Stupid Girls

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

pretending I'm not insecure

You are reading, you're not going to be homeless. And, even if you were, you wouldn't have had her to walk with you, to ground you and help you keep your head on straight, if this had happened a year, even a month, ago.

Rogi, you are perfectly capable of going to an open mic night, reading your poetry and coming home in one piece. You don't need to feel abandoned, just because you didn't get a "good luck" email before, or a "how'd it go?" email afterward.

Rogi, you CAN go to the dentist tomorrow, without anybody cheering you on and wishing you well.

WHY must EVERY ordinary, mundane bit of life affect me so intensely?

And, even as I write, I eye the email light, hoping it will blink, too late at night for it to be from her.

On days like these, spam is cruel.

She is working so hard. And she's in classes.

If you really care about her, you'll let her be. If you really care about her, you won't demand that she pay attention to your stresses, at the expense of her own.

If you really care about her, you'll leave her alone to take care of her business.

It ain't always about you, grrl.

She's been more than generous, in a remarkably short period of time. She has shared Secrets, rides, ideas, twining fingers, bottled water, hugs, wild places, time, laughter with you in such generous measure.

I know: you're starved for such things. I understand; you've had a taste and you want more. You've gone without for so long.

But the first thing you have to remember is that it's YOUR job to provide for yourself! It's no hers!

I'm not saying you should "suck it up." I'm not saying you have to live in solitary confinement, never muttering a peep about what you need.

Your girl's got your back. Never doubt it. She supports and respects you. She encourages you and helps when she can.

Now, it's your turn. You need to have her back, too. And all she's asking for is some time and space to do what she needs to get done.

So, don't distract her. Don't play games, try to manipulate her into paying attention to you, act a fool.

Let the poor woman do her thing, without always having to turn around to look at you!

Yeah, you're scared! Damned right, you're scared. You thought you'd end up homeless next month. You got up in front of strangers tonight and read poetry about the War Zone and poverty. And tomorrow, you go to the dentist, in spite of the incest and sensitive gag reflex.

Damned right, you're scared.

But it's your own job to soothe, mother, protect, nurture and love yourself through this. It ain't hers. It can only come from you. It only counts IF it comes from you!

You need to dig deep, grrl. You need to go into that Sacred place, where you really can love yourself.

You need to march into that damned dentist's office tomorrow with YOUR memories, YOUR totems, YOUR charms and YOUR powers. Not hers.

You need to remember the tree roots at the park. You need to remember the fuzzy, red ants at the volcanoes. You need to remember Marianna's blue corn, growing in your garden. You need to remember your flute playing to "Native Dancer." You need to remember the poetry you read tonight, which you just now almost typed as "power." You need to remember the radio piece you're writing for This American Life on "Most Likely To Succeed." You need to remember those cheerful eyes on Ursula K. LeGuin last night. You need to remember chai tea and fresh-picked blackberries at Kate's salons. You need to remember.

And, you need to remember this woman's eyes, when she looks straight at you, openly. You need to remember her, taking your hand in hers. You need to remember the gleeful, hearty laugh from her open throat when your idiot dog jumped into her back seat without permission, ready to go back to the volcanoes. You need to remember what she has told you about her life that's sacred and quiet. You need to remember you'll see her on Sunday. You need to remember she's taking big risks with you. You need to remember how her hair smells. You need to remember that purr in her voice.

Now, you'll be ok tomorrow. You will. They're not going to do anything to you tomorrow, except figure out what to do later. Besides, after tomorrow, it won't all be a big, scary mystery; they'll TELL you what's going to happen to your teeth, your mouth.

You're healing, grrl. That's all it is.

Sure, it itches and tingles and burns, but that's healing: that's the nerves repairing.

Shoot, when you were sick, you just got used to the dull aching. It was constant. You restricted and restrained your movements to accomodate it.

Now, you've decided you need your freedom. You need to move around. You need to KISS somebody, grrl!

You need to stand in front of microphones without black, ragged teeth.

You need to face your fear. This is just a baby step. You can do this. This ain't homelessness, losing a baby, rape, a beating.

This is recovery, grrl.

Remember that Meg Christian line,

"And she tells me, 'don't you worry; you can do it; don't dispair. If it hurts, I've been through it. And I got to here from there."

It's only pain, Rogi. It's only fear, Rogi.

And you've seen SO much more, in the past! And that was the lethal kind.

This here? It's just growing pains, grrl.

You'll be just fine.

I love you. I believe in you. I'm proud of you. I trust you. I respect you.

Now, watch "the Simpsons," and then go to bed.

You've got to be at the dentist's at eight in the morning.