Friday, January 31, 2014

I'm gonna try to nullify my life

Had to go to work.  Forced myself to keep it together on the drive in.  Brought a rag in the car to dry my eyes.  Was mostly okay through the day.  I'm generally unpredictably sullen or happy go lucky and not very personable in either case, so no one much noticed my depression (though Ms. Yule did).

Got home.  Worked out.  Agony inside, like heroin withdrawal.  Texted LD a bit.  Some accusatory and defensive, some simply loving and saying I'd be there for her.  Took a tranquilizer and drank.  Friar picked me up to go out drinking at Hangout.  He had been in contact with 74 and picked up him as well.  I mostly ignored 74 though was civil.  Sedated and drunk enough to laugh at times.

Want to die.

Mood: suicidal/sedated

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Why does my life have to be so small? Yet death is forever

The final day of LD's visit before her flight back to Europa tomorrow morning while I'll be at work.

I texted and arranged that she'd meet me right after work today.  We went to Target and she bought her son some of those Skylanders that the kids love so much these days.  Then back to my house where we talked and had a last evening together.  I tried my best to plead my case: that we have an unusually intimate bond; that she's a captive who's deluded into wanting to comfort her captor; that her situation is sick and unhealthy and a break-up would be better in the long run; that she should model a live of love and support rather than passive-aggressive silence for her kids.

But she wants to go try to make her "family" work.

I shut down and tensed up.  I literally could not respond.  LD got hysterically tearful.  But despite everything, there was a farewell dinner at Zaftig's house that she was supposed to go to, and Zaftig kept texting every few minutes to see if she was coming.  We cried and kissed and whispered but we couldn't get control.  But she had to go to this dinner.  LD insisted on me attending (despite yesterday's awkwardness), because she wasn't quite ready to let go yet.  Neither was I, because I came along.  Eyeball was there, and to our surprise, Muffin was as well.  Nothing was said about LD and I arriving together.  It was calm and peaceful, sort of.

Eventually it was time for me to go back.  LD drove me back to my place where we had more heartbreak drama in the car (Zaftig texting her twice more, because she's an interfering meddlesome old harridan I suppose).  And eventually, again, I had to go and she had to go back for good.  I just said "Be safe" and got out of the car and went inside.

I knew she was going to clear her head.  I knew we'd be on hiatus and our contact would slow down.  I didn't know she'd already made her mind up to start yet again to make it work with Kraut.  The same thing she's been doing, passively, for three years, hating it and not speaking to Kraut's family, she thinks she needs to give another shot.

I can't take it.

Mood: suicidal

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

With so much sea between us

It's a late work day but we didn't have a meeting.  Still, because Ms. Yule and I are basically rewriting the third grade curriculum from the bottom up, she and I stayed after school to create the midyear progress reports that we will fill out and share with parents at conferences.


LD is back from Boot State.  She, Zaftig, and a mutual friend (who I don't remember mentioning before, but even if I did will henceforth be known as Eyeball) went out to cocktails and then dinner.  She texted me several times, extremely drunk.  I was hesitant to go to Zaftig's house, especially with Eyeball there, but I did.  On Zaftig's drunken suggestion, I built up a fire in their outside firepit, despite the bitter chill.  We sat around talking, or at least they rambled drunkenly.  Over the course of the brief evening, I had to leave the room several times due to Eyeball's constant mention of Kraut.  They'd be talking about hair color, and apropos of not much, Eyeball would say, "But it's not as dark as Kraut's hair!'  Or during the fire building, out of the blue, "Remember that fire Kraut and 74 built?"  Finally, when she went on and on about the best things to do in the medieval village where Kraut and LD live, I couldn't take it any more.  I leapt up, scowled a terse, "Goodnight," and strode for the door.

LD followed me and we had a little talk in the hallway where she tried to calm me down.  As I say, they were pretty drunk, so I'm not sure my bitchy petulant flouncing made a particularly heavy impression.  Still, thought, this evening was LD's plan to show Zaftig and I that we're all friends and we could sit together without there being any awkwardness between us.  So much for that idea.  I'm not sure if she was deliberately taking little passive-aggressive shots at me and LD, or if she really was oblivious to what she was saying, but it hit me in the nerve, repeatedly.  I'm just so sensitive, he shrilled, shaking his tiny fist futilely. 

Mood: enraged/despondent

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You can hang back or fight your best on the front line

Remember all that stuff I wrote about that I had to do this week?  No time to blog; still playing catch-up.

Today in class, I handed back and went over the two graded homework sheets from last week.  I also handed back and went over the analogy page that I graded.  For the most part they fill in the missing parts of analogies all right.  The thing the kids have the most problem with is explaining the relationship between the pair of words across both pairs.

The kids also did their book partner reading.  Finally, they wrote a five sentence paragraph (topic, three supporting details, conclusion) on something they would like to persuade their parents to let them do.  The last time they did this, the five sentence paragraph was to support any opinion.  One girl wrote,
"Mr. Chance is the best techer you could ever have!  To begin with, he is funny and if you joke around he might lagh.  In addition he sometimes lets us walk in weird ways down the hall.  Finlly if you get in trouble he just pats your head and pretends like nothing happened.  It is clear that Mr. Chance is the most awesome techer."
Moo ha ha.  My loyal army grows, one brainwashed solider at a time.

Mood: glum

Monday, January 27, 2014

Do open eyes keep the ghosts at bay?

First day back at work since the 21st!  Also, first time I have blogged about the new job.  I teach a literacy class lasting one and a half hours and including a reading and writing component, twice a day, to two groups of 12 kids each.  The rest of my day is taken up with planning, taking kids to specials classes, meetings, or recess or lunch duty.  Today, as at the beginning of nearly every week, I gave the kids a spelling pretest, which they grade themselves and then assign themselves words from based on how well or poorly they did.  I passed out and explained the first homework sheet of the week (Ms. Yule and I write our own homework sheets, or, more precisely, I write them, at least most of the time).  Then the kids met their book partners and discussed their reading with each other, as well as assigned themselves their own reading for tonight. They made notes about the books they were reading as well.  I read aloud to them a few chapters of a book, and finally we played a matching card game about analogies.

Also, after school on Mondays I teach le français to kindergarten kids.  So I stayed about an hour later than usual.
Which is too bad, because taking three days off means a lot of make-up work for a teacher (which is why I generally never take days off --- I have to work harder to arrange plans and catch up in grading than I do to actually go to work.)  Here is what is waiting for me to grade, or at least look over, from twenty-four kids:

last week's spelling test
Monday homework sheet
Wednesday homework sheet
apostrophe in-class worksheet
analogy in-class worksheet
fiction reading comprehension test
nonfiction reading comprehension test
descriptive paragraph about inferences

Whew!  But!  There was no time for all that, because I was required to return to school in the early evening to hear an author talk about his book on Why Johnny Can't Achieve, and What You Can Do To Help Him (Hint: It's Parental Attention and Good Attitude).  I read the fellow's book last summer, so the talk was mostly soporific.

Texted with LD both after school and before bed.  After she returns to Europa, she says she needs to clear her head and not text with me as much (read: literally constantly, every waking minute).  So I'm getting what I can.

Mood: Mostly too busy to be sad, mostly.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I can try all I want to find the will, but there ain't no sympathy

This morning LD flew off to see her siblings and parents in Boot State for three days.  Zaftig and their hick friend dropped LD off at the airport, and then I drove down to say goodbye while she waited for her flight.  I brought her a book I'd bought for her kids, and she handed me some lotion that she accidentally packed but couldn't take along because it was a terrorist-friendly seven ounce package.  We sat in the lounge for twenty minutes or so, just being together.  We have to sneak around like teenagers under watchful parents, and we act that way too.  Seriously, some of our text conversations would probably revolt people.


Went for a walk with the dogs with Neighbor Dale.  I bet people think we're gay.  Two dudes, just walking their dogs in the gayborhood.  Gayin' it up.

One of my mother's front crowns fell out the other day, so she is refusing to leave the house on the grounds of "looking like a raggedy old witch."  I went over and brought her some groceries, then watched some "Modern Family," a show I haven't seen in a few years.  Some of the characters have aged rapidly; the daughters look like 35 year olds.  The writing is still sharp.  I didn't belly laugh or anything, but I admired the wittiness and the rapid-fire dialogue.  Ah, the American sitcom.  It makes us forget our pains for a brief half hour.


Back to work tomorrow.  I requested an unprecedented three personal days --- Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday --- last week in anticipation of LD's visit.  (And am I ever glad I did.)  I've sort of been coasting at The Job lately, not really shining in my new role.  So it's time to step it up.  Starting tomorrow.

Mood: sad

Saturday, January 25, 2014

If I could get my way, I'd get myself locked up today

LD came by early this morning with Green Juice from Starbucks while getting coffees for the huge clan currently staying at 74's house.  A clandestine visit!  She told me that as she left 74 said something to her, Meaningfully, about how it never takes too long at that particular Starbucks, so they expected her back soon.  And upon her return, she told me that Zaftig met her at the door, saying they were just going to go out after her and were "worrying."  It really pisses me off that 74 and Zaftig are treating LD like a child.  I have no interest in their disapproval or their bourgeois beliefs about how Things Ought To Be.  I don't mind the censure; but their working actively to destroy my happiness grates on me.

LD told me that she had this conversation with Zaftig:
LD: Has my relationship with Chance changed the way you think of me?
Z: It's changed the way I think of myself.  I mean, I never imagined something like this would happen to me or anyone I know, so now I'm wondering what I might do in similar situations.

I'm not trying to be vituperative here, but I've always found that thinking to be a bit infantile.  "I never thought I'd be the victim of a crime!"  Why not?  Crimes happen every day.  "I never dreamed my son would be gay!"  Why not?  Gay people are born every day.  So for Zaftig to be inflicting this brand of unthinking bland homogeneity on LD's own situation is doubly aggravating for it being so unexamined and banal.

Later in the morning, I saw LD again when she went to a Doc in the Box clinic for an injured shoulder received during drunken shenanigans this Sunday.  The desk nurse was very suspicious when I gave my name to be sent back to join LD where she waited for a doctor.  I guess I'm just a suspicious-looking fellow.  "Tell them you're my dad," LD texted me.  Ha!  At just this side of 43, I still get carded regularly.  Also she is like a head taller than me.


Tonight I went to dinner again, at Mexican Kitchen, with Friar and Auric's label president.  I had delicious tacos and mojitos.  Then we went out to the Reel, the club owned by our musician buddies Owens and Diamond.  We also saw three local pop-punk bands at a different club.  One of the bands was pretty terrible.  The middle one was led by another musician buddy of Friar's.  The last one was frenetic and loud and enjoyable.  We stayed out til 2:00 and then took Uber back to my car, where I drove Friar home.  He gave me some terrible advice about being sad.  "You're bigger than those feelings."  This is the same thing his seven year old child is told by his therapist.

No need for a sedative.  Slightly tipsy, mostly tired.

Mood: sad/okay

Friday, January 24, 2014

Your leaving breaks me like a bone

in media res

In the morning hung out with LD and had sushi lunch, then a quick walk in the unseasonably freezing weather.  And then came a goodbye; she is going to visit her parents in Boot State and will be flying back to her husband and children in Europa in a week.  The real reason, though, is that the outrage of 74 and Zaftig at this affair ensure we will probably not see one another socially this trip.  Cannot tear away, but should.  It's all messed up.  Very lachrymose.

Invited to go out to dinner with the Friar, Sonar, and the president of Auric's personal indie record label.  Sonar was all mopey about the fact that Sonar's Gorgeous Wife has told him in no uncertain terms that she wants a divorce.  He has managed to talk her into a trial separation instead.  She is "the love of his life."  They have two kids.  I feel for him.  Their marriage has been rocky for a few years now, though, so I doubt there will be a drastic schism in the immediate future.

After a vaguely unsatisfying dinner of well-made but pretentious nouveau-garde cuisine and bemusing craft cocktails, we absconded to Venue K, where Friar's friends Happy Garden were playing.  We had a little private suite with a booth to watch them.  I was too gloomy to be out.  Insides in turmoil.  No joy in Mudville.  I texted Uber and went back home alone.  Friar was too busy organizing his upcoming (putative) music festival to notice.  I took a sedative.  Texted LD a bit and slept.

mood: despondent