Monday, December 16, 2002

So lately I've been pretty busy. Lots of holiday preparations and pre-holiday festivities. The graduate students had a Christmas party here at the house where I live. I live in the attic apartment (which is muy cool, the very best of all the apartments, in my opinion, which is the only one that counts really) and on the first floor, my friend Beth (also in the grad program) lives with her husband Kevin. On the second floor, George, another grad assistant, lives with his dog, Xander. He's a Buffy fan. We thought it was the perfect place to have the party, since we all live here and all the other grad students could run around three floors of their own free will (for the most part, as over the course of the evening, Jackie locked us in my apartment all by ourselves). It was much fun. Lots of drinking and dancing. Several girls crying after drinking too much and saying goodbye to boyfriends who were leaving for a week or so for some such reason, or over having recently been dumped. You'd have thought it was a party of drama students, not literature and creative writing students, but the fields are related, I suppose.

Had dinner with Jackie and my parents on Friday, which went well. This was the introductions, which was strange to do. I haven't had to do that in a long time. Not in any official sense. No one that I placed any real emphasis on in the past year or so. They liked her a lot. She liked them. But I kind of figured it would go that way.

A couple of anecdotal snippets:

Went Christmas shopping with my mom today, which was fun (because the past couple of years, holidays were bad for me, and this one I'm looking forward to) but frustrating as well. My mother has become a terrible driver (not that *I* have any room to complain). But it's true! She waits and waits for the perfect exit and entrance from and into traffic. I sit and roll my eyes and sigh heavily for endless minutes until I snap and say, JUST GO, JUST GO, WHY DON'T YOU??

"But there's a car coming," she mews.

"It's half a mile away!"

"Well I'm not taking any chances, unlike *some* people," she retaliates. Then we get to the next store and trade gift ideas and are great friends again, only to repeat the cycle of driver/passenger abuse as described above during the next transition from store to store.

I try to explain to my mom that she's not a risk taker. "Nothing risked, nothing gained," I tell her.

She says, "A person doesn't know to miss what they've never had."

"Bullshit. They see other people have it, whatever *it* happens to be for said person."

"I'm not really in a philosophical mood right now," she complains.

In the grocery store, I mention a story written by a friend named Nalo.


"No, NALO," I say, pronouncing the name more clearly.

I mention that Nalo's father was a diplomat of some sort to Canada, where I'm going to be visiting over next weekend with Jackie.

My mother says, "I wonder when the holiday print paper plates are going to be issued."

I say nothing. I've found a gap in communication that cannot be bridged. That's ok! "I'm sure they'll come out soon," I tell her.

"I *hope* so," she says.

She cares nothing for daughters of diplomats (or some such related career --sorry Nalo, if you're reading this), nor that I know people like this. I guess it keeps me humble, spending time with my mother. It reminds me of "where I come from", as she's fond of saying.

With people like her, I'm sure I never will forget. They'll never let me.

Besides all this, I've been having a new series of dreams. The bridges are gone. The new ones I'm not ready to describe to other people really. But they're bothering me a bit. There are good things in them, though. I have to remind myself of that. But a general sense of horror as well. I'm waiting to see how they reveal themselves to me over a while, before I'll let myself get too worked up over them. I read them like I do stories. And they tell me things in the same way that stories do. And like some stories, some of my dreams leave me feeling unnerved. Mostly they are trying to show me my own insecurities, what I need to pay attention to, what I need to leave behind. Now if only I'd find a proper way to employ that information. Sometimes I feel self-knowledge just isn't enough, especially if you don't know the process you need to take to make the changes you need to make. You can only blunder along in the dark and hope you're making the right steps towards what you want for yourself and others.

A friend recently wrote me about how happy my logs have been recently, and how, well, sad they'd been for a while. He was happy for me. But I still have bad days. There has been no magical transition from sad to happy overnight, and I'm not completely happy right now either, just more happy than I've been in a long long time. That's all I'm concentrating on right now, feeling that, because who knows when I might stumble, or when the sky will fall. I need to learn how to live in the moment a little better, especially the happy ones. So I'm not committing much bad days to the journal. Even though they still come. They're just fewer or more momentary, rather than taking up whole days and weeks, as they had previously. I figure I must be doing something right--that whole blundering around in the dark bit. So I'm going to keep on doing it as long as possible.

And be prepared to fall too, because that's what we do. Or at least that's what I do, evidently.


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