Wednesday, October 26, 2005
we are all lovers and takers
breaking hearts to make the papers
she wants love, I told her to stop trying
cause the reasons for her tears
aren't worth crying
this life is a beautiful one
and though I've seen it coming undone
well I know most definitely
tthat it all works out the way its meant to be
I'm laughing now
love love love....
-Tristan Prettyman - Love Love Love
Alright, so I've been refraining from writing lately, and not so much because I've been feeling dark blues (as my brother would say), but because I've been feeling strangely better, and at the same time just a little nervous that saying something might burst this unexpected happy bubble.
What's different, you ask? Well....a few things.
The first thing is just that I've been trying to be more SMRT and take the advice of my elders, and the advice of those with a bit of experience in clinical psychiatry. Thea said try listening to people, and so I did. Thea said don't stop meeting new people, and so I didn't. Thea said work hard at the store, and be nice, and smile, and so I did. Thea said cut down on sugar, and so I did. I'm making myself sound like an obedient little robot, but really I was in such a dark and depressing place that I figured that taking a little advice probably wouldn't make things worse. And it didn't.
I've started getting out a bit more. I started going to this choir that meets out in deep suburbia every week. I braved mega-mall hell and rapid light rail transit to get there, and I'm glad I did. The girl who told me about it, Jana, is funny and clever and more than a little neurotic, and I like her a lot. The choir is a gay/straight activist group, and the other people in it are really nice and refreshingly like me in some ways. Last week I took the skytrain home with Ty, who has been in the choir for five years and is a hairdresser who loves music and is dating a really beautiful guy who works at an upscale cosmetics store in the mall. Gay guys are the new black. Okay, so I've always loved them, but now they seem like a really amazing breath of fresh air. Ty is the kind of man who will spend fifteen minutes talking about how much he likes my hair and how much he would like to cut it and dye it all kinds of colours. He wears nice shoes and his blue-black hair hangs artfully over his forehead. He calls me 'Muffin,' and I don't mind. We listen to much of the same music, and he is equal parts funny and serious and creative. He may just be one of my new favourite people.
Do I have the mad music skills to succeed in a choir? Not a clue. Do I care? Not really. Will I work hard to not be crap at it if I have to? Yep. Will I keep going back every week? Definitely.
The second neat thing that has happened is that I met a girl I like. She's not like Kylie, in that she's delightfully uncomplicated, and definitely more relaxed. She's sweet and funny and clever, and willing to go on random trips to the field outside the airport to watch the planes land. Let's call her Rosie. We've gone out for Dutch pancakes, and she bought me lunch on my break at work on Monday. She has a tendency to pay for things, she has a blue car with pink fuzzy dice, and she's the same age as my brother, which I'll tolerate since she's a girl and I maintain that they mature faster. She has a rainbow stud in her tongue, and she works in a movie theatre. She's a cutie. With zero expectations, I will say that I like her. I am taking things with almost exaggerated slowness, and after three dates I still haven't kissed her. For what it's worth, I've noticed that she makes me happy.
Work days are not as painful as they were a few weeks ago. I've started smiling at people again, and talking to them about books, and patting kids and puppies on the head. For some reason I seem to have more stamina, and less despair. Even a scarily busy Sunday full of impatient people this week didn't break my mood too much. Yesterday Boss #1 made me sweep the leaves outside the store, in anticipation of the soggy mush that would result from the afternoon's forecasted heavy rain. It took me three hours, six full-to-bursting garbage bags, and more than a few passing strangers offering encouragement and unsolicited advice to finish the job. Still, I didn't sink into hopelessness; I just worked, and worked and worked. Eventually, the Boss took pity on me and bought me a large hot chocolate with whipped cream, which after the October damp and three hours of breathing in leaf dust was really warming and nice. She actually has a heart of gold, my boss.
The other thing is that perhaps, just perhaps, I have moved on from Kylie. We had a marathon phone conversation the other night in which she confessed a few of the other unswept horrors in her past, and once again I felt equally compelled to help her and frustrated that she will probably never be with me, even when she has things worked out and feels better about her life and herself. But when I hung up the phone, I thought with a lot of gratitude that I could call Rosie, and laugh, and not worry so much.
There are people to take the hurt out of life, and inject a little vitality into it. There will always be picture books, and friends, and family, and hot chocolate on cold days. There will always be people who are capable of give and take, of being needed rather than just needing. There will be music, and warm beds, and forgiveness.
I feel that for the moment, I can be okay with that.
The stars are pretty things when you stop to look at them, even when it's cold out.