STAYING

I have not taken a shit or farted in three days. That is NOT OKAY with me.

Tommy was here. He stayed three nights. Three nights is three nights too long.

The first night I made dinner, to make up for when I broke the rice cooker. I felt like I needed to redeem myself. Granted, I was completely stoned when I tried to make rice for him that one night and ended up throwing the raw rice right in the cooker without the inner pot and turned it in. Burning all the rice and destroying the cooker. He thinks I can’t cook. Well, I sure showed him. I baked a whole chicken with blackened crispy skin and served it with a lovely kale, navy bean, and butternut squash stew. It was delicious,

Then we had sex. A lot of it. All night of it.

He left early in the morning for Santa Barbara, giving me some much-needed rest and time to reflect. This was the first time in a long time that I did not have my daughter for three nights in a row. Tommy was planning on driving back down that night. I am still not sure about this. What it is that keeps me doing this. I feel driven to destroy.

The next day, it was a Saturday, we took the train downtown to the Arts District. I wanted to show him around some. He has bad feelings about LA. We ended up at a brewhouse and had three pints between us total. Without eating much. Then smoked a joint before hopping back on the train home.

Needless to say, I was WASTED. I could not keep my head up on the train and he had to hold me against him. He whispered in my ear for the entire ride but I only remember something about being “my man” and “always taking care of me.” I have a slide show of looking up and seeing the wary eyes of other travelers and feeling deep, deep shame. It had been a VERY LONG time since I was in a state like that and I DID NOT LIKE IT. I felt completely out of control and scared. I held on to him for dear life. I had to. I had no other choice. I had already made my series of “bad choices” leading me up to this point. Nothing to do but ride it out. We found my car by the station and he drove us home. I passed out right away. I have no idea what he did. But when I came to, I sure as hell missed sobriety.

Tsunamis of shame and fear cascaded over me. The drinking. The smoking. The HIM.

I knew, deep in my soul, that this was not the life for me. But I could not figure out how to get out of it. So I suffered in my anxious agony and tried to distract by joining him on the sofa for a Jim Jarmusch film and more and more and more pot. I wanted to forget.

The sex was not that good that night. He seemed nervous and clumsy. I was disassociated and annoyed. And yet, I did not ask him to leave. I endured. It is what I do best.

The next morning, as I was taking a shower, he went outside to smoke pot. I could smell it mixed in with the cigarrette smell and felt a deep repulsion well up in me. We had plans to visit Huntington Gardens and walk around that morning before he left for up North. I hated that he was stoned again. I knew, right then and there, that this whole “pot thing” with him, was not a casual thing. He was addicted to pot.

We went to the gardens anyway and I wanted to be anywhere but there. I cried the entire time. He asked why. I told him I did not see a future with us. I did not think he was responsible or capable enough. He said he heard me and understood and wanted to be the man I needed and that this was time for him to become HIM. He would quit the pot, and the cigs, he said. ASAP.

I said OKAY. And that I would talk to him later.

I panicked when my daughter finally came home. Relieved to be near her and also ashamed of my actions while she was away.

All I could think about was getting high. Up above it all.

Stay in the moment.

STAY.

 

MAYBE

This thing with Tommy is beyond my ability to fully comprehend. I give up even trying to. He is dirty and crass and has abject humor. I am not even attracted to his face or his body. And yet…and yet… What is this draw? I feel compelled, pulled by forces beyond my control; forces having to do with an abusive stepfather, a lascivious puerile older brother, and a time in my life when Tommy seemed beyond all that.

But high school was long ago and we are not kids anymore. We are adults. Parents. People in our forties. The pranks he pulls should repel me. I should tell him to Fuck Off and run the other way.

And I don’t.

He reminds me of my stepdad. He reminds me of my older brother. He reminds me of me in high school. Before everything got dark. And I lost myself.

He was sweet with me today though. He has that capacity. And we can laugh about families and people from home we know. He can speak therapese. He’s been in therapy. He knows he has an anger issue. He can bring out a side of me that I forgot from long ago. A sweet innocent side. He was my best friend for that first semester in high school of my senior year. He was a junior and sat behind me in AP Chemistry class. He made me laugh. He worshipped me then. I assumed he would now.

But I am thrown by some of his behavior and more thrown by mine.

I think our history is making me forgive trespasses I should not forgive.

I have not told ANYONE about him spitting in my face in Ojai. I keep leaving that part out. I do say his face disgusts me and I don’t know what I am doing but I leave that part out. Interesting.

I cried with him on the phone tonight and felt super fucking vulnerable. He seemed super sweet and caring. He sounded like he understood and leaned in instead of away and after my marriage, was quite intoxicating.

Maybe he is not so bad after all? I mean, maybe the spitting water in the face was some weird fluke and will never happen again.

Maybe.

 

 

 

SPAS AND INNS AND THINGS

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.

I drove the hour and a half from LA. The weather was perfect. The destination stunning. Parked, walked in, went to the desk, got a key, and met him in the room. He was taking a bubble bath when I arrived. I bent down to kiss him and he smelled of cigarettes and sour sweat. Even the bubbles could not hide. Slightly repulsed I hid my reaction and forged ahead, like a good soldier!

We went to the pool together before our massages at the spa. This place is incredible. I was in awe. The service, the splendor. I have never had a date like this before. I totally excused his rude comments about other people’s bodies in favor of enjoying the luxury. I mean, I went to high school with this guy. He couldn’t be all that bad, right?

I had a massage while he had a massage. It was lovely. Not mind-blowing, but lovely and relaxing. I met Tommy afterward in our robes in the waiting room. I looked around at the people there, all white, and affluent. I have always felt slightly uncomfortable in these situations and have an irrational fear of being found out and chased out by “them” brandishing sliver spoons taken out of their asses. It is the reason I avoid Beverly Hills like the plague. I am sure it has something to do with growing up in an extremely white and affluent small town and always feeling like the outcast, the odd one, the one that does not belong with the others. Broken. Dirty. Bad.

But I am grateful, at the same time, for this new experience and excited to sit with Tommy, talking, in soft velvety robes. I was telling him about my experience with the shaman, who spit rose water in a spray all over my body. when suddenly Tommy spit water from his mouth into my face.

Wait.

What.

The.

Fuck.

Just happened.

Shocked. Silent. At first. Not sure what to say. What do you say at a time like this?

A beat.
Then I got mad.

Why did you do that?!

I don’t know. I thought it would be funny. You were talking about a shaman spitting water at you so I thought it would be funny if I spit water at you too.

That was not funny. Don’t ever do that again.

It was super uncomfortable after that. I got up and walked back to the women’s locker rooms to change. I told him I would meet him in the lobby.

In the locker room, I stared in the mirror for a long time, feeling like a stranger in my own skin. That was bad. This was bad. But how could I make it good again? Leaving did not seem like an option. But smoking pot certainly did.

In the lobby I told him I wanted to get stoned. As soon as possible. He did not hesitate.

And I was right. Getting stoned made everything better. It even made drinking again seem like a good idea. I mean, fuck it, at this point, sometimes you just have to say, what the fuck.

While getting ready to go to the restaurant a little while later, he was lying face down on the bed, I decided to lay on top of him. As I lowered my body onto him, he released a massive fart that vibrated through my body. He laughed as I rolled off, disgusted and annoyed. He reminds me of my older brother so much. Provoking but endearing all the same. I plowed on. My momma didn’t raise no quitter.

Stoned out of my mind, we strolled through the rolling greenery surrounding the resort. I stopped to kiss him and he made some comment about propriety. I shrugged it off. then he stopped me at some wooden daise and began to show me how he could read energy in people’s bodies. I listened attentively. He lectured aggressively. We carried on eventually.

There were two young girls walking their dogs through the parking lot. He called out to them, calling them over. I was slightly horrified and embarrassed but too stoned to do much about it. He asked them which was the best restaurant in town. They looked terrified, as they should. He seemed creepy and lecherous. Hunched over. Bad posture in his upper back. Stupid ugly face. Horrible style. They told him about some restaurant. Which made no sense as we were going to the one in the resort anyway. I had no idea what he was trying to prove. I decided to investigate a leaf very closely until they left and we continued on.

We ordered and in a split second while ordering I decided to order a beer.

I have not had a drink in two months. I am planning on staying sober from alcohol forever. But stoned and on my own power and in an excruciatingly uncomfortable awkward situation, I think the fact that I only ordered and drank one beer is an achievement.

I ate too much. Of course.

Feeling bloated and buzzed we made it back the room. We had sex. For some reason, even though the sight of him repels me, the sex is good. I don’t get it. At all. He is ugly and puerile and full of hubris and I am enjoying sex very much. It is all I really care about, in a way. He talks dirty. Maybe that is it. I like when guys talk to me during sex. Highland Park was amazing at it. Probably still is.

I didn’t sleep. I can never sleep next to him. I am not comfortable.

The next morning we had breakfast at the same restaurant. The waittress called us Mr. and Mrs. Langdon. I told her we were not married. Tommy took offense at that. He liked the idea. I did not.

Leaving was awkward. I said good-bye in the parking lot.

I drove home perplexed.

Another long highway.

MODERN FAMILY

I told my meditation teacher how shocked I was that I was comfortable telling Tommy what was okay and not okay. She said that it was because I finally love myself. Ha. I thought loving myself would feel more like doing a line of cocaine than doing the dishes.

Ex-hubby and I took our daughter to the Sequoyah’s for our first “family vacation.” We all slept in a cabin together and looked for shooting stars at night. Although it wasn’t completely comfortable all of the time, it was okay, and I think we all had a nice time. And I know it meant the world to our daughter. Her dad was sleeping on this shitty broken blow-up bed on the floor of the cabin at night and finally I told him to just sleep in bed with us. Our daughter slept between us and the look on her face as she fell asleep- pure contentment. It was a worthy endeavor. He and I were very respectful of each other. The only hard moment for me came when we were driving home and he was telling me about how he wanted to go to therapy with his girlfriend and give our daughter a better example of relationships. I said- under my breath but not really- that if he wanted our daughter to have a good image of a relationship he may have considered therapy with me, her mother. But whatever. What is done is done. Let go. Drop the rock. Swim to the surface. Surrender.

Next weekend is The Ojai Valley Inn with Tommy. This is a swanky expensive resort. I don’t usually go to such places. I am very excited.

 

WEIRDNESS

Something very strange is happening. Red flags are there. And I am aware of them. I see his codependency and desire to move too  fast. I see him move then retreat and attack when he feels vulnerable. I see myself focus on superficial things (like how his face is ugly and his back is hairy) so as not to get too close. I see myself not wanting to be committed. But then making plans to see him.

We have plans to go to the Ojai inn next Monday. The day after I get back from The Sequoia National Forest with Tim, my ex-husband, and Pony, our daughter. I feel lucky we can do this. I am super grateful for that. We are taking a “family vacation” together even though we are not technically a “family” anymore.

 

The Presence Process is kicking my ass in the best possible way. Integration station over here! Not a day seems to go by that Tommy doesn’t trigger something in me and I have a glorious opportunity to respond- and feel EVERYTHING. FULLY. He said something really stupid yesterday that pissed me off. He told me I was a tease and a slut. Which, knowing he was joking, did not come across well and doesn’t even make sense. How can someone be a tease and a slut at the same time? That is just plain stupid. Anyway, I got pissed. I was so angry at him, I told him to never call me that again, that I was neither of those things. He was defensive. Which did not help things, asking if I was pouting. I wanted to punch him in the dick. This was all on text. It was a weird afternoon with him which was strange because it started out really intense with him wondering when I was going to move up to Santa Barbara and I asked him when he was going to build his house and he told me as soon as I said “yes” to marriage he would break ground- 2017. But that we could rent a house in Carpenteria or somewhere like that for a couple of years while the house was being built. Then he sent me photos of a house in Ojai that was for sale. It was gorgeous. I cried after seeing the kitchen table in the house and imagining actually eating family dinners again. It was a lot. Then he called me those names. WTF?

To be honest, it felt really good to get angry and to express it. I told him what I was feeling and he heard me, for sure. And then he finally really apologized. Which I appreciated. And then I felt okay. I guess.

We decided to be boyfriend/girlfriend, since we are not sleeping with other people. So that is kind of Big.

I like him and I don’t like him at the same time and yet I feel compelled to follow this thing through. What is this compulsion?

I had a major fear session about it this morning- just searing soaring abandonment fear having it’s way with me. He reminded me to breathe. And to make friends with it. Oh, hello fear. But then when we spoke later it felt like everything I was texting was “wrong” and he was teaching me about it- like how I said Thank you and he said it was not him, so no one to thank. Then I said I his first message was so sweet, so ‘YOU” and he said, when is he ever not “him” and lastly I told him I missed him and he said there was nothing to miss. Fuck me.

THAT was really annoying. I told him not every moment has to be teachable. Teacher. And that I wanted to be his lover, not his student.

Ugh.

And then I want to fuck his brains out.

So weird.

 

SWORDFISH

I sent him a text while he was on his boat fishing that I just came thinking of him. He told me I used sex to manipulate.

That pissed me off.

I told him so. I tried to end it. He was upset. I felt bad so I said give me 24 hours.

That was on the day he was supposed to come down. He wanted to beat the traffic and leave super early but I didn’t want to miss my yoga class. I was annoyed anyway, so I told him not to come down.

He texted me later that day that he was driving to the rose bowl to see a soccer game. I felt this strange pull to see him even though I told him no. So I said, just come over. You are already here and I am home from yoga now.

He showed up with fresh swordfish in his car that he caught fishing off Santa Barbara a day earlier. He smelled and looked better. My advice to him to wear deodorant and grow a beard must have been taken. I was pleasantly surprised and we ended up eating the fish instead of processing anything.

Another night of constant touching and fucking. Another morning of getting him out as soon as possible. A day of exhaustion. A day later he was sick, I was feeling so much

A day later he was sick, I told him I wished I could come and bring him some chicken soup. He said I was being codependent. I got pissed. More hurt than pissed. That was not okay. I got mean and sarcastic and like I did at home. Growing up. He laughed. I laughed. But not really. The next morning, I tried to end it again. He did not let me. He said understood where I was coming from and so I decided to give him another chance.

Although, who takes fresh raw swordfish in a cooler to a soccer game at the Rose Bowl?

ROUGHING IT

I drove 2. 5 hours to Santa Barbara yesterday to see Tommy. 2.5 hours. That’s right.

I met him at his ceramics shop. As I pulled in he was walking out to meet me. Immediately I was upset that he had shaved. I was really looking forward to seeing him bearded.

Then I got out and hugged him. He wasn’t wearing deodorant and had smoked cigarettes. I was repulsed and wanted to get straight back in my car and drive home.

But I didn’t.

I proceeded to be super awkward and weird while I looked around his studio. Man, it was very “shop” ish. I smelled all these strong smells that were turning me off and trying to make sense of it all. We talked for awhile on his dilapidated couch in a dusty dirty studio with him trying to make sense of my standoffishness.

Then he suggested we go to the beach. And I told myself, why not, I drove all the way up here, maybe a swim will do me good. I can always go home after.

He took me to a beach that was filled with seaweed and was pretty janky, but the water was warm enough to swim and the second I saw him in his swimsuit and watched him dive in the ocean, I was reminded of where we came from, Laguna, and how we both grew up, and how we both love the ocean. I started feeling attracted to him again. His back hair didn’t even seem that big of a deal anymore.

We got out and went back to his shop where I took a shower and changed in the communal showers.

He asked if I wanted to see his land; the dome. I did. He said he would drive. I said I wanted to drive too. He did not like that. I was not sure I would stay. I went anyways. He could not find the grill to his tiny one person barbeque, so we searched his 13 acres. The land was sparse but beautiful.He made do with some steel piping that he laid across the fire. I compulsively ate too much to hide my anxiety. My stomach hurt. It was like camping. Sort of. His dome, once I could get to it across the rickety unfinished deck was warm and inviting for having no electricity or running water.

Once inside the dome, we smoked pot, we laughed, and we made out on his couch. I melted into him. Then we had sex all night. More like fucking. I lost count. Ten times or more. It was unreal. It felt good. He felt good. I still could not sleep. It was so quiet up there on his land. Peeing outside. I did not leave after all. But in the morning, I needed to go. Immediately. I left by 6am.

I felt as though I was escaping something as I rushed down the empty highway home.

 

emptyhighway