06 October 2007

The Dark Tea Time Of The Soul

See my quote down there in the sidebar? It's from the Douglas Adam's book in the title. Sundays are the dark tea time of the soul, oily, greasy days that I often cannot stand. Today could be nothing but a Sunday. Even with my Wednesday Syndrome, as he called it, (i.e., Wednesday arrives and I often lose track of days and think it's the wrong one) I would often know it was Sunday bcs I could feel it dripping all over me. I used to discuss it with Uzi loads and -

Books. Wait.

Please don't interpret this as criticism, it isn't. If anything, it is criticism aimed at
me bcs I am the one who chose it, the one who allowed it to continue. I was stunned when Udge was here in May and we talked abt books, books, books and more books. I was stunned bcs it was all I could do not to dive into his mind and frolic, Udge is a mate, he is someone I cared for loads even bfr we met IRL, I got to know his mind quite a lot from his blog - and I think we'll both agree that we held no real surprises for each other, we truly are as we write, lo - and so it shouldn't have been a surprise that we would discuss books, we share that passion after all, OF COURSE BOOKS, but what shook me to the core was realising how much I had missed it. I had fucking missed it! Bcs see, I did break a cardinal rule and became involved with someone who couldn't be bothered abt books, not really, and I always think we have little alert compatibility signs far ahead of time and books are such an essential part of me (cf. breathing) that it took me by surprise - and by the throat - to realise how much I had had to amputate myself in order for that particular relationship to last as long as it did. No point in discussing my motives, that all is long dealt with and appropriately buried, but my notion that life talks to us has very much been reinforced, we do have the lives we want and we cannot very well complain if life shouts It's a bloody square, leave that circle alone! and we whimper B-b-but it's such a pretty circle, look here, I'll bend it a little, it will fit, you'll see! Soul callouses, for the deliberately blind. **/End tangent

Bear in mind the criticism bit bcs it will go on in the same vein. One of the things I miss most abt Uzi was how much we talked, we talked for hours! We didn't always talk abt serious things but we shared the same sense of humour and we could make each other laugh the whole day long. You know, I don't know whether I've mentioned this bfr bcs it is a reference that most of you won't be familiar with (or maybe I'm being more of an European snob than usual) but one of the things that made me fall in love with Uzi, even with his hair the way it was then (oh don't ask, do not ask), was how the first time I visisted his room bcs lo, he lived right next to Lila (propinquity), he was smoking
Noblesse, which are my fave Israeli ciggies even though I now think I'd cough up a lung if I tried them again bcs lo, they are strong! [all right, I don't understand this persistent "lo" thing but I fear I am not done yet, my apologies] So we walk in and I spy the pack on the table and say You smoke them as well! and he says Noblesse oblige... and I had an Anne of Green Gables moment bcs I knew he was a kindred spririt. Noblesse oblige! You choose to be with someone who doesn't share your particular brand of intellect and trouble nestles bcs, ultimately, you willed it so and then one day post-break up you find yourself having a deep conversation with someone abt things you actually care abt and all of a sudden you wonder, if you are not the sort to settle how did it come to happen that you did?

I can tell you I have grown a lot in the past few months. Not bcs of my relationship, but bcs of the separation and the things I learnt, most of all not even related to us. I learnt I am emotionally colour-blind at times, despite my awareness of life's grey areas I often have trouble recognising them, I have a tendency to see things in B&W and bcs I am so thin-skinned and over-empathetic I will often feel rejected or betrayed if the behaviour does not fall into one of my previously elaborated and easily recognisable categories. If it deviates I will most likely be hurt and withdraw, sometimes with good reason, sometimes not. People expect me to always be outspoken and bare my fangs bcs I am usually direct when aggravated but hurt is a different matter, I invariably retreat into my cave and lick my wounds. Eventually, after a variable length of time, one day my
sanguine (hi Shrimpy!) nature will win and I will let it all out in an explosion of pain that will often stun the other person, who had no idea I had even felt hurt. I have come to realise that sometimes people are not deliberately or actively rejecting me (and for someone who was so well-loved by her family I have a hard time understanding this thin skin of mine) [NOTE: It just occurred to me re-reading this that I have had psoriasis since I was five. I cannot remember not being a Pink Panther. You'd think this would be a tiny clue wouldn't you. Welcome back, intelligence, so sorry I sometimes misplace you.], they are simply acting in a way that is different than the one I would have chosen. Very often I expose myself too much but I do believe life rewards the brave and bravery, to me, has not much to do with Doing Great Things, it is rather the willingness to lower one's guard and taking risks as far as others go. What would be the point of living, otherwise? This blog has taught me that it is all right to be vulnerable, that people will not mock you, they will not respect you less. And now life is teaching me that the core of loyalty is but one and yet it can be expressed in several ways along its different levels and that some of these ways I can barely recognise. It is not simply that I am willing to give so much and will therefore expect it from you. In relationships that have long been established, properly ritualised, a fair degree of equilibrium needs to be found and you do need to be able to know what to expect. If such are the rules that I have known you for over a decade and am expected to fly to your house whenever you need me at all hours of the day (and night), which has often been the case in the past and which I did gladly bcs that is the sort of friendship we have, you can be certain that I will expect the same from you the one time I desperately need you to be that available as well bcs that is the sort of friendship we have, and if you answer that you can't bcs you don't want to drive to Lisbon bcs it frightens you even though you do it to visit other people, and if you tell me that you cannot bcs you have arranged for a shag *smirk*, well, my world will collapse and no, I will not answer a supposedly reconciliation email that starts with Despite your attitude bcs I do not even know how to begin making sense of it, you don't fuck with the hardcore loyalty, you just don't, and my world was turned upside down with no real prospects of ever righting itself bcs shocker, I am unforgiving with hardcore loyalties, they're fucking sacred, no flexibility whatsoever there. SACRED.

Lost again.

Loyalties, minor ones, are harder, they're grey and barely visible in my vision field, I need to not retreat into what I perceive is my immediately battered shell and give people the benefit of the doubt (I don't think I need to protect myself less, I simply need to do it more effectively
and realistically). At the very least, I should let the person know in as dispassionate a manner as I can that they hurt me, not unleash the furies of the heavens upon them without preamble or bring out the Ice Queen. It is uncanny how much we learn abt people from their blogs, Diana and I have never met, we email and talk on the phone only and yet she knows me, she gets me as she'd say, the other day I was discussing something with Shrimpy and sanguinely proclaiming it was time for the Ice Queen to make an appearance and lo, an email from her on that very subject arrives and she writes DON'T BE COLD! Hallo, XXI century friendships, aren't you grateful? I am. [NOTE: Ice Queen will be forced to bare her fangs though. Can't be helped. Lo.]

And then there's patience, which I lack, which I lack so badly that having to wait for something nearly kills me every time, uncertainty and not knowing right away would certainly be my version of
Huis Clos, and which I badly need to learn bcs I cannot allow my impatience to thus so easily derail me. And this, dahlings, is a mindfuck and so bloody hard to do. 

But I am learning, I finally am. And this is not what I meant to write about at all.

Hi. Still here?

9 furballs:

Anonymous said...

Of course I'm still here. My version of loyalty: reading your blog and checking up on you, thinking about what you're going through, doing my best to always answer emails unless I'm going through such a difficult period (read: in my cave) that I don't have resources for anyone, even myself. It's been one of those times lately.

Patience, yes, damned hard. All around. I am in a holding pattern about some very difficult things myself at the moment. But I care even when I am silent.


Anonymous said...

Oh, and I meant to say - in reply to the first comment, which you might delete - "I KISS YOU!!!!"

Anonymous said...

once again, write that book already!

Udge said...

What a wonderfully Lionessesque post! a wail and a rant and a blushmaking tribute and bared fangs all in one heady post.

Diana said...


Always, dahling.

It is such a pretty circle, isn't it? So hard to listen to the callouses.

Also so very hard to forgive the deep, deep stab. At least for me. Even if it was not intentional. It just makes me want to scream, "What do you mean it wasn't intentional? Hardcore Loyalty means that nothing is unintentional, doesn't it? That we know each other that well?"

Apparently not.

Seems we both have issues to work on.

(Cool but not Cold?)

Lioness said...

Anonymous, I was tempted, very tempted. But sometimes human imbecility is of such massive proportions that it would be wrong to erase it. Tities? Tities? Dude.

Kitchenimp, I know, patience is a cantankerous cow. And I think that acephalous mass up there surpasses the I Kiss You bloke. Somehow.

K., what do you mean "again"?? And - what book? Dudette... (Maybe dude?)(and thanks)

Udge, life chez Pride is often dull but never boring. *ahem*

Diana, do you know, it's becoming increasingly easier to avoid the callouses. I AM learning. And agreed, AGREED. [Distant but not cold ;)]

Lioness said...

And gosh, I just realised today is Monday! That means I wrote that post on Saturday evening thinking it was Sunday. See?? Wednesday Syndrome!

You lot are no help whatsoever.

Old Bald Helen said...

Of course I'm still here. Where else would I be?

But (of course) it's Tuesday.

CarpeDM said...

I adore you so I'm never leaving. Sorry. Might take me forever to get around but, again, adore you.

Anyway, you are one of the most book people of all the book people I know (I know that doesn't make sense but bear with me). I loved being able to discuss authors with you and the fact that you liked JD Robb and Iris Johannson and other authors I loved and that we could spend a ton of time talking about plots and dialogue and etc was wonderful. And I totally get you on how it is so easy to forget that this is part of you, this bookness, and you put it aside because you forget, don't you, how much you need that connection. Been there. Done that. Regretted it later. I don't care if I am single for the rest of my life (sure looks that way) but if I ever get involved with anyone again, he must love books as well. I don't care if they're the same books I love, I don't care if he only reads Westerns or something like that, as long as he loves them. And also, he can't look at what I read and decide that I am not as smart as he is because I could care less about his stupid war books and like to read the occasional romance novel.

Sorry, old scar that I keep picking at. I'll just go now. Much love.