Saturday, November 15, 2003

Where to start.

In the early midnight hours of last Saturday, I started off this week on the phone with Kati. I had been angry with one of my roommates for over 30 hours, and she graciously volunteered to be my pressure-release valve. I ranted for 40 minutes, and then Kati said something to make me laugh, something about how rewarding her work is in Chicago. Thank you Kati. She also said the following:

"Elizabeth, you have got to stop having emergencies."

It's true, I thought. I have got to stop having emergencies. I will dedicate the next week to emergency preparedness.

It didn't work out; Monday I got a nail in my tire, which sucked away all my free money for the week. I spent most of the day running around trying to get ready to go to Birmingham on Tuesday, and also trying to fix my tire. And being pissed, because this is what Kati was trying to talk to me about; I've got everything scheduled just so, the money worked out just so, and so when something like a nail in the tire happens, everything else just...falls down. I have got to stop having emergencies.

That night, The Republican called me from a comic book store. He stayed on the phone with me while buying me 300 bags and boards for our holiday comic book extravaganza. He told me I was beautiful. I needed that; when he called I was curled under my covers at 7pm on a Monday, wishing the week were already over.

"I'm bringing you bags and boards" he said.

"All is right with the universe" I said.

An hour later Friend X calls me, hiccupping and gasping for air through her tears. I can't believe he said that to me we had a big fight, oh god, oh, god it hurts so bad and he and Ryan could form a club and this so awful I can't hardly breathe and I'm sick and he left to sleep at his friend's and I don't know and

And I listen to her heart break over the phone line until another friend gets to her to sit and hug and handle all the kleenex. I listen to friend X's heart break and mine breaks too. This is the price we pay for letting someone else get as close as her man did. Can I let that happen to me again? How many times do you get kicked in the ribs before you give up on love? I can't stand it. I can't stand that she hurts so bad and I'm in for the night and even if I wanted to go comfort her, I've got to go to Birmingham the next day.

I call The Republican and say: "Are you committed to being in for the night?" No, he says, I'm just reading comics. And then, because I ask him to, The Republican gets up, goes to two different grocery stores and drives 20 miles to take friend X a chocolate cheesecake from me.

Friend X calls me when the Republican gets there. "Your pie arrived."

"Tell him he's a sexy motherfucker." I say, because it will make them laugh. X dryly delivers the message, which makes other people in the room laugh, but she's too emotionally exhausted to laugh herself. I tell her I love her and the phone gets put up for the night.

Tuesday and Wednesday in Birmingham is stressful, but I make it home by 9 Wednesday night, and work for the next two days is a blur as I get ready for a trip to Florida this week.

Friday night I sit in my coffee bar and read my comics and try not to think about money, men, and the hundred little problems that need to be solved in my life. I score a neat piece of furniture at a yard sale for $30. I send Friend X a cheery card and some cash, because this breakup means she'll have to go through a near divorce, she'll need a new place to live and change, we all change, and I wish I weren't working so hard that I can't be there physically for her.

I can't believe The Republican took her a cake because I asked him to. He's so nice. I don't know what to do, all I can hear is Friend X crying and all I can remember is how often these things end badly, so badly that I could barely function last time it happened to me. I don't know if I can get so close to someone again. My heart is a bag of broken glass, and I don't know what to do.

But life is good, and Dust tells me so this morning. He is currently enjoying some romantic success, and what with his artistic success and his romantic success and his success at mastering the Margarita mix, he tries to roll some success over to me.

"Life is good." He hasn't even had time for his comics, his romantic success has kept him so busy. I laugh at him. I should have good new to tell him, but I don't. He says I should make The Republican iron my shirts, and I don't disagree.

Life is good. The sun is shining, the air is getting cooler, I got a star at work again. But there are nails on the road, my heart is a bag of broken glass and I need to win the lottery. And I miss you. And life is good...even when I'm afraid.

Virgil is coming to visit for Thanksgiving, and he will have a better opinion than I. He will know if everything is beginning or ending.

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