Waiting for Snow

White chocolate is not chocolate, but it had to do. I have to go grocery shopping in the worst way, and I had a ton of Lindor truffles left over from Christmas, so I ate a few………. Now my blood sugar is high enough that I can make it out the door, at the very least…. I’ll be able to shop without buying an entire aisle. I need so many things because I can’t bring myself to leave the house most days, which is good. I’ve managed to use up all the staples I’d bought previously and have avoided my temptation to eat out all at once. I wish I could feel embarrassed at my lack of productivity, but I don’t. My work is all Internet, all the time, so even if I’m still in my pajamas, I’m looking for jobs, writing for this web site, working for the church, etc. I may be wearing flannel pants, but it’s all getting done.

Where I feel ashamed is that I’ve let my personal life go by the wayside in terms of taking care of myself… not that all of the above isn’t helping. However, I just don’t want to talk to anyone, don’t want to engage. I just want to be left alone to my own devices most of the time.

The date that I went on to Kingbird in the Watergate was fun. I took the Metro so I could have a second drink if I wanted (a third and it’s hangover city, which is to be avoided at all costs). The first was some sort of whiskey shaken with something that had spices in it, served up. The second was a Stella Artois IN A GLASS. :P~~~~ (Inside joke, they know who they are). The funniest part is that Google Maps walked me right to Kingbird, but it was the back entrance and I had no idea how to get in. I ended up knocking on the glass until a waiter came to the door. The Watergate complex is immense, and if you don’t know where you’re going, there are just SO many ways to get lost.

But anyway, they had some excellent snacks to serve with the drinks, and I am embarrassed to say that since I hadn’t had dinner yet, I ate them like they were going out of style, especially the Sriracha peas. We didn’t make plans to get together again, but it was ok. I showed up, which is a win in my book regardless. I just need to do more of that stuff, you know, where I actually have to iron a shirt and polish my shoes. DC is such a mishmash in terms of getting dressed. DC is sometimes very formal, and sometimes I can’t tell that I’ve actually left Portland. It’s the same uniform here as it is there- pants, shirt, fleece… especially in hippy neighborhoods like Takoma Park. Takoma Park itself is a mishmash, because part of it is in DC and part of it is in Maryland. I think it can best be summed up in a conversation I had at church a couple of years ago.

Leslie: I feel like such a hipster in these brown pants.
Parishioner: Oh, don’t worry. Brown pants just mean you don’t work on The Hill.

Seriously, DC is so Portland sometimes. “Welcome to DC. Here’s your brown hoodie.”

It’s like living in two different worlds, and you can tell immediately which world you’re in based on clothing and Metro stop, as well as the cars parked in the neighborhoods where you’re walking. For instance, Georgetown is all new Mercedes and BMWs. Capitol Hill is old shared Mercedes and BMWs, with five or six staffers to a house.

I used to inhabit that sort of world, wearing skirt suits and panty hose every day to XOM. There were days I felt like a drag queen, but working there was, for the most part, fun…. as long as I put the fact that I was selling my soul to the devil in the back of my mind. There are all these reports about how Rex Tillerson is in bed with the Russian government, and I have a sneaking suspicion that they are Truth.™ Even in 2002, we were working on a project to extract oil from Sakhalin with the ice-breaker boats and everything. You now know the sum total of what I know about the project, but I think that’s enough to say that Rex Tillerson’s relationship with Russia is not new or exciting.

Now I work for companies who have no problem with the Dockers and t-shirt combo, which I never knew I valued until I had to spend almost an hour getting ready in the morning. Let’s not get stupid- I look amazing with my hair and make-up on point. But I’d much rather break it out when I want to instead of have to every day. Plus, because of my dyskinesia, I am awful at walking in heels. I’ll do it, but it’s not my favorite. I fall a lot more often, and as I get older, the falls are more severe…. which is why I didn’t even bring heels when I moved.

Yes, my clothes have a lot to do with not drawing male attention to myself, but they also keep me on my feet most of the time. Rarely have I ever fallen in my Chucks or Docs, even in the snow. I had a bad fall last winter, one that was narcotics worthy and yet, the narcotics still did nothing to touch it save heightening my “I don’t give a shit-o-meter.” I didn’t feel better until I got some Skelaxin on board and a lot of sleep to repair it with lactic acid refresh. The thing that really made the fall horrible was that I had my backpack on. Had I not, I might’ve had an easier time of making the fall more graceful and less painful. However, my backpack hit the ground a few seconds before I did, which made the muscles in my lower back seize. It hurt, but I went ahead and got on the bus, anyway. Several hours later, I couldn’t move. Luckily, Sam was home and came to get me and take me to the doctor.

I bring all this up because in the next couple of weeks we’re supposed to get several snow days in a row where one to three inches is predicted, without enough warmth to let some of the snow melt before it starts again. I can’t wait. I’m going to get some cream and vanilla extract at the store (I already have Sugar in the Raw™ & Splenda™) so that I can make snow ice cream, my mother’s favorite treat when she was a little girl. If she heard that it was snowing, she’d put one of my grandmother’s bowls on top of my grandmother’s car so that the next morning, there was clean, pure snow with which to work. My other favorite is just to gather enough snow to fill a Big Gulp™ and pour diet soda over it. Snow cokes are the best (which is not a trademark because everything in Texas is a coke….. “What kind of coke do you want?” “Grape.” ooooooh, now I’m thinking about a snow Purple Cow……).

Speaking of snow and cold, I’ve finally learned how to use my puffy jacket correctly. Just a t-shirt under it, because it has to soak up my body heat for maximum efficacy (yes, I really do talk like that). There can be layers over it, but if I wear a sweater or a long-sleeve t-shirt/Oxford under it, body heat is blocked from warming up the liner. I may go to Goodwill™ and see if I can find a London Fog™ so my butt doesn’t get cold when I sit down, but it’s not absolutely necessary. When it’s really, really cold I wear skiing silks under my Dockers.™ I like it because when I’m just wearing my skiing silks and a t-shirt, I look like a male ballerina. 🙂

Speaking of which, yesterday this woman at the pharmacy said, “excuse me, sir?” and when I looked up, said, “excuse me, ma’am?” and looked so embarrassed. I said, “I don’t care. Really.” I think she thought I was going to yell at her or something, but when you dress like I do, stuff like that happens all the time. Besides, I feel like I am just as in touch with my male side as I am with my female side, so neither one is a slam or a compliment. It just is. In fact, I imagine that pronoun mistakes happen a lot more than I think in DC because of the enormous amount of female soldiers in the area (Can I have your phone number? :P)

Lindsay helped me get in touch with my inner girly teenager over Christmas, because she gave me all sorts of Punk’d gifts. I am now the proud owner of a Justin Bieber singing electric toothbrush and red nail polish. The nail polish will come in handy because I need to start doing my own nails until I get a job. Then it’s back to acrylics, cut short so they are smooth and available for……………… typing.

It’s starting to really dawn on me just how long it’s been since I’ve been touched in any kind of romantic way, and it’s not a bummer in the slightest. I needed it. I had a lot of shit to own and figure out before I could be ready for anyone new, but now that it’s been almost two years, it’s not that I’m looking, I just notice these things. I notice how out of touch I am with myself in terms of burying myself in memories, which has come with both good and bad side-effects. The good is that I don’t want to hurt anyone the way I hurt Dana, Argo, L-Train, and Notorious. The bad is that I am wondering whether I am doing damage to myself or whether this much time in the desert is exactly what was needed for me to “heal thyself.” The best thing I can do in this situation is to hold the cognitive dissonance in my mind and realize that those things are both true. I am limiting myself by not putting myself out there, AND time to think has been invaluable. I liken it to when Dana and I became friends and all I needed was someone to talk to for hours at a time, without there being any pressure or need to be romantic. When I first appeared on her radar, I’d just had my heart put through a blender, because I was in an age-gap relationship that I wanted to work and she didn’t. Cut to me moving to Houston and meeting a couple with the exact same age difference as my own relationship where they were happy and so in love they couldn’t see straight and I was so jealous I could’ve spit nails. They were so affectionate that every time they kissed, I had to look away in my own pain.

It was the same way when Meag left me. I waited three years before I dated anyone else, and for ten I carried a small flame for her because that’s what first loves do to everyone (I think). It was not a flame of hope, more like “I wish I could meet someone for whom I had a tenth of the emotion.” I thought that person was Kathleen. As it turned out, not so much. Meag and I were sitting alone in an Ottawa SBUX when she said that she was sorry we’d never gotten to be partners as adults, something she thought we would have been very good at. I was glad that she said it in the way of an apology, but my heart and stomach clenched with pain. First loves are nothing to mess around with, and the pain kept getting worse. She said that because she treated me so badly, she thought she didn’t have the right to come back to me and say she was sorry and could we start over. I RAGED inside that she’d taken away my choice…. but perhaps she said it when the feeling behind it wasn’t that strong for her and gutted me.

It was so long ago that I have forgiven, but not forgotten how I felt in that moment. I didn’t find that relationship again until I was 29, about to turn 30. My 30th birthday party was a coming out of sorts, where all my friends got to find out that the thing they’d been thinking all these years was true…. Dana and I were in love with each other. We were still in the “get a room” phase and everyone at the table knew it. The looks on their faces were priceless. Yes, I was in love with Kathleen, but nowhere in our relationship did we have the depth of emotion that Dana and I did, because we spent so long taking care of each other as friends that there was no way either of us didn’t know what contract we were signing.

I suppose that’s what I’m waiting for now. Someone where it feels from the beginning that I’ve known them my whole life. It’s a tall order, but I am extraordinarily patient.

More patient than waiting for snow.

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