You Aren't The Boss of Me
For O
Almost every day I struggle up the Astor Place stairs, sometimes with an enormous hey are you spending forty years in the desert type backpack, sometimes with just my pocketbook. The other subway riders either rush up past me or grumble behind me in frustration as I use the railing to pull myself up. Because of the neurological damage in the lower part of my body, I can't walk upstairs very well. That's kind of understatement. It's kind of like telling a person in the path of a tidal wave he might experience moisture. Nor do I have any memory of it being any other way. I have never been able to walk upstairs easily. Even when I lived in a two story house, I had to struggle to go up to my bedroom several times a day, often resorting to scrambling up on all fours like some sort of dement hyena. I see other people fluidly leap up the stairs, sometimes two at a time is nothing short of a miracle. How can you all do it? The mindlessness, the unconsciousness. As a child I watched it; I envisioned myself running up the stairs, gracefully getting to the landing without panting and struggling. I can close my eyes and see it now. But however clear the picture, when I actually take that first step, suddenly I am back in that wet cement mode, my body keeping me back from that beauty that rest of you achieve without awareness without effort. For years, I've been trying to get up the stairs easily. Almost 30 years now. I haven't stopped trying. Even without knowing what I am missing, even without having the hope of ever achieving the goal, I find myself at the bottom of each flight of stairs secretly hoping this time I will teach my body that it isn't the boss of me.
But my body always wins.
For those of us who live with disability, there is this sense that the body is other than you, that it is this seperate entity that must, on occassion be beaten into submission. As I struggle upstairs on a day when my body is particularly weak, I channel the anger I feel about the difficulty to get me up the stairs. "You WILL get up these stairs or else..." I'm not sure exactly what the hell I can threaten my body with, but the sense of seperation is clear. Somehow any suffering it would receive, is disconnected with me, me being the individual who can envision an almost ballet like ascent of the stairs. My body being the enemy who stops me from achieving my rather pedestrian dreams. Of course, these threats work in the short term. I've bullied my body into quite a few things. Dance classes, high heels, long walks, but in the end my body always wins. I end up in the hospital or the doctor's office or the OR secretly cursing, secretly hating myself and others, secretly hating every edition of vogue with those fucking stiletto heels. Deeply enraged by these college girls who run upstairs in freakin' Manolo Blahniks every day instead of wearing my comfortable Allstar Converse in purple. And hating my body, always hating my body for stopping me. Hating it for not being me.

Because I need to devote all my attention to graduate school applications, I will not be posting until next wednesday. Never let be said that even grad apps could keep me from letting you read about wacky holiday familial hijinx. Certain traditions must be respected.

My Life Becomes an Episode of "Small Wonder"
I can remember a time when every 80s sitcom had the requisite guy/girl accidentally makes two dates for the same night in the same place. There is of course the "farcical" running back and forth, eventually both dates collide and the main character loses both romantic options, but learns a very important message: if you must two time, at least budget yourself accordingly. (Imagine my surprise when this scenario showed up in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire.)
I met Dockers on the friday after I met Nice Guy Eddie (he was the one my friend Charlie spotted me with in the "double standard" post). I gave him my number and he said he would call on Sunday. He did and we set up a date for friday.Now originally we were going to go to DT UT for smores ( because I find a flaming chocolate-y dessert is good for a first date) and maybe a drink. Unfortunately he got held up at work and by the time he got to my side of town DTUT would only be open for one hour. Not wanting to have to settle and resettle, we headed to a local bar to have some drinks and perhaps move on. I was sitting with Dockers and we were pondering our next move as we finished our drinks when I felt someone staring at me near the end of the bar.
Can you see where this is headed?
It was Nice Guy Eddie. I went down gave him a kiss on the cheek. Chatted for about half a minute. He said he would come say hello and chat for a few minutes. ( NGE was out with a friend of his from Cali.) I went back down to see Dockers and suddenly another round of drinks appeared courtesy of Nice Guy.
So now I'm in an interesting situation. Really I have no reason to be embarassed. This guy has a girlfriend, he only wants to be friends, he can not reasonably expect me NOT to be out on dates with other people. That's the reasonable part. But somehow I could tell, it wasn't quite kosher. Perhaps I should have told him during his girlfriend reveal "Don't worry, I'm dating half of NYC, I really don't even have time to pencil you in."
On my way back to the ladies room I stopped and chatted with NGE and friends. The friends were totally silent and not very conversational, leaving me feeling uncomfortable so I fled back to Dockers. The date with Dockers went well, but when NGE left he was clearly distant with me. He was supposed to call yesterday and didn't. Curious.
On the other hand, Dockers is NOT dating anyone in california or otherwise. He took me to brunch on Saturday which was very nice. I haven't had pancakes in at least five years. So I suppose I have traded off one man for another. Still there is a part of my that thinks that NGE is being alittle unfair if he is upset about my date on friday. What was I supposed to do? Take the veil?
(You must forgive me. I'm half awake this morning. I'm sure if I held off on this post it would be much more inspiring and eloquent, but well, I just don't have the energy for that just yet.)
I thought men were supposed to excel at linear thinking
Before NGE and Dockers, I was actually dating a guy for three weeks. We can see how huge an impact he made. Not one mention on the blog. Not even an aside. Anyway, brilliance is an IT guy who frequents some of my usual haunts. Now two weeks ago brilliance says to me at the end of a date "I'll call you tomorrow." It's saturday. Sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday. Nothing. Not an email or a text message. Nada. I call and leave a message. Thursday, friday, saturday. Zilch. Sunday I am having bloody mary's with a friend of mine at a post Marathon party and in he strolls and walks up to me as if nothing is wrong and starts chatting. I am bitchy in a clichy 12 year old kind of way and he promises he will call. Still haven't heard jack. But in addition he has stopped hanging out in the places where my minions have been known to stop by.
Now, wouldn't have been simpler to just tell me "You know, I don't want to see you anymore" or "I don't have time for a gf" rather than promising phone calls never to made and then avoiding all of your favorite hangouts? Wouldn't it be much easier and less energy intensive to just say "Uh, yeah, that calling you thing isn't going to happen"?

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