Be mindful of the dark days when boundaries slip across the ice and once sealed windows spring leaks just before dawn. The house gods cannot light the fires by themselves. You have to get up early this time of year. And when the hair stands up on the back of your neck, when the dog growls at the wind, when discord comes up off the floor and slaps you in the face, pay attention, this isn't summer time.
I wonder about the old folks who slip away this time of year. I've been told they die of loneliness and depression but I think maybe they've just stepped across the counterpane and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Some days it's just time to go to where it might be spring on the other side of the lake.
So that's not what I'm talking about here; I mean the jagged desperation that will leap across the table like a hungry snake and swallow your face before you can shove your bar stool hard enough to land on your back and with any luck into a crowd. The other side of malice is compassion; it isn't all so scary as that. I was in a safe place last night but you can be swallowed whole just the same. It does not always pay to be polite.
The gum cracking was not my first clue but I was already in the web. He might very well have been chewing bones and sinew and you know I could have gone to the ladies room and slipped away quietly but what about my coat? Who wears a coat into the bathroom unless they're on the way out? Besides, it's just not nice to vanish into thin air without a good, solid reason. And also I suspect the lizard brain knew perfectly well he'd chase me into the parking lot and THAT might have ended very badly. That gum cracking and the other red flags ought to have been enough because politeness wasn't going to cut it and I felt safe in my own skin anyway. Right up until I didn't.
The man was vibrating like a near starved predator that will likely die because he can't stop himself from rushing his prey and might be beyond even knowing what's happened to him. I guess that's helpful when you can see it coming. He made my skin hurt and I thought my nose might bleed. That's not hyperbole either. Your nose will bleed if your blood pressure is up and fight or flight is pounding at the door. At least it will if you're predisposed to them anyway. Angry, toxic, desperate is about the best I can come up with. It is not often that I can't find the words I want in my own language. I don't think we have them. A language closer to the earth would but I don't speak those; I can only hear them.
Listen. I'm not talking about evil because I didn't at any time experience malice for the sake of malice and I'm not sure I've ever experienced evil in human form, not even at the worst of times. Just damage.
I thought I was going to describe this with some kind of humor because I'm like that; whistling in the dark or something. I can't whistle, by the way, never could. But I can laugh and I can sing and I can tell a damn good story but sometimes you have to step right into it to get it right. So here goes.
I was bored yesterday. Bored and unmotivated and really enjoying the doing of nothing. I don't find boredom boring in the least. I kind of like it. I was back on Match.com rewriting my profile because I wasn't attracting what I want to attract. I'm pretty sure this guy isn't a profile reader anyway and there are always going to be those. The problem is I'm likely to engage with anyone. For the most part if you speak to me I speak back.
A lot of the fun, at least for me, is trolling through the profiles. They don't always tell you much but sometimes there's more to be learned from what isn't told. So I'm going back and forth between trolling and writing because I don't write anything straight through unless I'm just regurgitating. I write a bit and then my mind wanders, chewing up and processing what's always been said before saying more. I spent a good deal of time on that site yesterday afternoon doing just those two things, trolling and writing.
So he looked a bit like Howdy Doody with darker hair and wrote that his parents were first generation Russian Americans and his grandfather was a tailor for Al Capone. I've already deleted and blocked him but I can still get to the profile. I'm not going to disclose much more of the content but the context was kind of all over the place. Most of his photographs were perfectly lovely. He was in what looked like a commercial kitchen and then playing a piano and singing with his face tilted upward. I wonder if those were really him now that I think about it. Sometimes it's really hard to tell. Also, his occupation was listed as 'day job involved in sales and personal trainer'. My mind was still telling me he was a chef and I found that attractive.
I do know he was clear you shouldn't respond if your profile didn't have pictures and you'd better be in good shape. I did respond anyway and the last paragraph was direct and to the point: I am not 22, I don't want to be 22, I have carried three children to term and I think I look great. Just want to be clear about that. I don't lie on my profile or even suggest I might be something I'm not.
The emails were going back fairly quickly and then he was in the car and asked me to call him. I did. I called from my land line which has resulted in one stalking already. He wanted to meet for a drink immediately. I should back up a little though. The content of the initial communication was just short of dicey. What would you do if we'd had a few drinks in the kitchen? It would depend on what was on the stove top and where the kids were. He pushed it a bit and twice wanted to revisit the kitchen thing and I'm thinking, this man cannot possibly be trying to have email or phone sex and I've got to tell him to slow down. I did and he did but not without asking if he had to sit in the corner and me having to explain that I don't consider anyone in trouble if I haven't told you already. After that it becomes an issue. What is up with men asking if they're in trouble? Yeah, you've been bad, go away as opposed to, I don't like that, please stop.
I am highly unlikely to meet anybody for a drink in the middle of the afternoon unless I'm prepared to come home and sleep. The timing thing went back and forth. I said I was meeting friends at the local redneck bar (I LOVE the local redneck bar) for dinner at 7:30 and then to hang around for the band. This is a stretch for me even at the redneck bar because I'm generally only good for an hour or two. I get tired, emotionally worn out even if I am having a good time.
I said I could meet him at 6:30 and if he really wanted to hang out he could join us for dinner or at the bar. He said he wanted me all to himself. I should have ended the conversation right there. He said the timing wasn't so good either and how about later. Later? Are you kidding me? I'll be lucky if I last through dinner and then the first set. He was getting edgy. Later he called back and asked if I could meet him a little earlier because he needed to meet a client in Stamford and I thought, OK, you're responsible. I said 5:30 before really thinking about it and then realized after he told me he needed to leave at 6:50 that I was going to be stuck in the bar by myself for more than five or ten minutes and even in that bar I'm not comfortable by myself.
I brought a book. I can read a book anywhere.
That's enough for now. Part 2 maybe tomorrow.