…and she may not even remember the conversation.
that’s okay i thought
Edit 7/12/2016: My Knitted Knaughties are no longer mine. On 7/8/2016, probably one of the highlights of my life, I got to meet Jenny Lawson at the Hotel at the Kirkwood Center. And since I’ve retired as a vibrator peddler and they haven’t seen the light of day in a couple years, I decided to offer them up for adoption to Jenny and she graciously accepted. The vagina was particularly useful as a travel neck pillow for her, and for that, I am amused. Oh, how I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall of that plane. Unless flies don’t make it through plane rides. In that case, cancel that. Never mind. Anyway, I have to assume the Knitted Knaughties are happy in their retirement at Jenny’s house. They have come full circle to their matchmaker between Louise and I. Long live the Knitted Knaughties. genuflects
Edit 3/25/2011: My Knitted Knaughties made their debut at a party I did last Friday. This is how they came to be.
P.S. They have been tentatively named “Tab A” & “Slot B.” BY MY FATHER. See Also: high pitched voice AWKWARD.
(There’s some vaguely not safe for work pictures and video if your boss is a total douche-canoe. If your boss is pretty cool, actually, you’re going to need to call him/her in to show them the knitted naughties.)
Well, hi there! said in Ellen Degeneres’s voice as Dory
Are you new here? FABULOUS. GET TO KNOW ME.
About five weeks ago, I had an idea. A wonderful idea. A wonderful, terrible, phenomenally hawsum idea. But at first I couldn’t figure out how to make it happen. I emailed a few of my favorite bloggers who knit. I struck out. I emailed a few IRL friends who knit. I struck out.
THEN. I got a wonderful idea. A wonderful, terrible, PHENOMENALLY HAWSUM idea. You know who could find someone to help me? My favorite bloggers who I have read since 2007. She’s probably your favorite blogger, too. And if she’s not, she SHOULD be. True story.
From: dory -at- cantrememberdiddly -dot- com
Subject: Something NOT having to do with knitted reproductive systems (I’m totally lying.)
Date: February 23, 2011 10:27:06 AM CST
To: jenny -at- if you want her email you need to do the legwork because I did dammit dot com
I sent you a message on Facebook, but maybe it got lost in the shuffle. Or, my subject field, which was,”Crafting realistic genitalia for fun and profit (Seriously.)” alerted Facebook censors, which begs the question, Have they MET you?!?! 😀 I’ll choose a different subject for the email and maybe it won’t hit your spam filter.
Hi, I’m Dory, and I’ve been reading your blog for about three years. Coincidentally, I have stains on my hard wood floors from spitting various liquids due to sudden uncontrollable laughter while reading your blog, but, that is neither here nor there. Which makes me wonder where it is REALLY, because if it’s neither here nor there, where else could it be, I mean, besides up Al Gore’s left nostril, which is totally possible for anyone who invented the internet. Anyway.First of all, I have to tell you that you are totally my hero, actually, heroine, which is not at all the same as heroin, except now that I consider it more carefully, yes, yes you are totally my heroin. My heroine AND my heroin. I shall refrain from breaking into “You are the Wind Beneath My Wings” now, which is good because 1- you couldn’t hear me anyway and 2- I am Deaf so it would be a new and improved version of horrifying.
I have a special request. I have looked all over the internet for it, and not only did I not find even close to what I was looking for, I am now psychologically scarred for life and have wonderfully terrifying new issues to take to my therapist.
I wanted to run something by you to see if you would maybe be willing to help me. I would run it by my readers, but I have, like, 3, and they all said they can’t fulfill my request. THANKS A LOT, 3 READERS.
Ok, before I tell you what I’m looking for, you have to know that I’m a Passion Parties consultant but not one of those total crazy stalker, over persistent, 5 voicemail leaving, kind of consultants. More like the 2 facebook page having, good sale giving, sex education imparting, kind. I got into this because the job market, oddly enough, doesn’t have a whole lot of room for a Deaf whacknut. Screw you, job market, if you haven’t figured out that Deaf whacknuts would make you infinitely more interesting. Kind of like when you get drunk at a party to be more funny, except totally not like that.
Ok, here’s the deal.
I did a party Friday night, and I was trying to show the girls how one of the c-ring toys work. I was having a hard time explaining that you could put the vibrating bullet on the clitoris or down on the perineum. I thought, I wish I had a fake vagina and penis that wasn’t creepy or skeevy so I could just go “this goes here and that goes there and viola!” Then I thought, what about knitted or crocheted ones? Then they’re actually kind of cute and funny not porny and skeevy! I went on etsy but couldn’t find what I wanted. I asked a few different knitters I know, but they said that sort of project was beyond their capabilities. I even asked Schmutzie because of that cat with the butthole and the Louella the Crack Whore she knitted. She said it sounded like a really fun project but she didn’t think she had the technical know-how to do it. But I love her even though she couldn’t give me a knitted vagina and penis combo, and if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
The penis would be really easy I bet but the vagina would be kinda tricky. I think I would want to have it, like, picture a doll that got the top cut off right below the belly button (or right above and give her a cute naval ring) and then at the top of the legs so you just have the important part of the torso and pelvis. Kind of like if you took a chain saw to a mannequin except less weird. I would want it to have a tube going in for the vagina so I could insert the knitted penis. I would want it to have lips and a clitoris, maybe even one that peeked out of a small hood like a real clitoris. I would want the skin tone for both to be neutral, not white or black, maybe a hispanic skin tone. I would like the penis to be uncircumcised, and be kinda realistic with a head with a frenulum and a scrotum and about 5″ to 6″ long and an average girth so it doesn’t intimidate any of the men at the couples parties. I would like both to have dark pubic hair but not any longer than 1/2″ to 3/4″. I would like it to be the small, tight kind of knitting so the stuffing doesn’t show through at all. Maybe that tight kind of knitting is actually crocheting, I’m not sure. Hey, remember that one episode of friends when Chandler walks in and sees Rachel’s boobies through the holes in the afghan? See also: I may watch too many Friends reruns.
So I thought maybe, perhaps, possibly, you would be willing to reach out to your readers (cheese and rice, you add 35 to 40 EVERY DAY to your FB!) and see if any of them have the talent to make this sort of thing. Maybe even make it a contest or something. I’m just getting started in this so I don’t have a lot of cash and we’re about 27 seconds away from foreclosure (which is GREAT for depression by the way) but I think I would be able to offer $100 in free Passion Parties product for the finished vagina and penis. If you think it would take more, I could do $100 in product immediately and $100 more product in one month. I’m sure people wouldn’t want to do the whole project just for the chance to win, so I’m not sure how they would throw their hat in the ring, maybe submit pictures of their knitting/crocheting past projects to show their talent? plus a goofy essay “Why I Can Totally Knit/Crochet a Stellar Vagina & Penis”? I’m not sure, but I have a hunch your readers would LOVE to see the entries. Then you could choose the winner and I could give you the prize to give to your readers, I could even give it to you beforehand to show you I won’t flake out on you.
Take a look at my “Info” on my facebook profile and that should hopefully prove to you that I’m not a total douche-canoe. I have links to my blog (which I’ve mentioned you to my three readers a few different times) and my Passion Parties online catalog and my Passion Parties Facebook Pages which come in Mild & Wild just like hot wings. Except less messy and you don’t have to tip me. Unless you want to. Because we’re out of toilet paper and Tom doesn’t get paid until next week. So I’ll probably “borrow” some from the gas station restroom.
Thank you, Jenny, for listening to my verbal diarrhea and please know that if you say no you’re not interested I will totally understand and there will be no hard feelings. You have total immunity from getting unsubscribed in my Google Reader for life or longer.
And promptly forgot about it and moved onto other more important things, like tax refunds and finishing Lost.
I would have been happy with that. Because, DOOD. JENNY. EMAILED. ME.
And there were comments. MANY comments. Many FUNNY comments. Many Funny HELPFUL comments.
Because Jenny and Her People rock out loud like that.
Then Jenny emailed me and said, hey, there’s this chick that wants to take on this challenge. Email her.
I was put here on this earth to do Jenny’s bidding, so who am I to disobey?
So that’s how I met Louise.
I love Louise.
Louise and I emailed back and forth a little and much, MUCH faster than I thought would happen, Louise sent me PICTURES. Pictures of PROGRESS.
I am not a crier. I got a little emotional when I saw these pictures, I can’t lie to you; I got a little misty-eyed.
Because I was so. Damn. Happy.
That hasn’t happened in a while, and it weirded me out a little at first. But then I just went with it. My heart grew TWO sizes that day.
It is absolutely amazing. I don’t mean amazing like the amazing connection the psycho bitch feels for The Bachelor. As she sobs her mascara off and ugly cries and screams and burns down the mansion.
I mean the amazing that makes me feel like good things can happen to ME.
The blogosphere is astounding and amazing and wonderful, and I am humbled by what we will do for one of our own.
Like use the power of Our People to help a little blogger. Or use the power of our talent to help someone we’ve met online for four minutes.
It’s an absolutely beautiful thing. And I’ll never forget it. Pinky swear.
So here’s what you need to know!
Here’s my shop’s Facebook Pages, Mild and Wild. “Like” one or both. I offer access to secret specials and sales there, as well as articles, tips and techniques to enhance your romantic relationships. Here’s my shop. Go there. Click Shop Online and have some fun. I’m only $23 in sales away from hitting a milestone, which would be $1500 in sales for March, and only $523 away from $2000 which would mean I would bonus for the first time and get $100 bonus. Just sayin’.
Here’s Louise’s shop’s Facebook Page. Check it out. “Like it”. Offer her a challenge. Tell her you want something weird knitted. Buy something. It will make you more interesting and better liked. I mean, look at me! Now I can be the sex toy lady with the Knitted Naughties! I feel more popular already!
I love you, Jenny! In a totally non-practicing-lesbian-lover-but-questioning kind of way.
I love you, Louise! In a totally non-practicing-lesbian-lover-but-questioning-and-considering-a-threesome kind of way.
Because even when I’m a complete guanomaniac, you love me. Even when I go weeks at a time without inspiration to write, you keep me in your reader and encourage me when I do put something up.
big wet sloppy kisses all around and jumping up and down hugs too
OH. Almost forgot to tell you.
Pending a clean background check, TOM HAS A BIG BOY JOB. That pays him what him and his master’s degree and his $80k in student loans are worth. If anything bad comes up on the background check, Tom’s just going to say he was drunk. Folks will excuse you from all manner of transgressions with a well played, “But you see, I was drunk.”
My party last Friday was $837. My best party EVER. DAMN.
I’m still in shock. After all the SHIT that we’ve endured, and cried over, and prayed through, FINALLY, good stuff is happening.
Thank you, God. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. God, you are SO good.
P.S. Sorry if you got Google juice on you with all those links up there. But those ladies deserve it. Every single bit. You should try it. It’s linky love. It’s fun. It’s good karma. And you need to be hosed down when it’s over. You know you did something hawsum when you need to be hosed down after you do it.
P.P.S. Ok, honestly, I’m not sorry. And you should be blessed by that Google juice that got splashed on you. It feels like holy water and tastes like Lucky Charms and goes down like KoolAid.
P.P.P.S. Mmmmmmmmmmm, Lucky Charms.
P.P.P.P.S. I’m magically delicious.
P.P.P.P.P.S. And so is Embrace, the edible lube. The vanilla tastes like, (guess what?) Lucky Charms. Now, THAT shit is magical.
It’s in my shop online under “Lubricants.”
P.P.P.P.P.P.S. YOU. ARE. WELCOME.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. In honor of Jenny, I’m offering a sale good thru 11:59pm Sunday night. If a sale on sex toys doesn’t say love, then I don’t know what does. Anyway. 1 person can take 25% off their order, code WOOHOO25. 1 person, 20%, WOOHOO20. 1 person, 15%, WOOHOO15. Got to www.designyourpassion.com click through to my website and click on Shop Online. Try the first one, and if it doesn’t work, try the next, etc. Have fun!
Now they need names!
I am the author.
I am words’ bitch.
I might huff and puff and show them brawny bravado, but they remain aloof and unmoved.
I may stroke and pet them and softly croon into their kernings, but they turn a deaf ear like an obstinate lover in a bitter quarrel.
I might suffer under the delusion that I can throw my lasso around them and force them towards one way or the other, even down into the gritty dirt, but I may as well be tossing a spider that’s trailing a single strand of web shiny and barely visible among the dust mites in a ray of sunshine.
I may rage at them, my temper rising and falling with the guttural strain of my voice, but they stare back at me defiantly, unimpressed by my powerless fists-flailing in the air.
I might line up the plans for my stories in single file, but I am at words’ mercy; they alone decide whether they will flow like water over a fall or stand stubborn in a stagnant pool of stink.
I may set aside hours for them to line themselves up on my page, but they will come when they’re damned good and ready, blind to the hands sweeping the clock.
I might deftly plan my strategy to force their march across the lined paper, yelling them into order like a drill sergeant, but they huddle and snicker at the way my spit reflects in the sunshine as my ineffectual wails echo across the unexcited atmosphere.
I may preen and posture, pretending they’re not there, but they sneer at my pretentiousness, fully realizing I am merely putting on airs and graces, effectual as a cat raising its hackles at its reflection in the water.
I might calmly bid them about, subtly calling them into order, but if I am lucky and the stars align and the moon shines down at a precise angle, they may eventually arrange themselves into an aesthetically pleasing array of lovely lines across the field, like a month old crop of fresh vegetation covered by a light fog glowing under shy dawn sunshine.
I am words’ bitch.
I am the author.
Disclaimer: This post has been brought to you by several weeks of sleep deprivation, clinical depression, and probably what is (if I’m being honest with myself) a little bit of sour grapes. I feel all dark and twisty; all ridiculously emo like someone half my age. All the angst plus fine lines and stretch marks! SCORE!
I’m taking a risk; this post could create some backlash against me. The blogosphere doesn’t take kindly to back talk against it. I hope it’s taken in the spirit it’s intended, which is not one of hostility but rather a yearning for discussion.
I’ve never been one who wants to stir up a shitstorm or create drama; that’s not the intention of this post. I’ve never been a boat rocker. I’ve never even had a troll. If I’ve ever been meant to have a troll jump out from under the bridge, this is the post that’ll do it. I don’t take critism well. I tend to find the nearest corner into which I can curl up into the fetal position and rock while sucking my thumb. I’m preparing myself to either get flamed or get ignored. I’m not sure which I fear worse– Dory, you’re kidding me, right?! You expected MORE you moron?! Do you live IRL or blog-world?! (A little of both actually) or ominous silence.
So what is my intention? Well, these words have been percolating for quite a while. I’ve NOT said this for months and I’m hoping that by doing so I may break some writer’s block. I’m also hoping that I’m going to discover that it’s not just me. Hopefully, I’m not alone. And maybe by thinking out loud here (which I do quite often) I can discover a solution to my discontent.
Here goes nothing. *jumps from the plane and pulls the rope*
My number one objective for blogging has always been this: a desire for connection. For finding people I get, and that get me. For stumbling across a kindred spirit.
My second objective for blogging has been this: to affect people with my writing. Whether I make you laugh or cry or think or snort with derision is not important; just as long as I affect you, I feel my mission has been accomplished.
I’ve been blogging since 2003. At first, it was just to friends and family on LiveJournal, but then I became aware of the blogosphere in 2007 and set up camp on Blogger. I loved the idea of connecting with other writers online and the whole concept of “blogging community.” I met a few really super cool people (I’m looking at YOU, Country Girl, City Girl, MelodyAnn, Abby, and Fabs) that really connected with and for that I am truly thankful.
Back then when I was all starry eyed with the blogosphere, I was completely enamored of the idea of the blogging community; the comments, the give and take, the camaraderie of this shared insanity that is blogging.
I mean, let’s face it; it takes a blogger to get a blogger. None of my IRL friends have any inclination to blog. I’ve never even met a blogger face to face.
And unlike In Real Life, my Deafness was not a factor whatsoever. (I’ll try to be concise on this idea, but I smell a whole ‘nother post coming from this one point.) You don’t have to have hearing to participate fully in the blogging community. I felt this was an area of my life where I could be on level ground with everyone else, instead of missing a great deal of what was going on around me. Plus, I was looking forward to the opportunity of meeting lots of other D/HoH bloggers; ideally, late deafened ones that share my experience. We aren’t equal participants in the hearing world, but oftentimes we’re not completely accepted by deaf world either. We’re a weird lot. We probably don’t have a deaf ‘accent’ because we were deafened post-lingually; our hearing aids are next to invisible; we’re less likely to demand our right for an interpreter and instead make do with residual hearing and speechreading; we offer no clue to you that we need acceptance and accommodation to be on equal ground with you. We experience the “real” world very differently and it can be quite isolating.
I saw the community that was going on around me, and I wanted to become a part of it. I started out with about 40 blogs that I felt I could really connect with the author, and set up my reader. I taught myself; RSS, Subscribe, Feedburner, search engine, keywords, memes, all of these were all completely unknown concepts to me in May 2007. But I researched and studied and learned stuff and set up my own little online living room in Blogger. Then I set about reading and commenting my little heart out all over the place. I wasn’t sure how to comment at first, but quickly came up with the strategy of picturing this author sitting across the table from me, sharing a coffee or a beer, and thinking, what would I actually say to this person. I really invested myself.
I knew it would take time to become accepted. But after a few months went by, I found the return on my investment unsatisfactory. I had erroneously hypothosized that if I invested in them, they would invest in me. But I wasn’t getting the connection, the interaction, I thought I would get. Surely, I thought, I am worth at least getting to know. I don’t think I’m coming on too strong and setting off people’s stalkeradar. Why aren’t people responding to me? I asked myself. What’s wrong with me?
Okfine, I thought, I need to show them I’m serious. I’m in this 110%. In August 2008, I put on my big-girl-blogger panties and bought my domain and hosting. I spent hours days setting up on WordPress, learning about widgets and CSS and fussing with the design. I saw my blog, and it was good. And I thought, now, now they will see I’m in it for the long haul. I got right back to reading and putting my heart and soul into the comments I left in my wake. I really put myself out there in my posts, offered myself up at my most vulnerable.
Now it’s February 2010 (can you believe it?!) and here I am, still dissatisfied with the blogging experience I’ve had. Years later.
I’m tired. I’m tired of taking five hours to craft one post and getting no comments on it. I’m tired of reading about the blogger meetups and the resulting lovefests and feeling left out. I’m tired of checking my stats and being disappointed that I haven’t broke 50 subscribers yet. I’m tired of reading about the awards and the different strategies for garnering votes, both the ones who take the high road and the ones who choose the low. I’m tired of reading about 100s, even 1000s of bloggers flocking to one blogger’s plight. Sour grapes? Probably. I’ll own that. But I wasn’t asking for donations or votes or 1000 subscribers or a trip to Disney. I was only asking for some connection; ok, I’ll admit it– I was asking to feel the looove. But all these years later, all I feel is that I’m pressing my nose up against the window, on the outside looking in.
I don’t think I’m deluding myself. I know that I’ll never receive an email from Dooce. I’ll never go stay a weekend at the Lodge with Ree. I know that an A-Lister will never actually strike up a friendship with me or find me interesting enough to talk to seriously.
But what about all those bloggers (probably 100s now that I’ve been at this a few years) that have maybe 50, 100, at most under 1000 readers, that I’ve laid myself vulnerable by sharing with them my personal experiences in their comment section? Some I sent encouraging emails with an “I’ve been there and I’m on the other side and you’ll get there too” or an “I’m really impressed with your writing, keep up the good work” or an “Your photos are striking and you have a great eye for composition.” And gotten nothing, zero, zilch in return. Not even, “Thanks for the encouragement” or “Your words came at just the right time.” I’ve even offered framed 5x7s in their choice of images for virtual housewarmings that they’ve thanked me for, but never actually collected on. Can you see my frustration in the fact that my photography sucks so effing much that I CAN’T EVEN GIVE IT AWAY?! That my words mean so little that they don’t even warrant a response?!
Something’s got to give.
I can’t any more.
Maybe I’ve had the wrong objectives all along. Maybe connection and affecting people was just too much to hope for. I’m just thisclose to unsubscribing everyone in my reader and closing comments on all my posts just so I can avoid the disappointment. Maybe even prove to myself that I can just write for the sheer joy of writing.
But in my heart, I crave that connection that the blogging community seemingly offers but that remains so elusive to me.
I’m tired of my blogging experiences being a trigger of so many depressive episodes.
I’m tired of feeling like the kid in Sp Ed who is trying to be friends with the captain of the varsity cheerleaders.
I’m tired of feeling so alone in the blogosphere. I get enough of that In Real Life.
Am I the only one?
I ran out of gas AGAIN.
I was cruising down Mt. Vernon Rd., the thoughts in my rather unique brain ricocheting like raquet balls
Ilikemynewearringsfromfarmersmarket – THWAK – Ibetkidsdidn’tdochoreswhileIwasgone – POW – don’tforgettogetmilk – POP – needtonapbefore3rdshifttonight – THWOK – imisstom – SMACK – whysomehydrantsredsomegreen – CRACK – wonderwhatseesterisdoingtoday –
when my car started sputtering and jerking.
The fuel warning light doesn’t work + I’m Dory = I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve ran out of gas in this damn car.
I coasted onto a side street and rolled to a stop. I opened my trunk to get out the gas can I put there the last time I ran out of gas. But, of course, it wasn’t there.
I started walking.
Oh, but it gets better and better, because the gas station didn’t have a loaner gas can. I sighed deeply and started walking towards home to get the gas can to get the gas to get the car going again. On the way, I texted Tom with the full intention that he would commiserate with me, or more likely, mock me. But, instead, he pulled up and rescued me, my knight in shining tan LHS.
As we talked, it came up that he was worried that he wouldn’t have time to get the Mission Pastor-Barb-clean (you know Gramma-clean? Yeah, well, Gramma’s got nothin‘ on Pastor Barb) before she got there at 5:30pm. I said as soon as I got gas, I’d come in and help. So I rescued him right back.
The Mission got clean. We lived happily ever after. Well, happily couple hours later. Because this is real life, and Tom had to decide what to make for dinner, and I realized that I only had a few hours to nap to make it through my 12am-8am shift. But, okfine, whatev.
I told you that story to tell you this one.
I was on my way to get gas today.
I was thinking, ok, refill the gas can, fill the tank, go to Mission, clean stuff, nap, etc., when I spotted a fuzzball no bigger than a softball in the middle turning lane of this five lane road. I slowed up, and squinted as I got closer. It was a small, scared kitten, just laying in the middle of the road like he would lay on a windowsill, perhaps with a broken leg or worse. He was a common hazel-and-black short-haired ball of askeered.
The world went into slow motion plus extreme close-up, and as I went by, I saw him turn his head and mouth a tiny, afraid MEW.
I almost pulled into the turning lane, but traffic was really busy and it would have been borderline dangerous to stomp the brakes and veer over. I thought, ok, so I’ll fill up the can and the tank and then on the way back I’ll stop and see if I can help him.
It was only a couple blocks away, so it wouldn’t take long. I pulled in, refilled the gas can, filled the gas tank, and pulled back out into traffic. You know what was next on my To Do list. That’s right– Rescue Askeered Furball.
But I’m Dory.
And, OOOoooOOOooo, something shiny!
And, I completely forgot that item, JUST THAT QUICKLY, and went to the next one. Go To Mission and Rescue Tom Right Back.
CleanCleanClean, DriveHome, SkipDinner, and NappyNap.
I was just dozing off and something stirred inside me, it felt like deja vu or when the name of that actor is right on the tip of your brain.
Then a flashback of Askeered Furball MEWing punched me in the brain.
Oh, God, I forgot. Oh, hell, it’s too late.
And that should be the end of that, right? Right?
Except I couldn’t stop thinking about him. The same flashback played overandoverandover. I’d send my thoughts one way, and then they’d circle back to a silent MEW.
I woke up a few hours later after a fitful and unsatisfying nap, melancholy and out of sorts.
He’s haunting me. HAUNTING ME, mah peepull.
So, in the same way that misery loves company and someone with an earworm will pass it on, I decided to write about it and hand it on over to you.
But that story, by itself? At least, a little waste of time. At most, a notch below interesting. As I was driving to work, I mulled it over in my brain, swirling it around like a wine taster evaluating a merlot. Do I like this? What’s in here? How will it finish? Will it leave an aftertaste behind? Isn’t that other guy who’s wine-tasting supposed to be my designated driver? How much does a cab run these days?
Then, the Askeered Furball punched me one more time, right to the heart. A little ninja kitteh karate-chop direct to the sternum.
How many times have I come across someone wounded, hurting, alone, scared? And I want to slow down and help, but the world is rushing around me, and I’m like a fish trying to struggle upstream. So I say to myself, I’ll just come back. Really soon. And I’ll help. I’ll Rescue and Comfort and Save the Day.
But I’m Dory.
And, OOOoooOOOooo, something shiny!
And, I forget and move on to the next item.
I don’t MEAN TO.
But I do.
“But Dory,” you ask… “Dory, when you say ‘But I do’ …do you mean ‘But I do forget and move on’ or ‘But I do MEAN TO?'”
Which is a really big question when you’re alone at four o’clock in the morning.
Deep into the night, after the boys have gone to bed (well, to their rooms anyway), after the computers have been shut down, after the doors have been locked, after the quiet reading in bed next to each other has concluded, after the glasses and hearing aids are off, after the lights are out, after the pillowtalk has subsided, comes my favorite part of the night.
There’s a number for how many times I’ve done this over our fifteen-ish years, but I couldn’t possibly guess what it would be.
I put my head on his chest, close my eyes, and listen for his heartbeat.
Only this time… it isn’t there.
I feel his chest rising and falling in a comfortably familiar rhythm, and his pulse beating against my cheek. I inhale deeply and pause my breathing a moment as if that would help, and focus all my concentration on hearing that thub-dub thub-dub thub-dub thub-dub that brings me calm in a way nothing else can.
It doesn’t happen.
I can’t hear it.
But I can feel it.
I can feel his chest rise and fall, his skin pulsing against mine.
But I can’t hear it.
And before I even have time to fully process this unwelcome milestone, then another realization hits.
Someday soon, my best friend will say to me, “I love you.”
I will see his lips moving in the familiar pattern. I will see his love for me, and our past and future, shining in his eyes.
But I won’t hear his voice carrying the most important words he’s ever said to me.
It won’t happen.
I won’t hear it.
But I will feel it.
I will feel his arms around me, his deep sigh of content as we embrace.
I won’t hear it.
But I will feel it.
So, My Writing Mojo has been MIA for a couple months now. I came just short of putting out an APB when she flounced in unceremoniously this morning, dropped her bag on the floor, flopped on the couch with her feet up on one arm, and turned on the TV.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I said the only thing I could think of. “Where the hell have you been, young lady?! I’ve been worried sick! You could have been dead in a ditch somewhere! What, they don’t have phones where you were?!” I spun my mental Rolodex and searched my memory for other similar admonishments my own mother had used on me. “You are SO grounded, missy!”
She smiled smugly in a way that made me want to punch her in the throat a little bit. “Yeahyeah, suresure. Whatever.”
“No, there’s NO whatever. You just disappeared without a trace and not so much as a warning shot for a couple damn months. AND you missed our bloggy birfday yesterday! I demand an explanation! Hell, our readers reader deserves an explanation! They’ve been putting up with only Wordless Wednesday and Tell Me Thursday posts, which are all well and good, but all alone they spell LAME, sister!” I fumed.
She didn’t bother glancing away from The View. “I wouldn’t figure you’re in any position to be demanding anything.” she huffed. “Do you have any Cheetos?”
“No, I don’t have any– Dammit– if I get you some Cheetos, will you fill me in?” I pointed and shot red laser beams out my eyeballs at her.
She gave me her best color-me-unimpressed expression and said, “Throw in a Mountain Dew and a pack of smokes, and you got a deal.” She directed her attention back to Whoopi and Elizabeth who were currently in a heated debate about saving beavers in the rainforests.
I threw my hands up in the air. “Oh, for the… I’ll be right back, you extortionist.” I was secretly pretty proud of her chutzpah; she had something I needed, and she didn’t let that go without making use of it.
As I drove down to the convenience store, my mind whirled. Where had she been? What had she been doing? Images of dirty carnivals and cold Taco Bell and jails danced in my head.
I came back in the house and tossed her first, the Cheetos and second, the smokes. She caught one with her left and one with her right, barely glancing my way.
“Oh, unclench. Where’s my pop?”
“In the freezer. Spill it, sister.”
“Let’s go smoke.”
Twist my arm. I turned on my heel and walked out of the room.
On the way out to the deck, I snatched her pop out of the fridge and grabbed myself a Bud Light. At that point, I was so flustered, it was not a want; it was a need. I paused, thought better of it, and exchanged the Mountain Dew for another beer. Perhaps it would grease the wheels a little. We settled into lawn chairs, not looking at each other, but rather across the backyard and into the timber beyond. I handed her the beer and got a slightly surprised look in return. The expression left as fast as it came, and she directed her gaze back out into nowhere as she packed her smokes on her thigh before she opened them. I cracked my can open and took that best, first pull. She made the sign for “lighter” without looking at me and I lit her up. She took a long, hungry drag and picked at her fingernails.
I said, “I really could’ve used you all those hours I was on third shift instead of sitting there with my thumb up the internet.”
Almost apologetically she said, “Yeah, I figured. I felt kind of bad about that.”
I used one of my therapist’s favorite techniques and remained silent, not breaking the silence for her. Suck it, chivalry.
She risked a glance my way. “Yeah, January was great. We got a lot done, didn’t we?”
I didn’t answer, just took another pull on my beer and studiously avoided looking at her.
“February was bad. Teh Crazie scared me,” she remarked quietly, looking down at nothing.
I nodded slowly. “Me, too. I suppose I probably didn’t handle it as well as I thought I did. But I thought we had it under some semblance of control.”
“Well, then we were pondering The Girlbeater and I got really spooked.”
“That’s understandable,” I allowed. “But we have some important work to do. It won’t be easy.”
“I guess I knew that deep down. I suppose it’s what made me realize I needed to come back home.” She looked at me timidly, needing a pardon.
“Well, I’m glad you did. I kind of missed you, you crazy bitch,” I chuckled a little.
“Yeahyeah, suresure,” she shot me a mischievous grin.
“Are you ready to get back to it?” I wondered.
“Yeah, I suppose. I’ve got some great stories for you.”
“I bet! Gimme a taste, girl!” I sat back in the chair and put my feet up on the little end table between us, immensely glad to see her and thankful she found her way home.
“You asked for it!” She put her feet up on the other corner of the end table and held out her beer can. I gave it a clunk with mine, and extended my closed hand to invite a fist bump. She smirked and bumped. “So, there I was, in a dirty bus station in Utah, a used spark plug in one hand, a Red Bull in the other, and a drunk slumped onto my shoulder and mumbling about being on a porn set with Martha Stewart, some midget clowns and a Zamboni…” she began.
I settled in with the first of many, many beers and cigarettes, and some really fantastic stories. A couple hours in, some Chinese delivery was added to the equation.
It’s so good to have her back.