Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Much is Said of the First Kiss. What About the Last Kiss?

It was early. Too early. The orange glow of the street light backlit the windows and Greg's eyes squinted as they adjusted to the bright overhead light within the bedroom.

"Time to go," whispered Andrew as sped into the bathroom to make a last minute change to his cologne selection. He carefully placed the glass bottle into his Dopp kit and zipped it closed.

"I'm up!" Greg replied as he slid on a pair of jeans that had been crumpled in a pile beside the bed. Just where he had stepped out of them the night before. As he buttoned them, he walked into the other room to find socks and a sweatshirt. He trudged down the stairs, still blinking sleep from his eyes, yawning. Rounding the corner into the kitchen, he observed Andrew zipping up his large rectangular rolling luggage, jacket and boots already on.

The boots were a surprise and focused Greg's mind on the purpose of his early arousal. Normally Andrew wore sandals at all times when leaving the house. Not even the cold of winter could change his footwear. Only severe weather like cold rain or snow would necessitate closed shoes. Although the ground was clear outside, Andrew was going to visit family back in the Northeast who warned him that there were already inches of snow coating the ground. More was to be expected during his visit.

Greg had grabbed his jacket from the den and was working on lacing up his sneakers as Andrew packed a few prescription and vitamin bottles into the outer pocket of his carry-on bag. The pair prepared in a comfortable silence. Neither were very good at goodbyes, even for short separations such as this. Greg found his keys next to the plant pot on the dining room table and opened the front door allowing a luggage laden Andrew to stumble through.

Six short days and Andrew would be back home. Greg would be working two of those days and his head was full of errands to keep the other few days busy. He needed to go to the bank to deposit those checks, visit his little brother, go to the post office to mail presents back east to his own family, and there was always cleaning to be down around the house. He wanted to have everything in order so he could sneak extra time with Andrew in the days leading up to Christmas. He had taken some vacation time and wanted to spend as much of it as he could with his boyfriend without two work schedules conspiring to keep them apart.

Greg locked the front door and Andrew waited patiently at the passenger side of the silver Subaru. Running down the footpath and around the front of the car, Greg unlocked the car doors and climbed in to warm it up. Andrew piled his luggage into the back seat, shut the door, and descended into the passenger seat.

"You have everything?" Greg cautioned.

"Umm...yes!" smiled Andrew confidently.

"Ok," and the car pulled away from the curb and drove down to the end of their quiet street.

Another quiet street brought them to the main road. Two lights later and they were turning onto the highway. The airport was only ten minutes away from that point. Only a few cars dotted the six lanes. Still early.

"How am I going to survive six days alone with me family? How?"

"You will be fine! You will be busy enough trying to visit friends as well. It will fly by before you know it."

"Why can't you come with me? Please?! I need a mom buffer!"

"It's a little late for that, kiddo." laughed Greg. "But I really do wish I was coming with you if only to save myself from being alone for the next week."

Andrew sighed as his mind settled into the commitment of traveling to see his family, alone.

"You're flying Southwest, right?"

The car pulled off the exit which led to the departure curb. Andrew confirmed the airline and they slowed as other travelers jockeyed their cars into prime unloading position in front of them. They stopped at the first crosswalk to allow people walking from the parking garage and buses to wheel their luggage past on their way to the ticket desks. A brief break in the passenger parade allowed Greg to ease over the speed bump. Andrew pointed to an open space along the curb.

"Right here is fine, don't worry about pulling right up to the sign," travel tension apparent in his voice.

Greg signaled and pulled up to the curb. He parked the car and looked over at Andrew. The large revolving door spun behind his head and passengers and airport staff walked briskly past in both directions. Bags were being unloaded from the black SUV behind their Subaru and hazard lights flashed golden from the red compact in front. The world around them buzzed as their eyes locked, both smiling weakly.

"Bye," whispered Andrew.

"Remember, you can do it. It's only six days. Bye," Greg said as he leaned across the car, pulling Andrew's head to him with his right hand.

Noses grazed and lips met, lingered, parted.

Andrew's hand immediately flung open the door and he leaped out in one fluid motion. The front door closed as the rear opened and out slid one bag, another, from the back seat. Slam. Tiny waves of hands exchanged through the glass. As Andrew turned to leave, Greg signaled and watched for his chance to reenter the traffic flow. A white sedan let him pull away from the curb. He paused almost immediately to let an elderly couple cross the road to the revolving doors, then eased onto the road that took him away from the airport and back to the dark highway home.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cabin Fever

I have officially been stuck in my house for 30 hours. It is snowing outside and has been for the last two to three days. Because Portland never sees this much snow, they are not equipped to deal with it, leaving me stranded.

My boyfriend is stuck in Chicago because of the bad weather and will be there, possibly through Christmas. Without friends who are within walking distance, I am left to my own devices. Usually this isn't a bad thing. Actually, I have done a lot of cleaning and paperwork over the last couple days that I haven't done in MONTHS. Now that the cleaning and paperwork chores are winding down, I am left with NOTHING to do. I have watched so many movies my ass hurts from sitting on the couch. I have shoveled out the driveway, but with the roads being so bad, it was barely worth the effort.

Some ideas are starting to brew for a new knitting project, which is a good thing. In my paperwork, I found the Willamette Weekly's Give Guide 2008 that gives a list of non-profits that are in need of donations. This gives the readership a chance for a tax deduction, some exposure to the local non-profits, and other incentives. It's a win-win all around! Anyway, I picked three organizations to donate money to and a forth to donate a knitted item to. The Northwest Academy is looking for donations of goods or services for their Club Cabaret auction that is held February 28, 2009. I thought I could donate a shawl or blanket or something that they could auction alone or put with other items to create a package. Maybe I will just offer my knitting services and someone can commission me to make something of their choosing.

Gosh, I hope tomorrow is more interesting than today.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Who Knew Pharmacy Was So Funny?!

Sometimes I can't believe the conversations I have in a day with customers at the pharmacy. The following are not exaggerations

"My friend gave me three Percocets because I have been in a lot of pain. And now the company I am interviewing with wants to give me a drug test. How long will it take for them to leave my system?"

Patient: "Did you get my Vicodin and Ativan faxed from my doctor? They said they faxed it an hour ago."
Pharmacist: "I'll call and ask." To the doctor's office: "Hi, did you fax these prescriptions to us?"
Doctor's Office: "No, the doctor denied the refills."
Pharmacist to Patient: "Hi, so, the doctor denied both of those - that's why we didn't get a fax."
Patient: "I know. Can you call them again tomorrow?"

"Do you carry those Vick's vapor things? They are about this big [holds forefinger and thumb to indicate a length of three inches] and they look like a tampon!!"

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Feel Like Diane Lane

Well, not like Diane Lane, per se, but like her character in the movie Under The Tuscan Sun. I bought a house, moved into it a week and a half ago and I am constantly thinking of Diane's character after she first bought her house. Mine is in an American city where Diane's was in the Italian country and mine was built in 1926 rather than 1726, but the parallels of homeownership are apparent.

Let us take a look at some of the similarities. We both have toilet issues. Mine do not give me "asscials", but they do require some jiggling of handles to stop them from running. Diane had a faucet she could not turn on, I have one that I could not turn off this morning. [After deciding to fill my mop bucket in the soaking tub in the basement, I turned on the COLD water and out came steaming HOT rusty water. Unfortunately, turning the handle off did not make the water stop. I'm not a plumber, how in the world to I make this stop, my mind shouted. Luckily I have some hidden abilities and I was able to summon my inner plumber to save the day, but it was scary for a few minutes!] We both have critters to deal with: Diane has her snake and owl, I have my spiders and blue jays. And as Diane learned to harvest olives from her trees, I am learning to harvest Italian plums, Kelsey plums, cherries, blackberries, rhubarb, and grapes from my small plot of land.

Though the connections made above are sometimes frustrating, they are by no means unique to the stories of myself of Diane's character. Having these similarities with a movie reminds me of all of the other homeowners out there going through exactly the same thing which makes me feel a little more settled and normal. I also take away from the movie a sense that everything will work out and that the process of making a house your own is the fun part. That every little bit of love an attention that I put into my house will be paid back to me and more. Even after this short week and a half, I already feel bonded with the house in a way that seemed so distant on the first day I moved in. It is obvious when one walks into this space that it is freshly occupied, but it is also obvious that a symbiotic relationship is in the works and both I and the house are nourished and enlivened by each other. As comfortable as I was living in my apartment for the last two years, it surprised me to find that when I walk through the door of the new house after work I truly feel HOME! The apartment never did that for me. Sure, I was away from work, I was where I could sleep safely and eat and entertain myself when in the apartment, but it is so nice to now know I actually have a home!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Anyone a Dream Interpreter?

I rarely remember my dreams. The ones I do remember are usually tied to feelings of anxiety upon waking. The following dream is not an exception.

I hear the sound of breaking glass, and again. It is the middle of the night and the glass wakes me, I am not sleeping in my bedroom, but go into my bedroom because that's where the sound is coming from. Out of the corner of my eye I see my mother waking from her sleep and she is in my bed - she doesn't say anything, but is looking at the window in the corner. This is where my attention is directed because I can see bullet holes in the glass. As I take a step closer to them to get a better look, another one is made, but I hear no gunshot (a silencer, I think to myself). I turn to run, telling my mother to hide as I do, and I get shot in the ass/leg. The dream starts to deconstruct itself here as my mind replays the action and takes me into different hiding spots: my closet; the master bathroom; the office directly out the door of the bedroom; in different positions, standing, balled up, laying flat on my stomach, crouched to run again. My mother does little to hide, but seems safe and I forget about her. I also get the sense in my dream that the shooter is not someone we know, but he is taking enjoyment in the hunt - it is a random event.

This is the second dream I have had within the last 5-10 years in which many of the details (#) are paralleled. In the original, I was shopping with (1)my mother in a mall and she (2)got shot. I took her home to this secret room in our house(which doesn't exist in real life) and hid (3)her on a bed. I felt responsible somehow and didn't want my father and sister to know that mom was dying. I also happened to be the shooter - which I don't understand because I was walking with my mom and also her shooter from afar. The fourth detail parallel would be the (4)anxiety I felt upon waking - a helplessness. Oh, and probably another detail would be that my (5)mother doesn't talk in either dream.

Have any ideas? I would love to hear them.

Christmas Present!

I realized that I had totally forgotten to take a photo of the Brooklyn Tweed hats that I had made as gifts this Christmas for my sister and Matt's sister. Luckily, I have a photogenic and somewhat vain sister (sorry - Hi Mal!) who took a picture of herself wearing her gift. Matt's sister's hat looks exactly the same.

Both were knit from the same skein of yarn!! It was a squeaker, but it worked!
Technical details: Lorna's Lace Shepards Worsted Blackberry 100% Superwash wool 225yrds. Needles: aluminum 16" circulars - US size 6 for the ribbing, US size 8 for the pattern; bamboo dpns US size 8 for the top of the hat. **Special Note** I forgot to change from the 6 to the 8 until I had completed the first repeat of the pattern on the second hat I made - and I seemed to like it better. It may have been a little more snug, but the recipient has yet to complain.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I Love Packages On My Doorstep!

Saturday night, when I got home from work, I was surprised to see a package laying against my door. I LOVE packages on my doorstep, but I was not expecting anything from anyone at this time. Matt, my boyfriend, had told me he had sent one out, but I assumed it was still a week away at least. Then, I looked at the return address. There was no name, but it was from a familiar town in Rhode Island and I knew it had to be one of three people.

I initially assumed Aisha, a really good friend from college, had mailed the package. And I hoped with all hope that it was not a Christmas present from her because I TOTALLY didn't even think about getting her a present...like a dope! Next, I thought it was from my friend, Rand, who I do not know very well but talk to every now and again through the Interweb! He said he wanted to make me a couple of mixed CDs, but this box was far too big for CDs even though whatever was inside obviously did not take up the whole thing.

The package ended up being from the last source from Rhode Island, Aisha's little brother, Naseer! I found out after I opened the present, took out a large foil bundle of cookies, and pulled out a small note that read:

I'm sad to report that my hot cookies
of seduction were not successful. They were
indeed hot and seductive, however their target
wanted nothing of them. How sad. But I thought
of you - the person who always appreciates my
efforts. These cookies are for you. Of course this is
a fresh batch, free of the bitter taste of unrequited love.
I hope you enjoy them. I also hope to see you soon.
All the best.

Hot Cookies of Seduction! :oD I remembered seeing these words written on Naseer's away message one day and I wrote some smartass thing in response to that message. However, I never thought I would get a batch in the mail!! They were delicious! And, if I can ever get the recipe from Naseer (you know, if it is not a secret or anything) I will post it here for you to try at home! To behonest, I gave almost all of them away. It is true, they were delicious - and I would have eaten them all myself - but it was a BATCH of cookies and I am trying to train my way into San Diego through my crew team!! So, I did what I had to do...and regifted them. I was on my way to my friend's birthday party, so I threw those suckers on a plate, covered them in aluminum foil, and out the door I went.

Now, I know this is not from my mom (although in a subconscious way maybe), so it is either from Martha or from my gay DNA - but when you go to someone's house for a party, it is polite to bring the host something and have something interesting to talk about. (Ooh...maybe it's from Bridget Jones' Diary) Boy, were these cookies IT! Because when you bring something called Hot Cookies of Seduction, nobody's talking about anything else for a while! Thank you, Naseer, I was a HIT!