lonely lovely city

lonely lovely city

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Why is goodbye so hard?

I hate goodbyes. It is like a punch in the stomach-an end of a memory.

I have said goodbye three times in the past two weeks. The first farewell was my apartment in Brooklyn. At first, I was nervous because I was leaving my comfort zone. I thought for sure I would miss it. I don't. Now that I have moved to the East Village, my new place is starting to feel like home with freshly painted blue and sandlewood walls, new furniture slated to arrive any day with the scent of a new car exuded everywhere.

But, as I settle in, I had to say goodbye to two people. Well, sort of. My therapist that I have seen for that last three years went officially on maternity leave as of Tuesday. For months I had expected it. In fact, I was kind of looking forward to the interim of not talking about my feelings or woes. A break sounded great. I just didn't expect that I would feel ambivalent about it. Luckily, she will return to her practice in the fall, where I can resume this complex relationship. In the meantime, what happens now while I wait?

The next day, I went to visit my doctor at the hospital where I have been going since 2000. In ten years, this man has helped by listening to my problems by offering sound solutions. His mantra-never confront someone when you are beyond angry. Do it when you are calm and collected. Just a thought, right?

On Wednesday when I visited him for my thrice annual visit, he mentioned he was leaving the clinic to focus on teaching. He felt it was time to move on and try something different. When he told me, I felt nothing.

Since I was a child, I avoided goodbyes. When relatives would come and visit, everything seemed to focus on me and my little brother. The attention was fabulous. It was like I was on vacation because my parents pretended to get along with no brewing fights on the horizon. As the relatives left, I would peer out the window when they packed the car and drove away. Then, I would cry. My life had to return to the way it was-uncertain with a temperamental father who yelled and a mother who was manipulative and cunning in getting you to take her side.

A few years later when my parents left my life by choice, I felt de-sensitized which probably explains this reaction to the doctor and the therapist. As I get close to somebody, I want to hold on. But, in most cases I never do. A part of me holds back because it is too painful. I despise getting close and then pulling away. My heart can't take it. When I said goodbye to my doctor, I gave him a big hug and wished him well. I kept thinking how he knows intimate things that most don't. And, how he has seen me at my worst-never judging with a smile and an open mind. I miss his wisdom already.

As summer opens up, I have a new home and place of mind. No doctor or therapist. It seems like I am really on my own now. What I learned over the last few weeks is that nothing is permanent. Things change and people fade away. Sometimes, people re-enter life and others you will probably never see again. Saying goodbye is hard whether it is an apartment, a relationship, a job, or even a doctor.

It is my hope I learn more about why it is so painful to let go and what I can do to continue getting close to someone else, even when there is no promise they will stay. Perhaps a goodbye is just temporary.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Love is a stranger

Several years ago in 2002, Elton John released a song: I want love. The lyrics are beautiful and simple. And, the beat is deniable with its easy flow. I listened to it the other day and thought how I want love. When I begun writing this blog, I wanted to convey how to obtain it and what it really means.

So far, I haven't reached the answer-yet that is. But, what I do know is that I still want it. I am just not sure how it will happen.

I have felt and continue to feel like a dork in documenting a claim for the euphoria surrounding love. While it might come easy to some, it seems nearly impossible for me.

When I was a kid, I was diagnosed with an illness that led to twenty operations. I don't talk much about this because I am ashamed about all of the scars I carry. I have incisions all over my body with a slight deformity in my spine. My right leg is shorter than my left leg. And, my back looks like a train ran over me. Luckily, I am still here.

I tell myself that I am ugly and unlovable at times. This is the self-hatred I refer to in previous posts. Some of my friends who are willing to listen to temporary rants, understand by saying that I least I am not in a wheelchair or have inoperable cancer. I agree. I also realize the impact of my situation doesn't negate the value of my experiences.

What I want is to be able to look in the mirror and say I love you, Mark. Sounds cheesy, right?

Before I can have love, I need to do this. I have to be able to accept my scars and detriments. As you read another sentence with the the letter I, remember we all have a story. Mine is to just not be held up in the past and what it has done to me. Perhaps I listened to much to my controlling, spiteful mother. Or perhaps it is my inability to not overlook the cruel, superficial remarks from ignorant assholes. Somehow, I believed my mother and other people who passed through my life that told me I was deficient because of an illness.

I want to look in my mirror and be proud. I am not sure if the illness speaks, but I know it stands in the way. My therapist said today that there is a guy out there that will love me for me, regardless of an illness or emotional baggage. I am scared of taking a leap with another person. I am petrified in fact because we live in complicated world barred by physical barriers. But, I am going to believe in her healing words. Loneliness still sucks, but its not that bad.

I have a good therapist, loving supportive friends, two adorable nephews, a fabulous apartment in alphabet city, and a job. I think that is a good start. In the interim of the habitual search, I am going to just be and bask in the laziness of summer.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Missing you




On Thursday at 9:00 a.m, I am making the trek of being a Manhattan resident again-this time in the East Village; a small, renovated 450 square foot studio in a three floor walkup . While I am excited, I am nervous. Binding knots are afloat.

The last five years in Brooklyn have been reflective with growing pains, entangled with misery in isolation. As I pack, I am making a startling revelation: I will miss all of it. The forever tanned Italian Guidos manning the streets, the straphangers catching the first seat on the R train with Dunkin Dounut's coffee and NY Post in hand, the pizzerias with the best thin crust margarita slices, and the large cruise ships that announce their descent on the bay with massive horns.

One primary reason in leaving is distance. Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is in a league of its own. For so long, I have been emotionally disconnected to what seems like the world. This apartment houses secrets-it knows too much!

From the outside, it is a six-story brick condominium building contained with a well-manicured lawn, flowers surrounding antique light posts and an art-deco lobby with an elevator. On the inside, it was shaped like a magic, hidden box with four large walls-bone white and ocean blue. The shiny, yet weathered hardwood floors and high ceilings made life cozier. Views of the Atlantic and the Verrzanno Narrows Bridge greeted me each day-rain or shine. This enclave gave new meaning to the word quiet.

It has witnessed the vulnerable side-watching me climb out of bed and stagger to the bathroom daily. It saw me cry when two boyfriends consecutively dumped me and when things didn't mend with my estranged father. It held my hand for fear of possible eviction when I almost drowned the tenant down below by forgetting to shut off the faucet in the bathtub. It reassured my checkbook when I was behind on the rent for severing my hand at work and couldn’t earn income for months-a true best mate.

I understand why I chose to stay. It was safety and protection. The first five years in Manhattan were exhaustive with rotating jobs, friends and living situations. When I chose Brooklyn at 30, I needed to recharge. I had to grow up.

Yet, another five years have passed-long commutes complimented by obnoxious neighbors with their incessant screaming finally drove me over an edge. The latter was just a mere culmination of reasons I craved change. Stagnancy and complacency were among them.

It might seem irrational for some to actually love an apartment. But, in the end, this forgotten neighborhood was conservative and too straight laced for personal taste. In making this transition, I hope to embark on a prosperous journey open with new experiences and people. I am sensitive and usually not emotional. Although, I am sure I will have a good cry and say farewell to my former, somewhat sheltered being.

Dear Brooklyn Apartment:

I will miss you. Please remember that I am grateful for your companionship. Thanks for the safety of your harbor and the compass of your trusting guide. Most of all, just know that I send the best and will always love you.

Goodbye

XOXO

Mark

(P.S I am officially insane)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Straight up

Last week my hopes diminished when I discovered a guy at my school was straight. Throughout the entire semester, I naturally assumed he was just gay. Perhaps it was the way he flamboyantly moved his hands when talking, or how he spoke with a lisp. I will call him, "Roman." Roman is one these men who are in fact flamboyant, passionate, sensitive, yet sleeps with women. The reason I know this is the way he teaches. Yes, he is one of my teachers. Enough said.

When he dropped the M bomb during the last class, I felt like an idiot. He announced to everyone that he was off to get married-to a woman. It wasn't that I was especially attracted to him, but there was potential. He seemed to smile a lot at me. So many times, there are men who are intelligent and sensitive and give off this incredible vibe or as some call it-gaydar.

Unfortunately, my gaydar is off as of late. Way off-as far as New Jersey-that's how off it is. Lately, I can't tell anymore. And, it scares me. Another man I met at a restaurant was great. He was educated, soft-spoken, stylish and funny. I liked how he made fun of the real housewives on Bravo. Most certainly, I thought he had to be gay. About twenty minutes into our conversation, a lady walks by the chair at the table. She sits very close to him. I think how odd this is when she turns around and plants a long, deep one his lips. "This is my fiance, Allision. Allison-this? What was your name, sorry?" I told him it was Mark and wished him a good night.

I didn't think I would score with him at all, but I realize the men I am attracted to are unavailable and gay or just straight as an arrow. This is an unhealthy, disconcerting pattern. The idea of a man is what appeals to me most. Look, when they smell good and dress well and can talk about almost everything-I am there.

My latest undertaking is to go nowhere near them-straight guys that is. I have been with bi-curious men and they usually return to the ladies. How do you know when a person is gay even if they are ambiguous?