Life as an Extreme Sport

Unexpected Surprises

Running into you was unexpected, to say the least. At least you looked as surprised – dare I say, horrified? as I felt. The woman seemed surprised, too – the look on my face must have given everything away. It certainly did to Thane, one of the guys I was with. He was sweet – did you notice? Leaned against me, to shield you from me, and me from you. (He’s more than tall and broad enough!) He wanted to see who you were, to have you pointed out – he offered to take you out for me, as well. Guys can be so sweetly overprotective.

He made it back into the theatre before I did – I’m sure it was obvious that our group was sitting in two spots, one on the balcony and the other, well, right behind you. I was in that latter group; I know you know this, I saw your reaction as you heard me laughing.

Thane told the people upstairs you were here; Kyle, the guy I was leaning against and talking to throughout the movie actually recognized you. He was quite concerned, and I knew he had seen you. I told him, before could tell me. “The scarf?” was all he asked. I nodded, and he pointed you out to everyone else on the lower level, before I went upstairs.

Like I said, Thane told the upstairs people. He and Charles kept offering to take you out; I needed the night out more than you did, they said. Kirsten went into empathy mode, trying to figure out how shaken I was. All the other guys – Erol, Byron, otherKyle, Shane, Darren, all kicked into overprotective mode, too. Kirsten tried to convince me to sit upstairs with them; I wasn’t going to let you chase me from my chosen seat.

I realized, after I sat down, and thought for a moment, that it wasn’t seeing you that was such a shock – it was bound to happen, we have the same tastes. (Another reason I avoided buying those U2 tickets.) It was the woman you were with, and the entire crowd. There must have been at least 30 people with you. There is no way you met and made friends with these people in the short ammount of time that we’ve not been speaking. Their existance underscores the fact that there was a huge segment of your life I knew nothing about. There are probably many.

Still, I’m grateful it happened the way it did. It drove home something I’ve been shakey about; I have friends, and they care about me.

I hope you enjoyed the movie. I did.

Blue Skies

This has been on my mind for a few days, but a close friend really drove the point home this morning. She wondered what point there is to ‘good’ when everything seems so damned negative… For the last few days, I’ve been reflecting on how much I can focus on the negative, and what I don’t like or am unhappy about; I so often forget to share the positive. (It’s kind of like the evening news; who cares if it’s a good story, show us the blood and gore!)

Maybe if we all spent even just a few minutes out of every day reflecting on the positive in our lives, the negatives would seem less negative – it’s certainly a nice idea. Better yet, we should spend that time vocalizing it to the people we are about. And, at the moment, it’s an idea I’d like to try. After all, I have a few years to catch up on…

Friday was a beautiful morning. I woke on my own, without an alarm clock. It was a rather luxurious 11am when I woke up, and I took my time showering. The day was beautiful; clear, crisp weather. Blue skies, no clouds, birds chirping, and squirrels chattering. The air had a fresh snap to it, full of promise. I wandered in to work at 12:30 in the afternoon, had a good lunch, and my afternoon meeting went well. I had absolutely no need to self medicate with free alcohol after the meeting; I drank just to have a few beers with friends. Later in the afternoon, Karen – a charming girl I work with – was offered a full time position at Microsoft. And in the evening I went out with Jen and Diana; drinking, dinner, and girl talk.

How more perfect a day could you ask?

Saturday dawned with the same beauty and promise, and the day was all I could have hoped for. I spent it in the company of six people who are intelligent, funny, scatterbrained; who have gone out of their way to make me feel included in their social group.

But really, my positives, my blessings, extend so much further than waking up to a warm day. I have wonderful friends…

Russell, who can follow the most esoteric conversations, who I can talk to about anything, who always had a wise word or comfortable shoulder to lean against. Deb, who keeps me grounded, and is my window, my connection to being a woman. Willie, who touches my soul with his smiles, who never lets me take myself too seriously. Fredrik and Adam, who are constantly showing up my expectations, and who are teaching me how to make friends again. Diana, Dave, Karen, Jen, Ryan, Athena, Jeff… all taking the time from their busy lives to include me in their social lives and friendships, all teaching me that new people see me as interesting and compelling.

Most mornings I wake with a smile, most evenings one of my friends is the last thought across my mind before I sleep. I don’t take as much time as I should to thank these people, to tell them what an impact they have on me, how wonderful I think they are. I imagine we’re all like that – we forget to share our positive impressions, but we never drop the negative ones. Perhaps it’s something we could all try, just a little, to change. Perhaps we can always wake to blue skies.

Sheets

It’s been strange. I really didn’t think of you at all last week; in fact, the only time you came to mind was when I realized that I hadn’t been thinking of you. I guess that’s the blessing of staying busy – and have I ever. Work takes the usual ton of my time, and I’m working on improving my social life. Not in great leaps and bounds, but I went to the movies with David and Diana (gaming buddies) Friday evening, and that was fun. Add dinner with the NetCfg folks a few nights last week, and gaming on Saturday, and it was a busy week. Unfortunately, stressful as well.

Friday was particularily bad; I actually went and got a bit drunk to take the edge off of dealing with Krishna – as William said today, there is a problem if I have to medicate myself to deal with the dev manager. Heh. Still, with dinner and movie with friends, (and alcohol beforehand) I was fine… today, tho. Today was another story. It wasn’t anything truly work related…

The general manager is holding a party tomorrow; salsa dancing, food, beer, etc. They sent out the invite last week, and we were all thrilled. And then today, four of us receive an eMail saying “we’re very sorry that your names were accidentally added to this mailing, which was only for full time employees…” For some reason, that just shattered my resolve, my strength. Then I missed you. Then I felt all the pain and loneliness, saw some of my behaviour for what it truly has been.

Did you know – no, of course you wouldn’t know – I haven’t changed my sheets yet? I bought myself new cotton sheets to replace the flannels with (so I can finally wash the flannels), yet hadn’t found the time to swap everything out. Last night I began to wonder – have I not changed them out because I don’t have the time, or because they smell like you? Can you believe I actually smelled my sheets? Ha!

After reflecting on it this afternoon, I realized that it’s not so much the scent of you that has me unwilling to change these sheets. It’s the fact that they are warm, they cuddle around me and provide a safe nest. Much like what you used to do for me, and what you did for me in that bed, with those sheets.

New sheets will be cool, cold, crisp. Impersonal. A lot like my life at the moment.

Kicked While I’m Down

I can’t help gasping for air, I feel like I’ve been kicked in the chest. Every time I close my eyes vivid memories stream like movie reels, reminding me of you. Scrolling back to the first time we met, the first time we touched, we kissed, we made love. Standing in the doorway of Allisons guest room, sky and room lit by a full silver moon, turning your pale skin to alabaster. Graceful as a cat you removed your clothes, and I fell out of mine and into you.

Memories from so long ago, so vivid. It could have been yesterday. I can still taste your lips – you always tasted like fresh fruit to me. I can feel your skin under my hands. I can feel your body against mine, breathing in tandem.

It hurts. Why did you throw this all away?

Day One

Dear Mars,
Yesterday was interesting. Day one, I suppose you could call it, of my ‘getting over’ you. For the first time in my life, I have been able to identify with what an addict must go thru during withdrawal. The day was not a matter of just working, it was a conscious effort to get through every minute, every hour, without calling or writing you. There is peace, however. Something I’ve not felt in a while – life has settled a bit, I suppose. I’m no longer wondering what will happen, and when. It’s a bit like having had your wisdom teeth out – something that was such an intimate part of your every day life is gone, and there is a gaping hole, yet at the same time there is a huge relief of pressure. (Perhaps a bad analogy.)

I don’t want to mislead you into thinking my day was miserable – it wasn’t. In fact, a lot of it was awfully fun. There were some interesting exchanges with several guys; the noteworthy was of course with Sachin. He did the cutest little “wave hello without letting his friends see he was waving hello” thing in the cafeteria. Jim (one of my coworkers) and I also had a blast teasing him about looking to see if people were married. Poor guy couldn’t get himself out of the hole he had dug there – first claimed that it was hard not to notice, then tried to pass it off on the lights being bright, reflecting off of shiney objects, and finally fell back to saying he was just observant, because the jewelry a person wears tells a lot about them. “Some guy with a plain ring is likely to be boring” – I thought you would agree with that. (Jim, of course, has a plain gold wedding ring.)

I had some good conversations with some other people, too. Getting back on track with Karen, and spent a good hour talking to Matt, one of the server guys, too. In the evening, I hung out in Shiloh and TeamCT – Willie went out of his way to keep me entertained last night, which was sweet. For some reason, the nights are a lot harder right now. The emptiness of the hallways here reflects the emptiness inside of me. I compensate by turning the music up loudly and trying to focus on other tasks … but it’s just a minor distraction.

I also just found out that my gaming session has been cancelled for this weekend, which leaves me wondering what to do with tomorrow. The practical part of me says I should come in to work – I’ve got quite an impressive backlog of ‘important things’ at the moment, and working over the weekend could really help me get caught up. Deb is also going back to Vermont tomorrow, and I’m sure Russ could use the company. Who knows – I’ll decide in the morning.

Speaking of work, I should be…
-Kelly