Tuesday, 12 February 2008


    So why does it always seem
    That every time I turn around
    Somebody falls in love with me

Therapy already today, like aloe on a stinging burn, a relief for me today with lots to work through and bountiful, gloriously expensive minutes in which to do it. Then a very early lunch with Joel, a block from his office at the diner that makes designs in your coffee with cream and a spoon. I eat little and listen as he waxes intellect over living by beauty.

I took my beauty and turned it inside out, swearing him down softly and he ignored me. I cancelled Thursday night cruelly in favor of the hope of Ben making it home, and if not, another night alone. Ben doesn't like Joel, finding him far too much like Jake, too professional, too invested in my recovery to have even a hint of understanding when it comes to living all the while. As if living just stops while people get better. I learned, it doesn't.

In Joel's universe, existing in that space between moving forward and dealing with trauma, there's a quiet stasis that would lead one to believe that no, you can't go forward and sideways at the same time.

Only you can and I'm proving it every day. I might not get anywhere sometimes, and then at other times you'll spin around and focus and I'm already gone.

I love Joel, I do. In spite of Ben. In the days right after Jacob walked away from us but while he was still alive Joel was here for me, keeping me busy, using friend-tools instead of psychoanalyst tools, hanging out, playing hockey games on the TV, making sure I didn't slide too far away, playing the now-infamous game of finding Bridget sitting in the pantry and joining her, other things, the ever present arm tucked around my shoulders while he sat hunched down into his perfect white collar with his tie hanging untied but still around his neck. The running partner that put up with long jaunts along the river in dead silence.

And a lot of people would say if Joel is your friend and you made plans with him you can't break those plans just because you got a better offer. I didn't.

Joel and I had agreed to just stop. Stop hanging out, stop speaking, stop getting together for a while because his concern with certain aspects of my issues overstepped our friendship boundaries. We had agreed to be friends and not patient/doctor a long time ago and he's had trouble living like that. I don't have enough patience to stick him out and yes, Ben gets to pull rank because I have known and loved him longer.

And so when Joel called to make amends and pick up wherever we were when we left off I suggested we move our Thursday plans to lunch today and go from there and he agreed.


So there is no problem.

While I sipped from the cream-heart in my coffee, he reached out and I shrank back and he made a face and then pulled a bobby pin from a curl, one that had tried to escape and he held it up for me to take and when I reacted it was to take it and my eyes swam out of focus and he was Jacob for just a moment.

Just for that one moment and it was a gentle reminder that I have so much further to go, and so much help to get me there. I just need to keep living, keeping fighting, keeping sipping coffee while my world plays the same actions over and over again in a neverending loop.

Until I can get it right.