Security

I guess now is a good time to tell you a little about me:

I’ve just gotten back in town after a long New York hiatus. I’m so happy to be back.

All is right in the world, even if there doesn’t seem to be time to sleep.

I’ve find myself looking down a long tunnel of in-between in this immediate future. Being in-between things is interesting in a snug sort of uncomfortable way.

I like lots of things, including, but not limited to: kale, olives, dogs, water, dreaming, walking, picture taking, sock puppets, discussing things I have no business discussing, and coffee.

I am East Coast, born and bred, though I have lived in California several times.

I walk a lot and love the beach, especially in the winter.

I like witching weather and traveling. And well-traveled people.

I live with the Best Dog Ever.

Here’s what I’m doing with my life:

It depends on the day. These are the broad strokes:

I am walking my dog. 

I am feeding her lunch.

I am sitting at my computer creating things and thinking up things to create. My dog is on my lap, snoring.

I am working my bread and butter job.

I am walking my dog.

I am going to sleep.

I’m really good at:

Talking. Laughing. Making people laugh, usually when I don’t mean to, and putting people at ease.

Here are six things I could never live without, even though I’ve lived without all of them:

my dog, my water distiller, a fountain pen, water, and peanut butter.

Do you want to date me?

There’s more.

I have a newly formed, irrational fear of being arrested and strip-searched over a leash violation I had no idea existed.

Sometimes I wonder if the water cooler talk at the police office goes something like this: “oh, sure, they’re all sweet when they want you to chase down a mugger or help a sick person, but pepper spray one of them in the face for stepping off a curb during a peaceful demonstration, and watch them squeal like a baby. That’s the public for you. And they act like they’re paying our salaries and pensions or something.”

Anyhow, I don’t judge. I’m a live and let live sort of person. You never know if those pepper spraying cops woke up to a flat tire, a missing flat screen television, and a note on the kitchen table from their wife saying she ran off with their best friend.

As for being between things, I am a single person, a tiny dot of humanity, winding her way through the big city. I’m smack dab in the middle of middle age. It’s a balancing act, like those see-saws that used to haunt every playground. Sometimes it felt good to rock unsteadily with an out-sized partner, laughing with a white-knuckled grip while I was trapped in the air. And sometimes, I’d find the perfect partner, someone my size with whom I could lock eyes and smiles and balance the board in a tenuous dance of gravity and physics.

It wasn’t until I was fourteen or fifteen, around the time my father died, that I developed a fear a heights that haunts me still. The peals of laughter that grew out of the uncertainty of my partner’s actions and the ground beneath me surrendered to choked tears and a desperate strangle hold to whatever lay securely between me and the earth.  But now, our carefully constructed systems of security are failing and our guardians have turned on us. All that’s really left are the heart and the mind. The best possible scenario: the two of them engage in that delicate teeter-totter of a dance, dangling mid-air, feet swinging above the ground, playing with the uncertainty of it all.

I tried marriage and I didn’t like it. I’ve dated. I’ve slept around. I’ve abstained and held out. I’ve flirted.I’ve teased. I’ve been a placeholder, a teacher, and a healer. I’ve been the other woman, and the only one.

And now here I am, floating through this year on a dating odyssey and uncertain terrain, learning more about myself than I ever cared to know.

Leash laws be damned. I surrender.

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