Tuesday, March 31, 2020

By Request-- Sienna My Cat

Lucy at Waiting for the Miracle requested to see a picture of my cat.  Her name is Sienna (Billy named her).  Her name is similar to Billy's old dancer name.  Subconscious of course, but probably because it is easier for her to to take care of others than it is to take care of herself.  Although she is learning.


Sienna is 6 years old.  I think.  Honestly I don't really remember.

When Billy moved out she moved back to her parents.  I told her she could not take Sienna there because her parents have three dogs.  So it is me and the cat.


Where she should not be, on the ledge  of the loft watching me work.

Five Minutes To Spare

I dug this out of the achieves.  It is a lighter post from happier times.  Tinkerbell is still one of my best friends.  She became a mother at 19 years of age.  She is 32 yrs old now but there is still some of that mischief in her.

Five Minutes To Spare
Originally Posted: Wednesday December 9, 2009

The T-Rex is content. He is sitting on the couch watching TV. He is a cute kid. He's got dark blond hair, brown eyes and pale skin. He is a stark contrast to his mom who has darker eyes, black hair and a deep tan but you can tell he is hers by the mouth  They have the same curved lips.

Tinkerbell has five minutes left before she needs to leave for school. I will be watching her little T-Rex while she is in class. She decides to rial him up a bit before she leaves--her way of saying goodbye. She squeezes him close, plants kisses on him, its pure anathema to a 3 year old boy. He tries to squirm away. She tries getting him to wish her luck on her last test of the semester.

Her poking and prodding increase and so do his protests. Things escalate, I've seen it a hundred times before, this is a normal routine for them. Plastic dinosaurs are thrown-- by both. I never know who will win. The T-Rex is on top. He has a hand in Tinkerbell's long hair.

"Not the hair! How many times have I told you not mommy's hair? She screams. "I'll bit you I swear!"

Tinkerbell seems to relent but is laying low and changing tactics. The T-Rex goes back to watching TV. "Get me a marker," She tells me, "I'll show you what I did to him the other day."

I swear there is no age difference between these two. I return from the kitchen with a blue marker. "Here I think this is washable." Not that it would make a difference to her.

She proceeds to fill in the tip of his nose blue, than adds three whiskers on each cheek and three exaggerated eyelashes above each eye. The T-Rex put up with her marking him without making a fuss because he can still see TV. "Go look in the mirror kitty," she says when she is through.

He runs off to the bathroom and comes back smiling. My mother would have been appalled but I smile. That is one of the things I like about Tinkerbell she doesn't worry about what others think. She would take the T-Rex shopping with her all day with his face that way. She would be happy and he would be happy and that is all that would matter.

Monday, March 30, 2020

The Price

The Gymnast crawled out from under her rock to let me know she has not been sick.  She is just isolating.  What ever I had last week is gone but the symptoms seem to mild for it to be the virus. So I can still look forward to it.

I have been binge watching Once Upon A Time on Netflix.  A series about fairy tales and magic.  I seem to watch a lot of that sort of thing.  It teaches us that all magic comes with a price and that true love can break a curse.

But there is no magic and true love is a spiritual state of letting go that most of us do not attain.  What I know is love comes with a price. I lay in bed at night and dream of lost love.  The script no longer works though.  My feelings are gone.  They have been replaced with reality and a sadness in knowing that Billy was probably my last great love. 

Do we get wiser with age or does time just slow us down?  If I were young again...I would pay the price.

She broke down and let me in
Made me see where I've been

Been down one time
Been down two times
I'm never going back again

You don't know what it means to win
Come down and see me again

Been down one time
Been down two times
I'm never going back again...Never Going Back again, Fleetwood Mac

Friday, March 27, 2020

Count the Blessings

I need to count my blessings during this crisis.  I am still working (for now).  My family and friends are all healthy.  I am healthy and have plenty of food.  If I had human companionship, I would be content.

My friends Alexis and Sam cut hair for a living.  They are both not working.  Another friend Jay works for GM.  He was given a 20% pay deferral.  For the next six months he will get paid 20% less and the company will give it back to him with interest next year.  Billy has also been home.  I would say everyone I know except for my coworkers have been negatively impacted by this.

I have one coworker how knows three people who have died from the virus. I do not know anyone in my circle local circle that is a confirmed case, though a few think they had it or have it.

I  am glad the weekend is here.  I need to get away from this computer.  I spend too much time reading about the virus.  I am reading The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett.  It is a long book.  I do not find it that good.  The latest episode of The Magicians is out on Amazon.  I cannot wait to watch it.  The series is on NetFlix I recommend it.

Stay safe.  Stay at home and count your blessings. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Movement

The days have ground to a halt.  It is hard to believe it has only been a few weeks since I was traveling through rural Michigan.  Working from home is making me realize I don't like my job.  I like the routine.  The job is just a place holder in my routines.  Those routines have broken down when will go back to normal?  The work is boring and unfulfilling but it pays really well and is apparently able to withstand pandemics.  Once again I feel like Ebeneezer Scrooge sitting on top of my money, home alone eating my cold gruel and haunted by the ghosts of my past.

When Tinkerbell broke up with her previous boyfriend back in 2013 she moved out near me.  Not to an area she was more familiar with, though she would never admit it, she picked this location to be close to me, someone she could trust.  For new readers, Tinkerbell and I briefly dated and lived together for a few months out of necessity on her part.  We were not a good couple but we are good friends. 

Tinkerbell called me yesterday to complain about her neighbors.  She owns an older townhouse style condo, built before the standards provide for more sound proof walls.  "Hey I am dropping my spare key off at your house,"  she informs me.  She has been spending most of her time at her current boyfriends house.  He lives on the other side of town, forty minutes away. 

She tells me they discussed moving in together.  He said now is the time to do it.  I am happy for her.  Her new boyfriend is a good guy and he is good with her son the T-Rex (who will be starting high school next year).  It won't happen soon.  Probably not till summer.  She still has things she want to finish.  She wants to rent her place out.

She stopped in for a second.  I kept me distance and handed her a Diet Coke with sanitary wipes.  She doesn't take the virus or me being sick seriously.  Am I a hypochondriac?  Tinkerbell didn't stay long.  I wanted to ask her too but given social distancing rules it didn't seem like a good idea.

When she left, I found myself sad.  Her moving away hits me on several levels.  It is like having your oldest go away to college.  Its like so many others who leave because they do not need you any more.  For a person who is more comfortable being needed than wanted, it is a heavy blow.

And it's happened once again
I'll turn to a friend
Someone that understands
Sees through the master plan
But everybody's gone
And I've been here for too long
To face this on my own, well I guess this is growing up
Well I guess this is growing up  Damnit, Blink 182

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Best Of- A Different Conversation

No new stories to tell. I am not going out creating them.  My symptoms still remain mild. Some people think I just have a cold.  It would be nice to know.  I will be faced with it eventually they are not making a strong effort to control it in this country.  I pulled this out of the achieves it is an old post.  This title seems to pop-up a lot.

A Conversation
Originally Posted Monday January 9, 2006

"I read somewhere once that some people get energy from being around others, while others feel drained and need to recharge with alone time."

"Where did you see that?"

"I'm not sure, internet probably, " he says, pushing his empty beer bottle toward the bartender. "I'm thinking the same theory can be related to friendships."

Her brow furrows. "I'm not following." She points to the empty bottle. "You want another?"

He pauses, organizing his thoughts. He watches her turn, bend and retrieve another bottle from the refrigerator behind the bar. She is dressed in low rise jeans and a long tight pink tee, the combination exaggerates her breasts and the length of her torso. Her movements are smooth and fluid as she replaces the empty beer with the freshly opened.

"What I mean is friendships can charge or drain you. The best ones, I guess, do both. I think I am the type of person that is drained by friendships. It's like I need time alone to do for myself. I think it's because I give more then I ask in return."

She smiles and there is a spark of mischief in her brown eyes. "Maybe your doing it wrong then."

Shaking his head, he laughs. "Maybe I'm explaining it wrong. " He thinks for a moment. "If your car were broke who would you call for a ride?"

"I dunno, Trish?  Heck, last month, when I had that electrical problem I called the bar and asked one of the regulars if they'd give me a ride to work."

"Okay," he starts, sitting up straighter, feeling she has made his point. "Did the guy give you a ride because he wanted to or because he felt obligated to because he's a regular?"

"He probably did it 'cause he thinks it will get him in my pants."

"Yeh, of course, there is that whole factor too..."

The floor waitress comes over and orders a round of shots. The bartender lines up four shot glasses, pours a rich caramel colored liqueur into each and the waitress takes them away on her tray.

"Does it really matter why he did it? Who cares what his reasons are? If he'd said no, I'd just call someone else."

"See that's where we are different. There are a lot more people I would give a ride to, then I would expect to give me a ride."

"Why? Shouldn't you be able to count on them too?"

"I suppose. This guy who gave you a ride. Would you give him a ride home?"

She bites her lower lip. A coy look of guilt cross her face as she thinks about the question. "Probably not him, but if someone I knew better like you needed a ride home-- I would," she says with a wink.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Boredom Sucks

The solitude is getting to me.  This is what it is like to get old, I think in my head.  Work emails trickle in.  It seems people working from home do not work as much, or they are like me and spend all day reading about the virus. 

My house is often silent.  The house is silent.  Occasionally I will hear the soft patter of the cats paws along the wooden floor when she comes to check up on me.  I salivate over a new text or the occasional phone call.  The Gymnast, has disappeared not sure what that is about.  I called a coronavirus testing center today.  If you are able to walk without a sever shortness of breath they are telling you to just stay home.  So there is no way of telling how many actual cases are in Michigan, or if I even have the virus (for the record, I am pretty sure). 

New Jersey hit 3600 cases today.  That is the second state to tip passed the magic 3000 mark.  They will be up to 5000 by tomorrow.  Soon the entire eastern seaboard will be overloaded.  It looks like California will tip tomorrow then the state of Washington.

My prediction is that Michigan will tip by this weekend.  The governor put tighter quarantine rules in affect but not everyone is following them.  Tinkerbell goes into her empty workplace.  Billy is still working.  The President wants to get the country back to work by Easter.  What fucking planet is he on?  By Easter the US will have more confirmed cases than China.  Who knows what the death toll will be.

Boredom sucks.


A Conversation

Bathwater: I had a low grade fever and scratchy throat yesterday.

Billy:  I thought you were staying put.  Where did you go?

Bathwater:  I am... mostly.

I did not bother telling her I have been banging a 22 year old who just got back from Europe.  Billy has a cold.  No fever involved.

Billy:  I just got more meds myself yesterday.  I still have a lot of mucus in my lungs.  What's your temp today?

Bathwater:  It has gone back down.  Have they talked about laying you off yet?

Billy:  No not yet.  I am really struggling though.  I cannot imagine being laid off on top of this.

Billy is struggling because she needs a constant source of income to feed her drug habit.  Any little thing can interrupt that flow and the virus is not a little thing.

Bathwater: The governor is going to announce a stay at home order for Michigan this afternoon at 11:00 a.m.

Billy: Really?  I am going to be fuck!  Last week she seemed against it.

Bathwater: Last week we only had 53 cases now it is over 1200.  You need to prepare.

Billy: How can I prepare?  I'm already struggling.

Bathwater: If you get laid off find a rehab.

Later that morning after the governors speech she texted again

Billy:  did she call it?

Bathwater:  Yes, for three weeks starting midnight tonight.

Billy:  Fuck  (and then a few minutes later)  We are still working.

Bathwater: That is unbelievable you are not essential work.

Billy: idk how.  I guess new construction is considered essential.

Bathwater:  I think it has more to do with the fact your company would go bankrupt..  New construction is not essential.

Billy:  Nah, the owner has savings.  During '08 he kept everyone working.

Bathwater:  A year ago he was shorting creditors.  You should still plan.   The reason this thing will keep spreading is because too many people will ignore the order.

Billy:  I know.  I don't know what is going to happen.  I'm screwed that is what I know.

Bathwater:  I thought the reason you left me was because you wanted to get married and have kids.  Not to live under worse conditions.  It has been six months.  It doesn't look like anything has changed... for the better.

Later yesterday Billy replied in a long series of text.  

Billy: I am doing good Bath.   I have cut back a lot.  I'm happy.  don't bring me down...that not right.  You know how much I struggle with my addiction don't throw it in my face. Makes me sad you would even say that.  I do want to have kids.  I just cannot get better over night.  I wish more than anything I could.

"Don't feel sorry for them,"  The psychic said.  "They have made their own choices."  

Home alone and sick. I wonder if they will ever pay for their choices.  She is wrong when she says she cannot get better over night.  All it takes is to stop using.  It is hard, but it can be done.  She could focus all her efforts on quitting.  Se could go to meetings.  She says she is happy.  She what she is really doing is trying to have both worlds.

Who's to know if your soul will fade at all
The one you sold to fool the world
You lost your self-esteem along the way
Yeah
Good god you're coming up with reasonsGood god you're dragging it out  Fake It, Seether

Monday, March 23, 2020

Winter Returns

The view from the balcony is prettier.  Snow on March 23rd.  So typical of Michigan. 



Thus begins day three of total isolation.   So far the virus or what ever I have has not been that bad.  I was still able to get up and pedal my bike in the basement for an hour.  The fever is gone.  The scratchiness in my throat and body aches are bearable.  It has not moved into my chest yet.  I am still wondering if I should go get tested.  I will be looking up more info on that.  The Gymnast has gone silent.  No sure what that is about but nothing good I am sure.

The Michigan governor announced a stay at home order for the state.  All nonessential people should  stay home starting at midnight.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

It Is Here...I Think.

Today I have been running a low grade fever and I have a bit of a scratchy throat.  Nothing too bad but it looks like I won't be going anywhere for a couple of weeks.  I don't plan on getting tested unless it gets bad.  Just add +1 to the Michigan statistics.  Which are over the thousand make today.

I have not heard from the Gymnast today which means she is dodging me or she is sick.  I would bet on the latter.  If it is the virus let's hope it runs its course without to much pain.  It will be one less thing to worry about.  I don't have any underlying medical conditions at this time, I have plenty of food to last for weeks and I live alone. 

So it begins. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Silhouettes in the Dark

This one needs a little introduction.  John at Going Gently asked yesterday to name a movie that best described your sex life.  I said the last sixteen years was best described as a TV show in the vain of Californication.   I pull this from my archives to illustrate the point.  

To place this piece in time.   Both girls were still stripping. Tinkerbell and I were friends and not having sex.  Tinkerbell had just broke up with a boyfriend. Billy and I were on again, off again at this point because of her addiction.  She was heavy into her addiction and living at her parents. 


Silhouettes in the Dark
Originally Posted Monday, April 13 2013

Friday Tinkerbell got a cover-up tattoo of a crow with the words, "trust no man" (yes she is still bitter) in Italian beneath.  She got it to cover a nautical star and the name of the ex-boyfriend. It did the job nicely.  She got the tattoo at the local shop we have both gone to before.  I stopped in to watch her get the final hour of work.  Having Tinkerbell laying on her side stretched out in front of you is what I would call a good day for the artist.  Afterward, we went to a local bar for some food and a few beers.  She was happy.

The next day she worked the day shift at the strip club.  She was only going in to see one customer.  She usually has a good time on the days when she dances just for him.  She gets a  guaranteed amount of money from him and she can ignore the other asshole who come into the club.

I stayed home Saturday.  In the evening I watched part of the first season of Deadwood.  Billy called me around 9:00 p.m.  She has been avoiding me for days.  During our conversation she told me she was at the club working and she had stopped hanging out with the other stripper.  Any of my other questions she avoided.  I already knew the answers anyway, they would involve drugs, prostituting herself and the ex-boyfriend.  We didn't talk long and we didn't make plans.

A few hours later Tinkerbell calls me.  She changed into her street clothes but never left the club.  She was still there drinking with some people she knew.

"You realize Billy is there don't you?" I ask her.

"Oh my god, the crackhead is here?  No way!"  Tinkerbell has never seen Billy dance on stage even though they have worked at the club several times together.  I have no idea how this is possible, the club is not that big.  Billy must go out of her way to be invisible.

Tinkerbell is drunk and has mischief on her mind. She threaten to through coins at Billy while she dances.  In an excited rush she headed for the DJ both.  Her voice becomes unintelligible as the heavy beats of the music became louder.  The DJ tells her Billy is next on stage, which means she would be sharing the stage with Tinkerbell's best friend at the club.  A girl she has known for several years and who Tinkerbell refers to as Hood Stephine, because she is ghetto and has no problem throwing down.   

"I'll call you back," she tells me and hangs up.

A few minutes pass and Tinkerbell calls back to give me the details.  Tinkerbell sprinted down the back stairs in a rush.  "Here comes Nadia," (Nancy's stage name) the DJ shouts into the mic.  Tinkerbell stars Billy down and gives her a wink, to let her know she know who she is but otherwise leaves her alone.  Tinkerbell stays by Stephine. They amuse themselves cutting her down out of earshot.  Billy avoids making any further eye contact with them.

On the phone Tinkerbell continues with a bunch of derogatory comments about Billy; she's fat, her ass is saggy, she is wearing her hair in a half up, her outfit looks horrible on her, she can't dance.  I cannot get a word into the conversation.  She just kept talking over me (for the record Billy is none of those things).

"Okay you've had your fun, " I tell her, "I'm not going to continue talking to you if you don't let me speak.  Are we still hanging out tomorrow?"  We have plans to go to Royal Oak so she can return a pair of gloves one of her regulars bought her.  Tinkerbell ignores the question and just continued to drone on about Billy.  I finally just hung up on her.

She continues to text me as the night goes on.  At first our exchange is playful but I get tired of listening to her berate Billy.  It was like the pot calling the kettle black if you ask me. As it continues her comments started getting darker.  "I'd appreciate it if you kept your remarks to yourself," I finally texted her.  Billy may be dirty and rotten but I still have feeling for her.

"I appreciate it if you if you spent your money on a real girl."

"And I'd appreciate it if you spent your time with worth while guys but that doesn't seem to happen either."  Case in point, she is making plans with a fuck buddy and is waiting for him to show up at the club.

Tinkerbell gets angry with me.  Her text stop making sense.  I figure it is because she is drunk but she will not stop.  I ask her what the hell is wrong with her but she just keeps going on about me choosing Billy and how Billy is an unfaithful whore. "Let's just cancel tomorrow you obviously want to spend tomorrow with the Crackhead,"  she tells me.

 Tink starts in on never wanting to talk to me again and hoping I am happy with my choices. Then she tells me to loose her number.  I am confused and impatient with her crap.  I figured she just needs to sleep it off.  So when she says "stop texting me".  I say, "fine fuck you". I ignore her calls and text for the rest of the evening and fall asleep.

It is about 3:30 in the morning when Tinkerbell appears at my bedroom door.  She is a black silhouette against the hall light but I could tell she is crying.

"Honey are you okay?"  I asked her.

"I called you," she tells me through her tears.  That is an understatement. I have 18 missed calls and 9 text messages.  "I called you,"  she says to me again.

"Yes you also told me you hope I die and to stop texting you."  I tell her to sit down and pat the edge of the bed but she doesn't move.

"I'm fine."  She assures me.

She starts in on how she doesn't want to see George (the fuck buddy) and pretending she is interested in having sex with him.  She is pissed at another guy because she sent him a picture of her tattoo and his only comment was why did she cover her boob with her hand so he couldn't see it.  But mostly, she is still hurting from her break-up.

She tells me she made up an excuse about feeling sick and left the club without saying goodbye to anyone.  She tried calling me the whole ride home. 

"I don't want anyone's pity," she tells me still standing before my bed.  "I don't."  

 I try to reassure her that everything will be okay.  It just takes time.  If it were anyone else I would have gotten up and held them tight but I can not do that with Tinkerbell.  She won't allow it.  She won't take comfort from me. In her mind, I think she feels it would lead to me trying something sexual.

This break-up has been hard on her.  Her opinion of guys, which isn't the best to begin with, has just gotten worse.  I am not sure what she wants from me.  It is frustrating.  Tink gets mad at me for seeing Billy yet she doesn't want to date me.  She doesn't want a relationship with me yet she is constantly "breaking up with me".

Once she calms down, she sits with her back against the bedroom door.  I role around on the bed to face her.  She is still a dark shape silhouetted in white.  She asks for a drink of water and I go down stairs to get one.  While I am downstairs I grab the blanket off the couch and drape it over her legs before handing her the water glass.

We talk for a few more minutes.  "I am never going to give my heart to someone like that again.  I am not going to be hurt like this again."

"Tinkerbell you can't shut yourself off from your next relationship.  They are going to sense that and end up unsatisfied because they sense that part of you is missing.  It is just going to take time."  

I wanted to tell her, it wasn't until three years after my divorce that I opened up to someone else. Not until I meet you, but I don't.

Abruptly she leaves, as silently as she entered and I am left pondering her actions.

The next morning I text her.  "I love you Tink you know that, Billy is not half the woman you are.  She is just a substitute for the girl that I cannot have." 

Tinkerbell never responds directly to the comment.

Saturday Isolation

The Gymnast is sporting what looks like pink and blond dread locks.  Someone has been bored.

Gymnast:  Hey babe, it's the first weekend I am free.  I can stay the night Sunday and I will be off my period.

Bathwater:  You will probably be sick by Sunday.

She means to party with friends she has not seen since her return from Europe.

Gymnast:  No I won't.

She is part of that generation that thinks they are invulnerable and the virus is over hyped.  The generation that is good at ignoring government calls to self isolate.  I am a man who thinks with his smaller head, so we are both screwed.

My female friends Sam and Alexis went to eat and drink in isolation at Alexis' cottage in Lapeer.  I declined to join them.  I am  more comfortable being isolated at home than away.  Tinkerbell is hunkered down with her boyfriend  the T-Rex and across town.  You never stop to think how much social interaction you get from friends and work until you are isolated from them.

Today I am going to get off my ass and start some home projects that I have been procrastinating on.  I have to replace a few loose pieces of laminate flooring up stairs in the loft.  Something I have had to do for about three years and I am going to paint the bathroom in the second bedroom if I have all the supplies on hand.  This I have only be putting off since September.

Bathwater:  Be safe.  Have fun and don't be too late on Sunday!

Gymnast:  I won't love.


And if your heart stops beating
I'll be here wondering
Did you get what you deserve?
The ending of your life
And if you get to heaven
I'll be here waiting, baby
Did you get what you deserve?
The end and if your life won't wait
Then your heart can't take this
Have you heard the news that you're dead?
No one ever had much nice to say
I think they never liked you anyway
Oh take me from the hospital bed
Wouldn't it be grand ain't it exactly what you planned
And wouldn't it be great if we were dead... Dead!, My Chemical Romance

Friday, March 20, 2020

Winter Cactus

I am trying to join in with Jule's Pandemic Playtime but there are no signs of spring in my part of Michigan yet.  The view from my balcony is as gloomy as the news.


You will have to settle for my still blooming winter cactus.    


Today I went to the grocery store to get junk food.  I cannot quarantine myself for weeks without it.  The shelves were mostly stocked.  I did not look for sanitary wipes or hand sanitizer I have plenty and besides it is usually just me here.  People were silent but polite. One woman even smiled at me.

The states of California and New York are going into mandatory stay at home mode.  Those two states contain 1/5 of the US population.  It is about time, but too late for New York.  They have 8310 confirmed cases that state is fucked.   I have been watching the numbers closely.  3000 cases is the tipping point.  When a country or state his 3000 cases the virus is out of control.  New York hit 3000 cases yesterday.  California only has 1030 cases.  They may have shutdown in time. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Pick Up a Pen

Four days working from home and I am morphing into the cat.  I flock to the door when visitors come over seeking attention.  I wander the house aimlessly and nap in the afternoon.  Out of boredom I dug something appropriate out of my "Best Of" achieve.  Ten years and it seems like somethings haven't changed.

Pick Up a Pen
Originally Posted August 4, 2010

We get some rules to follow
That and this
These and those
No one knows

Life would be so much easier if each course came with it's own set of directions. Instead we follow the example of others and the dreams where told to pursue. When those don't make any sense, we are left with making our own mark...if we can pick up the pen.

We get these pills to swallow
How they stick
In your throat
Tastes like gold

"How have you been?" Elle asks, her voice cutting in and out with the reception of her iPhone.

"I'm alright," I say. It is my standard noncommittal reply. To get anything deeper takes time. People need to slip in past defensive barriers slowly to get me to open up, otherwise my pearls of emotion stay locked inside.

We are both driving through rush hour traffic, heading toward different destinations in the city. Elle keeps chipping away at me with questions. My resistance to speak crumbles and I start talking about my up coming date (which I haven't discussed yet here) and they latest adventure with Tinkerbell and my kids.

"So you and Tinkerbell are totally back speaking again. How did that happen?"

"We decided it was useless for us to try staying out of each others lives. Why?" I know there was more she wanted to say.

"It just that your depression seems to coincide with you getting back with Tink."

"Yeah, I've thought about that but she's been good, she really has. I like having her and the T-Rex around."

Elle thinks I use Tink as a diversion, perhaps I do but I am open to meeting someone new. Maybe I am afraid of creating something long term with someone, I don't know.
Does Tinkerbell get in the way of meeting new people? Yes she does but she doesn't mean too. I'm the one that compares everyone to the fun I have with her.

Oh, what you do to me
No one knows

And I realize you're mine
Indeed a fool of mine
And I realize you're mine
Indeed a fool of mine
Ahh

The truth is it is hard to keep the positive momentum going. I joined the gym. I joined match.com. I hung out the Alexis and her friends from the dog park and spring turned to summer. Life isn't meant to be lived alone. I could paint the inside of my condo to rival the Sistine Chapel only the T-Rex would see. I could struggle to write the novel I've always dreamed, it would wither with my death. Whatever.

I journey through the desert
Of the mind
With no hope
I found low

I reach my destination. I sit in my car still talking to Elle. I'm parked in front of the gym but I don't feel like going in. The conversation has totally brought me down. "Did I make you sad? I didn't mean to make you sad."

"Yes," The word gets caught in my throat.

Elle doesn't know what it is like to be alone, she always has a guy and one in her back pocket waiting in the wings. Her biggest problem is choosing. She doesn't know what it is like being overlooked because you are not part of a couple. There are no missed events for her because she doesn't want to go alone.

I read the listings on match.com. All those women, ready to "live life to the fullest", as if their former partner kept them from it. Stupid, stupid women.

I drift along the ocean
Dead lifeboats in the sun
And come undone

Pleasantly caving in
I come undone...No One Knows, Queens Of The Stone Age

The next day I'm at the office alone it's almost noon, my phone goes off, I have a text.

Tinkerbell: "We want to go to the zoo"

Bathwater: "What right now?"

Tinkerbell: "Yes we're bored and I wanna take a day off from shopping for California."

A smile spreads over my face and I pack my things.

Bathwater: "I'll be there in an hour."

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Used

I started working from home this week.  It is taking some adjustment.  It is just me and the cat here.  I find myself making more calls.  For lack of any other excitement I will continue with the antics of the Gymnast and myself.

Monday I text her.

Bathwater:  Last night was totally worth the drive!  Did you get grounded :)?

Gymnast: Should I come over for more?

Bathwater: When now?  What happened to your quarantine?

Gymnast: I left for supplies.  (by supplies I assumed she meant weed).

Bathwater: What time can you get here?  

Gymnast:  Like an hour tops.

Bathwater: Sounds good.

She showed up shortly after 3:00 p.m. for another marathon session of sex.  The girl is insatiable.  She likes to be tied and has expressed no limits, which can lead my mind down some dark rabbit holes that I have refrained from entertaining.  We said our goodbyes and I figured it would be the last I would see from her for a few days but later that night after I was already in bed, she text again.

Gymnast:  Let me come over I have a toy we can use.  Its been so long since I have had sex.

I agreed although to be honest at my age I was good for a few days.  She brought a vibrator with her.  It is shaped like a U and is meant to be inserted in the vagina while the other side rests on the clit.    

"I am beginning to feel used,"  I tell her be entering her.

"Used in a good way!"  

I don't argue her point.  Menstrual cramps cut the second round shorter.  She assures me once she is done with this quarantine things will be easier.  She has ghosted me since.  Probably because her period started and I am not needed.  Definitely being used.

"You are never going to be able to be with a woman your own age,"  my friend tells me after hearing about me adventures.

He is probably right.  I even Billy doesn't competes with the Gymnast when it comes to sex but it is the space between that is void.  My heart still lies in that void.


Break me down, you got a lovely face
We're going to your place
And now you got to freak me out
Scream so loud, getting fuckin' laid
You want me to stay, but I got to make my way... Crazy Bitch, Buckcherry

Monday, March 16, 2020

Drive to Me

The Gymnast is back from Europe.  Normally she lives with her grandfather and sister.  Currently she is self quarantined at her mom's house until Tuesday. Sunday night at 12:30 a.m. I received a text from her.

Gymnast:  You up?

Bathwater: Yeah, you bored?

Gymnast:  I am stuck at my mom's house. Want you to come fuck me in your car.  How sexy does that sound (She sends me the location).

Bathwater:  It sounds really hot.  It also sounds like we are sixteen. Lol, isn't that far away?  (Turns out it is about 28 minutes away).

Gymnast:  You have a nice Jeep.  We could totally do it in there.

Bathwater:  How long are you stuck there?

Gymnast: Till Tuesday, but I am really horny.  I want to feel you inside me again.  It has been a long time.

She sends me several more suggestive text.  How do I argue with that?

At 2:00 a.m. I am driving along a rural road thirty minutes north of my house.  I see the glow of a cellphone along the side of the road.  The Gymnast is walking toward me.   She jumps into the Jeep.  We pull of onto a dirt road and park just like teenagers.

"How did you make it five weeks in Europe?"  I ask her.

"I used the shower head."

We caught up with each other with small talk and quickly moved to the back.  I folded down the seats and put two blankets in the back before leaving.  The Gymnast was wearing sweats.  She removed them and exposed the sexy lingerie underneath.  I quickly undress and join her.

The radio plays alternative music and the glow from the display screen is enough for me to see her body clearly. She has several new tattoos.  She is beautiful.  Her body is firm but not overlay muscled.  Her head rests on my folded jacket just behind the center console.  I enter her missionary.    "God I've missed you," I whisper in her ear.

The Jeep has plenty of room for us to maneuver.  She bumps her head once on the ceiling while she is riding me.  Forty minutes and several positions later she is laying below me again.  "Am I still trouble?"  It is the nickname I have given her.

"The best kind, but you will probably be the death of me.  I still want to take you somewhere."

"Like a sex dungeon?"

"Fuck, I'd build a sex dungeon if I could keep you there! 

The windows are steamed up by the time we finish.  Not one car passes our makeshift make-out parking spot.  The virus has left her unemployed.  There is no need for waitresses or teaching gymnastics in the near future.  She and her sister are both part of the thousands left in the wind by the virus.  She doesn't seem too phased by it.  She is a hustler and always finds a way to get though things.  I assure her I will help her out.

We dress and I drop her.  It is nice to have her back.






Friday, March 13, 2020

Flight

At the end of January the Gymnast went to Europe for a three month unscripted vacation.  She made it to Amsterdam, Frankfurt, parts of France and Switzerland before the virus ruined her plans.  Two weeks ago I texted her.

Bathwater:  How is the virus affecting your trip?  What country are you in now?

Gymnast: France and it's not too bad.  Just can't go to some of the places we wanted to.

Bathwater: It is gonna get worse.  If you get struck over there just make sure it is somewhere nice and warm.

Gymnast: You think I will get stuck?

Bathwater: If the numbers keep increasing they will start restricting travel.  Just be smart and keep your eyes and ears open.

Gymnast:  I have two months left!.  I hope I can make it.

Bathwater:  Enjoy it.  Just have an exist plan in the back of your mind.

Monday I checked in on her again.

Bathwater:  Where are you at now?

Gymnast: In Frankfurt.

Bathwater: You keeping up with the news?  Italy is basically shutting down.  The other countries will follow.

Gymnast: I need an escape route.  Just didn't plan for this.

Bathwater: Are you escaping home or deeper into Europe?

Gymnast: Trying to go back home.

Bathwater: So what exactly are you trying to do, leave now?

Gymnast: Or go somewhere in the US for a bit.  Might go to my grandma's in Florida.

Bathwater: As much as you hate the place, Michigan is one of the states without any confirmed cases (now we have three in the metro Detroit area).

I'd say get back to the states then plan where you want to go.  Keep in touch.

Wednesday morning I checked in on her again.

Bathwater:  Did you get a ticket back to the US yet?

Gymnast:  Not yet.

Bathwater: You just procrastinating or is there other issues?

Gymnast:  Didn't really budget this in my plan, waiting for prices to drop.

Bathwater:  That's risky.  When the cases reach about 3000 in a country over there things tend to tip.  How much you need to get back?

Gymnast:  Tickets are around $600.

Bathwater:  I can send you the money.  You can pay me back.  I think you should get out of there.

Gymnast: It's okay.  They don't have travel bans in Germany yet.  I don't like owing money.

Bathwater: I wouldn't hold it over your head.  You need help, you let me know.

Gymnast: I do appreciate it and will let you know but I should be fine.

Bathwater: Famous last words from the girl who's nickname is trouble.

Then Wednesday night.

Bathwater:  Okay the President just announced he is cutting off travel from Europe for 30 days beginning Friday.  It is time to make a decision.

Gymnast:  I bought tickets to get out.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

More From the Psychic

I transposed more of the psychic's words from my reading back in February. It is still on my mind, which is probably a bad thing.  She allows you to ask questions but she doesn't need much prompting as you can see.

"Back to Billy," I say to her.  So we are going to have interactions still?"

"She continues to make contact with you because you help her.  You talk to her. You help her. Sometimes I feel like you might help her out money wise."  She tells me.

“I don’t want to do that.”  I assure her.

"Okay, you got to not do that.  In other words be strong.  The only thing I have to say about that is if you help her out money wise it will also help out the guy she is with, because they are together. Sometimes I see her getting moody because she doesn’t get what she wants but I never see her completely going away.

"Protect your heart a little bit about you and Billy talking a little bit about getting back together.  Like the subject is going to be brought up...BUT...  Not now and not in the near future but you are going to make a decision in the future about letting her back in your life.  And what I mean by allowing her back in your life to where you and her are together again. But you would say, you are not doing this, you are not doing that.  That is going to be away down the line.  In other words, I don’t think she learned her lessons yet."

I completely agreed.

"As time goes on, every so often you will hear from her.  It will always be drama or something going on.  And sometimes you are going to just be a sympathetic ear and try to guide her.  She likes to hear that.  You keep her strong I feel, and somewhat balanced by talking to her.  She does get depressed and hard on herself because she don't understand why you would even want to talk to her sometimes. So she just beats herself up.  In the future there is going to be a change, an opportunity that is going to present itself for the two of you, just not anytime soon.  I see things staying the same."

“Does she regret where she is at right now or is she happy?”

"She not happy where she is at. She doesn’t regret it. She is just kind of going with the flow.  She has days when she regrets it.  I just don’t think she has gotten to the point where she has had enough.  But she struggles, I do see that, and she adapts to any situation she is with.  I think where she is at is not in a good place but she just tries to adapt to it."

At this point, I asked her if she saw someone different was coming into my life.

"Okay what you have to do is put that energy out there for a good healthy relationship.  Try and pull away and not engage in this.  Because if you notice The Gymnast and the other have similarities."

"That is what attracts me," I say laughing.

"Right, so once you are able to move past that you are not going to have that.  If you were to ask me. Am I going to end up in a healthy productive relationship? Yes you are.  You just haven't found her yet. and I want to say the places you are going and the things you are doing.  You are going to the wrong places.  Stay out of clubs (see uses the word clubs not bars, as in strip clubs).  That is not where to meet anybody.  (Tinkerbell and Billy were both strippers)  It is not that everyone that works at a club is bad but it is the energy.

Do you think Billy will ask to get back together?  Does all this mean I will tell her no?  She didn't say.  I think would have if she saw it.  Yes, I know I don't want her back...but

Crawlin' back to you
Ever thought of callin' when
You've had a few?
'Cause I always do
Maybe I'm too
Busy bein' yours
To fall for somebody new..
Do I Want To Know, Artic Monkeys

Monday, March 9, 2020

Farms, Cemeteries, and Dollar Stores

Drove three and a half hours into rural Ohio for a half hour meeting then got back into the car and drove home.  Rural Ohio has one thing we do not have in Michigan, drive through liquor stores.  So in addition to farms, cemeteries and Dollar stores I saw an assortment of drive through liquor stores.  I want to say the small towns I drove through looked quaint but mostly they looked old and depressing. It isn't hard to imagine the opiod crisis taking hold in such places.

I am bored lately but I have avoided calling any of the girls from SA and having them come over.  A few keep asking if I want to get together, but I really don't.  I am not sure if it is the time of year, work or the state of the country but I feel mildly depressed.  I am also putting weight back on and I don't think it is all from the weight training.  Although I think the weight training is making me eat more.

  The Gymnast is back in Frankfurt.  Europe is quickly shutting down and she is trying to come up with an exit plan to get home early.  I warned her to have an exit plan.  Looks like she will be leaving a month earlier than anticipated.


Friday, March 6, 2020

Rural America

I am traveling this week and the beginning of next week.  I am in the wide open spaces of north-western Michigan this week.  Where the only three constants you see are farms, Dollar stores and cemeteries.  Next week I will be in rural south-western Ohio where again you only see these same three constants on the drive.

My destinations are large automotive parts and vehicle manufacturing plants that fuel the local economy until they pack up and leave.  I am not a fan of rural America. I am a child of suburban sprawl.   A true product of my environment.  I would not be comfortable living in a big city. I like the convenience of ten different Walmarts within thirty minutes. 

Strangely I received more his on my Bumble account in three days of travel than I have in three months at home.  No one I was interested in of course but it goes to show you the Metro Detroit area is devoid of single women.


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Blue and Yellow

And it's all in how you mix the two
And it starts just where the light exists
It's a feeling that you cannot miss
And it burns a hole
Through everyone that feels it

Well your never gonna find it
If your looking for it
Won't come your way
Well you'll never find it
If your looking for it

Should've done something but I've done it enough
By the way your hands were shaking
Rather waste some time with you...

The words of the psychic still echo in my head.  "Do you see anyone coming into my life?"  I ask her.

"No one good,"  was her reply.

No one good.  Last night was another trip down the rabbit hole.  Two girls came over.  It was not planned, more of a spontaneous hook up.  It is a repeat of prior encounters.  I'll spare you the details, except to say it was worth the lost sleep.  The girls find me charming.  They peg me for 10 years younger than I am, by the way I look and talk.

"I had a lot of fun with you!  You are one of a kind."  One of the girls sends me after.

 I have meet six girls from the Seek Arrangements site.  Two just for drinks.  They all fall into the category of “no one good”.  Not that they are bad people.  Just that they are not what I am looking to meet.  The Gymnast came closest and she is the youngest.  What does that say about me?

“I would give it a break for a while,” my friend Jay sends me in a text, “or it will mess you up.”

I agree with him.

I miss Billy.  I miss what I had with her, but I know there is no going back; not even if she wanted.  I don’t think she knows what she wants.  Still I cannot close that door

These encounters paints clear a picture of what type of relationship I want.  It is the void of substance during the encounters.  I want what is missing  I have't found a way to find it.

Well your never gonna find it
If your looking for it
Won't come your way
Well you'll never find it
If your looking for it

Should've done something but I've done it enough
By the way your hands were shaking
Rather waste some time with you  

Waste some time with you...Blue and Yellow, The Used

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Hearts and Thoughts

"I don't see her ever completely going away," the psychic tells me, concerning Billy.

My name is still on Billy's bank account.  The only way to remove it is for us to close the account and for her to open a new account on her own.  She usually has less than a $100 to her name. I have not pushed for her to start the process until recently.  Before, the switch would just complicate her already complicated life but I have come to realize there will probably never be a good time. It has been five months since the last time I saw her. Sunday we set up plans to meet.

Billy:  So I got my payments switched over.  So how about Thursday we go to the bank then grab something to eat?

Bathwater: Yes Thursday works for me.  Everything okay?

Billy:  Yeah you?

Bathwater: I am getting by.  Sometimes I am not sure where I am headed though.

Billy:  It's okay not to be sure.  We will talk more later this week.  Feel free to call me whenever.

Bathwater:  I am looking forward to seeing you.

Billy: I am too.

We received several inches of snow throughout Wednesday. When Thursday finally arrived, the temperature dropped and the wind picked up making the roads icy and being outside unpleasant.  I picked out a dark blue shirt and black pants for work.  I wanted to look good for our meeting.  I am not sure what it would achieve or whether Billy was thinking about how she would look, or whether she was as nervous about meeting as me.

We meet up out side a branch of her bank.  Billy came straight from work.  She wore a heavily stained khaki colored Carhartt jacket and pants.  Clothes bought for her by me over a year ago.  She is still thin.

We gave each other a quick hug before hurrying into the bank to get out of the cold.  An female employee greeted us and had us take a seat when we told her that we were there to close an account.  We shared pictures while we waited.  I showed Billy a picture of my youngest new bald head.  He shaved it last week after a home haircut gone wrong.  Billy showed me a picture of her bruised and bleeding thumb that she had hit with a hammer earlier in the day.

"Gosh Billy, your hands look terrible,"  I remarked.  Her hand were dry and calloused.  The hands of a construction worker.

"I know.  I have to start wearing gloves."

"I have been telling you that for ever!"

Closing the account went effortlessly.  Billy and I continued that catch up while the woman worked.  Our conversation comes easy, two friends falling into familiar patterns.  She tells me the latest on her job and I fill her in on dealing with my dad's estate.  We pick a restaurant across from the bank and once we order food we continue to talk.

Billy faced is thin and prematurely aging.  She does not smile while we are together, but occasionally I catch a glimmer of the playful lively girl I knew.  Often during the meal, I pause mid sentence to compose myself and hold back tears.  Billy was holding back tears of her own.

"I have gone out a few times," I say.  "But it doesn't go anywhere.  I still compare..."  My words trail off. 

Billy frowns.  "You always were picky."

She tells me it is okay not to know where you are headed.  She reminds me she doesn't know where she is headed.  I encourage her to find a doctor and just surrender to the process.  "It is time for you to think about yourself.  Just like it is time now for me to think about me."

"We should talk on the phone once a week," she tells me.

"I don't think your boyfriend would appreciate that."

"It doesn't matter.  He is young.  He doesn't understand."

"No you are right," I reply more animated than I intended.  "He will never know what we went through together.  He will never understand what it was like."

"Our time together was some of the best and the worst in my life," I tell her, rocking my hand back and forth to illustrate my point.  "They were never ordinary." 

Billy understands.  The same is true for her after all.  We lived on the edge, one step away from death or ruin, straddling ecstasy and pain until we cocooned ourselves together so deep we never saw what we were missing. Only my oldest readers remember those days.

Billy comes around to my side of the booth and holds me tight.  We are both crying now.  "I still love you as a person,"she says. "I want you to be happy."

"I care about you too, Billy.  I am always here for you."

She talks about hanging out together again.  I know she needs a friend.  Someone who understands her.  Someone who is there for her.  I am not sure that can be me.  Not yet.

I do hope she gets better, but she tells me she has to stop at the ATM after she leaves and I know, without asking, she will be heading into the city to buy her drugs after we say goodbye.  While I will go home and write this post and remember the girl she used to be.

I can't get my feet up off the edge
I kinda like the little rush you get
When you're standing close to death
Like when you're driving me crazy
Hold on as we crash into the earth
A bit of pain will help us suffer when you're hurt
For real 'cause you were driving me crazy...

I can't find the best in all of this
But I'm always looking out for you
'Cause you're the one I miss
And it's driving me crazy
, After Midnight, Blink 182