little sarah Big World

Tag: tears

Friendship Fridays

~OR~

“The thing about Twilite is you never know how long you’re going to be there.”
-Espy

Seious, old-timey Espy and Griggs OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

True. Because sometimes you just stop in for a few post-work beers before heading on to other plans, and sometimes Twilite becomes the plan.

And the thing about my friends right now is: they don’t know that every time we are together, I am fighting back tears.

Because they are just that amazing.

Because I’m going to miss them that much.

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Booze

~OR~

Do I drink too much? Very well then, I drink too much. I am large, I contain multitudes of reasons for drinking.

Tuesday. I love that the liquor store is still open when I get off work. (All the way ’til 7pm! Way to be, Utah!). I like feeling grown-up for buying Bulleit instead of Jack Daniel’s. I like cradling my brown paper wrapped bourbon in the crook of my arm like a baby on the walk home walk home. I like putting on my PJs as soon as I get home and drinking bourbon with water. I love a long bath with a stiff drink to keep me company and Tibetan take-out. I love closing the blinds, pushing back all the furniture and turning up my sweet new speakers for maximum danceability.

I don’t like working from 6am to 6pm with an hour-and-a-half lunch break that I use to run errands and bike home, where I arrive sweating and immediately begin to dread returning to work.

I don’t like puking in my mouth a little bit on the way to Second Job, because I have stress-induced acid reflux and spit up like a damned baby. Because I ate too fast and then drank water (breaking all the reflux rules!), and because I have developed a Pavlovian response to Second Job that causes stomach cramping and increased bile.

I don’t like feeling that my boss could not be happier to see me go, or rid of me soon enough.

I don’t like crying on desk, having to dry my eyes with tissues and pretend it’s allergies (in November? Really?). Because I’m never sure that I’ve made the right decision. Because breaking up is hard to do, after 5 long years of service. Because I just want a familiar face, a friend, a warm tight hug…but instead there are children screaming and crying, and it pierces my thin skin, and it grates my nerves, and it doesn’t stop.

I don’t like that at all, Friends.

But I do like drinking. And the liquor store is still open.

 

Once again I’ve lapsed in my posting. Busy with work, and window displays, just like this time last year.

I’ve also been:

crying (found my tears)

but not throwing up (any more)

not cutting myself (except that once)

hardly eating (silver lining)

doing running-ballet torture-running-biking exercise marathons (“Conquer Thyself”)

*       *       *

Conquer thyself, little sarah, you foolish mother fucker. I love your aching guts.

History

I remember:

-Giant fake sequoias and a rising sense of panic, an urgent text–“I feel supremely un-okay”–and then reassurance, caring

-A long drive that turned out to be so much more perfect than a short one

-Your hand on my leg

-Almost crashing, over and over, but not really feeling scared

-Drinking bourbon straight from the bottle

-Holding each other, frantically, because this was finally real. It was touchable.

-Crying in the bathroom; missing my friends

-3 hours of sleep

-Watching you drink a mug of coffee, black

-A drive that I never wanted to end

-Waiting for you outside the bathroom

-Your hand on my back

-A long lazy lunch

-“Where does he think I’m from?”

-Stealing kisses in the car

-2 hours behind a budget truck (high centered), and absolutely not caring. Being content, just to be there. Just to be near you.

-Skipping a nap and dinner in favor of tall glasses of whiskey

-Being unable to get up off the couch

-A ridiculous party, never-ending laughs, running home, pretending to be asleep

-Piecing together the night before

-Popcorn for breakfast

-Coming home sweaty after a run to your smiling face

-Changing with the door wide open

-Screaming Turkish music, and meeting new people

-Feeling like I ought to live up to expectations; feeling unable to do so

-Being so, so cold all of the time

-Long walks

-A secret spot

-Saving the end of the story for later

-The Giggles

-A night in with mota, wine, and The Tip of the Iceberg

-Waking up earlier

-Talking for hours in bed, and an internal sigh of relief

-Teaching each other

-A complete meal (bet you anything those pancakes weren’t vegan)

-A walk on the beach

-Watching you watch me watch you smoke

-Hanging out, looking at pictures, smoking, talking

-Meeting my twin!

-SLAYING IT at karaoke

-After being so nervous and anxious that I was about to ask to leave

-Because karaoke is infinitely scarier to me than any other performance

-Because you were drunk and instantly so comfortable with me, while I felt uneasy. And guilty.

-Out of my element

-A failed dance party of two

-Your eyes

-A quick drive to the airport, and goodbye for now

*       *       *

I don’t remember perfection, but I remember everything. The amazing parts, the scary parts, the anxious parts, the hunger, the hangovers. It wasn’t perfect, and I am not perfect. I am real, and so are you, and so is this.

As real as the pain of its absence.

As real as the relief of its return.

Getting By/A Little Help/My Friends

Sitting on Eric’s bed, even though he’d offered me a chair, because I wanted to curl up, legs crossed, hug my knees.

“I just don’t want to eat anything,” I tell him. “I get shaky, so I know it’s time to eat something, but the taste means nothing to me. It just seems like the worst idea.”

I break, start to cry, and he comes over, kneels down to hug me, my wet face resting against the warm length of his upper arm. Just then Iz comes in, all sweetness and light, saying, “I brought you a smoothie, Sarah,” which makes me cry harder and laugh at the same time.

We all three of us hug. I drink the smoothie. Talk about running with Eric.

Feel a little better.

(Thank you)

To Be a Bridesmaid

It is hard work. It is lots of planning, and fittings, and discussions of necklines and colors. It is more estrogen in the atmosphere than is probably safe to take in. But you manage, because this is your best friend’s wedding.

Read the rest of this entry »

Long Days, Long Rides, Long Walks, Long Talks

~OR~

What Passes as Life These Days

After a post about too many pictures and not enough words, I offer you a picture-heavy, verbally sparse post.

And what can I say? It’s been a hell of a weekend, and sometimes the words just aren’t there. Tears, yes. Blood, yes. Words…

Plus lately I’ve been drawn into myself, and I’m okay with that. Lots of long walks, long runs, long bike rides. Alone. I find myself enjoying socialization less and less, though I do still appreciate the time I spend with friends, just talking and talking for hours.

All of these photos are from weeks ago. They’ve just been hanging out in my computer, saved to a draft on WordPress. In limbo.

I, too, feel like I’m in limbo, but it is not an unpleasant feeling. Because it also feels like I’m on the verge of something, something very important.

All I have to do is slow it down, take a step back, and listen.

And wait. Always the waiting.

Lake Titicaca

~OR~

Things We’ve Been Giggling About Since Gradeschool

So. After much travel, we arrived in Puno. The bus ride was brutal, but Josh slept the whole time, giving me and Brett a chance to talk through some things and then just…talk. It was nice. Like old times, us giving each other relationship advice and teasing and being open.

But then Josh was a total dick to me at our hostel, so much so that I immediately signed up for an overnight tour that left at 7:30 the next morning, despite still being sick, just to get away from him. I may have also gone to a locutorio to call Kevin and cry. And then cried myself to sleep. Okay, yeah, both those things definitely happened. I was just so, so tired, Friends. So exhausted, and both Brett and Josh snore like chainsaws, and it is draining to stay positive in the face of so much cruelty and illness and stress. This was probably my lowest point, the point at which I most regretted having gone to South America in the first place. It was a long, dark night.

Sleep found me at last, however, and the next morning I was up and at ’em, on a boat with about a dozen strangers from all over the world.

Lake Titicaca, a place that my tittering eight-year-old self could never have dreamed I’d actually visit one day.

That green stuff growing in the water is totora, a reed that the people of Uros use to make just about everything, including their floating, movable homes and boats.

They have to continually replenish their islands, adding a new layer of freshly-cut totora over the top of the old dried stuff every week. You can also eat it, which of course I did. The taste is pleasant, somewhat reminiscent of jicama, but with a more fibrous, watery texture.

We stopped off at one of the islands, where we were given a demonstration (using miniatures) of life on Uros. They used to make domed houses, which last longer, but also take a lot longer to make. So now they make A-frame-type houses. They also make boats out of the totora, but filled with recycled plastic bottles, to help them float and cut down on the reeds needed, a detail that I found hopeful–using the trash of modern society to improve upon age-old trades and traditions.

All was not hopeful, however, as there was a pervasive sense that we were there to GIVE THEM MONEY. A lot of pressure to buy tchotchkies, trinkets, souvenirs, etc. Basically, the whole of Uros floating islands depends on tourism, and don’t they know it. It was sad to see them essentially whoring themselves out to a constant stream of tourists in an attempt to reconcile their culture with a modern economy and disconcerting (to say the least) to be seen as a walking ATM, though my fellow boat-mates didn’t seem to notice or mind.

When it was time to go, the women and girls of our little island for the day lined up to sing us a song, first in Spanish, then in Quechua (their native language). At the end, they said “Hasta la vista, babies!”

Everyone laughed, but I wanted to cry.

What can I say? I’m a sensitive gal.

I did, however, enjoy riding on a totora raft while young men from all over the world rowed and reclined, in turn, glistening in the sun.

Just so you know I’m well-balanced.

Meaning

It’s not every day in the First World that you wake up knowing for certain that you’re going to see a dead body. And I was thinking about that, last Friday, in the shower. While I got ready for your mother’s funeral.

I know we joked about it, made light of the situation, maybe even more than most would. It’s just that she wasn’t that type of lady, you know? Not the type for us to go into hysterics over, not a warm and compassionate person. And I didn’t know her as much more than just…your mom.

But you loved her. You love her so much, of course you do. And I should have known that. I should have said something better.

Instead I said I was really sorry, and you said “Thank you.” And you said “It’s okay.”

Anyways, I didn’t even get a good look at the body, so busy was I trying to find a place to warm up, but it’s probably for the best. See, I don’t believe in embalming. I prefer my deceased to look, well, dead. Gone, expired. But you don’t know that, because that’s not the type of thing you say to a 26-year-old planning her only parent’s funeral. You just say “Of course I’ll come, of course I’ll play the violin.” And try not to cry when you see the oldest sister’s broken, wet face.

I should have said something, when I got up to play, but instead I made some comment about…wearing heels, was it? Some silly little thing. Then, later, I thought of all the things I could have said. And what I wanted to say was:

“I didn’t know Linda very well, I only knew her as my best friend’s mom, and to tell the truth I was always a little scared of her. I think we all were. But really I was scared of most people’s parents, because they saw me as a bad influence. And I don’t think Linda ever saw me that way. She always welcomed me without much fuss, if I wanted to stay for dinner, or if I wanted to have a sleepover. I never felt out of place in her home. I’m sorry that life was so hard for Linda, especially these last few painful years, and I know that now she’s not in any pain. I dedicate this song to her.”

But I didn’t say that. I just played my violin, and nobody clapped at the end, because I guess that’s how it’s done at a funeral.

And you said so much, and so well. You made everyone laugh, and you made me bawl silently, and you told stories that I never heard, and you gave so much life and depth to your mother with your honest words. It was a side of you I’d never seen before, and all I could think of was how amazing you are, and how strong, and how lucky I am to have you as a friend.

You know, when I came back from Spain, I was plagued with anxiety and regret. I thought I’d made the wrong choice, yet again, and I almost couldn’t live with it. I kept searching for a sign, a reason that would justify my decision, where I could look and point and say “See? There. That’s why I had to come back. It was meant to happen this way.”

But instead I grew, and grew up, and I don’t think like that anymore. I don’t think that things happen for a reason, that they’re meant to be one way or another. I just try to do my best, to accept the decisions I make and deal with the way things are.

So I can’t comfort you the way the others did, can’t tell you that your mother is in heaven, because I don’t believe that. I have no Celestial Kingdom to offer you, no promises, no answers. I do not think that I was meant to come home from Spain so that I could be there for your mother’s funeral.

But for the first time since coming home, I’m glad I did.

Some Days

Some days you just can’t win. Some days people expect more of you than you’re willing or able to give, and it is only 9:20 am. Some days you have more things to do than time in which to do them, and it is snowing, and you ride a bike, and you know that nothing is going to be easy or convenient or efficient.

Some days you have to boil potatoes before 10am, just to stay on top of things. (But the steam on the stove makes the kitchen warm and fuzzy).

Some days you know that you are going to get a talking to, and it will not be pretty. You know that you have to tell the truth to some friends, and that it will not be any prettier.

Some days you cry (sob, really) in the bathroom at work for a solid 15 minutes. You pace the halls and take deep breaths, and you are not proud of yourself, but you love yourself and so you say “It’s okay.”

Some days you return to work with eyes so red and swollen that there is no denying what you’ve done, yet nobody says a thing. And that is somehow worse than whatever you’d dreaded them saying.

Some days you roast potatoes, with garlic and rosemary. 

It’s your own recipe, and you use a fancy tip from Cooks’ Illustrated, and they turn out just right.

And you know that, when you get off of work, you will turn those potatoes into potato salad. You will pack up that potato salad, along with some mustard, vegan bratwurst, and beer, and you will go watch Newsies and have a meat-n-potatoes dinner with your girlfriends.

At least that much you can do right. And some days that’s the best you can do.

*       *       *

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

-Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

-Cut some red potatoes up into little cubes. I used 5 medium potatoes, with the intention of feeding about 5-7 people (as a side dish). Leave the skins on for maximum nutrition.

-Boil a big pot of water, then add cut up potatoes to the boiling water PLUS a bit of baking soda. Say…1/2 a teaspoon for lots of potatoes, but only 1/4 of a teaspoon for not so many potatoes.

-Boil for 3 minutes. Then drain. Then let those hot little spuds cool off.

-Toss your potatoes in some olive oil, a bit of salt, and crushed or chopped garlic.

-Spread the whole mess out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with more salt, some pepper, and rosemary sprigs (fresh or not, whatevs).

-Bake/roast for 20 minutes or so, until they are golden brown and crispy in parts and a fork slides easily in. BONUS: you can add some lemon juice for the last 5 minutes of roasting for extra amazingness.

-ENJOY! Try them in a salad with mixed greens, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and tuna. Or not.