Another Weekend Coming On

I have to get up mega early in the morning. Blah. So much to do before catching the 10:30 bus to Moncton. I’m taking Austin Clarke’s writing workshop at Frye Festival. I wanted to do more, but hey, it is what it is and I’m glad. Stacy will meet me later and we’ll have supper at one of our favourite restaurants and then come to my place. Saturday we’re going to the Giant Flea Market and then into Moncton for a Wellness Expo. I might go to a book launch on Saturday too, depending. Think I’ll be taking the bus home and Stacy will be going to Miramichi at the end of the day.

Meeting with the landlord at 9am tomorrow to renew lease with slight rent increase. One of the boys is staying most of the summer. He’s a quiet one. You’d never know he was in the house. The others will be back in the fall I’m told. I don’t mind. I missed the boy on the other side of my bedroom wall as soon as he left. It’s just too quiet here without them.

Mood: sleepy
Drinking: orange pekoe and water
Listening To: washer wailing out another load
Hair: someone give me kids so i can be a soccer mom

Paying Attention

My horoscope told me to pay particular attention to the messages in my dreams this week. And I have been. And I’ve been learning lots. But there’s this one dream I’m just not getting. I’ve no idea where it came from. I dreamed I went to see Simple Plan play in a club in Mississauga. It was a club I used to go to quite a bit when I lived in Etobicoke. I forget what it was called, but it was huge, warehouse-like with many different bars and a huge dancefloor. Anyway, I dreamed I went there to see Simple Plan. I was close to the stage on the dancefloor when the band came out and started to play and I saw that my sister’s ex-boyfriend was on guitar. I was surprised. I mean if he joined a big name band like that surely we’d hear about it. And he generally always played in country bands, so this was unexpected.

Anyway, I didn’t much care who was in the band because I was dancing and having the best time. I kind of forgot he was even there. But by the end of the show he had noticed me and as I was getting my stuff together to leave afterward one of the bouncers came up to me and told me he had asked to see me backstage. So I went. Mostly because I really wanted to meet all the other Simple Plan guys! And get autographs and things. So I went backstage, which was actually a band bus in the parking lot out back. None of the other guys were there though, just me and him and a few roadies. He was all hyper like he always was, glad to see me, asking tons of questions about the family and folks, talking a mile a minute. I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t getting to meet anyone, but we had a beer and chatted and gradually I found that I was having a good time. Talking to him wasn’t so bad.

Then in the way of so many of my dreams things shifted into a fast forward montage showing us spending lots of time together, staying up all night laughing and talking, me being pulled on-stage with the band at another club show, me backstage meeting people, us having dinner in a nice restaurant, me and the band running from crazy fans to get on the bus, holding coats over our heads to hide from cameras . . . yes, it was like I was having a love affair with him! (This totally freaks me out.) Anyway, it was like a May-December romance, nothing long-term, just a lot of hanging out for a few months while we in the same city. Then they were going on world tour and I was going on a retreat, a farm in Kirkland Lake, where I was going to work on a book. So we’d had this really great time but it had run its course and everyone was okay with that, we weren’t sad or anything.

In the final scene of the dream we’re standing on a wagon path by a cedar fence at the edge of a field with waist high hay blowing in the wind. We hug goodbye. I can’t help smiling. He grins and walks away. I know I’ll never see him again. I turn to walk toward the farm house where I’m staying and I think to myself, “That wasn’t so bad. Maybe height doesn’t matter.”

And then I woke up.

A very bizarre dream. VERY bizarre! And seriously what does it mean? Is my subconscious saying I need to give short guys I find a bit repulsive more of a chance and maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised? Do I need to see Simple Plan? Am I going to run into my sister’s ex soon? Should I be running off with the next guitar strummer I meet? Thoughts anyone? I’m just baffled by it. And a bit embarrassed. Thank God there were no sex scenes. Other than the hug and some handholding I spared myself anything more graphic.

Speaking of musicians . . . Charlie says Denise and Richie give love a bad name. Hah! But seriously, it’s music festival week here and every where about town there are kids playing their guitars and violins and what have you, buskering in the streets, it’s kind of cool.

Mood: headachy
Drinking: rooibos herbal tea with a splash of skim milk
Listening To: Let Her Cry, Hootie and the Blowfish
Hair: tightly wound

More Stories than Walt Disney

Jacques arrived late last night in a pouring rain storm. The super quiet boy might still be in the house too. But he’s so quiet I take no comfort having him here, so I was happy to see Jacques pull into the drive. The house is so big and quiet when it’s just me here. I don’t know how long he’s staying, but after so many months without access to his home I would assume he’ll be here for awhile.

*****

Need to buy coffee today. And some produce. God! I want some really good olives! Maybe I’ll try Jacob’s Larder.

*****

Stacy has decided to cut this weekend’s visit short, stay only one night instead of two. I’m a little disappointed, but I totally understand why. She’s got a house to get into! Now that’s exciting stuff!

*****

Frank McCourt is coming to give a reading in Halifax in June and I want to go! I REALLY want to go. The reading is on the Dalhousie University and actually you can get lodging in the dorm there during the summer months that is much cheaper than staying in a hotel. A return trip by train or bus will only run me 60 and change. It’s very tempting. The thing of it is that I’ve never actually been to Halifax in that way before. I’ve been there only on trucking excursions. They say trucking is a great way to see the country and they’re right you do get to “see” lots, but you don’t actually get to get out and interact and “do” anything. So I’ve never done anything in Halifax before. And that could be an exciting adventure for me. Ah well. The whole thing is likely not worth thinking about anyway. It’s too soon. I’ll never be able to afford to go.

*****

The editing and rewriting and general probing of my brain continues as I work on my . . . memoir? A friend of mine came up with a pretty good title — Writing in Spite of Myself. I like it. It fits the project. All this time I’ve been writing without thinking it was anything, thinking it wasn’t writing at all. I’ve always known I had stories, but I just assumed everyone had the same kinds of stories, or that nobody would find my stories interesting. Now that I’ve started this project for real and I’m talking to more people about it, I’m seeing things a little differently. I have apparently lived a lot early in life. I always thought I was too young to write a memoir, that I hadn’t lived enough yet to be taken seriously. But I’m starting to see that I’ve learned a lot of big lessons at a young age. I’ve started opening up more to people, stories are coming up, spilling out, and people want to hear them, are interestd. It kind of freaks me out.

*****

Am meeting a writer friend for coffee this evening and to have AGM 2007 conversation. Will be nice to get out and socialize, hope it’s not raining.

Mood: all over the map
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: birds, tons of birds chirping outside my window
Hair: i don’t want to talk about it

Moving Week

It’s turn-over time in my fair town. People have been on the move quietly for a few weeks, but now we’re getting into mass exodus mode. Moving vans, half-tons piled high, trailers loaded down, kids carrying mattresses on their backs, suitcases by the curb, all over town yesterday. Only one boy left in my house. The quiet one. All weekend there’s been a steady stream of people in and out, all the hugging and take cares, final farewells. I expect the landlord any day now. His mail has started coming in the box again. As much as I bitched about having the students in the house, the quiet will take some getting used to. I don’t know that they’ll be back in the fall, or whether he’ll rent the house again. This year was an experiment, so it’s hard to say what will happen. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m staying. I’m home here. I love this place, these people. Every day here is such a joy.

Mood: sinusy
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: email dinging into my inbox
Hair: needing a miracle

The Other Song

She’s Always A Woman
(Billy Joel)

She can kill with a smile
She can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
Yeah, she hides like a child
But she’s always a woman to me

She can lead you to love
She can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth
But she’ll never believe you
And she’ll take what you give her, as long as it’s free
Yeah, she steals like a thief
But she’s always a woman to me

CHORUS
Oh-she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She’s ahead of her time
Oh-and she never gives out
And she never gives in
She just changes her mind

And she’ll promise you more
Than the Garden of Eden
Then she’ll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you’re bleedin’
But she’ll bring out the best
And the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she’s always a woman to me

CHORUS

She is frequently kind
And she’s suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases
She’s nobody’s fool
But she can’t be convicted
She’s earned her degree
And the most she will do
Is throw shadows at you
But she’s always a woman to me

Yes there are better Billy Joel love songs — Just the Way You Are seems logical. But She’s Always a Woman became our song. Yes, the woman character is, for lack of another term, a bit of a bitch. Well that’s one interpretation anyway. But in my late teens and early 20’s, well . . . I do identify with this woman’s behaviour. It’s interesting to look back and know who I was then and wonder what happened to me that would allow the Marty train wreck to occur only eight years later. How did I get from strong, cool and cocky to suicidal, abused and beaten down? But that’s another post.

That first fall in Toronto, Kevin and I had been together a few times. But we weren’t a couple. We weren’t exclusive. He had at least two other girls and there were other boys coming and going in my life. Kevin and I hung out a lot, went places and did things. Talked. And sometimes ended up in bed together. I was crushing pretty hard on Kevin though. He was my favourite boy. I wanted to be his favourite girl. I wasn’t about to put all my eggs into his basket though. I didn’t think getting him into a committed relationship was an option. So I took whatever time I could get with him, had fun, lived in the moment, and hoped to find someone even better elsewhere that would love me as much as I loved him and we’d live happily ever after. I’ve never been the kind to sit around and pine for a guy.

October 23, 1987. Kevin dropped a crowd of us off at the bar. Me, MB, Tracey, Cindy Lou, and likely Bob, possibly Diane. The Eastwood Park Hotel on Lakeshore West. Kevin had that huge grey truck then, the one with the full-sized backseat. So he was always delivering us places because we all couldn’t fit into one taxi. He left. This wasn’t uncommon for him to drop us and go off to hang out with different friends, his other girls. We met up with a bunch of people at the club. I was underaged, but the bouncers always let me in. One night I even showed my bank card for ID. The manager always tried to get me to go work for him. There were strippers downstairs. Whenever I was there and on the dancefloor, he would come up to me and try to get me to come dance downstairs. The money was tempting but I knew some of the strippers and their lives were hard. Lots of drugs and prostitution. I wasn’t opposed to stripping, but if I was going to do it, I wasn’t going to do it in a dangerous dive on Lakeshore.

Scotty was all over me that night and I was into it. He was a cutie, funny, a great dancer. He was also a player, a real lady’s man (there seemed to be a few of these in our group), and I was fresh blood that he hadn’t yet conquested. He was well on his way to conquest that night. We were dancing every dance, flirting, touching, having a great time. The gang had taken over the big wooden booth in the corner by the dance floor. Taking a break from dancing, Scott squeezed a butt cheek onto the end of one bench and pulled me onto his lap. Drinking cc and coke, precariously perched on Scotty’s lap with his arms around my waist, hands massaging my thighs, nuzzling my neck with his lips, nipping at my ears. It seemed obvious where we were heading. Until I saw Kevin.

He had just come in and was gazing around the room looking for us. He spotted us, smiled and came over. Walked up to me, sitting on Scotty’s lap, held out his hand and said, “Lets dance.” And I took his hand and followed him to the dancefloor. And we danced. And we held hands. And we cuddled at the table. And we went home together at the end of the night. And we made love for the first time. We’d had sex before, but this was different. She’s Always a Woman was playing on the stereo and the lovemaking lasted until dawn and we fell asleep in each other’s arms. All the years that we were together, there was never a night that we didn’t sleep in each other’s arms. Even when we fought and hated each other, we couldn’t stand distance in bed. We talked about that night later and he told me that was when he finally made his decision on what to do about all the girls. I hadn’t realised he was struggling with the issue, had never thought that we would become exclusive. Felt certain he was in love with one of the other girls and would eventually weed me out of his life. But instead he picked me, came looking for me at the club, was worried one of the guys would steal me away, that he’d lost his opportunity.

The thing I had with Kevin that I’ve never had with anyone else is trust. He never lied to me, even when the truth hurt. I knew with 100% certainty that he loved me. He wasn’t big on saying it, which sometimes bothered me, but there was no doubt that he did. Sometimes I miss that certainty in my life. Sometimes I miss being held while I’m sleeping. Sometimes I wish I could call him just to hear him say, “You can do it Kel. Just do it.” Always when I hear Billy Joel I think of him. And smile.

Mood: lost on memory lane
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: Billy
Hair: tight to my head

Peace

Another gorgeous day! Had such a wonderful time yesterday. Art show was amazing. Stayed up until after 3 am drinking wine, cognac, so much conversation! It’s good to connect like that every so often. Healing. I have such a peace in my life. I really feel so fortunate. Had eggs benedict at the Marshlands for breakfast . . . it’s not Azure, but for $15 including tip, a pretty damn decent meal and wonderful company.

Thinking of maybe going to the market. Need some stuff at Jean Coutu too. And food stuffs would be good. I am low on supplies.

Mood: glowing
Drinking: nothing
Listening To: Life Becomes Me, The Nadas
Hair: long, loose, golden

Outward

Heading to Moncton later today. Supper with friends at a Thai restaurant, then going to Elaine Amyot’s opening at a gallery in the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, followed by sleepover at my house. Yay! The wine will be flowing no doubt.

My horoscope says a platonic friendship is going to turn romantic today and surprise me (it shall be very surprising indeed as I can’t think of any male friends that I might wander into today, so I shall likely be in the company of women.) The astrologer’s advice is to make sure before I do anything to jeopardize the friendship. Aye! Aye! Roger that, Captain. Loud and clear.

So I need to hustle if I’m gonna have company. Swamp out the sty a bit before the 4:15 bus. Gorgeous day here finally! Blue skies. Sunshine. Calm. Aww! So nice.

Mood: happy
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: Kick It, Peaches (featuring Iggy Pop)
Hair: checking out the styles of the rich and famous