December 14, 1998
Mushy Gooey Icky Pooey

Working on it. I've got a new bag of those little oily coffee beans -- Starbucks "Non-Swill French Roast" -- and a coffee grinder ... and I know how to use 'em.
Once I am sufficiently caffeinated (and showered, and dressed maybe, and have plunked a buttload of interesting CD's into the CD player: I'm thinking Mr. Snotra), I shall commence unloading my brain onto the website. I'm sure you can hardly wait.

In the meantime, you know the drill ... click here to read that last fabulous entry, entitled "Directionally Challenged: or, Point Me In The Direction of Oakland (Seeya in Milpitas)" ... or here to go to the archives and catch up on all the stuff you've missed (there will be a quiz later) ... and then check back tonight.

Later That Day:

Last night I dreamed that I was hanging, by my fingertips, from the top of a miles-high skyscraper.  

A few feet away from me, people were moving around on an open walkway. I shouted at them for help, but the wind was blowing and no one could hear me. "You should probably just let go and be done with it," a little voice inside my head whispered ... and for a minute, I considered it, and loosened my grip on the ledge, and felt myself sliding down another inch or two ...

... but then another voice, this one closer to my heart, said "Hold on. Whatever you do,  just hold onto the damn ledge."

And that's when I woke up, heart pounding wildly, and there was David lying* next to me, telling me everything was OK, it was just a dream  ...  and I realized that I hadn't fallen  --  nor was I likely to  --  and that everything was precisely the way it was supposed to be. I felt relief so sweet I could have sprinkled it on my Cheerios this morning. We laid * there in the pre-dawn, talking quietly for a few minutes while I waited for my blood pressure to go back to normal.

"Are you getting used to being here?" he asked me, in the darkness.

I knew what he was getting at, of course. For the first few weeks after we fell in love, I was convinced that he was going to suddenly change his mind, or decide that I was too much work, or simply *disappear* one afternoon and move to Portland without me.  Even after we moved me and all of my worldly possessions 600 miles to live with him, I still worried that he might have a change of heart  ...  that something I might say or do would be the end of our relationship. ("What if I tell him I don't like refried beans, and he runs screaming?") I realize how pathetic this sounds. Fact is, though, that it took me forty years and 364 days to achieve this level of insecurity. It's going to take a little time to undo that.

But I looked at him and said, "Yes. I'm getting used to being here." And then I snuggled into the crook of his arm and we went back to sleep for another couple of hours.

Who was it who said "absence makes the heart grow fonder?" And what sorta bone-headed sentiment is THAT, anyway??  I've *been there/done that*  --  the long-distance romance stuff, I mean  --  and I am here to tell you that it sucks. The heart may grow "fonder" when you're separated by ZIP Codes and Time Zones, in a sort of unrealistic, yearning/pining/Hallmark Card sort of way, but not nearly as fond as it grows when you wake from a ridiculous nightmare and find the person you love, lying* mere inches away from you. Or, for that matter, as fond as it grows when you wander through the grocery store together, picking out salad ingredients and breakfast juice and arguing the merits of jam vs. jelly ...

... or when you emerge from the shower and he's sitting there on the edge of the bed with his guitar, serenading you  ...

... or when you sit on a park bench together, eating tangerines in the sunshine and watching his beautiful children play on the monkey bars ...

... or when you go shoe-shopping [ackk] together on a Sunday afternoon, and he forces you to try on 325,461,907 different pairs of athletic shoes ...

... or when you agree to disagree at Hollywood Video ("I see your 'City of Angels' and raise you a Jackie Chan") ...

... or when you sit here at your desk over coffee on a cloudy Monday afternoon and fill out a rental application, making you a *legal* roommate ...

... or any of the other bazillion and one scenarios that can only take place when you're sharing a day-to-day existence with the person who means most to you on the planet.

We've both arrived in this relationship with tons of the proverbial baggage. I encounter evidence of his baggage on a daily basis, both off and online. It tickles at my insecurities, occasionally, but it's not enough to make me let go of the ledge. And with every day that passes, my certainty that this is the best and bravest and smartest thing I've ever done  --  next to admitting that I'm an alcoholic and deciding to do something about it, that is  --  grows and grows.

David doesn't read this website as much as he used to. Last summer, checking the website was the first thing he did when he got home from work everyday, practically. Now he does his message board stuff in the evenings, and when he's finished I'll say "Did you read the website?" and he usually looks sheepish and says no, he forgot.

For the first couple of days I was bothered by this, and I told him so. "I miss my #1 fan," I whined.

He wrapped his arms around me. "I would rather have you than your website," he said. "For one thing -- I can kiss you." And he proceeded to do just that.
* Thanks, Mom, for the grammatical correction. I've always had problems with the intransitive lay. So to speak. 

I've only got a couple of minutes left here to write, but I know you're probably wondering how the job interview went last Friday. Amazingly, not only did I not get lost, I actually arrived at the interview with fifteen minutes to spare. The interview went great, and I was offered the job ...

... but I turned it down, primarily because it meant I would be working completely alone in a tiny office off in the boonies of Oakland.  And that kind of isolation is pretty much exactly what I don't need, right now. I need to have people around me. I need the energy and distraction and challenge of a busy office filled with people. It's tough enough living in a strange new state where I know exactly one person. So for the moment it's back to memorizing the classifieds and faxing resumes ... but I'm going to remain optimistic. Keep those fingers and toes crossed for me.

One more thing  --  a special note to my pal Chriss  --  I've been trying to get hold of you, but AOL dourly informs me that you're "not a known member."  The grapevine (aka Shell Pile) informs us that you're coming to San Francisco soon.  We would LOVE to meet you!!  Drop me an e-mail and let me know what's going on, OK??



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