- 8:47 a.m.
This entry brought to you by: The letter O. For Ouch
This is the second installment in the “Lying on my side with a pillow between my legs” NO SHOES DIARIES. That quickie couple-a-lines entry from yesterday morning was also written from the sorta-comfort of my laptop (Hello IBook), from my bed, then emailed to myself then... while up for my morning “shuffling/sort-of-walking” thing down our long hallway, i snuck, as best as a currently partially-mobile chick like myself can, into my office, turned on my desktop computer (hello cute IMAC with that cute screen), retrieved my email to myself (my email to myself... how very SYBIL of me, eh?) and quickly “cut and pasted” into the little DIARYLAND window.. and posted to all of you... all of you LOVELY, WACKY, WONDERFUL readers/friends.. my stealth, Hogans-Heroes-ike message of what was what. So yeah. there. I’m totally exhausted and it’s only 8:41 am.
And yet... what happened? I’m asking myself that. Are you asking yourselves that? What the hell happened to get her in this current NON-SEXUAL “Lying on her side with a pillow between her legs” position/situation.
(cue flashback music)
It all started (well, not IT ALL, but this particular “it all) Tuesday morning at around 9:30 am when, during my workout with my trainer, I “ouched” instead of... well, not ouching.
First, let me digress, as I usually do.
I hadn’t visited these pages in over a week, because there has been SO MUCH SADNESS and DESPAIR In the lives of several people close to me, and apparently, according to my THERAPIST(ISH), I was not only being loving and supportive to my friends/family in need, but (and here’s my mistake... bad me) I was JOINING THEM in their sadness. Taking their sadness on, as if their sadness were bags of groceries, and I thought I could just grab a few bags and help carry the load. Perhaps even TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THE LOAD....Unfortunately, that can’t be done... not in a healthy way... not for someone like me, who BLEEDS when her friends/family get CUT. The sadness and frustration took me to a sad and frustrated place... and I couldn’t, for the life of me, catch my breath. So...... now, thanks to taking a few steps to the side, and redrawing the lines between HELPER and PARTICIPANT.... I’m able to be more helpful to my friends and family, less hurtful to my self... and apparently, RIPE for a back injury. Oy.
By the way....which of these phrases that rhymes with VICODIN is your favorite?
A) Look at her, she’s too THIN
B) I’ll have the vodka, not the GIN
C) Sorry, try again... you didn’t WIN
D) It’s not a dumpster, it’s a BIN
E) I thought the guy said his name was LYNNE
F) we better notify her next of KIN
This BACK INJURY STORY might as well be one of those cliché “I sneezed... and threw my back out” or “I bent over to pick up a piece of lint... and threw my back out” or “We were having honeymoon-sex and... I threw my back out”. I, was doing my morning routine (4 times a week) with my trainer, we stretched, I began sweating, we were cardio-ing, then lunge-ing, then lifting weights... then suddenly, I bent over.... and BROKE IN HALF. I was frozen. Paralyzed. Filled with fear. Balling my eyes out with pain. Wavering between “Ouch” and “Oy”. My girlfriend/same sex partner/lady-lover/meal ticket/cafeine-drinker was out for her morning ritual that involves STARBUCKS and I was quite a handful for my trainer, who had somehow... SOMEHOW lowered me onto my weight bench, face down, where I continued to lay, face down, weeping with self-pity and pain.
In my head, I was sending my girlfriend/same sex partner/lady-lover/meal ticket/safe-place an overpowering “DR. BOMBAY, DR. BOMBAY...COME RIGHT AWAY” urgent message, and hoped that it would bring her home immediately. (of course I didn’t even think to call her cell phone because my “common sense” was busy serving cookies and tea to my new visitors “self pity” and “pain”.
Speaking of which... I reallyreally need to give you a BILL AND SUE update. SUE’S situation was one of the things I had “taken on” lately, and couldn’t even bring myself to tell you all about, since it’s taken a turn towards sadness... but, y’all should know what's going on, as it is...well, the reality of what SUE is going through...
When I last mentioned BILL and SUE, I told you guys that I hadn’t really seen SUE lately and that I was going to call her or go over there and see what was going on... Well, I did that. I called SUE.
This was, like... geez, maybe a week and a half ago now...
I looked for my little post it note that had BILL and SUE’s phone number on it, and found it buried beneath many-many other post-it notes with random phone numbers, restaurant names, doodles, doodles of phone numbers, doodles of restaurant names... and amateurish portraits of slightly-disfigured cartoon-like characters. Never have these analyzed.
Anyway-- I called SUE and the phone rang 3 times before she picked up. I was worried that after a 4th ring it would go to their answering machine... and then I’d have to decide whether to leave a message that BILL might here... or not. However, I didn’t have to make that decision, because on the downbeat between ring 3 and ring 4, SUE picked up.
SUE: (sorta groggy) “Hello?”
ME: “Hi Sue, it’s your neighbor ME”.
SUE: Hi neighbor ME...
ME: SUE... I’ve been worried about you... I haven’t really seen you lately... and I just wanted you to know I was thinking about you.... and how you’re doing...
(another pause... then a deep sigh)
SUE: Well, neighbor ME...i’m having a hard time of it all...
(and then she burst into tears. hard, sobbing tears).
ME: SUE, do you want me to come over?
SUE: No... let me clean up a bit and I’ll come over there.
ME: Okay SUE... I’ll be here. Please come over.
(she lets out another long sigh... )
I hung up the phone and ran (I was running then, not like now, where I’m lying in bed with a pillow between my legs--for MEDICINAL purposes). So anyway.... I ran into my girlfriend/same sex partner/lady-lover/meal tickets office, where she was busy doing something important(ish) and stood in front of her like... well, like a girlfriend who had been worried about something, borderline-- slightly obsessing-- about something for days and days... and her worst fears were about to be confirmed... that was me. I was that girlfriend.
“Honey, I just called SUE....”
She briefly gives me THAT LOOK... the look that says “Babe, why do you have to be so involved in everyone’s drama? And yet I still love you and all your neurosis as much as the first day that I met you”. You know, that look, right? So... yeah, she gives me THAT LOOK... then says... “uh huh, you called Sue...” then I tell her.... “and she sounded really upset and she’s coming over in a few minutes”. Another DEEP SIGH from my extremely patient girlfriend/same sex partner/lady-lover/meal ticket.... “okay... well.... HONEY... I know you want to help her... but... be careful, you know how you get...”
So... with my girlfriend/same sex partner/lady-lover/meal tickets BLESSING freshly placed on my head, I waited for SUE to come across the street.
A few minutes later, SUE rang our bell. I answered the door and SUE stood in front of me, her hair completely un-sue-like. It was not in it’s usual style. It was “unattended to”. She was wearing BIG JACKIE O sunglasses. Immediately I looked (CSI style) with my best zoom-lens (not) vision to see if there was a bruise/black eye that she was covering. As cliché’ as it would be, I was worried that THAT was what had happened. In my head, I thought... “Oh god, BILL’s finally lost his cool (or whatever) and he’s been roughing her up. I imagined SUE sitting for days, holding a steak on her eye, trying to get the swelling down... sitting in the house, surrounded by only the cats and the miniatures... and holding a damn steak on her eye. Hmmm. Well, you know what? No bruise. No bruise on either eye. She removed the big JACKIE O sunglasses to reveal puffy, bloodshot eyes. The puffy, bloodshot eyes of a very sad, confused, conflicted woman in her late fifties/early sixties... who’s been crying for days. Days and days. THAT is where SUE has been. In her house, with only the CATS and THE MINIATURES (and Bill)... crying and sad and discouraged and confused and conflicted.... and drinking.
SUE sat with me, on the same living room couch where she first told us a few months ago that she was attracted to women... and told me now... that she has been agonizing and suffering from a terrible depression. She wiped her eyes as she told me that she is struggling with the fact that she is probably TOO OLD to make such a huge change in her life. She said that she is tortured by the fact that she FINALLY has come to terms with who she thinks she is... and her attraction to women... but feels like she realizes now that she is FOOLISH to think that she could DO THIS... now. At her age.
I listened....and put my hand on her shoulder the way a school counselor would if you were sitting in her office telling her something really hard... and she wanted to try and reassure you that, although she didn’t have all the answers, she felt sympathetic to your situation and wanted to help see you through it. That, THAT was the way I put my hand on SUE’S shoulder.
SUE told me that she had felt COMPLETELY OUT OF PLACE at the LESBIAN POOL PARTY a few weeks ago (oh, there were a few women close to her age, but none were making an effort to get to know her)... and she had gone a few more times to THE BAR that has LADIES NIGHT once a week... but really hadn’t connected THAT WAY with anyone yet.
I realized as she was telling me this, that maybe... just maybe, SUE thougth this whole part.. the MEETING WOMEN part... was going to be EASIER. I think she thought, maybe... just maybe.... that it would be MAGICAL. That she would finally come to terms with her ATTRACTION TO WOMEN, and once she had taken the LEAP and gone to a BAR and LOOKED AT THE WOMEN... I think that maybe, just maybe... she thought that a WOMAN (maybe even THE WOMAN) would walk up to her, light her cigarette, order a drink, eat the olive, then lean in and kiss SUE on the lips, grab her hand and take her off into a life of WOMANLY LOVE. Seriously, I think that maybe, just maybe.. SUE thought it was going to be a little bit more like that. I wish it had. I wish it was easier for SUE... but unfortunately, It hasn’t been.
I continued to listen to her... and she talked of how her THERAPY had been so helpful, but also so painful as it brought up many issues from her life that she’d kept buried all these years (we’re all SO GOOD at the burying of issues... it amazes me). She said that she has been so depressed that she has THOUGHT OF SUICIDE several times in the last few weeks. She said that she PROMISED HER THERAPIST (thank god for the therapist) that she wouldn’t harm herself.
Tears filled my eyes as I thought of the last few weeks and HOW MANY TIMES I’ve wondered/worried about SUE. I imagined, briefly, how sad and devastated she must have been/continues to be... as she sits in the house, alone... alone with her thoughts and her life-in-review, and her 62 years of experience... and.... BILL, coming home at exactly 5pm, every day.
I told SUE that I wanted to help her. HOW could I help her, I thought?
I told her that I wanted to try and find her A GROUP... a group of women who she could relate to, socially. I brought her into my office and we went online (she is still terrified of “the internet” and I found her a message board of “Married/Once Married Lesbians”. I had her sit in my chair and read some of the postings. She read and wept and laughed a bit (that was nice to hear) as she reviewed several months worth of “message board postings” by women that were in similar situations to the one she was currently struggling with. One posting mentioned a “social group” that has many activities a month for women. I saw this as my opportunity to HELP... so I told SUE that I would find out more about the group and its activities... and let her know. She seemed thrilled! Maybe it was the “shot in the arm” that she needed.... to read the words of other women in similar situations, then to find out that there was a SOCIAL GROUP that she might be able to... SOCIALIZE with...it brought a little smile to her puffy eyes.
I had heard of the SOCIAL GROUP before... they sponsor many events in the LESBIAN COMMUNITY... so I know they are legitimate.... I just want to find a few members who I can get to BEFRIEND SUE... to mentor her in... to introduce her around... so.. NOW... I’m on a mission to MAKE THAT HAPPEN.
A few days later, I saw SUE putting GOLF CLUBS in the trunk of her car. She waved hello and briskly walked across the street for a quick chat. She thanked me again for our talk the other day... and told me that she had decided that if she was going to try and be apart of the new SOCIAL GROUP, she better get more active. She had signed up for GOLF LESSONS... and had joined the local gym. How’s that for taking action????
Amazing, right? I told her I was SO PROUD of her... for giving herself another chance.. for not giving in...or giving up... and I told her that I was working on helping her MAKE SOME CONNECTIONS... better connections... and that it should all start with a group of friends, anyway... and through that group, she’ll meet other people, and they’ll know other people.. and before we know it... SUE will know a lot of people. A lot of lesbian-type people.
She gave me a neighborly hug and told me that.. “Oh... and BILL decided that HE wanted to take GOLF LESSONS, too... so they were doing it together...” It didn’t bother her anyway, because the female golf instructor “wasn’t her type”. She brisked/whisked back to her car... and off to her golf lesson. She was SO MUCH BETTER than she had been just a week earlier... and hopefully she could stay on that happy path.
I hope I can find her some good friends.
Okay... that’s the long awaited BILL AND SUE UPDATE... and now I better lay back down in the NON-SITTING position (with the pillow.. you know where)... but I promise y’all... that I’ll be back to my regular/irregular updates as soon as possible.
Thanks SO MUCH for all your emails/guestbook signings and notes.... how’d I get so lucky?
xoxoxo and ouch-- me
p.s. LUCKY (of LUCKY and THE HOMEWRECKER is moving into her new place next weekend...so wish her luck and send her HEALING THOUGHTS...)