Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's not.

Interesting thing happened to me yesterday. My Internet connection went kablooey. So I took the day off.

Now, I have been frum for so long (like, my whole life), that you would think that not being able to work on my computer wouldn't be hard for me. I have no problem staying off the computer for 3-day Yom Tovs. When it's Shabbos, I feel no urgent need to log in or check my regular websites or email. I'm just in a different space when it comes to Jewish restrictions.

But when it's just a regular day, well, I'm a little addicted. And over the last few years, I have come to rely on the Internet for everything...financial stuff, work, communications, shopping, and simply looking things up. Without my Internet connection, I feel a little strangled.

So after spending an hour on the phone with the cable geniuses, who couldn't come out to my house to fix the problem until the next day, I decided to get in my car and drive. I ran some errands that I'd been putting off, did a little shopping, changed my oil, etc. I would have loved to have gotten together with friends, but everyone was at work. I had also had a pretty friend-intensive July 4th weekend, so it actually felt okay to be alone.

I did stop in at a Panera's for their free Wifi, to get online and do some damage control on my work and make sure my clients weren't imploding without me. I planned on staying only an hour but four coffees later, I realized that I had been there for more than two. I snapped the laptop lid shut. I said to myself: Self, I am going to the beach. Now.

And to the beach I went. It was a little late in the afternoon at that point, and it was breezy and cool on the boardwalk. Perfect. I bought a sandwich at a nearby kosher deli and sat on a bench, eating it leisurely and watching the ocean, listening to some Aimee Mann songs that I'd recently acquired on my Ipod. Why does food taste better at the beach? Why does music sound so great at the beach?

Aimee Mann seems to be growing on me. I remember liking "Voices Carry" from her Til Tuesday days, but until very recently, hadn't really listened to any of her stuff. (Thank you, Paul S., for turning me on to her music ;). You have impeccable taste.)

Mann has a song called "It's Not" that is starting to take up residence in my head.

I keep going round and round on the same old circuit.
A wire travels underground to a vacant lot.
Where something I can't see interrupts the current,
and shrinks the picture down to a tiny dot,
and from behind the screen it can look so perfect.
But it's
not.
The beach is one of God's perfect, perfect creations. It's warm, it smells amazing, and you sit there, doing very little, on the soft sand watching another of God's perfect creations, the ocean. Is there anything more poignant than the ocean? Is there anything that fills me with poetry, with connection and dveykus, with gentle introspection and a heightened sense of the surreal, more than the ocean?

I put down one of the old blankets I keep in my car on the sand and sat leaning back on my palms watching the waves pitch in. It occurred to me that although I live near the ocean, I really don't come out to the beach as often as I'd like. I'm too wired into that damn computer and work, my investments, my stuff. I'm losing my connection to the simple joy of sitting on a blanket on the beach. It's weird to forget what gives you pleasure.
So here I'm sitting in my car at the same old stoplight.
I keep waiting for a change but I don't know what,
So red turns into green turning into yellow,
But I'm just frozen here on the same old spot,
And all I have to do is to press the pedal.
But I'm
not.
No, I'm
not.
I've often talked on this blog about being frozen. Close to the end of my marriage, my heart started to lose it's heat. It seems like a coil just blew and I'm not sure what to do to get it started up again. I'm moved by so many things, and want so much to be with someone, but I've never been able to defrost on the inside. I guess a few solid years of being married to someone who doesn't love you will do that. I still haven't figured out how to get myself going again, to regain that enthusiasm and joy that will enable me to connect again. I haven't.
People are tricky; you can't afford to show
anything risky, anything they don't know,
The moment you try, you kiss it goodbye.
Of course, feeling old and ugly and fat doesn't help. I feel like the whole world is becoming more beautiful and I'm just shrinking into myself more and more. I think I'm a little bit afraid of people at this stage. "Afraid" isn't the right word. Maybe, disconnected. Tired. Not wanting to put it all out there again. I'm too old, exhausted. And to tell you the truth, I'm pretty sure I couldn't live through another bad marriage.
So baby, kiss me like a drug like a respirator,
And let me fall into the dream of the astronaut,
where I get lost in space that goes on forever,
And you make all the rest just an afterthought.
And I believe it's you who could make it better,
But it's
not.
No, it's
not.
No, it's
not.
I still secretly dream of being rescued, of being kissed like a drug, like a respirator, breathing life back into my freezer-burnt dessicated heart, un-icing me, performing the spiritual cpr that I need want so badly. I know how stupid these dreams are. I know that waiting does me no good. I know that Godot never comes. I know that I need to get moving moving moving, whether I like it or not. I need to.

But I'm
not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Check out the Aimee Mann video on http://www.aimeemann.co.uk

Impressive