Tuesday, September 30, 2008


failing and flying...by jack gilbert...

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
Or the marriage fails and people say
They knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
Worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
On the other side of the island while
Love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
Through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like people who
Came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
And said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,but just coming to the end of his triumph.

special love to jack gilbert for his words...and the BFF for sharing them with me...

soundtrack..."musical" edition

i have always loved loved loved musical theatre. since i was a kid.

i stage managed many musicals through college and out in the "real" theatre world...they are my favorite type of theatre to watch, and to work on...

my favorite professor, who directed many of the musicals i worked on, would say that musicals are even better than "straight" theatre (non-musical), or even real life, because in a musical, when just speaking your mind or your emotions no longer can express the depths of what you're feeling, and just walking around the stage is not enough...you have to fucking dance...and you have to fucking sing...

i completely agree.

it's so powerful that it just BURSTS out of you in a song. there are few things that i would compare to the rush of belting (badly) a really powerful musical number, written to be raw with emotion. i wish real life could be a musical...

here is a list of some of my favorite songs from musicals. songs that, for me, burst out of me when what i'm feeling cannot be expressed without musical accompianment...

1. gimme gimme...thoroughly modern millie
2. i'll cover you (reprise)...rent
3. you should be loved...side show
4. new music...ragtime
5. sarah brown eyes...ragtime
6. i never wanted to love you...march of the falsettos
7. holding to the ground...falsettoland
8. what would i do?...falsettoland
9. not while i'm around...sweeney todd
10. climbing uphill...the last five years
11. stars and the moon...songs for a new world
12. any time...elegies
13. i'd give it all for you...songs for a new world
14. hitchhiking across america...infinnite joy
15. i can do better than that...the last five years
16. still hurting...the last five years
17. defying gravity...wicked
18. you can't stop the beat...hairspray
19. i'd rather be sailing...infinnite joy
20. without love...hairspray
21. make them hear you...ragtime
22. set those sails...infinnite joy

the albums/recordings listed here are my favorite versions of the songs. some of them come from original musicals, but were re-done in revues of the composer (in the case of William Finn's music that i have listed)...

let the music burst out of you sometimes...it feels fucking great.

Monday, September 29, 2008


again, nothing new here...but i'm re-discovering a lot of my music right now...

1.  tall trees in georgia...eva cassidy
2.  nothing lasts forever...maroon 5
3.  the recluse...cursive
4.  stay or leave...dave matthews w/tim reynolds
5.  come away with me...norah jones
6.  in the deep...bird york
7.  hide and seek...imogen heap
8.  goodnight goodnight...maroon 5
9.  this too shall pass...india arie
10.  same old lang syne...dan fogelberg
11.  lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off...panic! at the disco
12.  easy silence...the dixie chicks
13.  making days longer...rjd2
14.  secret garden...bruce springsteen
15.  ex factor...lauryn hill

and...bonus track:  so what...miles davis

i'm not really trying to break a mold here, or introduce new artists...i usually have to look to BFF for the newest music...she's way more informed than i am...but i'm digging on my iTunes library right now...and i like to overshare...

coming soon:  the "musical" edition...

i know you're trying to help...

but fuck you.

and that is what i think everytime someone over the past week has said:

"you'll find someone better"


"there are other fish in the sea"


"at least you know now, and not five years from now"

or, my personal favorite:

"the good ones stay. if he's a good one, he'll come back and stay. if he's not good, then you're better off"

listen, i honestly honestly do appreciate you making the effort to be sympathetic, even though it's a pretty lame and stereotypical response when confronted with someone who's heart is breaking in front of you.

i'm not really looking for sympathy. what i'm looking for is empathy. i'm looking for understanding. i'm looking for someone to look me squarely in the eye and say "dude. that sucks. it's going to suck for a while. it's going to hurt for a while. maybe it won't be a long while, but it will hurt. and it's ok to be sad for a while."

don't give me your typical (and, frankly, outdated) response to the end of a love. it's like you have NEVER felt it before. and i know that's not true. every one of us has had their heart broken. it happens every day. so don't give me your fake sympathy, please.

save it. give me something real.

this is about compassion. this is about looking at another HUMAN being and recognizing that they are in pain, and maybe you should just not say anything at all. i know it's considered 'polite' to share a response. fuck being polite. i don't want it. i am raw and unhinged and sensitive and vulnerable, and all i want is for someone to acknowledge that it's ok to be sad about losing a lover.

maybe it's LA. maybe it's our culture of disposal. disposable cell phones. disposable razors. disposable cups. disposable love. we're NOT SUPPOSED to care. we're SUPPOSED to be able to bounce back right away. we're SUPPOSED to not really care.

well i do care. i spent a lot of time pretending i didn't. but dammit, this fucking hurts. it hurts over and over again in all kinds of different and unique ways that i have never experienced before. i am sad. i will continue to be sad for as long as it takes for me to no longer be sad. i will cry myself to sleep while clutching his t-shirt for as long as i want.

so, thank you. honestly, thank you. i know that this is awkward, me crying in front of you. i know that you aren't sure what to say, and while you may feel pity or sorry for me, please understand that i don't want that. i want you to look at me, broken in front of you, and dig into yourself and remember being heartbroken. over anything. i don't care what it is: a pet, a family member, a broken bike, or maybe your own loss of the person who made colors brighter and seemed to filter the purest sun to shine on you every moment...i want you to dig deep and find that experience, and then i want you to remember what you wanted to hear then. and what you hated hearing then. i want you to find your COMPASSION. i just want this to be ACKNOWLEDGED as legitimate.

and then, if all you can come up with is "there are other fish in the sea"....save it and let me help you.

say nothing. hug me. and if you feel like you need to say ANYTHING, then say:

"i know it hurts. and it might hurt for a while."

the pieces...

it's happening so fast...

the pieces of him, the physical evidence of him, are starting to fade from my life already...

washing the sheets...which means there is no trace of the way he smelled...

using the last of the half and half, that he bought, in my coffee this morning...

even the smallest things...like using the last of the razors that he bought for me at costco...things i took for granted every day that seemed so natural they could be considered silly...they are like a punch in the gut...they were all evidence that he was here...he was real, i didn't dream him...

the things i have to do everyday to go on living will slowly erase him, they will get used up...even though i realize that i have the best parts of him in my heart and my memories...

a year ago today he helped me move my life from san francisco to los angeles. he drove the truck carrying my entire material life the 400 miles to start our life in this strange and familiar town...and so every part of my apartment is filled with him, to the point that even when the razors, half and half, contact lenses, shaving cream, t-shirts, movies and books are no longer here, he still will be...

i don't know how i can escape that.

i still can't believe it's real.

Friday, September 26, 2008

playlist o' weeping...

I've been avoiding music for the past week (seriously, i almost freaked out at a store when etta james started with "at last")...but today I put a few songs on a playlist, hoping to jar a catharsis...

it's nothing new or too creative, but it's working for me...you'll notice that there are several artists that are repeated...these are artists that i have gone to many times over the years for soothing, balm-like relief for any sort of heartache...

1. i just don't think i'll ever get over you...colin hay
2. brightest...copeland
3. breathe me...sia
4. there cannot be a close second...copeland
5. lies...glen hansard and marketa irglova (from the "once" soundtrack)
6. look after you...the fray
7. that particular time...alanis morissette
8. goodbye my lover...james blunt
9. fidelity...regina spektor
10. hold on...sarah mclachlan
11. ordinary people...john legend
12. never is a promise...fiona apple
13. where does the good go?...tegan and sara
14. next lifetime...erykah badu
15. chasing pavements...adele
16. microphone preacher (i write your name on my thumb)...HYIM
17. romeo and juliet...dire straits
18. fear...sarah mclachlan
19. holes...ani difranco
20. my way home...citizen cope
21. when your mind's made up...glen hansard and marketa irglova (from the once soundtrack)
22. samson...regina spektor
23. this year's love...david gray
24. full of grace...sarah mclachlan
25. the entire soundtrack to "the last five years"...jason robert brown

#8 has really been on repeat. say what you want about james blunt, but dude knows how to croon about the end of a relationship with your best friend.

#13 seems especially appropriate right now. and a friend of mine listened to it over and over again when the love of his life left him.

#16 is one of the most beautiful songs i have ever heard in my entire life. it is, literally, poetry set to music. it is one of my favorite songs, and, ironically, it is one that he introduced me to.

some of them are indulgent, weepy, "chick" songs. eh. i'll take it.

i suggest that anyone who has ever been in love purchase the soundtracks to both "once" and "the last five years"...they are amazing.

enjoy. or, you know, sob uncontrollably on the treadmill at the gym. whatever works for you.

what do you listen to when the floor has fallen out from under your life?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

and the waves keep on coming...

when i was a kid, my dad taught me how to swim in the ocean.  how to dive under the waves as they are cresting so that i wouldn't get crushed or knocked around by their enormous power.  

you have to respect the sea, for she is a cruel mistress.

i love love love swimming in the ocean.  there is something so peaceful and freeing about it.

sometimes i even let myself dive under the waves a fraction of a second too late, and i get tossed around like lettuce in a salad spinner back towards the beach.  to give up any semblance of control to a power that laughs at our tiny human attempts to put each and every part of our lives in compartments and analyze every human emotion and thought until there is nothing left of it.  there is something enormously humbling and beautiful in getting tossed around by the ocean.

right now, the ocean is my life.  i dived under the wave a hair too late, and it is tumbling, tumbling, tumbling me backwards. and sideways. and upside down.  parts of myself that were long forgotten or perceived to be overcome are surfacing.

and, just like when i let the ocean toss me, the second i am able to reach the break of the surface, gasp for a breath, and check to make sure my swim suit top hasn't fallen off, another wave is right behind me, and i am under yet again.

i think i'm fine, and then...whoosh.  another reminder.  another calendar entry that i forgot to erase when it happened, marking a social event we had planned, another note, another picture, a toothbrush, or piece of him that i forgot to shove into the shopping bags - compartmentalizing him into nothing - crashes down on my head, and i can't breathe.

this morning, it was a sticker.  a sizing sticker from a pair of jeans he bought the other week, that had somehow gotten stuck to the hem of one of my dresses.  i put the dress on, saw it, and ended up in the fetal position on the floor.  the other day, it was the laundry.  the last load of laundry i will ever do that has his clothes in it.  his t-shirts made me weep until i was shaking.

it all seems so pathetic.  it all seems so melodramatic.  but what you have to understand is that my entire future, all of the dreams, all of the plans, everything i had come to believe was indestructable has been demolished.  those were dreams i never thought i would have.  plans i never believed i would count on.  trust.  gone.

and now...now what?

you have to respect the sea.

right now, i guess i just doggy paddle until the next wave comes.  then, maybe i can find my way back towards the beach.  and someday, i'll be able to swim in the ocean again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

it is broken...

i struggle with some very dark fundamental delusions that nothing good lasts forever. i know in the fabric of my soul that everyone will eventually leave.

and in doing so, i set myself up to fail.

if everyone is going to leave anyway, why should i bother letting anyone in? why should i invest in someone? why should i allow myself to love anyone?

and so i put up walls. they are very high, and they are covered with barbed wire. at the top of the walls are evil little gremlins who like to feast on the souls of newborn puppies.

those gremlins see the good stuff climbing the walls, and report immediately to my brain and my heart, calling in the defenses, reminding me over and over again that there is no point in letting that good stuff get any closer.

and so i have existed for most of my adult life. it's not just about love. it's about work, it's about friends, it's about luck, it's about my karma. but the good stuff that has to do with love hurts the most.

as the love-related good stuff climbs the wall, the fucking gremlins really let loose. they call in every point of attack they can find.

shut down.
do not communicate.
do not engage.
do not call.
do not answer their calls.
make sure you are clear that they mean nothing.
tell them nothing about your childhood or family for as long as possible.
be mean.
be flirty.
be unavailable.
be neurotic.
push them away.
don't let them in.

but damn if sometimes that love-related good stuff isn't stronger than my gremlins and neuroses.

and it gets over the walls.

into the minefields.

and then the gremlins wait it out. they know that the love-related good stuff is gonna try to get back over that wall any minute now. the other shoe WILL drop. and then they can say "see. we told you so. no one wants to stay inside the wall. you're not enough."

and then, when it is over, and my gut is burning and i haven't been able to keep solid food down for three days and i've smoked 3 packs of cigarettes in as many days, and i can't sleep because the smell of him is still in my house, and sometimes in my dreams i catch a whiff of him and my brain says, "dude, it was all just a nightmare, just reach over and touch him." and when i do, he's still gone and will never come back. when all of him that has been my life fits in two nordstrom's shopping bags by my desk, and all that i get to keep of him fits inside a prada shoebox...when all of that is added up...and i realize that the gremlins are right. no one wants to stay inside the walls for very long.

the gremlins get to be right. i get to lose my best friend.