September 21, 2007
help, from an old ally

"Why can't we look the other way?" – interpol

The rest of last night was a mixed blessing. As soon as I'd had a chance to calm down, I put on some laundry and made my personal bachelor's special: scrambled eggs & toast. Then I settled down with my flamboyantly pink knitting, put on a Sloan album, and started to unkink. A few hours later, my dad pulled up with Blake in tow. They said they'd just come for a quick visit, but I knew my dad wanted to smooth things over. (While I was writing the last entry he called twice, trying to get me over for dinner.) Blake, once reminded of the comforts of home, decided to stay with me. Bliss. As quickly as my heart was broken, he fixed it.

The two of us spent the rest of the night in perfect counterpoint, talking and cuddling while I finished chores. (We also had an impromptu dance party to my two new obsessions: "Evil" by Interpol and "Dance this Mess Around" by the B-52's.) By the time the Boy came home, we were almost ready for bed.

The Boy took up the mantle of housework to let us rest, but he managed to break a few dishes (ouch.) My part was to keep Blake out of the way during clean-up, so we went to the basement to watch the front-loading washer go into the final spin cycle. (Have I mentioned lately that we don't get t.v. stations here?) The phone rang, tho' I was in a cone of white noise and missed it. It was Preacher.

"Poet is coming to visit tomorrow," he said, "and his last message said, 'if the situation in Brampton goes south, I will cancel my plans in deference.' So I went to your website. My God, Aleta."

I started crying. Again. Because in all of this, although I have poured out selected portions online, I've very seldom broached the subject in "real life." Palaver, whom I called when the Boy was looking at apartment ads and the wave was at its crest. Amy, to explain why the divine Rachel H. was holding me so tightly with no spoken preamble. Maeve, at the lunch table, in passing.

Looking at it again, there was no reason why I couldn't call one of my oldest friends. The one I always planned to run to if this mothering thing didn't work out. The one who has actual training to deal with this, the one who's best equipped to help us through.

I think I was embarrassed. I think I feel like it's too messy & scorching to get into, so I just bottle it up. I was even more ashamed that I had never thought to trust him with such an ugly truth. Maybe I wanted to protect the Boy. Maybe I wanted to protect the illusion of a happy marriage.

It hurts, too, that Poet would watch me on my blog, and at the same time offer no word of comfort or sympathy, and instead continually express the desire to cut the old days entirely out of his new life. (Of course, my reaction to this was to imply, ON MY BLOG, that he was dead to me. So it's not like my efforts at reconciliation have been deathless and utterly patient.)

Lately I've been taken by surprise by how close the old days feel to me. Part of it is the timeless quality of the emotions – I am 20 and in the heady mix of esoteric thought and liquor, and every day I wake up 31 with the responsibilities of an adult feels like a mistake. Another part of it is Mason, who is the first friend I've made since university who is the same combination of big ideas and damn good times. I tell him stories about the old days all the time, because I have this entirely irrational conviction that he should have been there for it all and a series of trivial coincidences kept all of us apart. Reliving res days means that they – my Angels – loom large in my head. I'm like the lead in Truly Madly Deeply, but instead of carrying my lover around in my pocket, I carry a whole cast & crew of loved ones.

Maybe my tears were simply the relief of knowing that I wasn't as alone as I'd thought, that the people in my pockets carry me around, too.


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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*