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Sunday, August 28, 2011


Sunday...and today there is a fall breeze in the air, it's lovely but sad too, lazy days of August are almost at a close.   The end of something..the start of something.   Today I'm struggling.  The promised keepsake letter came last night and I'm trying to be OK with it.   I'm grateful for the letter, grateful that he thinks enough of me to take the time to craft it, and yet...it's the final action and the letter was....oh, well, I'll be private about it, it's just that....never mind.  Suffice to say the relationship has reached the final chapter, finally.   He has moved on, I am accepting that reality.  I am bruised but alive.   This post will be the last time I mention him in this blog.

Saturday night I went to see my friend and teacher Spider Saloff sing at Katerina's.   She is incredible, a jazz singer that really knows how to put over a lyric, and a sometimes cabaret singer who brings an appreciation of jazz discipline to her songs.  Really the best of both worlds. This summer she took her fabulous one woman show to Australia and LA and hopes to perform it next in a good venue in Chicago.  In the show, she assumes about eight different characters (both men and women) and does quick back-turned costume changes between the roles. She is amazing. I found myself actually forgetting that it was Spider up there!  Spider's Website is worth checking out!  Let me know if you would like to come with me to hear her sing sometime.

OK....I'm trying to be plucky and I will be plucky, but do I have to be plucky here?   I promised you honesty.   Today is the end of something that meant the world to me....I am not OK.  But I will be OK.  Is it OK for me to just be a mess today?   I promise it will just be today.  Before I met Patrick I had about given up on being loved.  This is what I wrote in my journal just weeks before meeting him:

A ceremony is in order.  I will wait for the next full moon.  I will summon the spirits of my three dead fathers.  I will threaten them with purgatory if they don't behave.  I will dig a hole at least 4' deep and I will find dead things to bury:  little Elvis with his halfway beheaded skull, Tuda's ashes, Nichols bloodied collar I saved all these years.  Then I'll throw in some eye-of-newt (where can I buy eye-of-newt and what is eye-of-newt anyway?), and that double mink stole thing that my mother gave me, two flattened little minks encircling each other, their jaws made into clips biting each others' tails - little beady glass eyeballs, looking unhappy at what has become of them.

I record my voice.  I bought one of those greeting cards where you can create a personal message by talking into it.  Solemnly, I speak three words into the card, then close it and open it again to make sure the recording worked.  It did. I take the card and place it in a safe-box, the kind that will withstand fire, pestilence, earthquake, bird flu, whatever.  I lock it.

Gently, I place the box in the hole with the dead things.  I sing.  The night and the fathers listen.  I may die with that box still in the ground.  It will only be dug up and opened if someone utters those three words to me first.  I will never say them again until then.

(and then,)

"So, Mrs. H., what are you here for today?" the check-in receptionist shuffled the intake papers and peered over her glasses at the pretty nervous woman in front of her.  She knew full well why Mrs. H. was there - they all came for the same thing once they'd reached a certain disappointed age.

"Ah..I'm here to see Dr. Doomly.  He knows why I'm here," Sylvia slumped and stared at her feet.

"Come this way dearie.  Let's get you ready."  Sylvia shuffled after the clerk into a luminescent, futuristic room with walls that glowed happy images in time to a Bee Gees Song - carefully chosen images and music geared to calm the nerves of the 50/60 year old women who found their way to it.

Sylvia sank into a poofy chair that all but swallowed her up.  The music changed - Barbra Streisand, how ironic.  Sylvia had just heard an anecdote about when Barbara was first given the song, People Who Need People.  Barbra had said, "This is a ridiculous tune.  People who don't need people are the luckiest people in the world!"  She sang the song under protest but went on to live her life with a callous and impenetrable heart.

Sylvia's problem was the opposite.  Her heart was too porous.  It had been ridden hard and put away wet.  It was time to protect what little was left. The young overly cheery doctor entered the room. "Ah, Mrs. H....you're here.  Are you 100% sure you want to go through with this?  Once we perform a love-otomy, it cannot be reversed. You wll never love again.  Are you sure?"

"I'm sure," Sylvia responded sadly.

There is no challenge today, except for maybe checking out Spider.   Oh, and it would be lovely if you would call me and make plans for lunch or dinner. I really need you these days.  And if you happen to know someone really nice.....

Peace, Sarah

PS.  Picture is of Spider...I had Patrick's picture here before but I removed it...a) I'm not sure he would like it here even though it's not searchable - no where on this blog is his last name and I'm sure he has this same picture on his Facebook and b) it's too painful to scroll my blog and see him

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