Tuesday, July 24, 2007

crunch time but my mind is wandering...

I have three phobias which, could I mute them, would make my life as slick as a sonnet, but as dull as dishwater: I hate to go to bed, I hate to get up, and I hate to be alone. --Tallulah Bankhead

This last few weeks have been immense. I've not talked to any friends. Cliffy stayed at the house the weekend before last. Like always, it was good until after she left. I've had this stomach virus off and on for weeks and got the final brunt of it last week, missing two days of work - not my choice, especially considering it's a new job. I'm loving work and even went in this weekend to show Delhi the space and get some cleanup done. School is kicking my butt and I'm supposed to be awake to write my extra credit paper. I was so sick I couldn't even get up to get to class so I missed a test - good thing is that I'm not penalized - bad thing is that my final test counts twice. It's been 4 or 5 days since the worst of it and my neck is still tight and my ribs hurt tremendously.

Amid all this, I've had on my mind the realization, yet again, that there is so little in this city for me. I'm at the opposite side of the wheel that I was in when in Austin - there I'd lost my job but found a city that, while not perfect, was close to sharing my energy/frame of mind/frequency. Now, I've got a great job, keep getting promoted and pay raises but don't have community. It hurts me.

Delhi surprised me this evening and folded some of my clothes that I'd washed and made my bed (if you know me, you know I don't make beds). I told her I really appreciated it because those were ways we could help each other - in just the few moments we have free. We'd been having so many talks where I was doing the talking - I'd neglected the community-vision of my parenting - that eventually she never talked. This weekend she spent some time at my mother's house but I picked her up Sunday morning and told her that I wasn't going to rationalize or guilt her but that I would very much like us to work together to clean up. It took forever but we went through some clothes for school, threw away old school stuff, put her books away and checked off the school supply items we already had.

I'm trying to make the most of the space that I do have. I would very much like to be in a space where I could say what I wanted, where I could let out my wittiness without apologizing, where someone who tells me they should marry me means it - some place where I'm able to write so that I'm not getting frustrated with my little mama. I would like to stay peaceful with her. We work so much better. I don't know that I'm capable of making peace with this city or with the luck that's given me career opportunities but I can make peace with my Delhi.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

the empire of lights

This summer's been unusual. Night birds, not present last year, have been singing outside my apartment starting at 12:30 in the morning for the last month. The night sky is gorgeous almost every night. Venus has been sitting low in the horizon just as the sun goes down really late in the evening. All of it brings up in me this joy of nature but also that strange, almost romantic uneasiness in the air.

I walked out of my geology class tonight feeling pretty good. I made a 70 on my first test (not my favorite moment) but my test on Tuesday left me with an 88 in my hand tonight (much better). I'm also tremendously enjoying work. I am surprised and happy for the change in my space.

I realize now I just wasn't a good fit for my previous boss, despite my trying to support women and be part of the academic world. I thought it was me, that maybe I should have stayed in nonprofit but it really was something that had little to do with me. I realized that when, on Tuesday, my previous boss emailed me, suggesting that I took the personal information of the young woman who I'd had such trouble with in my office almost from the start. I was able to feel empowered enough to say, point blank, "why do you think it would be necessary for you to ask me if I'd taken personal information?" - a question she did not answer.

Forget all that - I'm writing today because of the beauty of my space, my luck in being where I was at exactly 9:05 p.m. today. As I walked out of the Geology and Chemistry Building, I saw the deep color of the trees, the burgundy-colored stones on the pathway, the dark faces of the buildings and, in looking up, saw the sky still bright - like a deep ocean blue - but still obviously colored in daytime blues.

I said one word: Magritte.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

my child

The thought of raising a child still terrifies me. With good reason - my child is truly the kind wished for in the late 1800s, when children were viewed as "small adults" who made their decisions, held conversations and generally were seen as good company.

Summer is a hot blooded time for both of us - she adores and gains freedom and I search for but cannot get my hands on freedom. Of course, I'm taking that college course so that has taken my sectioned time for freedom/play/personal enjoyment - much like my sleeping again has taken my time from writing.

Still, Delhi's been hanging at my mother's way too much. I still remember my mother's "Oh God" when I told her, sometime in March, that Delhi would be born June 15 or 18 or 21. I had had a dream of the calendar and my circling a day. She wasn't boohooing my dream - my mother was just freaked because, in her words, "She'll be a gemini! My parents were both geminis!". She said further: "Well, I was under them but this one will be under me!" The evening I had Delhi my mother made one soapy, googly look and I told her "under you, huh?"

We still talk about Delhi's immense personality and how she is like the threat of a huge thunderstorm when she approaches with something on her mind.

So lately, she's been pushing, with all her logic, how upset she is with the summer camp she's attending part-time. I have her at another summer camp between 1 and 2 times a week but can't afford to do it all week right now. By August she'll be going every day anyhow because this free summer camp she finds "just awful" ends in July. I was so fed up with her rationale and her consistent pecking at either me or my mother about just how awful the summer camp was I showed her our budget for the month. This worked for a couple of days.

Then I amended the budget to show just her expenses. We were both surprised that she manages to swindle me out of more than half my check. Her immediate face indicated she thought that perhaps she was deserving of more. My face, on the other hand, must have shown my disgust at having paid her basically $100 an hour for work she may have done around the house (and not with the greatest output either!). So this kept her quiet for another few days.

Next I told her about my cracked tooth and it was either two days of summer camp more for her or me repairing a tooth that was bothering me and that could crack on me. She didn't immediately agree with the urgency.

Finally, yesterday, I reminded her that I needed glasses and those would be about $250 and if I had to hear, even once more about how she didn't like the free camp, she wouldn't be going to the cool camp that costs money at all for July because that was costing me $260 for the month. Well, my mother came to pick her up this morning for the free camp and the first thing out of her mouth to my mother was about how mean I was.

Kills me that I taught her, from the beginning that she needed to use her mouth to enact change. Kills me more that she seems to have received the stubborness on both sides of the family.