Saturday, June 11, 2011

In the land of the living...

Sometimes I wonder how I made it through the last ten years. I can effectively say that during those ten years I was a walking corpse, just simply existing, and I have no idea how I got through it up to now. I guess that's why I call the time I was married, "The Coma" or "The Sleep" because I don't remember half of it and I think it's best left that way.

For a long time, I think, no, I know that I had given up on myself. I had lost the will to live an exciting life. I remember a long time ago writing about the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times," and I remember writing:

That's a curse? When things are interesting, whether it's drama, or a new lover, or a bad breakup, at least you're reminded you are alive. It's all in remembering that you are a living, breathing human being that is taking part in the world and born to make a difference. In the back of your mind, when you know you're alive, and even though things may not be the smoothest in the world, at least it's worth waking up for so you can see what happens next! If you want a real curse, "May you get married and your life be boring as all hell." THAT is a curse. At least, living in interesting times will make sure that your brain doesn't rot from boredom or lack of stimulation.

I'm a girl who used to thump my copy of Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis, screaming at the top of my lungs, "Live! Live! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" But somewhere along the way, I forgot what it was like to do that.

Back in the day, after I would get off work from the aquarium, I would get myself dolled up and ready to head out to Spago for an evening of decadence. Hey, it's never a bad thing when you're in your 20's and you can go eat wienerschnizel and drink Riesling after you pick yourself up a new watch at the Swatch store and walk into the restaurant waving it and saying "Fresh kill" in regards to it, like you've gone on safari and bagged a trophy animal. To me, that was living. It was going out, interacting with the world and being a part of it, drinking in every moment like it would be my last. Today, I can effectively say I've been inspired to get off of the bench and full-on back into the game.

Ok, so why this today? I got paid. My first real pay day in over 10 years. Yes, I've had contract work here and there, but nothing on the scope of what I do now. An actual paycheck where I got to pay all of my bills out of my own checking account, that I could go to the grocery store and pick up whatever I wanted (but remembered to stay frugal) and still have money left in my pocket after all of it, enough to pay next month's rent and then some. I'm tempted to cry, but to be honest, I'd rather do a happy dance because I'm headed in the right direction.

Now, on to the more "interesting" parts that parallel my new job, and it's been two weeks since I've last dug into what's happening with me so I figure it's time to write about it. Here it is: along with the new job, I've also been going out and hanging out with someone not blood related to me. Go ahead, do the shocked face, I've been going out with a guy! Ok, not in that way, but a friend. It's not dating, much to my chagrin, but it's ok, it's someone I know well and who I trust.

As we all know, I have a love of men with long hair. Yep, that's me, I'm a true hedonist, I want a wild looking man if I'm going to come out of my coma completely. Call it a recovery step if you wish, but it's one of those things, I found a friend of mine that I've not seen in 15 years and reconnected with him, long blonde hair, luscious body and all.  He's got this amazing smile, contagious laughter and is just an all-around joy to share time with.  Of course, it's not a relationship thing, but it is someone who is completely gorgeous that I can go and hang out with who knows me really well and it's someone I can have fun with on a weekly basis. Best thing of all, he makes me smile when I'm not teasing him about being messy, never growing up and my usual admonishments for his torn jeans and my grimacing at all of the muscle cars he's purchased to restore hanging out in front of his house and on the land in the back of his house. I'm just going to right away give him a moniker, he's Mr. Blonde and he deserves some lip service because he's the one who taught me the phrase, "Everyone doesn't need to know everything," and who put me on the road to being really good in PR, because he was the one who taught me how to judge the moments where something should be said combined with knowing what needs to be said, what doesn't, and having the common sense to know when to divulge details. He's my poker-face zen master.

That said, I think you need to know the back-story of why he's such a great influence at the moment. Like he taught me all those years ago, I won't give you all the details, but I'll give you the parts that are important and are within the boundaries of what is good to share with an audience.

15 years ago, Mr. Blonde and I used to work at a nightclub together. I would be doing my job, wearing my Doc Martens, club clothes and dancing on top of "The Bamboo Bar," (effectively doing eight hours of cardio a night dancing to house music as one of the club's house dancers in the Diversities department) and he would be across the way at his bar, serving drinks. When I'd get up and dance to a song he'd love or it meant something between the two of us, I'd see him across the way, with no shirt on, blowing his whistle and throwing a ton of napkins in the air, grabbing body parts and cheering me on, effectively telling me how much he loved watching me.  It was always so cute because he'd let me know at distance how much he loved me or how beautiful I looked.  We dated for almost three years.  When it came time for us to break up, he looked at me and said, "I can't tie you to a relationship with me. The world is a huge place and you need to get out and have experiences. You won't have those if you stay with me. You're destined for great things and I can't bring myself to deny you anything." Now if that isn't a great break-up line, I don't know what is. Sure enough, 15 years later, it's just as he predicted, I had to get some experiences under my belt and I'm much more interesting as a result.

Of course, this does represent some issues. Mr. Blonde is still the same person he was 15 years ago. He's still messy, he's still unkempt and he's still refusing to grow up. In the mean time, I've grown up and now instead of the clunky unrefined twenty-something he used to know, I'm now a full-on educated thirty-something with grand aspirations.  I've gone from a nightclub house dancer to becoming a fairly high-paid executive with a lot of responsibilities.  Here's where it gets funny. In the last 15 years, Mr. Blonde has gone from sharing a house with four roommates to owning a bar and a nice chunk of land complete with three horses, four birds and six dogs. And I thought I had come from nothing to no. He tops me 100 times over, he just refuses to show what he has; he's a guy who lives a humble life without pridefulness. You know me, that's heady stuff because that's exactly what I'm trying to get to, albeit a bit cleaner than him and with less animals.

While we were at dinner on Tuesday, I tried to ask him how he came into owning a bar and he wouldn't answer me. What's worse is that he's restoring a 1963 split-window Corvette, a 1968 Super Bee (which is apparently the predecessor to the Dodge Charger now), and a myriad of old American muscle cars. When I asked him how much the Corvette will be worth when he's finished restoring it, he didn't even flinch, he just looked at me, shrugged and said, "Oh, about $100,000." My jaw dropped onto the table. Back in the day, I watched him restore an old 1970 Pontiac GTO which he painted "Fly Yellow" and restored it to pristine condition, it ran like a dream. But that's Mr. Blonde's thing, he loves American muscle cars. When he heard my Prius, he exclaimed, "But it doesn't make any noise," not surprising that he's amazed with my hybrid beauty when he's restoring gas guzzling smog monsters. But with all of our differences like my love Spago, new Swatches, Creme Brulee and my education, he's in love with three things, American muscle cars, being a bartender and never growing up, we do still have some things in common. What we have in common is that simply, having money means that you can get yourself what you need, it's not Carte Blanche to go crazy with it. If we have a pocketful of money, it doesn't mean that we change, we stay frugal. If I've learned anything in the last 10 years, it's how to be frugal and buy only what I need in which he and I both agree on.

I remember after Mr. Blonde and I broke up, I went through the process of getting into the Spago scene and doing what he told me I should be doing, which was going out, living and having interesting experiences. 15 years later, and I'm educated, love to read and I'm always about making sure I reach a high plane, and he's still very down to earth, could care less about being educated and doesn't like to read. Diametrically opposed doesn't cover this friendship. Back in the day, he protected me, cared for me and really looked after me when no one else would, I was a very lost soul that he valiantly tried to place on the right path. It took a while, but everything he wanted for me, I went out and did for myself. Funny part, he looked at me on Tuesday and told me that bar-none I was one of the most beautiful women he's ever seen in his life and he just loves spending time with me just to look at me, that I'm definitely not the same girl he knew 15 years ago and that I'm a little more snooty than I used to be, but he enjoys hearing about my work, my bizarre life in cyberspace and just being able to hang out with someone who has had similar life experiences and accepts him for who he is, nothing more, nothing less.

I can handle that.

The thing is, the door swings both ways on that. I mean this guy is some SERIOUS eye-candy. The long blonde hair is great, I love it. Back in the day when we worked at a nightclub together, we had a race going to get our hair to grow out, always seeing who's was longer, and he always won; now my hair is longer than his, and mine is more fluid and really beautiful compared to back in the day. I guess you can say I came into my own and he really is digging on that. However, the one knee-weakening item on Mr. Blonde is his blue eyes. Oh, no, you just don't know...he's got these amazing ocean blue eyes. Whew! It's enough to make any girl bend her knee inwards and go, "Um, hi..." Worse yet is that he's almost the exact description of Kyrian of Thrace from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters, he may only be six feet tall and 170 pounds on a good day, but...oy veh, he's still HOT.

However, he's just a pal now. Ok, you know what, we ALL could do with friends like that. He's funny, sexy (very sexy), and charismatic. He's one of those guys who's few words speak volumes. But, I have to say, I love it when he calls and says, "What'cha doin'" in his very thick mid-western accent and asks me what I want to do this week. Whether it be just hanging out and watching Animal Planet together or going to dinner or just sitting and visiting on the phone, it's nice to have a pal who calls me to hang out and enjoys being around me just for being me. It doesn't matter to him that I'm 144 pounds, he laughs when I call myself "fluffy," laughing and saying, "No you're not, you're beautiful." He doesn't judge, he's just him and I think that's what makes him so great.  We may be really different in a lot of ways, but it's just nice to have someone to call when I need a hug who will, without hesitation, give me one.  It's just like back in the day, he can't bring himself to deny me anything and I can tell he still loves me after all these years, but it's more about loving a platonic friend than a romantic interest, which is just fine with me.

The best part of it all was when I relayed the fact that being around him was really the first time in 10 years I've been around someone socially outside of my family.  I told him that I didn't know how to be around people any more and he looked at me and said flatly, "You don't have anything to worry about around me, I'll help you get used to being out again."  I nearly cried when I heard that, it seems like he's always been coming to my rescue in one way or another.

Ok, details aside, here are the brass tacks.  I'm going outside.  I'm hanging out with people.  I'm getting paid for doing my dream job.  I mean, OMG!  AND I've got a long blonde haired hottie who's calling me beautiful...can this get any better?

Damn, being patient is one thing, and it truly is a virtue, but when everything starts to hum along just like puzzle pieces finally all fitting together, it gets a bit spooky.  I keep waiting for the bottom to fall out, but until it does, OMG, I'm going to enjoy this.

So, for the song of the day, one for Mr. Blonde who reminds me in a small way of Eddie Van Halen back in the day...but the simple facts are that he can do to a car body what Eddie can do with a guitar...something amazing.

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