Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008...Get On Up and Get Outta Here.

Today could have been my sixth wedding anniversary. And really, thank god it isn't.

I don't consider myself a religious person, nor a particularly spiritual one. But I do believe that there is some higher, intangible force at work in the world. Some things in life are just too beautiful, too painful, too hysterically funny for there not to be.

In the same vein, I believe everything happens for a reason.

When people come into my life, there is a reason. Some lesson to be learned or some role to be played. Sometimes that role or lesson isn't clear until hours, days, months after the fact. And maybe its not what I thought it would be at first. But its always there.

The last month has been one of the hardest of my entire life, because I couldn't see a reason for any of the pain and suffering. But something has shifted in my head in the last few days and I think maybe I get it now. Not going to go into it here, now, but as the year progresses I'll let y'all know if I'm right.

For anyone that has been reading this, thank you and, if it suits you, have a blast ringing in the new year. I plan on making tomorrow's ride as difficult as possible by making sure that I'm liquored up and dancing as I kick 2008's ass out of the door.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Post #100: Why I Always Get Into Trouble When "Culture" Gets Involved

Thus far, the highlight of my trip to New Mexico was the "cultural field trip" my family took to Santa Fe this afternoon. None of us could stomach the thought of being cooped up in the house for another day, so all five of us packed into my parent's SUV and headed off into the snow.

Yes, snow. Its fucking snowing here, too.

Three hours, two lattes, one lunch stop in a tavern that served as a backdrop for a scene in the critically acclaimed feature film "Wild Hogs" later, we arrived at Museum Hill in Santa Fe. Having lived my entire life in the Pacific Northwest, its hard not to look at Southwestern architecture and culture as kitsch. But apparently pink stucco is normal is some regions of the world. And don't ask me to understand why rich white women bitching about the price of jewelry handmade by people living below the poverty level somehow isn't irony. Its all I can do not to snicker out loud.

That's not to say that I didn't come close a few times today. We visited two museums: one specializing the Southwest Native American cultures and one housing a collection of International Folk Art. I have nothing against museums, and have been known to enjoy a educational exhibit in my time, but I really think the whole experience would be a lot more entertaining if there was an open bar. And more interactive exhibits with actors, weaponry and live animals. I'd totally be down with that.

The Native American Museum had two exhibits that I really liked: one on couture jewelry (lots of bright and shiny objects) and one on comic book and manga art. It was in the latter exhibit where I got into a bit of trouble.

I was roaming around the museum by myself, a bit surly about the fact I couldn't share this with the only other person that I know that would get how cliched this whole set-up was. My family was probably getting tired of my Crabby McPartypooperton act and, wisely, was leaving me to my own devices. Which, today, involved snickering at my own lame jokes and wishing I had a receptive audience.

I was fascinated, however, by the use of a modern medium (anime and comic books) to tell ancient stories. Pottery is pottery is pottery. but give me something with bright colors and some swear words and I'm hooked. I spent a good twenty minutes in that exhibit.

One of the pieces was a series of comic strips by a young Hopi woman, complete with some life size renditions of the central characters, all of whom broke cultural stereotypes, and two of whom were lesbian.

I had been sitting there contemplating this for a few minutes when a two women strolled up with a gaggle of small children between 4 and 10 years old. Both of them were about my age and were wearing sweater jackets, lots of makeup, $200 jeans and pointy-toed boots. One of the kids was on a leash and was wearing a shirt that said "Tallahassee Youth Choir." There was a lot of screaming. I was not pleased.

Blond bob with frosted highlights looks at blond bob with bangs and says in a loud voice, "I really don't think that kind of imagery is appropriate for children." Obviously referring to the life size image of two women embracing.

"Yah, heaven forbid that we ruin the next viewing of Pocahontas with some goddamn ed dyked-out brown people." The words were out of my mouth before I had a chance to connect my lips to my brain. Shit.

"Excuse me." Frosty blonde shoots me with dagger eyes.

Now, the most appropriate thing to do in this situation would have been to walk away. I'm not feeling very appropriate these days.

"Seriously, you bring children to a museum that might not even need to exist absent mass genocide and you get offended with some subtle and exceptionally creative girl-on-girl action? Nice."

Then I walked away quickly, before they could call security and before I started pounding my own forehead with my fist.

It didn't get much better after that. In the International Folk Art Museum, I ran into the same women as my brother and I were making comments about a sculpture of a mermaid that was more or less tweaking her own nipple. Right about the time he said something so funny that I farted. Not quietly.

And, with that, I decided that that was enough culture for one day. And probably the next two years.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Close Encounters of the Ex Kind

[Its Christmas Eve and I can't sleep, despite running on fumes and the introduction of a lot of Exedrin PM.  I'm heartbreakingly sad and lonely.   Being with my family definitely helps, but I just can't wait until tomorrow has come and gone. In the meanwhile, here's a bit of what I wrote in my journal while wasting time in the the Portland International Airport this morning.]

I'll never know how I managed to not throw a water bottle at his head. 

You see, I'm a  thrower.  Its an affliction that I've had since I first started riding bikes and used to get buzzed by over-caffeinated steel workers on my 5:30 AM rides to open the restaurant. Luckily for me, my aim was rarely true.  Because when I was able to keep enough balance and throw with enough exactness to make contact with the fender or back wheel well of the offender, there were consequences.  Not of the good kind.  The kind that usually ended up with me riding through some one's bushes or heading the wrong way down a one way street.  

I grew out of this habit when I started Team in Training, where such juvenile behavior is frowned upon.  Maybe these antics were entertaining when I was 28, but now I'm all grown up, and, uh, a coach.  I really don't think they'd appreciate it too much if my yearly bike safety demonstration included the best method for hanging off the side of a mountain bike for the sole purpose of chucking a $10 water bottle into oncoming traffic. During rush hour.  While not wearing a helmet.

I had had at least a week to prepare for this close encounter.  He and I both use coaches that train out of the same facility and the weather and holidays had interfered with the schedule that had been guaranteeing that we would never be in the same place at the same time, lest the beams cross and the entirely of North Portland be annihilated by the StayPuft Marshmallow Man.  Or doused with a bottle of warm melon HEED.  

When 7PM rolled around and there had still been no sign of him, I thought I might have lucked out.  But in my world, there is no such thing as luck right now.  Just a gauntlet that I have to negotiate every day without acting like a total jackass.  

We were cooling down and I was giving Beth a raft of shit about something when he walked through the room.  I didn't even notice until he was almost out of sight.  Externally, I don't think I skipped a beat and then pretended to be engrossed by the data in my heart rate monitor (a piece of equipment on which I have mastered a single function).   But I did feel the glances that a few folks snuck at me after he passed through.  

Internally-well, was a different story.

First thought:  Damn, I had almost forgotten how good he looks.  (I have dated a few lookers in my time, but he is by far the handsomest in the lot.  I used to watch him when he was sleeping and wonder how my unladylike, loud, crazy-hair, t-shirt and croc clad ass ever managed to grab his attention.  I have a lot of great attributes as a girlfriend, but being arm candy is not one of them.)

Second thought:  Don't puke.  I had a sickly sweat nauseous feeling in my stomach that typically accompanies the consumption of too much chocolate frosting.  You can still taste how good the first two spoonfuls were, but now that you're done with the entire tub, all you want to do is puke until you die.

Third thought: Do NOT even think about throwing that water bottle.  

I quickly reached down and threw the water bottle down on the floor behind my bike and resumed my death grip on the handlebars.  And breathed.  I may have been out of the woods on the throwing, but I was touch and go on the emotional outburst.  I'm not sure which would have been more embarassing.  

Three, five, ten deep breathes.  He passes back through again.  It seems to take forever. This time I am brave and watch.  If he tried to make eye contact, I'll be there.  And I won't be the first to look away.

But he doesn't look and I escape from the situation with my dignity and tear ducts intact.  

Round 1:  Because I kept my cool, I win.  Even if winning only means not acting like a loser.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cabin Fever (a.k.a. "Put Down That Phone and Go Mop Something")

I officially hit my limit last night at around 7:23 PM.

I was completely out of projects. I finally got a 10-speed cassette onto my cross bike, but the shifting is off and no amount of fiddling with the limit screws and pleading was working. Every surface in my condo was dust and cat-hair free, mopped, shiny. All of my bikes were clean, I had bitten off all of my fingernails, painted my toenails, watched all three seasons of "Arrested Development" and all of my dishes and clothes were washed and put away in their proper locations.

Despite getting out on the snowshoes for almost three hours and getting almost a full day's worth of work done before before and after that little adventure (which involved learning that the Starbucks in John's Landing was probably the only one in Portland that was closed) , I was about to go crazy. Crazy like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining"-style. Except with drunk-dialing.

I'm not a drunk-dialer by nature (a rage-texter maybe, but that's a story for a different day), but after four beers, an ill-advised break from 72 hours of inner monologue was really tempting. Maybe he was as lonely as I was and there could be some sort of breakthrough....


The sane part of my brain promptly backhanded the inebriated part. Did I really have anything to say? Not really. Did I really want solidify my status as yet another crazy ex-girlfriend? Um, not more than I already have. Did I really want to explain this to my friends the next day? Hell no. Did I really want him back? Now, there's a complicated question.


I bet every women who has been dumped has had the same fantasy that I am having as I tromp through Willamette Park on my snowshoes. You know, the one where he comes crawling back asking for forgiveness.

By the time I reach the Sellwood Bridge, I'm on my fifth iteration of the redemption fantasy in the last ninety minutes. They involve speeding buses, walking through snow storms, tossing martinis in his face. Each one is more ludicrous, improbable and, shall I even dare say, humorous, than the last.

And in each fantasy where I do take him back, my mother and close friends each take turns beating me with an umbrella.


But in all seriousness, the "second go around" issue is one that several people have brought up with me in the last three weeks. I didn't even really start thinking about it until a few days ago, mostly because I know its a non-issue. I may have an active imagination, but I'm not delusional. He doesn't seem the type. I've read the emails and seen it in his eyes.

Because I know that, in this case, the fantasy will never play out in reality, its simply an interesting exercise in gauging how I feel about the relationship now that I can almost look at it as an abstraction. There's definitely the feeling of abandonment and loss, (particularly because I've been home alone for three days) but I have started thinking about "us" almost as if I was a third person looking in.

I'd like to think that if the improbable were to ever occur, that I'd be smart enough, and strong enough, to walk away. To avoid the inevitable repetition of past events and the loss of weeks of time to grief and heartbreak. But would I be that strong?

I have no idea.

Not knowing is scarier to me than the thought of being alone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow-pocolypse 2008: An Excuse to Consume Lots of Gummi Bears and Think About Why I Should Quit Buying Them in the First Place.

In case you don't watch the news or live in Portland, we are in the throes of what we call in the utility industry "an anomalous weather event. " Today was Day Seven. Right now there is a ten inch layer of snow on my deck, covered with 1/2 of ice and another inch of snow. Here is what the street in front of my condo at 6:45 this morning:
Which really begs the question, what the hell was I doing up at 6:45am on a Sunday morning? Answer: Waiting for my ride. So I could go log another 1.5 hours on an indoor trainer, but do so with a dozen other crazy people willing to drive 30 minutes in ice and snow to sit inside and pedal to nowhere for 90 minutes.

I figured out this morning that I have logged nine hours this week either on my trainer or a spin bike. (And an equal number of hours waiting for a bus.) And done 300 push-ups, 60 minutes of core work and plyometric-ed the perimeter of my parking garage, four times. All in the name not succumbing to cabin fever.

Part of this is my own drunk fault. I slept through the organized outdoor ride yesterday morning due to the consumption of two bottles of red wine on Friday night. But the hangover was totally worth it. I spent six hours with some amazing women, women I feel so blessed to have in my life. Drank some amazing wine, heard some great stories, shed a few tears and learned that there are a lot of ladies out there that would get down with the President-Elect in a Chevron bathroom.

I woke up yesterday morning with a huge headache, but with a distinct feeling like I had hit a turning point in my grieving process. That feeling has played out in reality. There has been a much welcome relief from crying this weekend. Have welled up a few times here and there, but I have spent the majority of my time alone this weekend feeling content and motivated.

I took my skis out on the road for about 20 minutes yesterday afternoon with the intention of seeing if I could get down to the YMCA to play in the park. I gave up quickly when I realized that there were tons of people (either in SUVs or Kias...nothing in between) out there that thought that driving on Corbett was still a good idea. And my ability to stop or turn quickly on those things is still at a pre-kindergarten level.

So I went back indoors to the trainer and yoga mat and Season 2 of Arrested Development on a continuous loop...20 minutes at tempo, 10 minutes of core or strength work, repeat 5 times. I'm either going to have abs of steel when the roads thaw.....or I'm going to go apeshit nuts.

So back to goals for 2009, The Nutrition and Weight Installment.

I have weighed 155 pounds, give or take 5, for the last ten years (except for the brief period of time while I was getting divorced when I got down to 135 and looked like a zombie). I hit 160ish in late September, likely due to the fact that my beer consumption was easily outpacing my training (and I was training a lot). After Interbike, I cut out drinking on weeknights, eliminated 1/2 and 1/2 in my coffee and started eating lighter and healthier fare at meals. My ultimate goal was to hit 150 by the end of NEXT summer.

The morning of the break-up, I weighed 156 pounds. I got as low as 146 and am now back to around 150. So I'm at my original goal, but ten months early. And all of that the weight is not going to stay off once everything gets back to normal, so I need to come up with a strategy to stay on track. At this point, weight loss is secondary to getting what I need to train and race.

I'm not a huge fan of two things that are typically critical to losing weight in a healthy manner. I don't "diet" and, since I've spent 95% of my adult life living alone, I have never really gotten into cooking. I don't eat fast food, but I also really don't get enough fruit and vegetable matter either. I can survive for days on beer, gummi bears and cheese n' crackers. This does not a bike racer make.

My plan is to spend some time re-reading Monique Ryan's "Nutrition for Endurance Athletes" and asking around for some advice on doing a better job with what I'm putting into my body. Its got to be simple and involve the minimum about of time and effort shopping...


Friday, December 19, 2008

Activating My Internal Drill Sargent

I'm dedicating the next 30 days to self-discipline. Training, racing, nutrition, coaching, budgeting, working, writing, reading. All of it. I'll whip my sorry ass into shape if its the last thing that I do. I will be my own Terminator.

In that spirit, no break-up posts for three days. No depressive episodes, self-pity parties or reflection. This weekend is about looking forward.

So, in the spirit of "progression, not regression," I'm going to lay out some goals for 2009. Not the most entertaining writing, granted, but if I log them here, it'll keep me honest. And you can all hold me accountable if I write that I'm going booze-free in January, but then start walking around Chinatown in a plaid bathrobe with a bottle of Potter's gin in a paper bag. Because don't think I haven't thought about doing that in the last two weeks.

First up: Bike Aspirations.

1. This year is going to be all about all of my bikes. Since I've never done a full season of anything other than cyclocross and short track, my goal is to try as many different disciplines as possible to see what fits and what is fun. Ultimately, I want to be my fittest in the late summer and into the fall, during the criterium and cyclocross seasons. I want to participate in the Cat 4 Women's Series and any crit within a reasonable driving or riding distance, suffer though at least a few time trials (since I do have a state title to defend-snicker), do some cross-country mountain bike racing and learn how to rock my new track bike. And maybe squeeze in an off-road triathlon. And maybe a stage race that is NOT Elkhorn.

I'm going to keep flexible in the spring with road racing and mountain bike racing, but there are a few things that I know that I'm not really interested in: Banana Belt and the Mt. Tabor Series. I could get conned into doing the former but not the latter.

Tentative Schedule of Winter/Spring Must-Do's:

February 4-14: Training Camp Palm Springs
February 22: Jack Frost TT
April 2: Hood River Crit Series (with my new work schedule, I could probably swing a few of these)
April 5: Three weeks of Estacada TTs
April 23/24: Willamette Stage Race or Deschutes TT festival
April 29/May 1: Beginners Clinics and Beginner Fridays at the Track begin
May 4: Monday PIR begins (participate at least twice monthly)
June 21: Test of Endurance 50 (MTB)
June 22: Short Track for six consecutive Monday Nights
June 26-28: Coaching TNT at Event Weekend
And a Dirt Series MTB Skills Camp.

Sometime in here I will try to work, eat, sleep and shower.

2. If I'm going to own seven bicycles, I need to learn how to maintain and fix all of them....without having to go to bike shop every time I need a cassette changed or a minor derailleur adjustment. Practical, cheap and empowering (and probably frustrating and enfuriating at first).

Between the Zinn bike maintenance book, Sheldon Brown's website and the guys on my new team who know a thing or ten about bikes (and seem to have a lot of tolerance for my stupid questions), I think I should be able to learn to do a lot of things myself. My next step is to find a class and a website that has instructional videos...the book is really nice, but I learn better by watching someone else do something first.

I'm also going to try and build most of my track bike myself. I'm going to outsource the wheels, but I think I can handle the rest with minimal temper tantrums. No cables, no derailleurs, no problem. I'll probably keep Jeff and Chris on speed dial, though, just in case.

3. I'm doing a lot of things right right now: consistently doing the core/strength/agility class; suffering through the weekly indoor interval sessions; participating in weekend rides that have a specific training purpose. I want to keep doing those things, but there are a few things I want to work on specifically: upper body strength (my shoulder is probably at 75% of where it was last year and I still have some tendonitis issues); flexibility; sprinting; bike handling-cornering in particular.

Flexibility is going to be critical to keeping myself out of doctor's offices this year (notwhithstanding any crash induced visits-hopefully I'll get a year off from those). Since I more or less gave up running a few months ago, my calves are constantly tight and I've had some night cramping issues. I've got to get this worked out before it causes problems in my knees and achilles tendons. And I want to improve the range of motion in my lower back and hamstrings so I can stay tucked into aero on my TT bike for as long as possible.

So there it is. My first boring, non-depressing installment of "How I'm Going to Get my Shit Back Together in 2009."

To Be Continued......

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Mea Culpa, Sort of.

I was thinking this morning about a story I read in middle school, about a woman that was confined in a room and went crazy when she saw things happening within the wallpaper. I remember wondering whether what was happening in the wallpaper was making her insane or whether it was not knowing why it was happening.

The man that broke up with me 16 (and yes, I'm still counting) days ago didn't tell me much about his prior relationships, but the two that I do know about both involved something about the other person being a bit crazy or psycho. Since I'm starting to feel a little crazy myself, this knowledge is sort of comforting. Maybe I'm not the only one that has gone through this with him. Maybe he bought all of us dinner and dumped us after the main course. Maybe none of us were crazy, after all.

But honestly, one can't help but feel a little loose at the hinges when the person who was could have become your everything suddenly becomes nothing. When eyes once filled with lust and caring are suddenly blank and disinterested. When the person that you talked to eight times a day suddenly goes stone cold and silent. You begin to wonder if you're stuck in an episode of the Twilight Zone where time has slipped and everyone knows what's going on except for you. And you then go insane trying to fill in the missing time.

I wrote a few days ago about getting drunk, waking up in the night after a bad dream thinking he had cheated on me and what it was like to deal with that lingering sour feeling as I tried to go about my life the next day. I had a friend, more of a facebook acquaintance really, call and want to commiserate and compare her own scheming, cheating ex. I felt really guilty as I was correcting her. I'm thinking what I wanted to express was lost on her. Maybe on anyone that bothers to read this damn thing.

So, to set the record straight, I know he didn't cheat on me. I don't know why I know, I just do. Of all of the negative things I feel about him now, I don't think of him as a cheat. Cold, bastard, jerk, asshole, liar, even maybe a certifiable goddamned sociopath, but not a cheat.

It might have actually been easier if he had cheated or wanted to move on to someone else. That would be something. A reason. Something tangible that I could hold in my hands and resent with every ounce of my being. Nothing, the absence of any reason at all, is so much harder to deal with.

When someone tells you that there is nothing wrong with you, but they have just quit loving you, the blow to the ego is unfathomable. You start examining every time you got crabby or lost your temper or forgot to brush your teeth or told a stupid joke or didn't have a smart thing to say at the right time. You feel dumb and ugly and uninteresting. Its a huge hole that it can take years to claw your way out of. If someone cheats or doesn't want kids or gets a new job and moves to Bora Bora, its a bit of a stepladder out of that hole.

I'm trying to find my stepladder.

And, to D specifically, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On Being Domesticated

"You realize that this is partially your fault?"

Lily looks up briefly from the task at hand, licking the soft fur on her not insubstantial belly. She looks like a cross-eyed walrus. Jake ignores the question altogether and keeps on munching on the leaves of my African Violet, a plant that everyone swore that cats won't bother. The problem is that that cat is 3/4 goat.

I've always had a pretty strong homing instinct. Not a homebody by any stretch of the imagination, but someone who has been looking for a place to nest for most of her adult life. I've never been in denial about this.

I love hearing tales about cross country moves and multinational adventures, but the just thought of doing it myself makes me exhausted. As a friend told me today...I've owned cats since my mid-20's, and anyone that is willing to make that kind of commitment at 24 is looking to build a home. (Have you ever tried driving with a cat in the car? Cats are not for the nomadic). But not necessarily a home based on rings and kids and a house in the suburbs. More like any space with a partner and a relationship based on love, mutual growth, security and respect. In whatever form that takes.

To that extent, I've never been an adventure dater. I've had more than my fair share of hook-ups and one-night-stands, but in the last ten years I can count on one hand the men that I've dated that have only lasted a date or two. Even in throes of the honeymoon phase of my significant relationships, I'm always thinking about whether this one is capable of nesting, whether he's worth nesting with. Until recently, I thought that I was a pretty quick read on men that wouldn't be a good match for me. I am who I am, and there is no sense in fighting that.

I think this nesting instinct is what has set me up for such a hard fall this time. I've spent ten years getting to this point. I can picture very clearly in my head what I want my life to look like, but in reality that picture may as well be sitting on the moon.

I'm never going to stop learning and growing and trying new things (My goal is always one new, significant thing every year. Last year was learning to ski. This year I made it to the top of a 14er.) But when is all said and done, I want someone to do it with. I'm not unlike the cats in that way. I'm sure they (ok, one of them) could survive on their own, it just makes more sense to have someone else there.

Lily, in an attempt to get to that last obscure location on her tubby tummy, has rolled herself right off the bed and lands on the floor with a surprised squawk. She resembles a furry clown car as she waddles away to check her food dish for the 235th time. Jake is alternating licking his butt and licking my heart rate monitor strap, my punishment for not putting it away earlier. I tell him to stop, and he just looks at me like, "Or what?"

I can't make fun of them too much. Right now, I need them as much as they need me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

C'mon Already. When Does it All End?

This cold snap has horrible timing.

Yesterday we woke up to snow here in Portland. It snowed all day and, by late afternoon, the city had come to a complete standstill. I typically love these days because being stuck in the condo is a great excuse to skip the workout and snuggle in bed with coffee and baileys and bad TV.

Instead, I was so lonely that it hurt to breathe. My roommate has left town for a week and my unwillingness to drive when road conditions are icy left me without the company of another human being for over 24 hours. It wasn't pretty. I alternated periods of frenetic cleaning with periods of staring out of the window, an abandoned book in my lap and tears slowly leaking down my cheeks.

How can simultaneously I hate someone and miss them with equal intensity?

I went into work this morning just to not be alone. But I burned through my to-do list in less than two hours and there was no one in the office to give me any busy work. After a cold journey home, I am back to where I spent most of the day yesterday. Alone and in bed. Sad. And sick of it.

I am already so tired of living this way and am so weary of my own company. This paralyzed, self-absorbed, obsessive, melodramatic person is not who I am. I keep telling myself that people break up every day. . . and there is a lot of wonderful stuff going on in the world that I am missing because I'm not strong enough to HTFU and pull myself out of this awful place. I can't say that its making a whole lot of difference.

So when does this all end? How do I get my life back in more than 15 minute chunks of distraction? Where is my fire and how do I get it back?


This is what I'm thinking of adding to my bike collection: A 2009 Specialized Ruby Pro SRAM.And maybe one of these. I'm still a bit ambivalent about track, all things considered. But I can always get the frame and sell it later if I decide that the velodrome is not in the cards for me this year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I don't know why acupuncture works, but it does.

Sarah, my acupuncturist, is an angel. I'm sure of it. I rode over to her office into a raging headwind, tired and beat up. Was crying before she ever had a chance to ask me how I was doing.

Ten minutes after she had put the needles in and covered me with a soft blanket, an amazing thing happened. A wave of warm calm washed over my body. I no longer felt like I was walking a knife's edge between normality and hysteria. It was a little piece of heaven.

After my appointment, I rode over to River City and spent an hour or so strategizing on how to best blow through my bonus money. Rode a few different carbon race bikes and got to sample the difference between dura-ace and SRAM red. Man, I can talk shit for hours about bikes. And most the time, I actually know what I'm talking about.

When the weather broke, I quickly packed up and headed for home. Three-quarters of the way up the final hill before home, I realized with a start that I hadn't thought about him for 15 minutes. Hadn't been trapped in a memory. Hadn't asked why, even once. I was too busy thinking about SRAM shifters and carbon handlebars.

I had hours of similarly blissful peace this afternoon. Around 11:30 this morning, I decided to convert my cyclocross singlespeed into something suitable for cold weather road riding. All by myself. Bought some all-weather tires, fenders and a 45 front chain ring. I sat down at 12:30 PM with my tools, bike maintenance book and a bottle of Celebration Ale.

Two basketball broadcasts droned on in the background, the details not breaking through my concentration. I was filthy up to my elbows, my back ached and I could still taste the salt on my upper lip, leftover from my morning ride. I'm sure that no human being has ever taken so long to figure out how a chain tool works, then actually use it properly. By four o'clock there existed on the floor a mess of tools, dirt, chainlinks, bolts and garbage unlike my condo has ever seen.

There also existed in front of my eyes a monster of my own creation. A sparkling clean commuting machine with the perfect number of nicely tensioned chain links, close-fitting silver fenders, pink bottle cages and a stem that would ensure that my shoulders would not ache during a long ride. And I had done it all by myself.

Suck on it, menfolk. I am BACK.

Despite all of this, I am still cycling though negative emotions. Now its paranoia. I woke up in the middle of the night last night, sat straight up in bed and knew, with the absolute certainty that only comes with weird dreams and four Manhattans, that another woman was the reason he broke up with me.

That feeling has lingered with me throughout the day. Especially while we hammered through the rain this morning. Every time I wiped the road spray off of my glasses and out of my teeth, I felt a deeper contamination. I not only feel cheated, I feel cheated on. Although I will be the first to admit its bred from confusion and a lack of information and an overactive imagination, there is this feeling in my gut that I just can't shake.

But I don't let those feelings don't linger long, especially after I open up the Specialized website to start making my wish list for 2009. I may or may not have been a good girl, but Santa is still going to leave hella treats for me this year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ho, Ho...Aw, Screw It.

I had a really bad night last night. Christmas is getting to me more than I thought it would.

Its sort of a funny thing that the thing that most self-respecting, sustainability-loving liberals HATE about the holidays (the rampant consumerism) is part of why I sort of dig it. I love buying gifts for people. And I'm pretty good at it. It is simply a matter of paying attention to the people you care about...what would make them laugh, what would make them happy, what would they never buy for themselves?

A few weeks ago I was pretty jazzed up about the holidays. I'm thirty-one years old--it's really time to start developing my own holiday traditions. Making the season my own.

This year, I wanted to get a tree and decorate it with pink lights. I wanted to shop for quirky gifts on my bike. On Christmas Day I wanted to sleep in, ride to the top of Mt. Tabor and participate in a Spanish Coffee drinking marathon at Huber's.

[Insert the noise of a screeching halt and the sound of shattering glass.]

Instead, I'm going to New Mexico with my parents to visit my brother and his wife. I'm really looking forward to spending time with my family and checking out the southwest for the first time, but the thought of it is a bit bittersweet because I had my heart set on a different type of holiday.

So back to last night. Portland weather forecasters are predicting that the worst storm/cold snap in five years is going to hit this weekend. Since I haven't been grocery shopping for weeks and really don't want to depend on the Swan Mart for sustenance in the event that the roads ice up (for those of you who don't know where I live, there is a large incline or decline in all directions getting to and from my condo-when it gets icy, I'm stuck) , I went to Fred Meyer's to stock up on the essentials-food, water, a case of beer, ten dollars worth of gummy bears.

Coming off of my 24-hour rage bender, I was already feeling kind of low. Then I got stuck in the check-out line behind a couple that was obviously shopping to throw a Christmas party. They were cute and happy.

They were going to get to spend a Friday night surrounded by friends and joy and bottles of cheap champagne. I would probably spend it with my cats watching Boston Legal re-runs, making myself sick on candy and winter beer. I felt pathetic to the core. And I really wanted to kill both of them. Preferably by causing a gaping head wound with a ten pound tub of clumping cat litter.

Instead I went home and cried the tears that I was hoping I wouldn't cry again. The ones that shake my whole body and make my cats run for cover.

A fundamental part of my grief is that I really believed that the whole "looking for that person" phase of my life was over (at least suspended for a few years) and I was going to move into the "building something with another person" phase. Not a ring, house with a white picket fence, happily ever after sort of phase, but a time where I could feel secure and challenged by the ins and outs of being responsible both for myself and another person.

Now I'm right back to where I started.

I think this whole "finding a lesson" process is going to take a while. What I am trying to avoid is emerging from this in a fatalistic paradigm-- "you can't trust anyone" or "don't ever get comfortable--this could all end at any time." Or with the horrible thought that I had last night while looking at my puffy, mascara stained face in mirror as I brushed my teeth-"look at you right now, no wonder this happened."

So I'm back to just taking care of me. And much of that is going to involve coming to peace with this big hole in my heart and developing a plan to fill that hole with things that are healthy and challenging (i.e., not beer and candy). I'm going to be a different person as a result of all of this, but it'll be a better version of me than existed on December 1.

On that note, I think I'll go buy a new race bike this afternoon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

If You are Looking For Sadness, This is Not the Post for You.

I have a book on break-ups that my mother bought for me when I got divorced. I'm not so into self-help (unless it comes out of a bottle), but this is a great book. I've read it several times and have learned something new each time. There is a great chapter on anger. I need to read it again for reasons that will soon become apparent.

The last 24 hours have been angry hours. I am at this stage where nothing seems fair. It's not fair that he can feel happiness when I am feeling so low. Its not fair that its the holidays and I want to claw my eyes out every time I hear a Christmas song or see a jewelry commercial on TV. Its not fair that my goddamned cat barfed on the goddamned carpet in the goddamned middle of the night and then I stepped in it when I got up at goddamned 5 in the morning after drinking too many goddamned beers the night before. I'm trapped in the throes of an emotional temper tantrum.

I had to go to Nordstrom's to return his Christmas present yesterday. The woman at the watch counter was adamant about figuring out why I no longer wanted it. Did I want to exchange it? Get a gift certificate instead?

Finally, I snapped. "Listen m'am, its in the box and here's the receipt. I just don't (murble murble)-in want it anymore. Okay?" At that point, I think she finally got it. Didn't say a word as she took my credit card and processed the transaction. And used some wise judgment by not extending any holiday well wishes as I surlily made my way out of the store. Goddamned Merry Christmas.

The other unsuspecting outlet for my anger yesterday was the person out there in blogland that has randomly made comments on my relationship posts over the last six months. I keep thinking I have figured out who it is, but it is, honestly, still a mystery. I'm not a fan of anonymous posters, but I can't really complain too much. After all, its my choice to put all of this out there for the world to read.

Mel and I read the anonymous comment on yesterday's post and were basically thinking the same thing-What the F-ck? Then we spent most of the late afternoon entertaining ourselves with speculations on my anonymous poster.

So, Anonymous, I have no idea who you are, and please don't take this too personally, but I'm angry and you have horrible timing. Just when I needed an outlet, there you were. The price of anonymity is the risk of letting two full-out crazy bitches make one-sided character assessments.

Courtesy of Mel and Lindsay, an ode to Anonymous:

Dear Anonymous: On the creepy scale from one to ten, are you a twenty?

Dear Anonymous: Do you live in your mom's basement?

Dear Anonymous: Are you outside my window wearing a cape?

Dear Anonymous: This is not going to make me want to get back together with you.

Dear Anonymous: This is why we broke up.

Dear Anonymous: Are you in fifth grade or attended ESL in high school?

Dear Anonymous: Do you feel sexier in lace or silk?

Dear Anonymous: Please don't make me call your mother and make her change the computer password.

Dear Anonymous: If this is all you have to do when your Wii is broken, you should probably get out more often.

Dear Anonymous: Do you see your Dad as competition?

Dear Anonymous: Is the "biggest loser" marathon over on lifetime?

Dear Anonymous: Do you ride a unicycle?

Dear Anonymous: Did I see your German techno show on cable access last night?

Dear Anonymous: How long have you sold Amway?

Dear Anonymous: Richard Simmons called, he wants his panties back.

Dear Anonymous: Are you just pissed because your girlfriend is making you baby-sit her Chihuahuas ?

Dear Anonymous: And by "girlfriend" I mean your Mom's friend.

Dear Anonymous: Why are you at home on the computer when goodwill is having a sale on sweater vests?

Dear Anonymous: You left your Magic the Gathering playing cards at Dragon's house.

Dear Anonymous: No. I will not start calling you Kristy.

Dear Anonymous: Good news. Mom made meatloaf.

Dear Anonymous: How’s the graveyard shift at taco bell going?

Dear Anonymous: I LOVE your beanie babies collection.

Dear Anonymous: That porn 'stache just makes you look twelve years old.

Dear Anonymous: You aren't nearly as funny as we are. We hate you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sometimes the Horoscopes and Tabloids Make A Lot of Sense

From Free Will Astrology, my horoscope for the week ending today:

According to the imaginative reporters at the Weekly World News, the devil doesn't sit by passively as people beseech God for help and consolation. Using his own version of stealth technology, the evil one "intercepts or jams" up to one-third of all prayers on their way heavenward. Timid and fuzzy prayers are the easiest for him to block. Just in case there's a grain of truth in this claim, Gemini, take special measures when you send out appeals for assistance in the coming days. You need and deserve attention from higher powers, both the earthbound and divine kind. To ensure that the devil (or one of his surrogates) can't interfere, formulate your messages concisely and communicate them with crisp confidence.

So here we go:

To whatever is out there listening and pulling the strings on the grand scheme of things, I say to you:

Listen the Fuck Up.

I don't want the answers. But some help figuring out the lesson that I am suppose to learn from all of this would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, December 8, 2008

168 Hours Later

1...2...3...Breathe. Glide.

1...2...3...Breathe. Glide.

I love to swim. The feeling of length and weightlessness and calm repetition. Most of my brain goes on standby as I focus on the rhythm of my breath and the movement of my arms. Constantly making minor adjustments. Correct the entry of my left hand to appease the tendons in my bad shoulder. Steady the kicking of feet so that I don't sink on my right side.

It's a welcome relief from my inner monologue.

1...2...3...Breathe. Glide.

A week ago I was sitting the exact same place I am sitting now, anticipating the arrival of the man I love, who has promised to bring pizza for dinner. My hamstrings are tight from a thirty minute run around the waterfront. I am reading the new Thomas Friedman book and listening to the local news on OPB. One cat is tucked in at my right elbow staring at me with his big, cartoonish eyes, and the other is massaging her chin on my big toe. The fireplace is on and the room is bathed in the comfortable light coming from my reading light and a few candles. All was right in the world.

I had no idea how wrong I was.

1...2...3...Breathe. Glide.


When a week officially passes, at 7:30PM, I am sitting at a bar in North Portland with my friend Mel, drinking my second beer and looking at the coagulated remains of my macaroni and cheese. I really haven't laughed like this in a long time, and definitely not so in the last week.

I am having a conversation that you can only have with Mel. We talk about serious and sad stuff, of course, but we also have a conversation about putting a glory hole in a Pabst can. Her friend Russ invents the phrase "dilettante hobbyist freak" and rants about how people that dress up as Santa Claus for pub crawls really can't truly commit to being weird because it might hurt their band/freelance graphic design work/ability to get Cat Power tickets.

Since Mel thinks it will take at least four relationships before I am back on track, I break up with Russ and then with some guy in a blue hoodie that I outweigh by about 30 pounds. He looks confused and a little scared. Only two to go.

We are the most hysterical people in the bar. The gal at the table next to us is obviously not pleased, but the two men with her keep sneaking glances over at us and snickering under their breath. For the second time in 24 hours, I am having an unexpected amount of fun.

We leave about an hour later. I have class at 5:30 the next morning and she is trying to sell off the last of her worldly possessions before moving to California. I get into the car and my chest tightens at the thought going home to an empty condo.

1...2...3...Breathe. Glide.

I put the car into to drive, swing a u-turn and head for home. If I'm lucky, I can catch the end of the Monday night "Lost" marathon on the SciFi channel.


Its a well known fact that I hate bananas. A bit of that is about the taste and a bit is about the texture. But most if it has to do with the smell of a banana peel, especially a banana peel 30 minutes after the food inside has been removed. For me, bananas are the olfactory equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. Its lip-curling, nauseating.

Today I've felt like I've been stuck in a hot car with a decaying banana peel. Every so often a memory of my time with him interrupts my precarious focus on working. Memories that only a week ago would fill me with warmth and joy now make my stomach knot and curl. Those memories, one by one, are putrefying.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And Just Like That....

Cross Season is officially over. O.V.E.R.

I still haven't figured out why, for the life of me, racing yesterday morning was a good idea. I was calorie deficient, sleep deprived and completely lacking grrrrrrr. In fact, I was in a state of negative grrrrr. Rrrrrg. Wah-wahhhhhhh.

But I was awake, I was packed and I really didn't want to spend the morning alone.

It was freezing out at PIR. I half-heartedly sat on the trainer for about 20 minutes, listening to Sleater-Kinney at full volume and hoping that some girl rock spirit would override my melancholy. It didn't really work. In fact, it was an epic fail. I would find myself playing Friday night's conversation in my head and tears would start to slowly leak down my cheeks.

Heidi rung her bell badly during the warm-up and when I went to check on her one last time before the race started, I looked at her and tearfully muttered, "No matter what, make me start and don't let me quit."

One out of two ain't bad, all things considered.

I knew 30 seconds in that I wouldn't finish the race. My hands and feet were blocks of ice and my legs and heart were lead. I just rode along, not paying attention to anything going on around me. Rode through a puddle and my feet started to burn with cold pain. Lost focus on a slick downhill and came dangerously close to taking a header into a tree.

Once a junior passed me on a mountain bike, it was time to admit that I wasn't going to gain anything from finishing other than an injury or busted bike. I passed through the finish area at the end of the first lap, pulled off of the course and put my forehead down on my handlebars. I felt hollowed out and exhausted and so disappointed. I just couldn't out-race my grief.

I cruised slowly back to the tent and sat quietly for a few minutes in a sopping wet foldup chair, my head in my hands. We were sharing space with the PV folks again, and I didn't want to draw any attention to my failure.

I decided to flake on responsibility and spent the rest of the day out at PIR, drinking good beer and mingling with my fellow crossers. My eyes would well up once in a while, but there always seemed to be a well timed joke, or friend racing by, to chase the tears away. I laughed. A lot. And got hugged. A lot. My smile felt drunk and unnaturally big and bright, but every time it came to my face, a tiny bit of the dark cloud over my head lifted a tiny bit.

Getting on a bike today was not even an option. Went out today and cheered for my girlfriends. Drank coffee spiked with irish creme and rung a bell for Beth, Heidi and Sage until my wrists ached. Beth and I roamed the course afterwards, drinking beer and gossiping until the weather went south and we all decided to go home.

For the second straight year, the cyclocross season brought with it a lot of extracurricular drama and heartache. I went through another breakup at this exact same time last year, of a relationship that ended had been struggling for months. But it still hurt. Right now it is hard not to associate cross with the kind of tears and pain that are not caused by 45 minutes of gut wrenching effort on a bike.

But there are certain signs that, in the end, all is right in the world--and what is not right will be so in time. Winter has finally started here. It might be miserable outside--but at least its normal. There is a warm cat curled at my feet, purring and chewing on my toes when quit wiggling them up against her chin. There is basketball on TV. I haven't cried today. I am hungry--again.

There is a party tonight, to celebrate the end of the racing season in Oregon. Its a prom, with the theme "I believe." Earlier this week, my thought was this, "I believe I will use bourbon to drown my sorrows."

But I'm thinking that I'm going to instead go with "I believe that the winter will be my season for renewal." It has to be. There is no other option.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ripping a Scab Off, One Last Time

In the end, I couldn't say goodbye.

He says it as he walks back into the pub with the two empty beer glasses. I'm beginning to lose the minuscule amount of control that I have held onto (for dear life) during the last 45 awkward minutes and when I try to say the words, my throat closes up and I just shake my head and walk away.

I walk back to the car and sit there in the cold dark for ten minutes, sobbing out what I hope is the last of the rawest feelings of shock and loss. There will be more tears, but I pray to whatever out there that is listening that they won't hurt like these do.

I went into our meeting with a battle plan, a letter written to make sure that I didn't leave without getting everything out on the table. I read it three times before I walked into the pub, the last time parked on the street, in a strong, confident voice. I could be beat down, but I could never be broken.

When I read it to him twenty minutes later, that strong voice is gone, replaced by something weak and defeated. I knew as soon as I looked in his eyes that this relationship is DNR. He's doing right by me by sitting there, but there is nothing in his gaze that indicates that my pain, live and in the flesh, is sparking anything in his heart other than resigned pity. He is done with me, there is no doubt about that now.

After I'm done with the letter, we don't say much. He makes one or two comments about my words, but most of the time is spent sitting in awkward silence punctuated by annoyed glances at the screaming kids on the sidewalks. Once or twice I say something that puts something behind his eyes, but those moments pass quickly. We don't ever touch. There is something impermeable in the air over the picnic table between us.

He finishes his beer, and agrees to sit with me until I am done. It takes me awhile. It's cold outside, the beer is sitting heavy on my stomach and I'm not ready to walk away yet. Almost, but not yet.

I finally tell him that my joy for the bike is dead. I know it will come back in time, but my afternoon ride was nothing other that a means of getting out of the office before people started asking me why I wasn't coming to the firm Christmas party.

Right about then, I was done. There was no longer any reason to drag out this stilted dialogue. I wasn't ever going to get what I wanted from him, and I was done with having him see me so vulnerable. I drank the last drops out of my glass as quickly as I could, put the newspaper in my bag and got up to go. He did the same, grabbing the empty beer glasses and walking toward the pub. Halfway to the door, he called my name.

"Lindsay, goodbye."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

An Uneasy Truce.

Sometimes its not so fun to be right. I was pretty embarrassed about the facebook gaffe until I realized that I was right. He was upset with me. I am sorry. Only a little bit sorry, but sorry nonetheless.

I have a very insightful friend, the best find of a friend that is simultaneously tremendously consoling while being brutally honest.

Today she asked me a straightforward question. Without questioning or debasing my need to express myself and work out all of the confusion and pain that I've been dealing with in the last three days, she wanted to know if part of the reason that I had been blogging about all of this was to publicly provoke him into having the private dialogue that we didn't have before. That is--publicly shame him into having to deal with me.

I read her words and scrunched up my face. I hadn't thought about it in that way, but I couldn't deny that, on a certain level, this sounded just about right.

So we worked out an uneasy truce. I'm going to sign off for awhile and deal with this the way it should have been dealt with all along. Off-line. In private. Face to face. In return, he is going to sit down with me for as long as I need him to and really listen to what I have to say. I don't expect him to make any sense of this for me on his end and I can't imagine that its going to make me feel better in the short term, but at least in the long term I think that I will feel like there was some measure of dignified closure to this chapter of my life.

Over and Out. Talk to you on the flip side.

Afternoon Update: I Am Hereby Revoking My Facebook Stalking Privileges

And now for a healthy dose of "Oh no, you didn't really do that." Whereby I respond, "Why yes I did" and sit at my desk laughing at myself uncontrollably. This is a good thing.

Facebook is a funny thing. For those of us addicted to it and the constant status updates, its a nice way of keeping track of how your friends (and i'm only dialed into people I actually know) are doing and how they spend their workdays. On Facebook, duh.

It also bascially allows you to stalk people, or, conversely, indirectly communicate with someone when you can't do so directly. So instead of telling your roommate directly that you're pissed off at him, you can tell him INdirectly by saying "Joe is...pissed at Pete for leaving his bong in the dishwasher." I've actually seen this one. No joke.

I was taking a break from the only productive thing that I've done today (my November timesheets) and was browsing status updates. So I'm browsing along, not minding my own business AT ALL, when I come to the immediate conclusion that his updates have something to do with him being pissed at me about all of this public blogging stuff. Because, as you all know, it is ALL ABOUT ME RIGHT NOW. God, people, figure it out.

In my infinite sleep and calorie-deprived wisdom, I toss of an e-mail basically confessing to the facebook stalking and with a statement that if this blog was becoming an issue, we could talk about it. Hit send.

Almost immediately, the sane third (ok, eighth) of my brain kicked in. "You, know, psycho, it probably has NOTHING to do with you." "Yes brain, you're probably right. Walk away from the computer."

This is one e-mail that he has my full blessing to ignore. Please, ignore.

So, I am very sorry and wholeheartedly confess that this is borderline crazy chick behavior. It won't happen agin.

Just Hit Delete, Dammit

I typically have the cleanest e-mail inboxes of anyone I know, as I use my inboxes as a to-do list. If I'm done with a task or have responded to a message, I hit delete or file the words away in their appropriate outlook folder.

My personal e-mail inbox is a disaster right now. I can't bear to delete any of the kinds words that have been sent along by friends new and old (I am truly blessed with friends, no doubt about that). And I can't stop obsessively pouring over those words that it would be in my best interest to delete permanently.

He finally emailed me back yesterday. A couple of painful exchanges followed; full of emotion on my part and little in the way of elucidation on his part. I don't really have a filter on expressing my pain right now and before I really had time to think it through, I had hit send on an email with story that I had never told anyone else in full before then.

Its a story that explains a lot about how I could be so devastated at the death of relationship that didn't even make it to the six month mark. But it felt good to tell it, as the process of writing helped me gain a lot of perspective. I feel less like a despondent crazy person and more like an ordinary person with an extraordinary amount of baggage. And seriously, there are people out there with cancer and head wounds and no place to live. I can deal with a little heartbreak (ok, a big heartbreak).

A few more back and forths, mostly one-liners about exchanging stuff and me claiming sole custody of a party on Sunday night. But I can't delete any of his emails. The pull to keep a line of communication open is almost overwhelming, even though every time I hit "reply" its about as good for me as pulling out my small intestine inch my inch. With a pair of rusty pliers. While being hung upside down by my ankles. Just hit delete, dammit. Let it go. Let him go.

Going to go to work today. I have one final tangible piece of him to deal with. Its silly really. One morning in August, before we had exchanged 'I Love Yous," we sat at my dining room table drinking coffee while I had my condo appraised for a re-fi. I got up to do something, and when I came back, he had written "I Like You" with a smiley face on the side of my paper coffee cup. I finished that latte at work later that morning and couldn't bear to throw the cup away. It was too cute and funny and sweet. Its been sitting on a shelf in my office since then, sort of a little reminder to myself about what I had waiting for me when I got home at night. I have to throw it away now. Let it go. Let him go.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Pound (or Five) of Flesh

I need to eat. And keep eating. I weighed myself Monday morning after my ride in from work. 156.7. And again before intervals today. 150.2. So basically all of this grieving has cost me almost 6 pounds in 48 hours. Not exactly how I wanted to go about it.

Most of my calories in the last two days and three hours have come in the form of bourbon. And it showed at intervals tonight. We were supposed to do four sets of 2min x 5. I made it to the end of the third set and realized that I was running on fumes and rage and anxiety medication and I was probably going to hurt myself if I kept going.

Sleep is going to be easier tonight. I am struggling just keeping my eyes open long enough to purge what I need to purge to keep the bad dreams away.

There is a box sitting on my floor right now that used to contain some clothes and various items that I had left at his house. Most of the clothes went straight into the washing machine. Right before I tried to start the cycle, I couldn't do it. Pulled one shirt out, the one that smells most like his bedroom. I am going to sleep in that one tonight, but I promise to wash it first thing in the morning.

Baby Steps

I'm currently sitting in my bed looking at a short to-do list.

-Open curtains.

-Make Coffee.


Check. Check. Check. I've even moved beyond the list, having reviewed documents for a contract dispute at around 6 this morning and am now listening to a rate case workshop on the cell speakerphone.

But I haven't really quit crying and I'm hunkered down again in my bedroom with the cats. This morning I got as far as packing my bag and getting dressed to ride into the office. But as soon as I touched the Kona, I started bawling. I'm dangerously close to being sick and tired of my own ridiculous sorry ass company. And its only been two days.

What else is on my to-do list?

-Ride. I've got to go get on my bike. Even if it means I have to pull over every three blocks to wipe my eyes with a nasty snotty bandanna.


-Write. I suppose there's always the risk that putting all of this private stuff out in the public domain will someday seem silly or ill-advised or immature. But I have to get all of this out of my system before it poisons me.

And I don't know how else to work this through in my head when I can't have a dialogue with him. No response to any of my e-mails, not even one acknowledging my request to deal with the things that I left at his house. The silence speaks volumes about what I meant to him.

I want all traces of me away from him. My good glasses, my favorite hat, a book that he used to read out loud from before we went to sleep. I want my stuff back. Now.

I've been on the other side of this before. Been the one that wanted out and then consciously avoided the raw and horrible pain that I had caused. I took my time answering emails, wouldn't return phone calls and there is still an unopened letter stashed away in my bureau. I still don't feel very good about myself for any of that.

Finally, on my list:

-No more e-mails to him. No desperate crazy stalker chick bullshit. I have more pride than that. If he wants his daily dose of "LOOK AT WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO ME" he'll have to come looking for it here. Or not.

So I'm stuck with one sided theorizing.

This morning's topic: commitment. I think was was dating a closeted commitment-phobe. Too bad for me that I didn't notice the signs until I was the latest victim.

I knew virtually nothing about his prior relationships. Just that he had been engaged once, was dating someone when he moved out here and that he dodged most of my questions about those relationships and why those didn't work out. It was odd, as he was so forthcoming with everything else. But I trusted him with my heart and let him have his privacy.

A few weeks ago he began to dodge questions about future plans. I have tickets to Arizona that I need to use. A while back we had talked about going to Tucson or Sedona in February. When I e-mailed a few weeks later to ask him to think of a date, there was silence. When I mentioned reserving a good room for Interbike next year, he squirmed and said nothing. Same thing when I rambled on in the car on Sunday about hoping that I was still a Cat 4 when we went to St. Louis for the Gateway cup (his idea).

About the time he was having a moment of clarity on Monday, I was drafting an e-mail about my work Christmas party and other Christmas plans. His response was odd: something like "lindsay-let me bring dinner over tonight. how about 7?" It was odd because he used my full name (instead of baby or linds) and we usually didn't make plans for the evening until late in the day. And there was just something off about the tone and timing.

Ironically, I had a fleeting thought, wow, maybe he's going to break up with me. I have no idea where that thought came from. I remember letting out a loud uncomfortable chuckle and going back to work. After all, we had just spent (what I had thought) a great long weekend together. We had gone to a movie the night before and he held my hand in both of his the entire time. Went home, made love and he kissed me on the forehead goodnight while I snuggled into the same place on his shoulder where I had fallen asleep every night for weeks.

Twenty four hours later I was alone, curled up on the floor of my bedroom wishing that the roof would fall in and end my misery.


Because this was the same man who told me, after being away for two weeks, that he didn't ever want to be away from me that long ever again. And I trusted and believed him.

I think he knew all along that things would end this way and didn't do or say anything when the relationship ebbed because he eventually wanted things to end. If this relationship had meant anything to him, if I had meant anything to him, he would have talked to me when he began to feel things were "ebbing" and we could have figured things out. We could have talked, changed, adapted. We could have tried.

Instead, I'm left feeling like an object that has been thrown aside because it no longer useful or convenient. Like a stem that was the wrong size. Passive, acted upon and impotent. Damn, and it fucking sucks.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

9.2 on the 10 Point Pathetic Scale

So I've hit 24 hours and even a good old fashioned drunk isn't taking the edge off. So those of you who thought bourbon could cure all ills, you were wrong. It just makes you have to pee every 15 minutes.

I have never been one for drama and excess, so I used to view with skepticism folks who couldn't get themselves out of bed following a traumatic episode. Karma just kicked me in the ass with a steel-toed boot.

I was married once. Didn't know if you knew that. It was a bad decision that I reacted to by having an affair with a married law school classmate who would show up to my apartment in the pouring rain and tell me that he would love me forever. You can see where this is going. A few days after his divorce was final (my 27th birthday, to be exact), he informed me that that he really didn't feel the same way anymore. I didn't talk to him again for three years. It took me two years of therapy, countless bottles of lexapro and a big leap of faith before I was able to trust anything that came out of a lover's mouth.

On that particular night I fell asleep, got up the next day and went to bar review. I think my system was already so worn down by the drama and intrigue of cheating that it could absorb the trauma. We learned about Article 3 of the UCC that morning.

I didn't fall asleep last night, despite a heavy dosing of painkillers. It was the shock. I usually have a questionable memory, but the last four months played over in my head repeatedly and as if yesterday was as clear as the day we met.

Yes, I did spend the entire day in bed, watching bad TV without really paying attention and lollying about in a benadryl stupor that finally culminated in three blissful hours of sleep in the early afternoon. All while my semi-retarded siamese cat alternated between neurotically nuzzling my feet and checking the food bowl. The cats are as traumatized as I am.

I though long and hard today about why I needed to make the post last night and why I need to make the post now. It was Emily, good old Emily, that finally helped me understand.

This isn't a break-up. Rather, its a dumping. Want to know the difference? A break-up is when two people sit down, figure out what is wrong with their relationship and decide that things would be better if the relationship ended.

A dumping, on the other hand, is when one person decides unilaterally that the relationship is over, imposes that mandate and walks out the door without any disucusssion, explanation or apology.

I don't think I would need to write all of this down if I had had any meaningful voice as to the way our relationship ended as it actually ended. I did not. So now the only means I have to get what I am feeling out of my system is to write it all this blog, in correspondence with my girlfriends and in three yet-unanswered (and admittedly emotional and angry) emails to the only person that can give me answers.

Because "I don't know" isn't really an answer. Its a cop-out used by people afraid to look at hard truths. You know how I know this? Because once upon I time I was the asshole who said that I didn't know, when deep down I knew exactly what was going on.

I got my sorry ass out of the house for drinks this evening and hope that the evening has its intended effect....sleep.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fuck You.

This is not a relationship blog, but it is my blog. And I can do whatever I please on it. If you don't like it, don't read it. If it hurts you to read it, I don't care. If it bothers you that others will read it, I don't care.

Because if I don't somehow get what I'm feeling out somewhere, I think I may follow my heart and shatter into a million pieces.

I want the whole world to know how much I hurt right now. Because of you it feels like all of my cautious hopes and plans were ripped out of my heart and dead before I even knew what had happened.

I couldn't be crabby around you, no matter now tired I felt or how hard I tried. Whenever I felt sad or angry or impatient, I would just imagine the look you had on your face that night in Silverton and it would make me smile. I laughed all of the time. I felt sexy and loved and safe. Your passion for your job helped give me the balls to make some changes in my own life. I wanted to share some of those ideas with you tonight, before you broke my heart.

And I was so very hopeful, that after so many false starts, that this would stick. Because after everything that I've been through, I deserve something that would stick.

Now? I feel impotent and alone and foolish and used. And full of blind rage. And of shame to admit that I would get down on my knees at your feet and beg you to reconsider if there was any chance that you would.

I still have photos on my camera from Thanksgiving, only a few days ago, where I took you to a beautiful place and we laughed about riding in snow and mud. We made bourbon milkshakes and laughed some more. We cuddled by a fire and read nerdy books.

But you had already quit loving me by then. If you ever even loved me at all.

Maybe we got too close too quickly. Maybe I should have noticed when the sex became a bit less frequent (i figured it was just the bikes and the training and my prolonged funk) or when you quit telling me you loved me unless I said it first. Maybe I smothered you without even knowing it. Maybe you're scared. Maybe I should have made it more clear that I never wanted you to change who you were for me, that I understood your drive and goals and that all I wanted was to be your girl and have lots of adventures. Maybe, maybe.....

What I do know is that I probably won't sleep tonight. Because the only thing worse that the hearbreak is waking up in the morning and knowing that you've got to start all over again.