The Light In The Closet

lightinthecloset

He always leaves the light on in the closet.

When my boyfriend and I first moved from a barely livable studio apartment to a recently renovated one-bedroom in a prime Manhattan location, I was elated. I imagined a fresh start with less stress, more space, and a truly adult experience. Sometimes it’s hard to be an adult in a city so prohibitively expensive that you can be fifty-years-old without a penny in savings and a revolving door of college-aged roommates helping to make the rent on your barely-affordable-though-thankfully-still-rent-stabilized-apartment. As my friends across the country have invested in four-bedroom homes in small suburbs, gleeful as their equity increases, I will defensively argue it’s all about location and we are two blocks from Central Park. Even if our monthly rent could buy us a half-million dollar home elsewhere, we could never find an apartment to buy in this area for that price.

The initial excitement about our move was palpable and our plans embraced the smallest details of organization. I insisted he take the massive closet in the apartment, located in the hall. It’s huge for an NYC  apartment and could effectively house a twin bed. I remembered how his early morning schedule when he was working full time could be disruptive and this way he could get ready for work without interrupting my unpredictable sleep and work schedule. I also figured that it was a polite way of getting him to stow away a very masculine and somewhat hideous piece of furniture. I had never imagined that a temporary out-of-work situation would become so permanent that I would be the one making noise in the bedroom in preparation for early morning call times and late night returns while he slept.

Our new place began to feel tainted and no longer new. Bad habits on both our parts became a circuitous battle that we were too overwhelmed to address.  Instead of focusing on the little things that I loved most, our interactions became a series of anger-inducing episodes. He drank all my wine and I came home to an empty bottle. The peanut butter miraculously disappeared in a 24-hour timespan before I even tried it.  The dog still needed a walk. No cream left for my morning coffee. And the biggest insult of all — he kept forgetting to turn off the closet light.

At first I would say something upwards of five times a day.

“Dear, you left the light on again.”

“You keep forgetting to turn off the light!”

“Are we made of money? You’re running up the electric bill!” Surely that low-energy fluorescent light used in classrooms, prisons, and also his closet was costing a fortune. But when your loved one has been out of work so long and every penny feels like an ounce of gold, the stress becomes so much that you just explode:

“WHY THE FUCK IS THIS LIGHT STILL ON? I TOLD YOU A MILLION TIMES!”

I am now the irrational villain, the angry mom, the terrified girlfriend who has no idea how we are going to find our way out of this mess. The pressure of such an expensive apartment becoming my own… when he has to leave. Because we aren’t getting along and it feels any day we are going to shatter into a million pieces– pieces just waiting to be swept up into the drama and the misfortune that life has now become. The raging headlines about joblessness being low and the economy being  robust are adding to the torment when I lie awake next to a brilliant, hardworking, witty man with a law degree and a path of rejection becoming so long it feels like a road that never ends. I am used to the rejection given my chosen path in entertainment, rationalizing that a decade of life spent being often rejected and overlooked is just the way it is.

We come to the brink so often, as months of normalcy and mutual love are unbound by the next near-despair moment before another financial life preserver finds him. I think of the very early years in our relationship, when I would have a dry spell of bookings and he would have his reliable salary and schedule. I would stay in bed, wasting the morning in dread that I would not make something of my life. Drowning the hours in tabloid news and social media, I would take whatever distraction came along to keep me from further rejection. Yet now my empathy for his plight is clouded by sadness and anger and absolute terror. I cannot see through these smokestacks of rage.

Everyone is getting married around me, full of certainty or a self-fulfilling prophesy I have yet to master. Their relationships are new and they must not have experienced the lows yet, I keep hearing amidst my mind’s chatter. It will be better when we are out of this patch. It will feel like a beautiful inhalation after you have held your breath underwater for much longer than you should have. Scientifically it is just impossible for something to stay the same forever. It will not always be this hard.

And then one night he doesn’t come home on time. A message lost in the digital space causes me to panic. What if something happened in East Harlem, where he is doing a side gig to make money? My mind wanders to the very beginning, as it often does when I imagine a life without him. I think of how new and loving and supportive everything once was and how willing I was to take this chance with him. I go to the kitchen to get a glass of water, noting that his closet light is off. I am struck still as I imagine that light were to never come on again.

He returns home but I have already felt the loss. We go about our routines that are going to have to change for us to survive. But some may just stay the same. He leaves for the gym as I am returning from yoga and I look to his closet to see the light is on. I silently turn it off this time, vowing to never mention it again. From now on I will flick the switch without complaint and use it as an opportunity to love and appreciate that we are still here.

 

 

The Real Signs He Really Loves You Pt. 2

A four-year journey from the original, not-so-loving, “Top 16 Signs He REALLY Loves You

1. He shows up, consistently. He honors his word and cares about your happiness as it’s integral to his own.

2. He agrees to ride a 13-hour bus to Niagara Falls because you scored two tickets for 50-cents, even though he gets motion sickness and hates traveling.

3. When you’re terrified of a decision to get a puppy and have a freak-out moment over this dream (and responsibility) becoming real, he assuages your fears and helps you commit to the dream and even offers to help clean up every now and then.

4. He hates to dance in public, but spends two hours dancing and spinning you around the dance floor at your mother’s 50th birthday because it’s what you want (and meeting all your hick relatives takes away the threat of humiliation after already being labeled a “Metro-Sexshhoooouuuuhhl.”

5. He offers to make a salad for dinner, even if he’d rather country-fried steak and mashed potatoes.

6. He downplays the assholes in your life, mocking them to the point of muting the obsessive thoughts you couldn’t otherwise abandon.

7. He lets you cry or laugh in excess, even when it’s slightly annoying to him. 

8. He goes on the late night walk with the dog, or music show, or random party, even though he’d rather be at home, reading in bed.

9. Even when he finds himself in financial uncertainty, he courts you and makes you feel appreciated.

10. He lets you ramble about past men from time to time and doesn’t take it personally when you need to vent.

11. He sings the corniest love songs of the 70’s and 80’s, directing their sanguine messages to you every single day.

12. He wears the ridiculous t-shirts you give him without protest, if only just around the house.

13. He brushes your hair, even if he feels it goes against his bad-ass, masculine image and could be considered gay.

14. He sits through a c-rate horror flick or overpriced 3-D version of “A Christmas Carol” because it’s your turn to choose the film, even when it’s the last thing in the world he wants to see.

15. Everyone in his tight circle of family and friends remarks on how enamored he was after first meeting you.

16. He poses for photos when he hates being in front of the camera and you just have to capture your birthday brunch at Balthazar.

17. He may not say it often, but words aren’t needed to know his intention and feelings are legit.

The Real Signs He Really Loves You Pt. 1

Four years ago I wrote a sarcastic, eye-opening list of the “Top 16 Signs He REALLY Loves You” as a reaction and book-end to a seven-year romantic entanglement that left me empty, depleted, frantic, and foolish. It was the end of a passionate era of heartache for me with a man I had idolized and admired, who had no option but to fall painfully short of my expectations and desires. Everyday, new readers or returning bloggers read that list and I can only imagine the doubts they must be having to conduct a Google search for signs of love. It wouldn’t be the end of heartache in my twenties, and I should’ve run just as fast from the next fellow who came along, greatly admiring the honesty and awareness in that loveless list of signs. He bonded over my heartbroken, torrid blogs with their finger-pointing and blatancy until the day came when he revealed his self-centered, asshole nature and became my blog-venting target. Suddenly the man who longed for some attention, wanted nothing of it, positive or negative, fearing any connection to me would foul his impulsive political ambitions. And all the while I dealt with cowardice and foppish actions betraying proclamations of dedication from weak men, there was a dude who became a dear friend and pen pal to me. We vented and emailed of our dating adventures and I counted myself lucky to have another new friend, as I was always a magnet for great male friends and poor male lovers. But never once did I allow myself to consider anything further would develop, as we lived in opposite sides of the country and long-distance entanglements had left me unhinged from years of false hopes that something would work out in similar setups. Yet, here, I ended up in a healthy relationship approaching the two-year mark of dating.

This past weekend I found myself sucked into two romantic-dramedies, “Love and Other Drugs” and “No Strings Attached.” They provided a reflection, a look into two beautiful 20-something girls who were opposed to being labeled a girlfriend, called “darling” or “baby,” and kept themselves guarded and protected, all the while these loyal, grounded, loving men pursued them. It caused me to reflect on the journey to here and the sheer determination of the man who has won my heart. His modesty and shyness would singlehandedly erase this blog from existence and have most often kept him out of my blog-status updates- and any other Internet musings. Since we live together in a matchbox-sized apartment, I’m sure the last thing he needs is more of me, so perhaps his own blog-avoidance can spare him the shades of red his face would turn uncovering this blog. Lately I’ve teased that he never wrote me a love letter and needs to do so. And then I began to pull up past emails and holiday cards, speckled with words of dedication and determination, honesty and self-deprecation, and an absolute authenticity that compromised his ego or pride for the long-lost art of being direct and sincere. This dude made it clear from the start that he was smitten and respected me and from the utterances of those words, every single action aligned with his verbose correspondence. And it was only in time that for the first in my life that a man meant what he said and did not shy away from my coldness and detachment, or my trepidation or battle wounds from my tumultuous past. At the time I didn’t register the intent, since every other fool had stepped up to the plate, promised a rose garden, and delivered a sewage treatment plant. 

When we first met I was dressed in a white lab coat, working at a Legal Tech conference, nursing wounds from a recent “break off” (not even substantial enough to qualify as a “break-up”) and was hired to encourage vendors to come up to a private suite to be wined and dined while my bosses pitched their services. Apparently the lab coats symbolized that we could fix the problems with legal service providers. It made little sense. The job was as dreadful as could be, with long shifts and a neurotic client. But this one guy and his colleagues kept returning, for what I presumed to be the free beer and legs of lamb.

A heavy set, boisterous theatre actress sporting the same ridiculous lab coat pulled me aside and said, “That guy is really into you. That’s why he keeps coming back, but you can have him. He’s too perfect for me and looks like a Ken doll.” I just laughed, overtired and turned down the numerous offers to grab drinks after the show from this Ken doll. He resided in Austin, and as I was without a place to stay for the upcoming South by Southwest festival, I inquired about crashing at his place in lieu of the shady highway motel I inevitably ended up at. Because in my direct and naive way, I had learned it’s easy to crash at a nice dude’s place and not be taken advantage of. He was hesitant, as he was concerned he may be more seriously involved with someone back home by the time I arrived and that would complicate his life. I didn’t care about that. I just wanted to crash in one of the two bedrooms his great house allegedly contained. 

We never connected until almost a year later, while he was visiting his dad in New York for the holidays, newly single just as a week after I was recovering from yet another “break-off” that had me on my knees in despair, as it was the last drop before the glass completely overflowed. The best answer was to go on a date with someone attractive, funny, and new. We had a night of dinner, drinks and bar-hopping, and side-splitting laughter that left me in a pleasant (for once) pain the following day. And then we returned to our normal lives, serial dating and detailing our adventures in long-winded emails. He returned a few months later for the same legal conference and thanks to a dreadful economy, I was spared sporting a lab coat and painfully boring hours at the show. But every night he would call and invite himself over, shameless in insisting that we spend time together and go out. His candor was welcome and by his fifth and final night in town, I had to abstain from seeing him and he promised (and lived up to it just once) that he wouldn’t call me. I was incredibly fearful that another night would make it very hard for me to say goodbye. We continued to touch base, and not a month later he was laid off from his corporate job and took to being a rambling gambler in Texas, playing poker and regaling me with his exploits, affairs, and occasional bouts of loneliness. I continued to serial date, from rich older eccentrics to younger, optimistic chaps, promising myself I would never tie myself down again (and secretly admitting that I had always wanted a strong relationship). And then in August he invited me to spend a week with him on Fire Island, to provide the sole female diversion from the gay crowds that stayed at his father’s B&B. 

We spent five days in perfect weather on the beach, my most loved earthly pleasure, and he continued to tease me about breaking his father’s heart, who insisted that his son should be with me but that he felt he could never have a girl like me. Once again it was very hard for me to say goodbye, knowing how many broken hearts amounted from temporary goodbyes that turned into forever goodbyes with the shift of a wind. The experience was too much like deja vu, here I was falling for yet another man who lived far away and was seemingly in no place to be in a relationship with me. And then I received an email and with certainty he declared he would be moving to New York and to not feel any pressure that he was doing it for me or would want a relationship. Of course this email was subsequently (and nearly immediately) followed by his determination to want me to solely date him and be his girlfriend. In the four months that followed, with my bitchy code of self-protection, he consistently showed up and patiently (sometimes impatiently) let me be myself until I was ready. We’ve been together ever since.

It’s of late, that the wholeness of this relationship has begun to make it’s impact on me. Relationships have their own tides, ebbing and flowing in ways we may not understand, but lately I am awash with appreciation and love for what I have in my life. I have fought my internal battles, disappointed my ambition and drive have taken a backseat to living in the moment and acknowledging the beauty in the simple and small. But with this has come an internal glow and happiness, a sense of fulfillment that may, at the end of this life, carry more weight than what I once thought should matter the most: career, fame, and fortune. I understand the fragility of relationships and the ever-changing desires and motion in the modern world. I recognize that nothing will necessarily last forever and we can’t always be certain of longevity. But even still, this time in my life has resonated that even though relationships may be fleeting, self-worth doesn’t have to be. And after the blessing I have been given with such a great man, no matter how life may twist and turn, I will never be sucked into the tornado of sacrifice with no return as I once was. That is sweet clarity.

And as an addendum, thank God I didn’t end up with any one of those assholes that chipped away at my wild heart. The journey was worth it’s current pay-off.

 

In Between A Memory and A Dream

Have you ever had a dream so real and tangible that you awoke to find yourself in the same motions as you were in the dream? Crying, laughing, orgasming, talking? This morning I was in a dream so vivid and real, capturing my time spent with someone I miss dearly. He was happy and relaxed, connecting in an open way as when we first met and had first traveled together. We were on a trip and standing in the white, non-descript lobby of a modern hotel. I had the option of going anywhere in the world on my own but I chose to stay with him, wherever that journey led us. As we ascended to our room in the elevator, I soaked in every second, fearing the inevitability that the moment would pass. I began to cry in the dream, a mixture of longing and sadness and of gratitude and joy. He was surprised and certain that I need not worry, for what we had was not as temporary as I feared. In real life, he had always been the one thinking ahead and not being present. As I continued to cry in the dream I slowly awoke. My lids were like faulty dams, betraying me as soon as I opened my eyes and felt tears begin to flow. It took a few minutes to discern what was real and what was dreamt. And while positive feelings remained I was left in the same situation– there was nothing I could do. His absense has been his choice. We can have a plan, we can put our best foot forward, but at some point the ultimate outcome is out of our hands. It’s funny that whatever uncertainties we may have in the waking world are confronted with brutal honesty by our subconscious. And that we cannot escape.

A Range of Emotions

I thought that there is a limited range of emotions. That by a certain point in our lives, we’ve felt everything from sadness or joy or madness or fulfillment or loss and they come to us in varying degrees of intensity. I didn’t think it was possible to feel something new and undefined. Tonight I’m feeling a combination of so many things, but though one would think loss would incur stress or longing, I just feel present. I fell in love with someone at the wrong time, the wrong place in our lives, and it drove me mad to not have it reciprocated. There were trips and gifts and support for my career, but inconsistent. I couldn’t develop a level of trust in any of it.

After an argument last week, stressful but direct, I said things that were hurtful. But what hurt the most is that they were true to me. Maybe I’ve been too judgmental on what a friend should be, what the essentials are. When you add love to the mix, it gets even muddier when only one of the two  actually feels it. I spent most of my late teens and early twenties sticking around, showing constantly how witty or how loyal or how good I was. Emotionally, I was left raw and unattended. I used to think even the wounded deserve a chance to fall in love, that it somehow wasn’t enough reason for me to walk away.

I tried this time, never expecting to fall for someone I truly could not stand early on. But underneath the neurosis and baggage, behind the pain and wounds, I saw the hope and drive he had to be someone good. I fell in love with the essence of him. And while he’s perpetuated that we cut ties forever, I feel nothing but love and compassion and hope for him. Maybe growing older allows us to accept things with more grace. Maybe a person takes so much heartache in one lifetime and the capacity to endure more just dissipates any potential for more disappointment. But this time, I just don’t feel disappointed or regret or unhappy with my decisions. I followed my heart and instincts all the way and I couldn’t sweep my feelings away anymore.

I just wish him love.

“Love Makes The World Go ‘Round…”

“It (love) can’t be taught, bargained or bought…” was my first vocalist solo in the fourth grade. Unfortunately, everyone had a solo in fourth grade and I had a skewed sense of entitlement to a far longer solo. I mean, even my tone-deaf boyfriend-for-a-week at the time had a solo with as many words. In retrospect, I’m sure he would’ve volunteered his line to me as well, but I wasn’t as cunning back then and simply scorned my music teacher for being so blind. I had begun my “you-will-regret-this-someday” attitude, enhanced by my adulation for Bette Midler, who had experienced the same level of dismissal when she was my age. Or at least my worn-out copy of Ladies Home Journal with Midler on the cover allowed me to believe.

Maybe these initial stirrings were where I allowed myself to create a wall around any aspirations towards love and relationships, embracing external goals to rule the world and show ’em all over romantic love and coupling. If you ask me straight out, I will protest any interest in settling down or ever getting married. Yet if you are around me long enough and watch the moon glisten in a dark sky, feel the wind shift, or the right song to come on my story will change. This weekend I headed upstate, investigating the everlasting relationships and marriages that were set as a model for me. My grandfather, blue-collar all the way, awaited me at the bus stop and I flashed back to my early memories of him when my grandmother was still alive. She’s been gone for 18 years now, buried somewhere in his past that brings flinches of pain when stories of her come up. Yet if you look closely, you can find traces of her remains everywhere… the specialty plates that read “Dot 36” (which I tried to decipher the chosen number “36” with him, finding the synchronicity that it is also my birthday) or the faded Pound Puppies (remember those novelties from the ’80’s) that still sit on the dashboard as travel companions.

This was the first time since I was child that I rode shotgun in my grandfather’s truck, instantly arising memories from the years spent jotting up and down the east coast on my grandmother’s lap. Tears stung my eyes, as I realized how much has changed since then as I placed my feet on the dash, which used to warrant my grandfather’s scolding of “Get your feet off the dash!!” Of course he didn’t mind much then, or even now as I left my dirty shoe prints along the console. I recently read an article that said any child who loses a parent or close loved one will spend the rest of their life wondering when each person they get close to will leave them as well.

Yet, while I was next to him I kept questioning what my grandparents could have possibly had in common. I remembered their passionate arguments and make-up moments that followed. I remembered the absolute adoration you could trace to my grandfather’s eyes when they went shopping and he followed her around carrying all our coats and gear, eager to purchase any item that would bring her contentment. Even though he was a hard-working, frugal man he would not hesitate to spend his last dime to make her happy. She was fastidious and neat, often dressed in perfectly pressed white slacks and pastel blouses, with a heavy perfume that would leave stay long after she had left. My grandfather was the opposite; his fingernails marked by black grime from hours toiling in the garage and his t-shirts and flannel shirts always smelling of hard work and gasoline. He lost most of his hearing at an early age, so it was hard to imagine communicating with him all those years without being frustrated (particularly with his finely attuned use of “selective hearing”). When I asked him about his early dating life, he alluded to frivolous courting that was in the name of fun but that my grandmother was it for him after the age of nineteen until years after she passed away. The only conclusion I came to is that he loved her with all his heart, they enjoyed traveling extensively with one another, and they always sought to help others in need.

My grandfather dropped me off with my parents so I could enjoy a sleepover with my favourite six-year-old, who was revved up and ready to go. His affection for me is often overwhelming. but our times together are so refreshing and real. I took him down to the Hudson River the next day, where he spent hours collecting bricks from the riverbed, in his desires to build me a house. I found that scolding or bossing him around is entirely ineffective at times, particularly when he thought it was wise to tread into the water on his quest. The river taught him better than I could that April is not the best time for wading.

Yet, I found myself relating to his determination to accomplish his mission on that day. I have foregone many physical comforts on this journey for the sake of reaching my ultimate goals. Before I dropped him back home, he looked at me and said, “Michelle you’re the only grown-up who ever plays with me all day!” When I asked him why he ran to me and hugged me fiercely. “Because, Michelle, I think you have a really big heart. You have the biggest heart in the world.” That’s precisely why I spend so much time with this kid… to remember my own heart.

I spent the rest of the day with my dad, forcing him out of the house to the bowling alley. I’m a lousy bowler but it makes for good bonding. I tend to hit the most pins when I think of my formers and career objectives. If I think anything about technique or form, I’ll be lucky to keep the ball in my lane.
 

I couldn’t have been happier than I was with my small purple bowling ball, chucking it down the lane and thinking about the life I’ve woven so far and what I want. As career-driven as I am, this huge part of me is comprised of utter bullshit that denies my desire for an incredible relationship with someone. It’s highly contradictory. A woman doesn’t spend time alone with her piano under candlelight, writing songs to call out to the formers and lovers she wishes to stay, unless it’s something she wants. At the bowling alley, my dad reminded me that I set the bar high. I experience the rejection and struggles every day professionally, constantly putting myself out there in a way that will guarantee failure to meet my own expectations. If I were to focus as much energy on finding the love of my life, given the setbacks I’ve experienced in that department as well… I think the pressure would be too much. But our conversation forced me to be real with myself. Relationships with friends and family are extremely important to me and in spite of my incredibly selfish ambitions and goals, I can be quite a nurturing person. It’s not an aspect of my personality I’ve embraced as much because I’ve needed to self-protect.

Yet at the end of the day, there’s little I wouldn’t give to have an incredible relationship with someone who was supporting me and my goals. For a change, to have someone not in love with this fantasy of me and too scared to commit or really be with me would be refreshing and welcome. To be with someone that is not competitive with my drive and aspirations because they long ago gave up on their own. Someone who enjoys the good and the bad in life, taking it as it comes and remembers to laugh in the richness of the experiences. This weekend was a reminder to not be so opposed to thoughts of love simply because the trail of formers have not been able to stick around or keep their promises. At the same time, I really must stop bullshitting myself about not wanting an incredible relationship. It is possible to have it all.        .

A Week of the “Formers”

This evening has concluded a week that has brought forth every chap I ever seriously loved. My birthday assisted a few in using their opportunities to reach out, but for the most part it was purely coincidental. These spontaneous moments of outreach came in all forms- email, texts, phone calls, and one even met with me to toast my 52nd birthday. One of them just appeared in a dream, but upon checking his uploaded photo on Myspace, I saw it had changed to a photo taken when we were together. I’d say that counts.

The funniest call came from my often-nomadic Irish partner-in-crime from my days as a nineteen-year-old in Hawaii. Given the chosen year, and my current age, I’d say that took place around 1943. Last I’d heard from him, I received a cryptic message on my home machine, saying if I didn’t hear from him in a few days it meant something bad happened. I assumed this to mean someone put a hit out on him. He also informed me to call or email to ensure he was missing (I don’t have either updated contact numbers or email addresses).

I wasn’t sure if it was an inebriated ploy to get me to try and track him down or he was really on the run from some “friends” in Providence. Last time he lost his cell phone at a laundromat in Seattle and I received phone calls from the place for weeks, asking if my friend would ever come and pick up the missing phone. When I received a call from another pay phone at another train station or bus depot in Oregon, the Irish Chap revealed the phone was a lost cause. He didn’t care.

Nothing in his life seems secure to me, except for his faith. He’s never worried about the next job, next home, or next adventure. After recently reading one of my blogs about meaning to revisit Hawaii, he said he was relocating so I could visit. I told him about my recent love of New England and Martha’s Vineyard, and he offered to relocate there and I could be his part-time girlfriend. With his impulsive nature, I can never be too sure if he means it or not. It’s not something I want to risk.

What I love most about our infrequent conversations is his undying kindness, even if the flattery is brought to an abrupt halt with him insulting my musical tastes and performances. But this is a man who routinely sang “I’m Easy Like Sunday Morning”  while intoxicated and threated to kill James Taylor if given the chance. He also thought I was a fool for not wanting to see the Drop Kick Murphey’s. We were never a musical match.

The Nomadic Irishman also has an impeccable memory for all my other heartbreaks and crushes over the years, and will ask about the lawyer-who’s-not-a-lawyer who hated and banned my use of Secret deodorant. In a monologue, he often retorts that he would gladly pay to smell my armpits in that given moment. Laced with an Irish brogue, that kind of charm and candor can even inspire tender giggles from someone as cynical as me.

When I discussed my recent sadness in my prospects and ended flings, he’ll always promise to board the next flight to New York and kick the arse of anyone who’s bringing me grief. We may not have a future together, but I can almost always welcome the freshness of his candor.

My heart may have been stampeded a few times, my lyrics may often reflect the vitriolic fervor that swarms my soul, but this week brought me something else. Perhaps the origins were with a “Former” who toasted me just before the stroke of midnight on my birthday. He articulated how certain people come into our lives at a certain point to get us to where we are today. I just may be beginning to see the light in all of these years of turbulence. This, of course, does not mean I want a return of all the “Formers.” It’s just nice to see their placeholders on the time line of my life.

“Looking Glass” At The New Casio

I wrote this song a few years ago, and as my television somehow landed onto Fox tonight, muted as the vapid commercialism reflected hues of blue and green through my apartment, I thought I’d post a new video as a minor retaliation against the show. Homegrown and as authentic as I can be. When I wrote this song I had two beautiful Bordeaux wine glasses, both sitting on my floor after I said goodbye to this chap I had fallen so deeply for. I left him at the subway, came home and balled my eyes out and wrote this song. After the song was done, I picked up the glasses and washed them and accidentally tapped his used glass into my faucet. It shattered into a thousand bits and pieces and I took it as an omen that was soon fulfilled. Since then, my last blog about this inspired an awesome woman to hand paint glasses for me that read “Star” and “Fan” and they’ve been my glasses of choice ever since.

No more American Idol (even if on “mute”) for me. That show has seen it’s day. And here, my first video at the new Casio.

I’m In Love…

This morning, at long last, the new love of my life arrived: the Casio Privia. I know I promised to divorce Casio as my brand, but I was won over by this digital piano on my trip to Manny’s Music last week. As I went downstairs to claim the oversized box, dreading the trek up five flights and my spiral staircase, I was met with the UPS guy and a man doing construction below my apartment. He offered to help me, then insisted on lugging the cumbersome box all the way upstairs. I think his efforts were partly out of guilt from the deafening noises coming from the apartment below me, where he and his amigo are working on re-wiring electric. My gratitude for his assistance just drowns out all the noisy labour as I bang on my new friend in bliss.


I got the 200-model, even cooler

I’d imagine this is just a step below my next musical dream, which will have to come with a housing upgrade as well. I’m sure it’s in the universal works:


The Swarovski Bosendorfer

And you can also get ready for some videos of me performing acoustically with Scott. They’re coming soon!

Photographs and Memories…

This blog doesn’t necessarily dig up old photos, but the nostalgia of rifling through online shots brought me to find the passage I’m including. It’s from three or more years ago, when I was pipe dreaming about this relationship I always thought would be. I broke into side-splitting guffaws a few nights ago when my best friend reminded me that I once wanted to marry this chap. Anyway, in one of the time periods I was left alone in my tiny SRO, burning candles and reading spiritual books, I came across this snippet in a book. I can’t even remember where I found it, but I remember that I instantly wanted to scan the passage for future keeping. It brought tears to my eyes to imagine finding the person to be the kind of partner spoken of. I also remember the defiant twinge in my stomach that made me know for certain, this fantasy of marriage with this chap I chased for years could never deliver. Anyway, it made me smile today as I read it again and thought I’d share. I am as wishy-washy on my thoughts about marriage as most politicians are about their platforms in the primaries. But tomorrow being Halloween always reminds me that if I do get hitched, I’ve always wanted to get married on Halloween (and it better be impromptu and low-scaled and mysterious).