?> this is annie | Monthly Archive | March
Archive | March, 2010

Regrets? I’ve had a few

30 Mar

Regrets? I’ve had a few

For the most part, I regret things I didn’t do more than things I did do. Looking back, there are so many things I wish I had tried while I had the chance. For instance, as a kid I loved to act. I was a huge ham who loved to sing and perform, and I envisioned a future in which I would become a famous star who’d inspire the world. Except it wasn’t a dream as much as something I just assumed would happen. Destiny!

Slowly, though, I allowed doubts to chip away at my confidence. I didn’t get a part in the high school play, so I never tried out for one again. Instead, I worked as an usher and watched other students belt out Julie Andrews tunes. In college, I wanted to try again, and I even spent 10 minutes looking at a sign-up sheet for tryouts before deciding that I’d probably embarrass myself. Looking back, I wish I’d just gone for it, because it is better to try and fail than to not try at all. Sometimes you even try and succeed. (more…)

Tea for two. Or one. One.

30 Mar

Tea for two. Or one. One.

Ritual is notorious for being a Missed Connections hotspot. At any given moment, half of the people here are probably scanning the room for someone they are too scared to talk to. I can’t help but think that it’s weird that so many of us are too timid to say hello or merely smile. So far, I have never been a Ritual missed connection. If I were, it might go something like this:

You were the bespectacled vixen in too-tight shoes. Maybe if you hadn’t tried to squeeze into a 7.5, you wouldn’t look like Oliver Twist’s anemic ladyfriend. Wish I’d said hello.

I like coming here because I’m too lazy to walk farther, the music is usually good (not tonight, though) and the people-watching is spectacular. My favorite moments involve first dates. I love reading the couples, gauging their newness, and witnessing the connection or lack thereof. Ritual is actually not a great place to have a first date (or so I’d imagine) because it’s often loud, and there’s that space during which your drink isn’t ready, so you wind up hovering awkwardly as the baristas whip it up.

A while ago, one of the baristas and I talked about Jawbreaker, and from then on, I was a regular! I even got the “Hi Annie” treatment, which is the sort of tiny detail that makes SF start to feel like home after almost three years. Then he quit, and so did the girl who always flirted with me, and so did Nick with his chest tattoo, and now there is only the bearded boy with the French tattoo — and I am never sure if he recognizes me anyway. Right now, it is time to close the coffee shop, to close the computer, and to close the night.

Vampire wizard ninja brothers from the moon!

29 Mar

Axe Cop might be my favorite web find of the year thus far. It’s a comic written by a five-year-old boy with an unbridled imagination, and it’s as enjoyable as it is absurd. Sorry for the phoned-in entry, but I have a gang of dinosaurs to kill.

Memory infestation

27 Mar

Memory infestation

Last weekend, Jaime mentioned a boy I used to date. “He has such a good heart,” I said, because he truly does. “It’s funny, but after all this time I’ve forgotten how and why we broke up.”

“You dumped him,” Jaime said.

“Yeah, but I don’t remember why,” I replied. I knew the general idea — we were at different life stages — but the specifics were beyond recollection.

Jaime gave me a you’re-kidding look. “You seriously don’t remember what pushed you over the edge?”

Well, no.

“Annie,” Jaime said. “You dumped him because he had fleas.”

Oh, right. That. Visions of itchy red welts on my ankles resurfaced. Once we began laughing, I could not stop. Fleas! I had completely forgotten.

Lately I have been thinking about the memories we retain and those we lose. I want to understand why they fall where they do. I don’t have it figured out yet. One thing I do know, though: I am glad that my dating life no longer requires having the Orkin Man on speed dial, and I am happier still that I forgot it was necessary in the first place.

To a sea of stars

25 Mar

To a sea of stars

Mourning is a cycle, spinning over and over, and I’m not sure when it will stop. The five stages of grief exist, but they don’t necessarily happen in order, and they don’t happen just once. They keep moving in a general loop, yet they’re unpredictable; the intensity sometimes fades, but the pattern keeps repopulating itself.

I am able to reach acceptance, but there’s no triumph in that accomplishment. It is a sad place. It isn’t a place I really want to be, so I slip back into denial. Then I have to plunge into the icy water of reality, mentally replay the loss, and sit with the absence for a while. It’s lonely.

I am not yet used to how different things are now, and I have to frequently remind myself to create new behaviors and responses to replace long-established habits. For instance: When I travel, I instinctively look for a postcard to send to Dad. It is OK to think of him, of course, but it still takes me a few seconds to remember that I can’t really send him a card. Or if I did, it would never reach him, because he is gone.

I haven’t slept well in months, and this is doubly frustrating because dreams are the only place where my mind can regress beyond denial and temporarily bask in an extinct existence. I can dream about the life I used to know, without the internal scold whipping me into looking at the cold, sad facts. I know the happiness is not real, but the escape is still welcome whenever it comes. Dream-Dad comforts me as he would if he were still here, and things feel better.

Sometimes, if the air and light are just right, I let myself forget while I’m awake, too. Just for a minute. The last time I did it, I was walking down 21st Street on a quiet morning. For a city block, I allowed myself to pretend. The sun on my back felt like being loved, and I slowed my pace to feel less alone for a little bit longer. Eventually, I had to turn left on Mission, where buildings were blocking the light. I returned to accepting the unwelcome truth, but for a tiny sliver of time, I got away from it.

I don’t know if this coping mechanism is normal. I’m not sure it’s completely healthy, but it’s not like I do it often or stay stuck in that reverie. Occasionally it is what I need to do just to get through the day, because sometimes the absence is overwhelming. I know things will get easier as time passes, and that I will be able to think of my father without feeling so sad, but right now it is still difficult. I need him, he isn’t here, and so the cycle begins anew.