Geek House, Part II

My house is 1565 square feet. The lot is 8,000. I am just one person, rattling around in this huge house that looks like it’s been torn apart in an investigation. There’s dust everywhere. The whole house looks like it needs CPR. It got that way from both of us being too depressed to really take care of a house like this. The yard is a nightmare, so we’re doing what you do in Houston when you’ve gotten yourselves fucked with lawn care….. call in the Mexicans (YAY MEXICO!!!! I got my jersey.). Dana likes it when I’m here when we have Spanish speakers, because even though mine is a bit broken, I can usually get my point across. Dana does not even watch Dora the Explorer. When she was moving out, I told her to get on Duolingo and learn some fucking Spanish, because in this neighborhood, life is SO MUCH EASIER. Dana’s neighborhood is the same, so I believe it is essential. When we go to taquerias, she just lets me order unless there’s numbers. :)

I am not knocking Dana in the slightest. I recommend that if you’re going to live in a Hispanic neighborhood, learn the language. Stop it with your “in America, we speak English” bullshit. You have no idea what would happen if all the migrant workers were deported. Enjoy your eight dollars a pound tomatoes, dumbass. Strain your brain- Spanish is easier than English by a MILE. All the verbs have five conjugations, everything is spelled like it sounds, and Hispanics fall over when they realize that I can comprende. I know I’ve told this story before, but it’s apt here. I was in line at Fiesta and these women in front of me were making fun of my short hair, baseball cap, etc. I turned around and said, “soy blanca, no soy sordo.” That means, “I am a white girl, I am not deaf.” Their mouths dropped and I didn’t hear a peep out of them. Serves them right. Apparently the girl that looks like a boy has your number, bitches.

So, to get back on topic, this house needs tias all over the place, because three tias and a prima will use Fabuloso, and as Ralphie May says, “it gets out third world dirt.” Yes. Yes, it does. I like the purple stuff. In fact, I mopped the kitchen floor with it before I sat down to write this. Maybe that’s why I’m writing about it. I need to explain why I am so overwhelmed with the state of the house, because Dana did not clean a thing before she left, nor did she mow the yard. Now I am slowly getting to all of these things, but I am hoping that wisdom prevails. I can clean the hell out of a house. I am scared of lawn mowers. I have a very good reason for this. My grandfather ran over his foot once. I am the biggest motherfucking klutz in the entire world. That is the kind of thing that would happen to me. I would like to avoid it at all costs.

However, I am not lazy. I will do it if I have to. I just don’t want to. There’s a difference. Mostly because Dana has been saying that she was going to mow and every time she has time, it has been pouring down rain. Our lawn looks terrible for a somewhat valid reason, but I am getting tired of waiting for it to be done, and there are several things that intimidate me. First of all, weeds have taken over. I don’t know what to do. Do I mow them down or dig them out? We got the house because Dana likes to do this shit and I don’t. I am envious beyond belief that she has a tiny apartment that looks easy to take care of with no lawn maintenance whatsoever.

I gave up. I just called Dana in my most anxious, smallest place and said, “where are we with the lawn people? I need help. I cannot do ALL THIS on my own.” She promised to come over tomorrow and help. It feels nice to know that she just didn’t have time to clean and she’s coming back.  I am sobbing as I write this, because I have just realized how empty my house feels. My entire world lives ten minutes away and I feel so alone, even though I’m not.

Actually, in a sense, I AM all alone. There is no one that can work their way out of this mess but me.  I will be so glad when all of the work on the house is done, because then I won’t constantly be plagued by the anxiety that comes with dust bunnies on the floor and Diet Coke cans I’ve opened and put down somewhere and forgotten. This morning I found a sip of whiskey on the coffee table… I’d asked Dana for some of her Rebecca Creek, which she gladly gave me about 3/4 of a shot, because that’s all I asked for. I just wanted a taste…… apparently, because I put it down and forgot about it, too. I am the classic creative personality. Someone should just follow me around picking up all the things I put down, because I promise I will not remember where I put it even five seconds later.

Based on this, I have no idea where anything is. The Danabase moved out. I am going to have to create my own systems of organization, which as a Virgo makes my skin buzz with excitement. Cut to three weeks later. What system? Unfortunately for Dana, I think it made her want to stay around longer than she should’ve. I put so much on her because I literally couldn’t do it for myself. I slid so far that she would have to bring me stuff to eat, because if she didn’t, I just wouldn’t. Too busy, too consumed. Not an eating disorder. A thinking disorder. If I take time out to eat, what am I missing? Ditto for sleeping occasionally, although I have medication for that.

I just realized that I have anti-anxiety medication. Maybe that should be my first move. Feeling a little bit short of breath, which is a sign that I need to take something before I get into attack mode. When I get panic attacks, the hyperventilation is pretty fucking impressive. I don’t want to live there.

But in this type situation, I am not sure that it’s avoidable.

The Impossible Argonaut

I have realized over the past few months that I can be an incredible narcissist… but let’s focus on the “can be.” Anything I have learned in the way of narcissism is a way of self-preservation, because I do not have the safety and security of knowing that you’re actually going to keep up your end of the bargain…. that you’re actually going to love me as much as you say, that I can relax and rest in it. I am going to be on the receiving end of love.

This is because I have so many abandonment issues that I cannot even. I am slowly working on them, because it is my journey into wholeness. I treated Argo like crap because I needed her to pull away and I all but ensured it. The closer we got to figuring each other out, the more I realized that I was in a world of uh-oh. This is NOT supposed to happen. I am NOT going to fall for a straight girl because that is an impossible situation that will only drag me through the mud and I am not secure enough to tell Argo that I do not love her, I am in love with her, and the only solution is for you to disappear while I get my shit together, because this is untenable for me. Dana is freaking the fuck out.

I’d already broken her heart once before, so I couldn’t just do it again. It would have killed me inside. So I started an enormous fight so she wouldn’t want to talk to me, anyway. It shouldn’t ever have happened. I should have “manned up” and gotten the confidence to tell her that we needed to separate because my wife thinks that I’m already out the door, and that is CLEARLY not the case. I can’t breathe without thinking of her on the inhale and the exhale. I cannot let a threat in, even though the only threat was me. It was easier to pretend that although Argo was never going to be in love with my body, she was in love with my mind, as well.

On the Internet, as every chathead knows, sexuality and gender fly out the window. In the first few minutes of chat, I was hooked. Absolutely hooked. THE FIRST DAY. To the point where I said straight out, on the FIRST DAY, “intimacy on the Internet is relative. We are pouring emotions into each other. Let’s not let this get out from under us, ok?” I wasn’t necessarily saying it for her benefit………………

Because exactly what I thought would happen did. Emotions turned to love quickly, because we weren’t dealing with practical jokes and gin. I’d hoped we’d get to that point eventually, but I think our “stranger on a train” was exactly that….. stranger than anything I’d been a part of, certainly. It was an unusual kinship. We didn’t relate to each other with our senses, except visually because there were so many words between us. We didn’t even meet, and I will regret it wholeheartedly for a very long time. I think that a lot of our problems had to do with my being Argo’s “stranger on a train,” and after we went deep, the thought of creating a relationship in real life was way too damn scary to contemplate. What would we be like in real life? Would our intimacy translate into nights lying on the couch watching Netflix with wine and popcorn?

It did not.

I can’t speak for the future, but the past is a tapestry. Neither of us want to look in each other’s eyes, because we don’t want to see the feelings that lay beyond them. For me, I could not meet her without wanting to step off a plane and run into her arms.

As a straight girl, I can see how this might be………… intimidating. I am working on concentrating on how she feels. I need to get my ego out of the way, because I was only lost in me and what I felt and how my marriage was coming apart and I didn’t notice until it was WAY too late. Nothing Argo did caused this. I mentioned earlier that she said she didn’t want to be the reason that I didn’t work it out with Dana. I need to speak more to this. I did not EVER think that Argo loved me in a way that was equal to my level of emotion. That conversation did not have to do with romance. That conversation was based on “we’ve been tight for two years, and Dana and I are both horrible to each other at times. You know it. If we got back together, could you accept her? Because what friend would ever advocate for getting back into a bad relationship? I needed her opinion, and I do not think she saw my point, because I asked her the question without the tremendous context. It was not intentional. It was my brain moving too fast for my fingers. Or maybe it was intentional. I cannot decide. What I know is that even though it is neither, it is both.

The Ring Cycle

Dana and I bought our rings at an event called “Festival of the Last Minute” in Portland at Saturday Market. It’s the last drive before Christmas, and it is a ton of fun. We found no end to the humor that two ADD people bought commitment rings at a ceremony with the title, but hey. We were young (no we weren’t) and stupid (actually, not so much). I remember that day so fondly, because we took a picture of our hands with our rings on and everyone thought we’d gotten married, and it was just the first set of rings we’d ever worn. I think we’d been living together for a few years at that point. Yes, we had our legal documentation saying we were domestic partners, but had never gone through a wedding. We’ve been planning it since that night we won trivia and figured out we didn’t love each other. We were in love with each other. But somehow, that did not translate into ring shopping. Again, two ADD people. Festival of the Last Minute.

Hundreds of comments poured in, and I felt so blessed and supported in my decision to marry Dana when everyone said it wouldn’t work. Who said it didn’t work? Seven years is enough time to really know someone, to really know what love is.

Love is when Dana has hives.

Love is when I am ash-white and sweating because my brain chemicals aren’t right.

Love is knowing that Dana and I would both step in front of a bus for the other one.

Love is accidentally forgetting we’re not married anymore, because my drive to protect her is fiercely engaged.

I realized it when I was walking out to my car at Aaron’s, that I cannot forget we aren’t married anymore. It’s just not possible for me, because I will as long as I let myself. I’m amazing like that. If it hurts once, why not let it hurt a thousand times?

I slipped off my ring and dropped it somewhere in the grass…. walked a few feet…. and then I couldn’t see it anymore. I panicked because I couldn’t see it and thought, BUT THAT IS THE POINT.

……and slowly kept walking.

Lunch with Jesus

Remember that I told Jesus I was free Tuesday? Well, lucky for me, he showed up. I didn’t know whether he would, because honestly, I have won the Shitty Friend Award™ with him. We haven’t talked in a while, and we should be talking incessantly. Why have I been avoiding Jesus? The same reason I always avoid Jesus. We have so much to talk about that I cannot even. I am grieving Argo and Dana and our lives, both jointly and severally, because I don’t think for a minute that either of them are over what has happened the last two years. I didn’t mean to, but I put off Jesus to take care of my thoughts about them, first.

Why do Jesus and I need to talk incessantly? Have I mentioned that I started my own religious organization (oh, like a THOUSAND times…………. #prayingonthespaces)? Douchy preacher/author mode: engaged. The reason that I have created a doctrine is that in order to get a 501c, you have to have a belief statement first. This is not to say that I would not join a major denomination once I am ordained. It is just not possible right now, unless by some miracle Jesus is able to work it by letting the UCC or the Episcopals or whomever approach ME. There are plenty of denominations that would be willing to either ordain me based on a work study program, or license me to preach and offer rites such as communion. I am biding my time, gathering up the crumbs under Thy table, knowing that God’s property is always to have mercy. I stole that line from the Book of Common Prayer. If you’re an Episcopal, you probably said it in your head as you read it.

And on that note, I would like to close with my favorite prayer from Rite I, the Prayer of Humble Access. It is my Lenten anthem, because it says everything about the work that I need to do from Palm Sunday to Easter.

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against thee
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved thee with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in thy will,
and walk in thy ways,
to the glory of thy Name.

Most Sundays I cry through the entire thing. I know I’m gathering up crumbs, but I know that the resurrection has so much in store for me this year that I don’t need to make up with Argo and Dana anymore. I need to make up with Jesus. He’s the one I sit with in silence with his arm around me.

He seriously cleaned me out at Starbucks. Do you HAVE to get a venti, Jesus? Really? You’re gonna have to pee later.

Goodnight Sweetheart, It’s Time to Go

It is late and I am ending my day as I began, with anger, grief, hope, and joy. Those four feelings will be my elements in thinking about Dana and whether the resurrection takes. For me, the resurrection can go two ways. Either we go back to being friends without incident, or we will fall madly in love again and recreate a second act better than the first. Either way, we’re planning on living happily ever after.

I went over to Dana’s new apartment after all the moving was over, just to see how it looks. To get a sense of where she is when she says she’s in the living room. Settings matter in phone calls. I want to picture her talking from wherever she is. As she puttered around, I sat on her bed and listened while she chattered on about anything and everything. It was nice, adding to that friend normalizing behavior. But then she said, “I’m going to soak my feet. My sister does it every night and I think it would be good to start.” When she said that, I thought, “this moment is too intimate for me. I cannot stand here and watch this happen.” Everything within me was telling me to leave, but I went to her as she sat on the edge of the bathtub and kissed the back of her neck. I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe that we could date each other? I don’t know. Too soon. What I know is that I needed to kiss the back of her neck, work up to her cheek, and let the tears flow. I just kept sobbing, “I’m sorry….. I’m sorry……”

Dana finished washing and turned around to kiss me in my grief, saying, “I know…… I know……” Finally, I said, “are you in a place where you can’t say “I forgive you?” She said, “I don’t know myself well enough to know what I did, so I can’t know what you did, either.” It was the best answer anyone has ever given in the history of anything. God, I love her. I picked the one person in the world that COULD handle this….. and I stole that line from Argo. She believes in both of us more than we deserve, and yet, we never really bonded that way as a group. Dana and Argo never really put shoe leather into their relationship, so it was this constant feeling for me of in-laws fighting over my attention, which they both deserved but could not settle on a visitation agreement, mostly because Dana, right or wrong, thought of Argo as a threat.

When I was finished crying, Dana did say that she forgave me, and I got the overwhelming sense that it was time to go home. I did not want to be exclusive with Dana, and I realized that if I stayed one minute longer, it was perpetuating the idea that we were just going to be married in two different houses. That is not reality, and I know it. Now that I’m in my bubble with just my thoughts and no one else’s, I have decided I like it here. I do not need distraction from it. I am driven to succeed, and I believe that is the first time I’ve ever said that in my entire life. Before, my attitude was, “everything’s going to turn to shit, anyway, so why even try?” I am such a perfectionist that if something isn’t perfect, I will throw it in the garbage. I am slow and intentional as not to make mistakes. Not with this blog, of course. If you want to see my real style, you’ll have to buy my books. This is my stream of consciousness. This is not what I slave over. I slave over ideas bigger than I’ve ever had before. Because of Argo and my blog, I see that I have the power to reach millions of people, so why not do it? Why not say yes to the possibility that because I am asking, the universe will answer?

Argo was 100% right when she said, “why do you think it’s everyone else’s job to fix you?” You do not have any self-preservation when you’re as fucked up as I have been. You don’t ask for things. You wither away into nothing, because that is what you feel you are. You just wander around, trying to latch on to things that will propel you because you do not have the ability to propel yourself. You’ve already given yourself away. There’s nothing left for you. Like I said earlier, I got an A on Meag’s senior paper and a C on mine. But you know what? When people come to look for my qualifications, I doubt they’re going to give me credit for her work with her name at the top.

The funniest exchange of this whole saga was that I sent Argo a note that said, “could you please send me a 12 page report with graphs and pictures on how much you like dick? It would help. Thanks.” I got desperate. Dana, please don’t push Argo away I need her get with the program please I am changing please please………….. on and on and on and on…… a never ending ostinato (is there any other kind?). When we got to the two year mark, I decided I’d had enough from both of them. I am too much of an introvert to be happy with giving all my energy to people who don’t like each other and have me in a tug of war whether I liked it or not.

I did not.

I finally called bullshit. Nothing could convince Dana that I wasn’t going anywhere. That I was so much of an introvert that she was always going to get the majority of my time. She worries when i get lost in the cloud. I will never say that I have not earned this level of scrutiny, and at the same time, nothing went to Argo that Dana didn’t see. She read every word, including the e-mails where it was CLEAR how bad I was struggling.

I can only hope that I did something right by trying to explain my intimacy with Argo. That I’d, in a sense, married her based on confidentiality, loyalty, and the fact that I thought we’d be eating cheesecake like Dorothy and Rose until we died. But she will die first because she is SO MUCH OLDER (I love you. You complete me. [You cannot imagine the hole I’ve just dug, I assure you. It’s good that lives a thousand miles from here, otherwise I would be on the receiving end of some kind of noogie :P ]). If I could predict what she would reply to that, it would probably be something along the lines of, “have fun with your Garanimals, jackass.”

I love my silence. I love my inner world. I love that Argo saw it and called it good. I love that Dana has forgiven me for letting Argo live there. Even when I know that neither of them can be with me in physical proximity, they sit at my shoulders like angels ready to jump in when I need them. I had that realization when it got weird and I went home. I do not want to be Dana’s first in her new bed in her new house. I have been grieving this loss for quite some time, because I could see it happening minute by minute, hour by hour. I need separation from both of them, time with my headphones and my keyboard.

It’s Lent all over the place, and I’m doing it right. Sitting alone. Reflecting. Repenting. Counting on what Bill Lupfer at Trinity Wall Street calls “islands of mercy.” That is because in the Bible, there are 40 days, but on the calendar, it is 46. That is because you don’t count the Sundays. Sundays are the Mardi Gras of Lent. You can enjoy everything you’ve given up.

My Sundays are spent trying to enjoy Dana and Argo in my head as the magnificent women we are supposed to be, together, instead of the broke-ass pattern we have now. I’m exhausted. I feel like Jesus on the cross, because during crucifixion, you can breathe in, but you lack the ability to let air out. This version of me is ready to die. I have this vision of being new by Easter.

If Jesus can do it, why can’t I take my shot?

Geek House (with Apologies to Charles Dickens)

Dana’s stuff is moved out, and because neither of us had a complete set of anything, now the house looks weird. Like, there’s some furniture, but there’s no TV. There’s bookcases, but very few books. I am sure that I will slowly rebuild those things over time, but right now, I am just happy for silence. Dana and I both have outer layers that are bright and bubbly. Mine is completely broken. I cannot even. I don’t want to. I want to sit in this mess that I have made and WORK IT OUT. Surely there’s something I could have done that if I went back and undid it or unsaid it, things would be okay again. But that is not reality. I did a lot of things wrong, continually, every day, because they became coping mechanisms. You know it’s not right, but you do it anyway, like being the boss and not carrying smokes because you don’t have to. Somebody’s always got a cigarette for Daddy, and no one will find them on you. So are you a smoker? That’s how most people convince themselves they’re not.

I loved my sins where Argo was concerned. She was straight. Did I have an affair with another women? That’s how I convince myself I didn’t. I know it’s not right, but I do it anyway. There’s no other word or set of words that can describe my behavior except willful ignorance. In my opinion, Dana was falling down on the job and it couldn’t go anywhere with Argo, so what was the harm?

The part I always forget. The harm to me.

I felt like the fact that I always kept it in my mind that she was straight was what made it okay. I didn’t realize that by continuing to let Argo grab my attention, it was changing my heart, anyway. If I go by the axiom that loving God doesn’t change God, it changes me, then just insert Argo where God is. I did.

I am not being flippant. Argo was the human ear that received my prayers. As I told her many times, I write to God. You’re just icing.

Of course Dana was threatened by that. I was, shit! The line that kept going through my mind morning by morning was that it was getting harder and harder to feel the way I felt about Argo and be married to someone else. At first, I thought that was because of my feelings alone. That I was torturing myself. Then I realized that it wasn’t the two of us. It was the three of us. They both wanted me. They both needed me. Which one was more important? The straight one or the gay one?

Dana said that she felt like the only thing I ever needed her for was sex. Is it bad that I engineered it that way because she was too depressed to be able to give me anything else? It’s a spectrum. It is neither of these things, and yet, it is both. What I know for sure, though, is that in the case of three being a crowd, I can safely assure you it’s all true.