Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 57: Dear November.

Dear November,

You sure tried your bestest to kick my ass in every way possible. But you didn’t win. You weren’t my favourite month of the year, but you sure gave me a lot to reflect upon. I am moving on from you tonight and making swift friends with lively December.

Thanks for showing me I’m stronger than I think. But I will ask you, kindly, to please take all your ‘leftover November flu’ and any lingering ‘bittersweet November heartache’ and be on your way. (Both those gifts are uninvited to Christmas dinner parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations, in case you were wondering).

Maybe next year, we can try to be friends again. Yes?
It’ll be 11/11. I’m usually pretty lucky with that number.


Ready to start over.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 56: Yes, I'm single. And no, it's not contagious.

OK. I’m gonna get something off my chest. In the past two days alone (and I’m not counting all the other incidents in the last few years) I have had the following said to me: “When are you going to find a nice boy and get married?”

Scenario 1 (yesterday) Funeral Home:

Tears still trickling down my face, my father introduces me to some distant family from out of town. They smile, nod and politely say (in Portuguese), “Ahhh what a pretty girl! She’s the unmarried one, right? But why?” (Sigh)
Go say hello to (black sheep) uncle and his wife (who says to me in French, not so politely): “Why are you still unmarried? What are you waiting for? You know Prince Charming doesn’t exist, right?” To which I smile tersely and say, “Being married does not automatically equate happiness. Right?” (She should know that better than anyone, trust me).

Scenario 2 (today) The Office:

I’m smack in the middle of a horrendous coughing fit, clutching my chest in pain and my classless (dumbass) coworker strolls over with a man who is at least 106 years old. He introduces me, puts his arm around me, and announces to the gentleman how I’m single and looking to meet a nice man who could take care of me. (Huh?!!) He proceeds to tell me how I should meet men as charming as this one (all the while I’m still coughing uncontrollably).

First of all, what is wrong with people? There’s a time and there’s a place. I mean, c’mon! At a funeral?! When I’m visibly upset? Or ambush me when I’m physically in pain to parade me in front of your rich clients? Second of all, there’s no mystery to figure out here. Being single is not a death sentence and it's not a a disease. Yes, I know I’m of European descent. I'm well aware of my culture and my age. Yes, I was the girl who had steady boyfriends for 10 years straight. And none worked out. That happens sometimes. But I’m OK. I enjoy my own company. Do you? I have creative passions, I have amazing friends (many of whom are in the same ‘predicament’ as me), I have goals, and I have substance. Maybe that’s incomprehensible to some people. Or threatening? That I am doing it without a husband?

Why do you have to make it a club I don’t belong to with your unanswerable questions? I’m not saying I don’t want to get married. I do. I really do want to spend my life with someone. But I’m just not allowing marriage to define when my life “starts”. I am pushing ahead building a life of my own, and getting to know myself. So when the right man comes along, I don't attach unrealistic expectations that happiness and fulfillment can only come from him.

Please stop saying I am being picky. It’s healthy to know what I want.
Yes, I want love. And no, it’s not easy out there on my own.
But it will happen when it happens.
So please, stop asking why.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 55: Just a dream. Happy Thoughts.


I've just awoken from a really horrifying nightmare and my mind seems incapable of settling down to sleep again. My eyes are heavy but my heart is still pounding much too fast. I actually woke up gasping in the seated position, drenched in sweat. Movie styles. Felt like someone was choking me. Everything was dark and the shadows seemed thick and ominous, the after effects of a very vivid, disturbing nightmare. Where did that come from?

Turn on all the lights.
Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.
Wash my face.
Drink a tall glass of water, leaning against the kitchen counter.
Listen to the creepy creaking of the floors in my apartment (even though it's just me here).
Try not to let my mind flashback to what was just a dream.
Just a dream.
Turn the heat up a notch.
Get back into bed.
Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.
Write it down.
Just a dream.
Just a dream.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 54: Another day.

Another day, another blank page. I’m so lucky to have both. It seems so unreasonably unfair to me the amount of people who do not get that today. There are cancerous monsters roaming all the lands claiming countless victims in a variety of forms, stealing their days.
We each know people who have encountered this ugly, merciless beast and there is not much we can do to stop it from hurting others. With all the chaos and fighting going on in the world today, has the gravity of this war against cancer been underestimated? The casualties are much too high. Every creed, every race, every age has been targeted. Our governments send money and troops to fight wars abroad; but what about the mindless weapons of mass destruction that explode in our hearts and lives when a friend or relative dies from cancer AGAIN.  
It is rampant.
It is everywhere.
Is there nothing more that can be done by our leaders to help advance the necessary science to understand this silent, wicked enemy? So we can fight back with the same vigour we do wars in the Middle East?
Maybe I am too naive. But I have also been to too many funerals.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 53: Five W's (and one H)

What is the matter with me?
What did I expect?
What is it that I wanted, anyway?

Why is it carefully hidden away in the back of my mind some days and then unexpectedly floating in the foreground other days? Why does lingering there still feel nice?  Why do I seem to be the only one struggling with any of it? Why am I so foolish?

How do I get past it?
Who can be the antidote? Who can be good enough to even try?
Where is the place to lay down the heart without any apprehension?
When can it jump without the safety net?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 52: Ex's and...Oh's (a discussion)

You know the feeling. You get some news about the Ex.
You find out they are doing well--no, ridiculously well.
And you need to tell someone.

Because, well, you're not really able to be pleased about it (just sayin').
I'd like to introduce my guest blogger for this post: sideproject.

Discussion: The Ex.

sideproject: Ex’s are never supposed to be OK. They are supposed to wallow in sadness forever, contemplating what they did wrong to sabotage your relationship; usually resulting in them realizing that the whole break up fiasco was entirely their fault. They should feel guilty and never be able to love the same way again, right? Amen. Ex’s are not ever supposed to thrive, be successful, lose weight, look great, or god forbid- get over you. That would just be wrong.

365 Attempts: But why does it never play out that way? Why have most of my exes happily met "the one" soon after I broke up with them?  And why do they now own property when they were consistently broke when we were together? When you run into that particular Ex (you know the one, the one you think maybe was a mistake leaving) accidentally at a bar; you kind of want them to have those "I Miss You" eyes, and not the awkward glance in the direction of the pretty (younger) girl beside them and say, "Hi there, you! Let me introduce you to...”  Why do they get to ‘have it together’?

sideproject: True dat, true dat. It’s all about not being able to stay stuck. Dumpee’s are never allowed to be stuck in a rut after being dumped.  Society propels them to ‘move on’ and ‘get over it’ almost instantaneously. Dumpee’s have too much support around them, that’s why they end up being successful. The whole world feels bad for them and henceforth dedicates itself to boosting their confidence level with compassionate words about how great they are and destructive words about how horrible we are. Our society only supports the broken hearted. We have conditioned Dumpee’s to never look back. There’s no love for those who do the breaking. We- the Dumper’s- are loathed and banished to guilty conscience and second guessing for all of eternity. Murphy’s Law. We were the ones who made the first confident move, and they are the ones that reap the benefits.

365 Attempts: I bet you anything Murphy was a Dumpee.

sideproject: It's the only way it makes sense.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 51: Drama in the daytime.

Soap Operas. What a strange concept of narrative. A ridiculous blend of the mundane mixed with theatrical over-the-top shenanigans.  I have been home a lot of late, and between 1pm and 4pm the TV is hijacked by daytime drama.  Most of these shows have been running for over 50 years with no signs of stopping.  And people watch this stuff religiously (I used to as a teen, mostly because my mom and sister got me hooked) but was it always this bad
Here are some of my observations over twenty years later:
·         All the “big” stars who left the show to pursue a career in film, are all back at their daytime gig. Seriously, identical casts from 1987… Guess that didn’t pan out, huh?
·         How does time stand still for some and accelerate at triple speed for others? Kids who were kids back in my day now have adult children, while Auntie What’s-Her-Face is still dating. Who is doing the life math on the writing team?
·         Someone is still getting buried alive. (?!)
·         Love triangles now include long lost offspring. (Ewww.)
·         Why do they never know who the father is? Like, EVER?
·         People still wake up in their hospital beds with full makeup and coiffed hair. And why is it that most daytime drama scenes are performed in hospitals anyway?
·         Why is it always ridiculously sunny outside, everyday?
·         When is the last time you had an entire conversation with your back to the person you’re conversing with (while making constipated faces to an invisible camera in front of you)?
·         In case you don’t get the gist that someone is in trouble by the words being spoken, there is handy foreboding string music with heavy bass (just in case). And they usually cut to commercial right after (another handy hint).
·         They still do the sappy montage at the end of the show; with clips of each character looking out the window, or kissing their lover happily, or crying alone holding a picture frame, or fiendishly fishing out a gun from a locked office drawer…
Oy vey!
Well, at least I got some makeup and hair ideas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 50: The seedling.

A simple seedling was carelessly planted in plain, flat soil by a stranger's hands. Through unruly climate, and in small spurts, the seed miraculously grew into a small tree. With the light and love of the sun, it blossomed and before long its branches grew vibrantly green leaves.

But as swiftly as the buds came, the sun was hidden away by dark clouds. The tree soon recognized that rain also helped it grow, and that it should be grateful for those few rays of light that so seldom appeared. With persistence, through those dark days, the tree developed at double speed and its branches became heavy with flowers and fruit.

Years passed quickly and the tree flourished to majestic heights. Its deep roots spread through the earth with great resilience and haste, tangling up with other seeds, urging them to life. Soon separate individual trees grew alongside it and the tree was so proud to witness each of them bear their own assortment of fruit.

The sad day came when the tree became too old to support itself. It became sick; its branches were bare, and it began to droop. A stranger came along to cut it down and take it away. The new trees swayed sadly to demonstrate their grief.

The birds chirped in the sky above and the sun smiled. Because it had been proven that even an abandoned, solitary seedling could grow strong; and if its might is determined enough, it could build an entire forest.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 49: You are here. Maybe. Sort of.

I’m under a cheerfully striped beach umbrella.
Lying on a cushioned hammock, swinging back and forth in time to the music of the waves.
My right leg is lazily dangling over side.
And when the tide comes in close, the water tickles my toes.
I love that.
The breeze is balmy and salty, making sprinkles of dry sand dance on my warm skin.
I am blissfully munching on freshly grilled pineapples.
Mmmm….Hot, crispy, sweet, and juicy.

I’m sooo happy that I’m not under a quilt still sick with the flu.
Or lying lethargically on my couch, falling asleep to the sound of the TV.
My right leg dangling helplessly over side.
Because when the coughing starts, it relentlessly tickles the back of my throat.
I hate that.
The air can get so cool and humid, making me cover up every piece of exposed skin.
As I sadly sip tepid bottled water.
Ugh...Burning, painful, bitter, acute pharyngitis.

I'm so thrilled to be at the beach--
What do you mean?
Awwww man! Seriously?!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 48: You can say anything.

My friend's and I are one movie into our 80's movie marathon. (Perfect flu entertainment, I have great friends). The film was Say Anything. I thought it was hilarious how we all had such a strong reaction to Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack's character). We have such different tastes in men, yet we are all smitten by Lloyd Dobler. He is the unanimous common denominator.

Me: Why do we all love Lloyd Dobler so much?
T: Because he is self aware. And you don't have to wonder what he thinks about you. He's forthcoming.
M: Because he's not real.
C: Because he is genuine. And that's sexy.
Me: Yeah, total sex appeal. I love that he just goes for it. 

And then we watch the famous ghetto blaster scene. As T put it, "the scene that ruined everyone's life." We all screamed at Diane Court, "Get out of bed! You stupid, stupid girl! He is holding up a freakin' ghetto blaster. I mean, c'mon! Those are heavy. There are at least 6 double D batteries in there!" We are mad at her because what an awesome thing for him to do. What a way to say, "Look at me, I'm here and I want you." And she doesn't appreciate it. She turns over in bed and leaves him hanging.

If you're a dude, and you have not had a successful relationship, you should probably watch this movie. We know you are men, and can't always articulate everything. But we love a man who can speak his heart and say anything.  
It's very sexy. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 47: On the attempt

As I sit here feeble and flu-ridden, I realize I have been attempting quite a bit today.  I attempted being a good aunt, showing up to take photos (as promised) of my niece’s Princess and Pirate sixth birthday party. I attempted to make myself somewhat presentable and sociable for a few hours (all the while steering clear of any direct contact so as not to attempt the spread of germs).  I attempt not to cry when my niece steals away from all her friends to hug me and say, “Hey Zia, our song is playing!” (The song was A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes…I taught it to her when she was two. Ugh, it made my heart burst with gladness. And yeah, there may have been some watery eyes).

What else? Ummm-- I have attempted to get rid of this god forsaken flu, but I vetoed the idea of waiting hours at a clinic for a throat culture, choosing to surrender to my exhaustion by camping out (yet again) on the couch. I also made the bold attempt, on said couch, to change my thoughts without television or books and put a positive spin on all things that vex me.  But, my friends, when you are alone for too long and feel really sick, it’s easy to be way too hard on yourself about your state of affairs.  I don't recommend you try that.

And finally, I attempt desperately to have something new to share with you here. It's not easy. I appreciate immensely (and with some modest surprise, I’m not going to lie) that you even take the time to read.  I promise to get cheerier with my posts, really.  My spirit is just going through a bit of a rough spot--a growth spurt, if you will. I didn’t realize, when I signed myself up for this 365 day attempt, how transparent I would become.  But I am being genuine about what I am learning. It's not just about battling writer's block...it is one woman’s truthful (say it with me) attempt at communicating all things LIFE.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 46: "When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind."

The nighttime kind.
They can really do a number on your mood the next day, can’t they?
The bad ones pop in and out of your memory like flashbacks.
But the really good ones… well those might be worse to have.
Unlike a nightmare, there is no comfort in knowing it was all just a dream.
Because if given the choice, this one you would stay asleep for.
Everything was just the way you wanted it to be, if not better.
And it felt incredible.
Like your heart was bursting; your mind was on fire.
But now you’re awake.
It wasn’t real.
And you have to come to that realization all over again.
As you glance around your bedroom, hazily.
You close your eyes to try to find it. But it’s gone.
And it stains the day various shades of melancholy.
So you listen to the White Album.
Because it always makes you feel better.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 45: conversations with my cursor (part 2)

Cursor: Blink. Blink.
Me: C’mon. Say something clever.
Cursor: Blink. Blink.
Me: I’m sick. I have no energy to type up something.
      You do it. Pleeeease.
Cursor: Blink. Blink.
Me: You suck.
Cursor: Blink. Blink.
Me: Ahhhhh. Pbbbblllltttttt.
Cursor: Blink. Blink.
Me: You know, I’m OK with being on my own.
      But when I’m sick, I don’t like it so much.
Cursor: Blink. Blink.
Me: It could get a little lonely.
      And, you know, it would be nice to have a little help with
Cursor: Blink. Blink.
Me: Like yesterday, I made myself chicken soup and then
      dropped half of it on the floor. Soup everywhere.
Cursor: Blink. Blink.
Me: It was a sad sight.
Cursor: Blink. Blink.
            Blink. Blink.
Me: Really? No sympathy?
I’m not gonna get you to write something am I?
      Wow. You really suck.
Cursor: What do you want me to say?
Me: Wha? Did I just hallucinate you saying something?
       Did I take one too many flu pills?
Cursor: Blink. Blink.
Me: Oh dear. I’m going to go hide under a quilt and
      watch bad TV, now.
Cursor: Blink. Blink.
Me: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Va Fa Napoli!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 44: Hey you-Flu!

Hey you- Flu. I have a bone to pick with you.
What's your problem? Are you mad at me or something?
First, you arrive uninvited right when I want to get to sleep, and expect me to stay up talking with you about nonsense until my throat is so dry it hurts.
Then you play with the heating switch, making it cold and humid in my bedroom, and just when I get sort of comfortable (with extra blankets and socks) you spike it up and leave me drenched in sweat. 
That’s awfully immature.  
Hey! Come back here, Mister!
Why are you snickering?
You hid the tissue paper, didn’t you? I knew it was you!
I have to use this same gross wet one because I’m too weak to get up from bed to search for another box.
And why do I feel bruised all over?
Did you hit me while I was sleeping?
My god! What’s wrong with you?!
My head is throbbing and my body feels like I wrestled you to the ground. I’m a bit foggy from the drugs I’m taking to sleep (and avoid you) so I can’t exactly recollect the match, but surely I lost.
What the hell did I ever do to you? 
Quit picking on me.
I gotta hide that extra key so you don’t show up here again.
You’re not a very nice house guest, Flu. Just sayin’.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 43: Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Your articles moved me. And after reading them, I’m feeling extraordinarily changed... and very aware. It’s almost as though I were asleep all these years, and now I’m awake. You did that. You helped blossom this awakening. All your well constructed sentences built authentic paragraphs into multifaceted mirrors. You and your words showed me myself. And so now, I don’t have to wonder anymore about who I am. I just know.
I know as though I’ve always known.

This knowledge comes at a price, and not without some sadness. Even the butterfly must grieve the safety and shelter of her cocoon when it’s her turn to fly away. But inspiration was the gift of this transformation you offered me. My wings will not allow me to hide away. And I cherish you for that…human to human.
Butterfly to butterfly.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 42: The nose knows.

When it comes to scent, subtlety is key. Like the slight whiff you get when leaning in closer to say something to someone. Or the balmy aroma that lingers after someone hugs you goodbye. It’s almost like a section of air gets rented out for a few brief seconds. And the essence of that person is floating around you like an invisible dancing bouquet.

Soft. Ethereal. Clean. Spicy…

My preferred scent to wear is a teensy bit of peony oil. Dabbed on my wrists, collar bone, and on the ends of my hair. So if I get caught in a breeze, I can faintly smell the arrival of summer. My favorite scent on a man is, well, simply… a soapy one. I love the musky combination of soap blended with his individually unique set of pheromones.

It's fascinating the persuasive chemistry that can be deciphered through our noses. The nose knows what it likes...and it tells the rest of the body.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 41: "Be convinced that to be happy means to be free..." -Thucydides.

Freedom to say what I need to say.
Freedom to love or marry whom I wish.
Freedom to make my own decisions.
Freedom to make my own mistakes.
Freedom to walk the streets without imminent danger,
or possible bombings.
Freedom to wear whatever I pick.
Freedom to choose an occupation.
Freedom to vote for a leader.
Freedom to stand up for those with weaker voices,
when leaders fail.
Freedom to experience passion, and to live with it.
Freedom to hide behind masks, excuses or circumstances.
Freedom to sulk and feel sorry for myself.
Freedom to brush myself off, and move ahead.
Free to be everything I am and hope to be.
Free to be happy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 40: red

I haven’t worn red lipstick in a long time.
I have kind of just been wearing Chap Stick, and maybe some clear gloss.
Nothing noticeable.
But last night, before I decided what to wear to go out, I put deep red lipstick on my lips.
It’s amazing what that does.
I know the women out there can relate.
It’s not about getting made up, or done up.
It’s about how it makes you feel like… a woman.
Makes you feel sexy.
Like your kisses will leave a mark. If you want them to.
My lips were still stained this morning, when I woke up.
That’s some potent red.
Interesting, isn't it? How it's the color of a stop sign.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 39: Look. At. Me.

People don’t make eye contact anymore. Have you noticed how elusive eye contact has become? When people talk to you, are their eyes wandering about? And when you speak to them, what are you looking at? Seriously, in the next face à face conversation you have (regardless the topic) pay attention to where you are both looking. What is this strange avoidance?

In the checkout line at the supermarket, at the video store…people are speaking to you, handing you things, saying goodbye and not looking at you. If I accidentally bump into someone on the street, or hold the door open for someone behind me, I look at them square in the face and smile. And, I’m not quite sure why, but I think the majority of people get uncomfortable with that. They don’t smile back --or if they do-- they say thank you while looking at the door handle. I know this, because I am looking at them.

In our world, so strung together by technology, have we all become words on a screen? Or voices over a telephone or video chat? Have we lost the beauty and simplicity of personal contact?

Looking someone in the eyes is acknowledgment. I’m not talking creepy-concentrated-bizarro gazing or anything, but you are, in fact, sharing a moment. However routine, beautiful, intense, sad, joyous, frivolous, or unimportant that moment may be…it is just about being present with someone.

So, for the love of all things human, let’s look at eachother next time. OK?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 38: Nostalgia.

You’re dangerous.
You rifle through my memory as though it were an open book.
You’re a song.
A scent.
A moment in time.
A room in a house, a spot on the beach, a path in the woods, and a taste on my tongue.
You’re the hot sun on my skin.
You’re the perfect thunderstorm raining down hard on my rooftop.
You sneak up on me. I love that you do that.
You bring a smile, a tear, and even the fluttering butterflies in the center of my belly.
You bring me back to where I cannot go again by any other means than your haunt.
But it’s reckless; holding onto you, Nostalgia.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 37: your story

We all crave stories.
The short, the epic.
The historical, the Utopian.
The mystery, the adventure.
The sentimental, the erotic.
The fable, the fairy tale.
So what story will you write yourself?
What character will you be?
What character will you have?
Will it all be fictitious?
Will there be truth?
Live out an impressive narrative.
Search for, and surround yourself with, uncommon personalities.
Drive your imagination.
Steer it.
Then lay down your arms to it.
Write yourself a grand tale.
Stop waiting for someone to write it for you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 36: Comforters.

It is hard to get out of bed today.
The bed's warmth is sucking me in.
I'm still slow from sleep, fuzzy from dreams, and heavy with thoughts.
The duvet feels fluffy and comforting, wrapped around me.
Mushy pillows (four of them) tucking me in on both sides.
The sheet is silky on my skin, and the curtains create a soft gold light in the room.
I want to stay here all day.
I don't want to be responsible.
I don't care where I need to be.
Or who I need to be.
I'm tired.
I'm so tired. 
And a bit blue.
I want to hide away.
Then my phone beeps.
I see I have a message from a friend.
The message says they love my writing, that I shouldn't stop because something good is happening.
Then I surf the web a bit and notice a few different people have shared my last post.
I can't tell you how good that feels.
And I needed to feel good.
I'm blessed to have people in my life who support me.
Who love me.
Who are rooting for me.
That is today's emotional duvet, wrapped around me.
And my reason to get out of this bed right now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 35: The Ghost of Frida

The ghost of Frida Kahlo came to visit me in my sleep. She sat on the chair by my bed and painted my portrait in the dark. Her bracelets jangled with every brush stroke, and in the shadows I could see flowers in her hair. Glistening.

I was careful not to move, afraid she would purse those famous eyebrows together, shake her head and leave. I measured my breath, listening carefully as she began to sing a traditional ballad. A song about a sad dove, believed to carry the soul of a broken man, crying at the open window of his lover’s home.

As Frida hummed, invisible guitars accompanied her. The melody left her lips and transformed into a hundred fireflies. Dancing. Louder and louder the music strummed, the room ablaze with colour. I felt delirious, as though I was floating in midair. But I still lay on my bed and Frida still sat on the chair.

She continued to paint, gliding her brush in time with the music. Then she stopped. She glanced furtively, back and forth, from the canvas to me. When she seemed satisfied, she lay down her brush and wiped her hands on her skirt. With a smile and a nod, she rose from her chair. The music faded, the light lowered and she disappeared.

The next morning, I found a canvas by the foot of my bed. On it was a portrait of a girl in a white nightgown laying on a bed of fireflies that spelled out "strength".

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 34: Maybe.

Maybe the wild rose has thorns as a means of protection.
So that it can be left alone, and not be cut from the vine.
So that it can stay alive, and bloom free.
With other wild roses.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 33: pulp

print all these letters and words that we say,
soak them in water for paper-mâché,
mix them together with cinders and clay,
to sculpt me a heart that does not break away.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 32: Nessun Dorma

When I was in Tuscany, I visited a pretty city called Lucca. And right before I had to catch my train out of there, I stumbled upon this tiny shop called Puccini Memories (Lucca was Puccini’s birthplace). It was so charming! Opera was playing on the store speakers, and everywhere you looked there were vintage postcards and posters from Puccini’s many operas, as well as records, cd's and leather-bound volumes of musical arrangements.

The clerk tried to sell me the poster of La Bohème that I had been staring at for five minutes, when I suddenly noticed him holding an 8x10 painting of Puccini himself. I asked him to look at it, which he obliged, but muttered how much more attractive the poster would be in my home. I shook my head and told him, “No. I want Puccini.” He wound up selling it to me for half price because he said the print had been sitting in the shop window and was faded from the sun. I liked it better that way.

Now why, you ask, would I want a discolored print of a pompous looking man wearing a top hat and overcoat with a cigarette dangling from his mustached lips? Good question. I’m not quite sure either. Maybe it was the drama of Nessun Dorma playing at that exact moment, but there was something in the way he seemed to be looking at me. Something secretive and affirmatively reassuring.

When I returned back home to Canada, I placed the painting on the bookshelf in my living room so that I can see it from the sofa. My friends and family have all commented on how he’s kind of creepy looking and have told me to get rid of it. But I must say, whenever my mind is worrying or upset, I look up from the sofa, catch his eye and it’s almost as if he says:“Basta! Enough, now.” And I do stop. It’s so silly, I know, but completely effective.

Who knew Puccini could calm me down without a single note of his lovely, lovely music?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 31: on being rich

It’s funny.
Every job I’ve ever worked has had me amongst the very wealthy.
The very, very wealthy.
I get an intimate glimpse into a world where money is never a worry.
Never something to stress over. Can you imagine?
I learn their tastes.
And sometimes (because they’ve all been remarkably generous) I taste their tastes.
Caviar, champagne, vintage wines, gourmet meals, rare cigars…
Then after all of that, I drive home from work (usually late) to my humble 3 ½ flat.
That I love, actually.
I curl up on the couch in comfy clothes, get under my handmade quilt, and pay my (many) bills online.
My favourite thing to eat is a peanut butter and banana bagel.
My vintage drink of choice is a hot cup of jasmine tea.
That makes me happy.
And is rich in its own way.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 30: One, two. One, too.

I am a victim of my own dualities.
I am two things at once.
I am a perfectionist. Meticulous to a fault.
Like a detective, no detail escapes me.
But I can be careless and ignorant, too.
Closing my eyes to what I choose not to see.
Oh yes, in matters of the heart, I could not be more dualistic.
The Cynic duels The Romantic on a daily basis, for as long as I can remember.
I have hurt good people and left them, because I could predict every failure.
And I have let people fail me and hurt me quite ‘good’, because they were unpredictable.
I am warm and affectionate. I am frosty, with biting words.
I will laugh louder than anyone in the room. I will cry harder, too.
I will jump right in with a big splash.
Or I will stay 2 feet away from the water, careful enough to not get wet.
I will look upon marriage, as I do, with bewilderment and little faith.
But I will crave companionship with that ‘one’ special person. Every day.
I desire wholeheartedly. I scorn myself for my desire.
I will teach something by being honest.
I will learn something by telling lies.
Oh, dear me.
I will learn the hard way. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 29: input and output

Tonight I am with my best friends.
My best friends and limoncello.
What I have figured out tonight is that sometimes the output wire will only show black and white (with no sound).
And sometimes, a little bit of input can bring you Technicolor.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 28: hold my breath

I can feel you.
You're on the other side of the room, leaning up against the wall.
Looking at me.
And you paint my skin red with your eyes.