Archive for musing

COLD STORAGE

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by kimmy

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He probably remembers the details, but many of them are lost to me, buried under heaps of crazy emotions.  Fear, anxiety, mortification, desire.  I was only nineteen, so maybe I can be forgiven the last one. Even so, it was a pivotal moment in time for me.  It spelled the end of something that never quite began.

He was the kind of boy that a girl fantasizes about.  Not the happily-ever-after kind of fantasy, but the sweaty kind usually found in romance novels.  That it was discovered outside of books and imaginings was a pleasant surprise considering the disappointment that most adolescent girls face.  Awkward teenage fumblings were dismal compared to the promises made in literature and the popular 70s sex how-to manuals read in secret.

I wanted nothing more than uninterrupted time to explore these new-found sensations, maybe a lost weekend or two, to hole up with my playmate and plumb the depths and scale the heights, but there were endless obstacles.  He lived far away and visited only rarely, and when he did, there were roommates, housemates, work and school associates, and a maze of personal entanglements that constantly challenged me.  The moments we had became a torture because I wanted more and couldn’t have it.  It seemed the stars were always stacked against us…

… until one bitterly cold night.  We were driving my father’s giant Chrysler back to town when the unthinkable happened.  The car died and left us stranded somewhere on a lonely stretch of Illinois interstate.   And that’s when things really got interesting.

Not in the way one might suppose, but in the unexpected way deeply buried emotion percolates to the surface in time of crisis.  At first, paralysis, like I used to experience as a child when our family car would occasionally break down and my mother would collapse in hysterics and I would face the emergency alone knowing there wasn’t a sane adult to rely upon.

Then anxiety, wondering how on earth I could resolve the problem.  It never occurred to me that mechanical failure occurs on occasion; only that there was a pressing need for me to find some way to immediately resolve it.  Followed by mortification knowing that I was helpless to correct the problem and despite being finally alone with my dreamboat, the circumstances hardly lent themselves to torrid romance.   We spent the night huddled together against the cold until a state trooper came along and called for a tow truck.

Ironically, it was only the heater hose that needed replacement.  Within hours we were on our way, but for me, something had changed.  Maybe I finally recognized the patterns that had sabotaged my plans.  Perhaps I needed the derailment to shake me out of my stupor.  Whatever it was, it worked and as I watched the frozen landscape roll by, I realized that no amount of effort on my part or his would stop that vehicle from delivering us to our individual destinies.

It was my first conscious encounter with the randomness of fate and I mourned it a long time.  Karma felt like a prison and I hadn’t yet learned to pick the lock.

THE HOLE TRUTH

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2011 by kimmy

 

Action is often at odds with words.  The reasons for this may vary, but in general the discrepancy occurs when truth fails to meet expectation.  Excuses are made and the myth perpetuated lest opinion be shifted unfavorably.

Social standing can be more important than truth, and often is, especially when assets are involved.  Better to be considered a model citizen, parent or spouse than to admit to friends or self that more lurks under the surface than appearance.  It’s easier to lie and conduct a parallel life than to freely profess one’s intention.

Why is this?  Usually a social no-no is involved, one that is irresistible yet proscribed.  Temptation invariably wins out because human nature is such that interest always trumps self-denial.

This begs the real question:  Where lay one’s real interests?  We might profess agreement with social constraints knowing they are the glue which binds us into orderliness, but secretly indulge in its prohibitions because they, and not convention, are our true interest.

Yet flagrant disregard of social norm brings more than disapproval (or punishment depending on the severity of transgression).  It defies the authority of human society, or at least the society to which we aspire, and to question this authority is to challenge those precepts to which we voluntarily abide.

No one is forced to be a good husband, mother or soldier, but actions are taken if one is not.  And therein lays the loophole:  If one is not discovered misbehaving, one can pretend to be good and not face consequence. 

Obviously the more solitary the forbidden pursuit, the less likely the discovery.  However, since humans are social creatures, it’s more probable that others will be involved and the risk of discovery grows exponentially.  Participants, therefore, must agree to covert action and trust that their fellow sinners will do the same.

But where is trust among thieves?  If one places their happiness, security or life in the hands of the admittedly deceptive, what chance has the whole truth to be known?  It will be jettisoned, along with everything else one holds dear, to protect the honor of the undeserving.

THREE’S A CROWD

Posted in musings, personal, public confessional, relationships, writing with tags , , on July 7, 2008 by kimmy

Can your inner life become an entity unto itself?  Is it possible that it can manifest into a creature that has to be reckoned with, as real as a living lover and just as cumbersome?  I was soon to find out.

After spending my entire life in a daydream, I woke up the other day to discover an unwelcome party encamped in my bed.  It was lodged firmly between my husband and myself, rooted to the spot like a petulant child.  It was a blob of self-created fantasy so big that it nearly pushed both of us out of bed. 

I immediately recognized my handiwork and that alarmed me.  How did the thing migrate from my head to partycrasher?  Aren’t mental scenarios confined to the brain?  Apparently, this one was not and it seemed in no hurry to leave the comfort of my marital bed, not a terrible prospect if this fantasy had actually involved  my husband.

Of course it did not.  This misshapen intruder was the result of countless hours dreaming about a life which did not include him, a life which bears no resemblance at all to the unremarkable life I live during my waking one.  It’s full of pathos, my blobby offspring; rich with torrid romance and exhilirating emotions, and topped with a gooey thick icing of maudlin sentiment and chocolate sprinkles.   Satin sheets, rose petals, bearskin rugs and red carpet strolls in haute couture, accompanied by a soundtrack of applause and a portfolio of expensive real estate.  It’s glorious, vain and masturbatory, like a secret addiction which is intensely pleasurable but destructive.

I needed an intervention.  So, I convened a group of my closest advisors -reason, judgment and common sense- and threw myself at their mercy.  They showed me none.  Harsh, cold and unmoved by my tears, they threatened to leave me completely if I chose not to take the help they offered. 

What else could I do?  I boarded the plane and flew away to rehab.  I only wonder if I’ll survive ninety days without champange wishes and caviar dreams.