I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

An entire post, in response to a comment -

RT - this is for you:

I've been involving myself in frivolous and singular things. I'm really trying to get better, and today, I think I took a major step. I'm trying to create new memories where old memories of me and Stephen linger. One of the things we used to do, was wake up on Sundays, and get into the Ole' Saab, and drive over the Tuttle Causeway, to Biscayne Boulevard between 41st and 110th streets... It's a marginal neighborhood, full of late '40s and '50s style Hotels called "Hotel Shalimar" with aging, rusted signs, and Section 8 housing. There are crumbling buildings, right next to fabulous crumbling 1920s Spanish-Mediterranean buildings, which are being torn down to be replaced with shiny new glass and steel high-rise condos.

It's a bad-looking neighborhood right now -- in transition, but you can tell that if the houses get refurbished, the businesses gut some of the buildings they're in, and they scrub down the Shalimar, evicting the prostitutes and heroin addicts, it'll be an amazing neighborhood, with some great architecutre from the '20s through today.

Us gays are moving in and snapping up all the big, crumbling houses on Biscayne Bay, gutting them, putting in pools and carefully landscaped tropical gardening. The houses are being painted, to bring out all the deco details... or the '50s Mi-Mo details... For the most part, we're done, and the whole Belle-Meade Miami Shores neighborhood is coming along quite nicely... with pricetags to boot.

There are lots of great little stores up there. Antique shops, mostly, with some great mid-century stuff. Lots of lucite tables, and bulb lamps, and '50s wall sculptures.

There's even the Boulevard, a gorgeous (from the outside) Art Deco theater, that now serves as the neighborhood "Dirty Movies." NO, I've never been there.

Stephen and I used to go up there and have a pressed sandwich at Uva, go across the street to Starbucks, and drive around the neighborhood, looking at the houses they were redoing, or the ones already done, and then we'd putter through traffic (they've torn Biscayne completely up, now) and go to the Home Depot near Aventura, and stop in the funky little stores...

And we'd be doing nothing, but I really used to enjoy it.

Well, today, as I freaked out at home, I decided it was time for myself to go up and haunt our old stomping grounds, so that I can think of those neighborhoods, without longing to be with him. So that's what I did. I got in the Car (he named it Gunter, but I hate that, and I'm trying to pick a new name for it... still don't know, though) and jetted up to the Biscayne Corridor.

And it was great. I was able to poke in Antique stores with their fabulous lucite couches, and '50s sideboards, and chrome and lucite glass fixtures, without someone being ready to go. Or keeping me there longer... I almost spent a LOT of money. I was looking around, getting ready to decorate my house like it was 1975... All those clean glass (plastic) surfaces... ahhhhh! Okay... maybe 1971?

I think mid-century is going to be my next look in my house. I can mix n' match.

Oh, right. So I'm poking around up there, andI found the BEST STORE EVER. I can say what it is, because none of you who are reading this are going to run out to M.A.D.E. on Biscayne and like... 83rd street, and buy all the fucking rockstar fabulous stuff that they have there.

So, that was good. Then I drove around and looked at houses.

I found real old houses. Not just old like "Oh, that's from the '20s" I mean, I think I found some places that for real looked like they were from the turn-of-the-century.

For the rest of you outside Miami, that's normal. I know. It used to be for me, too. But my city was first drained in 1894 or 1898 or something, so, you know... it's rare to find anything here built before 1961.

Anyway, GORGEOUS old houses that were probably right on the water, (East Federal Highway? Never heard of THAT road...) at one time, and have lost their beachfront-ness as developers filled in the land out towards the Bay.

I had my Death Cab for Cutie on, and I think I reached a catharsis stage while singing "Someday you will be loved" as I sped over the 79th Street Causeway back to the beach. It was a gorgeous day, and I just was overwhelmed with pity (not for myself) and thought about what a really great place I'm in right now. I have the world at my feet, and I'm going places. I need to better myself more, but the desire and the drive are there. I think I'm going to do some great things this summer.

Drove down Indian creek for a while and took the Tuttle to 95, then got on 836, because I wanted to go to the Bird Road Arts District and buy some bamboo.

Now, the places I was going today are OFF the beaten path for my friends. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if most of the people I know have never been to the places I was going today.

I get to the Bird Road Arts District, and am in this rinky dink Antiques warehouse, by myself, when who should pop out of a corner, but my friend Aly. We wandered around, ate Tropical Chinese, I got yelled at by an antagonistic customer for being on my phone, and then we both went home.

Tonight I saw a movie with another friend who got her heart broken ('tis the season, everone's breaking up nowadays.) and then we went to her friend's house, to grouse (the friend also got her heart broken).

It was a pretty kick ass day. I can totally entertain myself, as long as I can motivate to get out my door. Still, it's lonely. I'm used to having company, but I can have just as much fun by myself, and without my jerkstore ex-boyfriend jamming on the gas, brake, gas, brake lurching the car when I used to have killer hangovers and we would go up Said Biscayne Corridor.

I cannot just sit at home, though. I can't engage in solitary, solitary activities. It's like right now, I have to keep moving, or I won't ever start moving again.

And I'm really fine. I'm a little sad, it's weighing on my mind, but I'm going to move on. And I am moving on. I can't imagine dating anyone for a while, and anyone I date is going to have to be amenable to driving me around through terrible parts of town to look at singular stores on Sunday afternoons, but if he's the right guy, then he's the right guy.

I just don't want to look back at April 2006 and think "That was the month I sat at home and debated eating rat poison." I want it to be the month that I got dumped for the first time, and the month that I had a kick ass time rediscovering this city on MY terms, on MY time, and where I want to go.

And I am. I'm seeing people I haven't seen in forever, and I'm loving it. But it's still sort of like throwing a little gas on the hungry fire, because I'm in such need of human company right now to keep me distracted, I get addicted to the littlest interaction. It's like I need a babysitter on the weekends now.

But mostly, even when I don't have a babysitter, I think a really important thing to do is not to destroy all the memories I have of this.. I'm not deleting pictures and emails and letters... They're very valuable to me. But I am trying to put a fresh coat of asphalt over them, so that next time I think about going up Biscayne, it's not when Stephen and I did it.. it's when I did it. And I ate at Balan's tonight, staring at the table where, when last I was there, Stephen and I had our last dinner together.

Now when I think of Balans, I think of eating with Carolina, and the surly waitress...and noticing the number of HOT guys out on the Beach. The Gay and Lesbian Film Festival really pulls 'em out.

So, I guess maybe it's a solitary activity, what I'm doing in my head is, anyway. Compartmentalizing. It's like wrapping up Christmas ornaments and putting them away. They're safe and protected, but less likely to break and cut you if they're surrounded by tissue and newspaper, and in the back of the closet somewhere.

I have realized, though, that I need to get out of the fucking Gables. I would move on SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FASTER if I were living on the Beach. That's this summer's activity... hell, I may even forego taking the MD bar this summer, just to be able to move to the Beach. I need to be able to walk places, and go out more during the week, to cultural events and openings.

That's what I'm really going to miss about this relationship. We did a LOT of stuff. And now, I don't -- I do, but it's different stuff. Not what we used to do. And I really miss it. And I can change that, and I can do the events, but it's a hell of a lot easier to crash on the Beach, than drive home. Living in the Gables is putting a serious cramp in my mission to make myself fabulous again.

So, that's it. I'm keeping myself busy with solitary activities, but public solitary ones. I'm learning how to be without an other-half. And I need to. I still feel like my arm got cut off, but now I'm learning how to use the hook, and not reaching for things with my phantom fingers. Time is healing. I'm still raw and seeping, but the blood isn't pulsing out of the wound anymore.

I'm not happy.

And I'm not crushed.

And on the spectrum, I think I'd fall in the level of sporadically melancholy, with sparks of light.

I'm excited to live in a new place! I'm excited to get involved in my community. I want to serve on boards. I want to do Pro-Bono work. I want to go to Martini Tuesday, and meet some fucking gay people.

That's my next task: make some goddamn gay friends around here. I'm not good at it... as I'm not good with gay people. But by-gum, I can't just keep hanging out with you straight people all the time! 1) Where am I ever going to meet a nice man!? And no, I don't want to date your cousin, because then I can't badmouth him when we stop dating. and 2) You're all getting married and having husbands, and wives, and it makes you sort of suck. Yeah, I'm happy for you all, but c'mon. I don't want to see you in happy relationships when I'm not in one. It's hard to invite a couple over for brunch when you're a unicycle. And it's hard to invite one part of the married unit out without the other.

Okay. Now I have to go to bed. I'm tired. And I have a busy day of brunching with Jews tomorrow at Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House... ooh, I'm plotzing about the surly service, the kishka and the rugelach, and the bialys, and the little rye bread pats, and the half-sour kosher pickles, and the knishes and maybe a nice pastrami sandwich with a nice piece of cheesecake or a black and white cookie. Ooh. I can't wait to hang out with the alter-kuckers.


It's odd...

How in a city so full of people, it's so easy to feel really, really lonely. Even when you have a lot of friends.