In the News

I have a friend in DC who works behind the news, so every time something terrible happens across the world, I wonder if they might be in the crossfire, shaping the story that will live in people’s memories long afterward. I’m not, but it’s like being friends with Anderson Cooper, except I don’t have the asurance of seeing them on TV every night, because if you’re watching Cooper on TV, you know he’s still alive.

So I watch, I wait, and I can’t help but worry a little bit, because who wouldn’t? Last night I was in the middle of watching the previews for “Ghostbusters” and playing with my phone (though I turned it off when the lights went down) when the news came across regarding the coup in Turkey (pronounced “Turkia,” according to Hayat). I was glad that I was doing something entirely distracting when I saw it, because I didn’t have time to wonder whether they were at the DC desk or on a plane toward the danger. I was with a very large group of friends that I met through Dan & Autumn. Dan works at State, so she was just as distracted as me when she came home from work, because of course the story broke for her faster than it did the rest of us. When I left for the night, I pulled Danni into a big hug, only now realizing why. Holding onto her was a little bit of prayer… both for the innocents and the NOT. It never hurts to pray that enemies will calm their little asses down.

Speaking of which, I pray for Donald Trump all the time, just for that very reason. Of course, my prayers for Donald Trump always include, “please, just go away.” When other Republicans are skipping the convention just because they don’t like you, perhaps you’ve gone too far. However, I pray for the Republicans that are skipping the convention, as well, because I hope they change their minds if they are in any kind of voting capacity. A brokered convention would help the Republican cause, because God forbid the Republicans win, I’d rather it be someone else… anyone else. I would rather vote for Forrest Gump.

I think that Clinton will pick up the votes from the Republicans who are terrified of a Trump presidency, canceling out the Bernie voters who, apparently, would rather eat glass than vote for someone, at the very least, sane. I hate the people who are picking Hillary out as such a villain over this e-mail thing, when Dick Cheney and George W. Bush didn’t even have private servers… they were deleting damning e-mails from the official record… comparable to the infamous Nixon 18 minutes and 36 seconds (p.s. “Dick” is now one of my favorite movies- see it for free on Crackle).

I’m writing this from my local Starbucks, where I am very excited to announce that now there are USB ports built into the wall plugs. Nice not to have to carry a block for my iPad anymore. Just an aside, more distraction from what I believe is an epidemic of negative world events. It’s the little things that make me happy.

For instance, I ordered a nutrition supplement from Bryn that not only acts as a sugar buster, I’ve had this rash all over me for years, and within two weeks of taking it, the rash was gone. I thought I was going to have to be showering with dandruff shampoo until Jesus came… which, incidentally, is awesome if you want to smell like sulfur and mint. #eyeroll

I felt vindicated in buying a supplement when I started watching this show called “My Diet is Better Than Yours,” wherein one of the trainers said that a dietary supplement is necessary because foods grown today are not as nutritionally dense as they used to be. I also don’t eat as much as I should most days, so it ensures I am still getting the brain food I need regardless… as well as the aforementioned sugar buster, chromium picolinate. It has really helped, because sugary snacks used to be the only thing that would get me to eat. It doesn’t suppress my appetite, just the craving for gummies, chocolate, etc.

The next thing for which I am truly grateful is that my mom sent me a “TV Guide” type magazine with “Claire” and “Jamie” from Outlander (Starz) on the front and a section of the newspaper in which my dad’s best friend and trumpet player, Noe Marmelejo, was on the front. She does this for me from time to time, just as her mother did for her- putting news articles in the mail that would be of interest. For instance, I still have the section of the newspaper in which two players on the Houston Dash married each other.

I am not really into the TV show as much as the books. I’ve watched all of season one and the first episode of season 2, but it doesn’t match up with my imagination as I’m reading, so I’d rather keep that intact. For instance, I was really rooting for Karen Gillan to get the role of Bree, because I thought that only a role as rich as Bree Fraser was worthy of someone who played Amy Pond. She isn’t Bree, so I’d rather picture Karen in the role in my head. I am sure I will eventually watch the rest of the TV show to feed what “That’s Normal” calls “Droughtlander,” because I am waiting with bated breath for the next and final book to come out.

It was “The L___nator” who recommended Outlander to me in the first place, and I wasn’t thrilled with it at first. But she didn’t know the magic words that would have gotten me to stick with it… Jamie is based on a “Doctor Who” companion. The fact that Diana Gabaldon is a Whovian would have rocked my world. I picked up book one several times before it really caught my attention, and then I read all 8,000 pages in like, three weeks. At that time, I didn’t have a job, so any moment in which I wasn’t working on resumes, attending appointments, etc. I was reading… and then I read all of the novellas and the “Lord John Grey” series, because at that time in my life, Lord John was not just a character. He was a reflection of me. If you’ve never read the books, Lord John is desperately in love with Jamie, and though he knows he can never have him, the feelings never leave him… but Lord John and Jamie are connected for the rest of their lives, a deep connection and bond that surpasses understanding…. and if you have to ask why I wrote that, you haven’t been paying attention. 😛

It feels good not to be in that place anymore, shedding feelings of love and attention and even friendship, because “my Argo” isn’t “my Argo” anymore. She stepped on my head one too many times, and though there are situations in which I cannot deal with the sadness of it all, just how much I lost, it feels even better to put shoe leather into relationships that value it. I will never be the same person I was before I met her, but I don’t have to be. I can just take the lessons I learned and keep our memories safe and pure in my heart of hearts. I want to cast away all of the fighting and just remember how much we meant to each other at that time in our lives, rather than the cloth that bound us unstitching with a violent rip.

Excuse me while I rattle on, because I can’t think of Outlander without thinking of Argo. They go hand in hand, because the book explained me to me in a way I needed so badly when I read it. It became a goal to turn Argo from my Jamie into my Jenny, and it failed over and over. But I cannot say that I didn’t do all I could to prevent it from becoming a clusterfuck of enormous proportion. I made a mistake that made her uncomfortable, and anything positive I’d ever done was thrown out the window in a hot second, rather than listening to what I was saying… please don’t fault me for my curious nature. Please don’t box me into this dark place, the person you think I am instead of the person I actually am. Please don’t leave me. Please don’t give up on me. I am more than the sum of my parts if only you could see me with fresh eyes.

I recognized her discomfort, how my mistakes must have come across to her, empathy flowing from me until she threatened me and I lost my shit… which only proved to her how right she was, instead of recognizing that my fight-or-flight (or freeze) went off and I thought I had to protect myself, putting up walls of defense that never should have gone up in the first place. I reacted instead of responding, and spent days afterward in a deep depression because I’d failed myself. I promised myself that next time she tried to ratchet up my fear, I’d simply walk away and think about it. That I would craft a proportional response, but not one of anger. One with more love, more care, just more… showing that I didn’t want to up the ante anymore. That flew out the window as my breath shortened and my eyebrows went over my forehead. It is my eternal hope that one day she’ll realize she was trying to kill a gnat with a two by four. Because as things stand now, every time I go to visit friends in Virgina, I Google Earth that shit to make sure it’s not anywhere near her. What I know for sure is that running into each other would be a bad surprise for both of us, especially me, because I have a lot of shame to own, and it feels like crap that I can’t.

Because I’d stand in front of her, emotionally laid bare, and just cry it out, even though sometimes I hate it when I….. emote (inside joke for Dana & Amy). I would hope that doing such a thing would allow us to laugh again, but I can’t hope anymore. What will be will be, and what won’t just won’t. Keeping hope alive doesn’t hurt anyone but me.

However, it doesn’t stop me from talking about her, verbally processing grief in order to leave it behind. Right now, it is extremely loud and incredibly close, but will become less so the more I move on with my life. Her presence as one of the angels on my shoulder is a comfort and not a catastrophe. When I’m truly ready, she’ll fly away, just as Diane did long ago, because I was no longer interested in grieving her because I realized that the hurt she’d caused me far outweighed her idea of friendship. With Argo, it’s much different than that. Argo will fly when I am able to forgive myself. I was an adult using childish language because I just hadn’t had enough time to process trauma and it was keeping me from “aging up.” Her life raft of friendship floated down the river without me, and I cannot say it was ever undeserved. But that doesn’t mean that just because I caused a lot of our negativity and toxicity that it hurts any less. I have no one to blame but my own hands, typing into the void without taking into account that I was writing to a real person with real feelings when I would get angry and pop off. Her story to me is that she never sent me anything negative unless it was in response to one of my shitty e-mails, as if she’d never taken anything out of context and therefore, I wasn’t reacting to her shitty e-mails. I was the sole cause, even when I didn’t mean to be. If you’re looking for fighting words, you’re going to find them whether they’re there or not.

I keep the one e-mail where she truly laid herself bare and apologized to me in the pocket of my Kindle, so that I can take it out and read it when I feel the most pain. It’s been in there for over a year now, and I don’t think I’ll ever take it out. Memories are a powerful thing, and just one more step in the right direction as I realize that our relationship is starting to rest in peace. I got the apology I wanted and needed; nothing more needs to be said. The hard part is taking the chord that runs between us and trying to sever it, because it is manhole cover in size. It is in these moments that I remember the words of Ludwig Bemelmans: she turned off the light, and closed the door. That’s all there is. There isn’t any more.

If there’s a sequel, it will be in the news.

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