Frehel Diaries: Isn't it Ironic?


Now playing: U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (Rattle & Hum Version)
via FoxyTunes

The next day is rainy. There will be no going to the beach, but Nana's horseback riding class is taking a little trip to the beach. The Sauvage decides will wait for them at the beach, in the car, so he can go take pictures of her.

When I was Nana's age, I actually owned a horse. I don't talk about my equestrian background often, but I rode dressage for years and even placed a few tri-state competitions. In the US children are most often taught to ride on horses or ponies, but in France children are taught to ride on shetland ponies making this experience, like almost everything else in France, fairly surreal.

We land at the beach, and we sit and wait. Finally the procession arrives. About 20 shetland ponies with riders of varying heights and ages-the eldest appearing to be 10 and the youngest looking about 4. They come down the beach and finally park all the ponies, and this is where things turned unexpected, the children dismounted and removed their riding clothes. Underneath they wore swimming trunk and suits. They jumped back on top of their horses and out they went into the ocean. Of course, by this time the Sauvage was out by his daughter-snapping pictures of her changing, walking up and down the surf to preserve every stage of her immersion on film. The horses, shockingly, went so deep into the water, only their heads and their riders were visible. The children and the horses paddled around out in the water-the whole time the parents standing out there snapping pictures and chatting with each other. I stayed by the car, as always, not quite part of the picture. My presence with them would have been awkward and certainly the Sauvage, despite his fluency in the language, didn't have any idea how to actually serve as a liason to ease my acceptance into French culture.

After an hour, the horses emerged and now the riders dismounted again-this time changing out of their swimming clothes and back into their riding clothes. This was a considerably more difficult and chaotic process, with children evading parental attempts to dry/dress them in order to prolong the ride. Taking adventage of the chaos, other children played tag, chatted, teased, and chased each other. Finally, the entire crew was redressed and mounted. They began walking back and the parents, after a few pleasantries, dispersed.

In the car, the Sauvage is in high spirits. He puts on u2 and cranks the volume. He sings to me "I have climbed highest mountains, I have run through the fields only to be with you" making sure that he looks at me emphasize that he is playing the song for me. He understand that this part of the song is about how far on will go to be with someone he/she loves. I crossed an ocean, he sings u2-seems like a fair trade, right? But he keeps singing "But I still haven't found what I'm looking for" smiling at me all the while because he doesn’t understand the words, and therefore doesn't know what he’s telling me. But I do, and the message of the song is not lost me. I look out at the rain in silence as he merrily sings.


I am Responsible for the Christian Kitten Apocalpyse
So yesterday was one of those days where I no longer wondered, but absolutely KNEW I was responsible for a Christian kitten apocalypse in a past life. It is the only way to explain the overwhelming HOSING I received from the universe.

Despite the fact I was suppose to leave upstate around noon, I woke up to a bout of vomiting. What was odd about the vomiting is I didn't feel sick in any other way. I wasn't hung over, I didn't have a cold, I wasn't feverish. So I decided to stay home later than planned and see how I felt. Around 2 my mother called to see how I was and I told her I thought I had recovered, and then immediately threw up again. As I said, the odd part was-I felt fine aside from being a little light headed, which considering that I could barely keep iced tea in my stomach is kinda of expected.

Meanwhile, my latest piece of somethin' something was sending me emails. He had been jonesing for me for two days, giving me the "I am never letting you go away again" treatment, and was lookin' for a little bit o hot hutch action at Chez Lapin. And this is where a sane person would say "Look I'm really sorry, but..."

I, not being remotely sane, thought, "I better hit that before my high school reunion so I can feel confident and sex kitten-y in front of the other alums."

So I managed to keep some bread down and checked the train sched. There was a train leaving at 7:30, which meant I would be at my apartment at 10. Since the new hunni bunni wouldn't be free until around midnight, I thought this would be perfect.

The 7:30 was an hour late. I was contemplating calling the whole thing off when in a moment of pure idiocy I thought "Well, I've waited THIS long already." I would still be getting to my place by 11 giving me time to quickly shower, change, push crap into the closet-you know the usual. So I got on the train even though as I passed the conductor I heard him talking into his walkie talkie about electrical problems.

I settled myself in my seat only to discover that my cellphone had completely died-and although I had the presence of thought to bring my ipod charger, I didn't bring my cellphone charger. "Oh well, " I thought, "what can happen?" And the train lurched forward.

The first hour of the trip was fine-and then we stopped outside of Poughkeepsie for about 30 minutes for no reason. Then we backed UP to Poughkeepsie. And this is when I knew we were in the shit. We stayed there for about an hour without any announcements. By this time it was 10:30. If the train started moving THEN I would get to Penn right before midnight. But it was at this time we were told that two trees had fallen over the tracks, and the stop was indefinite. This prompted me to run to the ladies room to throw up.

Luckily, a fellow passenger, who was trying to find a way to hit on me, offered me the use of his cellphone. I left a message for hunni bunni letting him know the details and optimistically told him I would call from Penn. And then we waited. And waited. And waited.

By midnight, the food service car was out of snacks, drinks, and free bottled water. The train seemed to be permanently stopped. If my cell had worked I would have called my mother or even found a hotel, but limited as I was I felt stuck until a group of enterprising passengers found out for 25 dollars a head we could get a cab to NYC. At this point, it was no longer about the hot sex, it was about FINALLY GETTING HOME. Six of us piled into a van, and I ended up in a back seat with Frank Sinatra BLARING in my ear for the one hour and forty minute trip. One of the girls in the back of the van with me let me borrow her cellphone and I managed to get hunni bunni on the phone. "Don't worry about it," he said, "I'll stay and do work, and you call when you get in." Thank the Good Lord Jehovah he said that because even though I knew it was reasonable that he would go home rather than waiting for me to arrive at 2 am, I WAS after all coming to see him. And I would have blamed him...just a little if he hadn't stayed.

Finally we got to the city a little after 2-I leapt from the van and hailed a cab. The trip home was fast and simple. I called the hunni bunni from a pay phone outside of my apartment. He said he was on his way. I got into my apartment only to realize what a sty it was and furthermore my fatass cat had eaten four days worth of food in two. So I ran to the deli, got cat food, quickly did some minor shoving of crap, did a little changing of clothes-and the hunni arrived around 2:30.

Thankfully, for him, he was all about soothing the wild traveling beast, which was not an entirely simple task. Still, I suppose, all is well that ends well-and today I'm a sleepy little bunni. Who really isn't looking forward to getting back on the train on Friday.

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Frehel Diaries: Eden Revisited
Feared Drowned

Suddenly nobody knows where you are,
your suit black as seaweed, your bearded
head slick as a seal's.

Somebody watches the kids. I walk down the
edge of the water, clutching the towel
like a widow's shawl around me.

None of the swimmers is just right.
Too short, too heavy, clean-shaven,
they rise out of the surf, the water
rushing down their shoulders.

Rocks stick out near shore like heads.
Kelp snakes in like a shed black suit
and I cannot find you.

My stomach begins to contract as if to
vomit salt water,

when up the sand toward me comes
a man who looks very much like you,
his beard matted like beach grass, his suit
dark as a wet shell against his body.

Coming closer, he turns out
to be you - or nearly.
Once you lose someone it is never exactly
the same person who comes back.

-Sharon Olds

Despite my annoyance at his amusement and my concern about the episode of the vodka shots, the evening was pleasant. An oceanside dinner with his usual bitching about tourists, and then parking by with beach in the dark to smoke and listen to the ocean. There were no college students dancing and laughing in the dark, but it seemed that again the emotional tide of trip had changed. Perhaps it was the hypnotic sound of the ocean crashing onto the beach, perhaps it was the memory of that first night at the beach-mysterious, sensual, and ecstatic, perhaps it was merely that I had a few nights left and I knew I was going back to the lonely apartment, that sexless life. If I was stuck here, I might as well ride this man like the mechanical bull in a southern dive bar for all he was worth.

But this was not to say that things were the same between us. As Sharon Olds points out at the end of her poem "Feared Drown" "Once you lose someone it is never exactly the same person who comes back" even if the loss is not "real" but only perceptual. And thus even though our romantic relationship seemed to have returned from the brink of utter destruction, it wasn't the same relationship as it was before. I now knew, instead of suspected, I could no longer trust him to take care of me, or trust him at all.

And what had he learned of me? Perhaps that I am not a woman he should trifle with lightly. But he had learned too late, abused my trust too much. I would give him my body and enjoy the trip, but I no longer believed in him. And in this the language barrier protected me, for if he was able to talk easily with me, he would have sensed the change in me-the distance and distrust.*

Or perhaps not. Perhaps even now I give him more credit for being interested in my wellbeing than he deserves. that even now I still believe that there was more to our relationship than brutish lust and loneliness, but rather some sort of genuine affection and care.

As it was, it seemed not being able to communicate was the key to the functioning of our relationship.Thus when we returned to the hotel there was no whispered conversation, just the sound of stifled moans and the rip of light green Italian lace.

* After all I still didn't know what had caused the brak up and thus had no guarantee that he wouldn't do it to me again before I left. In regards to the cause of the break up, I had my suspicions-namely his parents and his daughter. It's also possible that this had more to do with cultural values i.e. if you watch French films-dramatic break ups and passionate reconciliations are pretty common. He may not have realized (as exemplified by his surprise that I wanted to leave Frehel) how seriously I would take the break up episode. On the other hand, it may just be that he was selfish moron with little concept of how his actions would impact upon me.


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