friendship and laughs: declined. Good bike trips and parties without jealousy: 0. Me: devastated. Next step: he gets me a job there, a great place, Sundance. Only problem: he’s there. Big problem. He puts up a wall and I am no longer a friend, I am a stranger, I might as well have the ebola virus. There is no escape. Quit a great job and delusionally believe it had never happened. Or face it until things smoothed over. His friends: fuckers. The outcome: keep job and eventually notice my gaga-eyed coworker Adam. And he noticed me months earlier.
4. Adam. Charming. Weird, graduated, 26, from Illinois. Long hair. Wild. Protective. Pretty eyes. Maybe this was the first time I was in love. Me: I move into his complex o the 2nd floor, he is on the 3rd. We run into each other in the hall. I’m carrying a spatula. He is standing in the stair well and has no idea why. He comes in. For several nights we stay up til dawn talking. We make out over an algebra book. Everything is heaven. He only has to explain once that he still has feelings for the married woman coworker and that he will never marry and have kids. I still really like him. Sex, I like him more. We move in together. Fights, passion, etc. I move to Korea, my cat dies. I’m devastated. He likes a girl. The new girl at work. They close the store together now. I am alone in a foreign country. I want to die, like my cat. I curse them. And then he calls and they didn’t work out. I can use my webcam again. We talk. I return and we’re on and off for months. I’m unemployed, a nomad, lost, confused. He wants space. Visits me in Ptown once a week, once a month, never. No more. The summer is a blank one. I wanted to camp, I wanted to make love. I wanted another night on the beach. I wanted a lot, and I felt blue but not the sky, more like an early Picasso with old weathered men and poor, hungry children. I felt hungry but too tired to consume anything. Just able to walk and walk and walk as if searching for the light at the end. And the biggest consolation was that the foreign country, the year of loneliness miles away form anything familiar, was over. And my power source came in the strength I had hadfor a moment there overseas feeling solitude with peace, knowing I would return to something, and being immersed in the moment, not expecting, wanting, or wishing. Just knowing that that was all there was then, and whatever was ahead would be good, and more familiar. But this was my freedom. And no one was there to reject me. I wasn’t interested in anyone but myself; in that was a sort of peace. But a temporary, lonely one. It was a blind spot. I wanted to return and find love…
5. Jeremy. Takes me off facebook. Such a little action and so painful! But woah, let’s back up. 9 months in Portland and no job. In Thailand I had spilled tea on my keyboard. Time passed and it came back to haunt me. Kernel panic and a dead ibook, and Ian, my old boss’s neighbor sets up my new macbook pro. I love it. Aluminum. Shiny. Black keys. Backlit LCD screen. Liquid crystals. That’s beautiful. I remember this boy with longish dark locks sitting next to Ian. He seemed unapproachable. Later it’s Ian who helps get me an interview when they’re hiring, and Dan hires me right off. I meet Jeremy and he says something rude. Bad start. But then later we talk. We have things in common. And he sculpts. And I picture him sculpting me with his hands, and I want it to happen. I am determined to get to know him. Little did I know his roommate liked me and I had to maneuver around that. And then we see a play and I snap something and it irks him and I think, well that’s it. And I email him and then…he wants to hang out with me! He wants to bake cookies with me! So we do, and we talk about everything and I want to move slow but I also want him to sculpt me with his hands. And so we well, we don’t move slow. And I tell him I’m sensitive. And he says so is he. And I tell him I am picky. And he is too. And I tell him I really like him but I just came out of a confusing heartbreaking affair and things are better slow, I grow slow. So does he he says. It’s perfect. So we jump right in. Time: 1 1/2 months. Breaker: I have herpes. Who knew…I guess Adam had it. I guess I hadn’t even realized that it was a lifetime disease. it doesn’t go away and Adam had it and I now had it and I had given it. Without a single problem of my own here he was and he was a big mess. And he tried to deal. And we hung out. And we even had sex again: once. And then I don’t know, something fell apart. Something clicked. He made a decision. And on the phone he said no more. And at work he was cold. And again a wall. And I was scared. Here it was again. That inevitable hurt. That wall. That deep core of pain. I felt like I had been punched. I could barely breath. Should I quit. I couldn’t. Look at the unemployment rate. I swung back and forth between hope and hopelessness. And the hope was the worst. It was the worst. Because it was shadowed in hopelessness. And shadowed by other failures. And I’m still lonely.
But I named five guys, three coworkers. I have neglected Tynan and Colin. I have nearly forgotten oh what’s his name, Gabe, and Pablo, and honestly can’t think of the guy who took my virginity’s name at the moment (oh, ahem, Thor)…But all these I told to mosey on, and didn’t think twice. And Tynan, man I really messed him up. But wasn’t he just obsessed. Isn’t this unrequited love a sort of obsession? He had all these ideas of me and our potential, but what did he really know? ANd why did he want to be with someone who so obviously had had a change of heart. And he was a puppy dog, and it was pathetic. And so looking at it from that perspective, I might see myself more clearly and I feel like a fool. So I’ll weep in silence, and bit my tongue from now on, because this behavior, this need to just at least talk, well, it’s so unbecoming, and I am so much better than that. Plus with all these guys to think back on, I’m sure if I had played it more cool I could have saved myself a lot of heartbreak and dignity if not created more moments of free-loving adventure. And I’m not a longterm loose-skirt, and now, well with the H, I suppose I’m pretty prude until well into something, but let’s just agree to have a little more self-respect shall we, and not try to hard at the things that are not going to be…But you know, Adam really is an exception in all of this, and I’m not saying he’s the Mr. Big to my Carrie alter-ego, but he certainly has come and gone a few times and remains one of my dearest friends. Because I suppose he knows me. Maybe it’s not friendship in the normal sense of the word, but I like him in my life, he holds a part of my heart even after all of it or maybe because….and the special glimmer in his eye for me, well, that has always remained and I for him, and that’s more than I can say for some.
But back to my little lone apartment and my newish cat. Pizza and a movie for us, all right. I just guess I’m feeling the urge to get past all this and I’m disappointed that I can’t seem to yet. I want to settle down. No drama. No games. I just want a best friend/lover/dreamer/artist and lots of time in bed being lazy. Its really so simple. =)
But that’s more than enough for now, just words from a wise man:
“Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” (Albert Camus)

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