Saturday, September 15, 2007


Wow, this is just getting weirder and weirder, so I feel compelled to blog about it even though it is kind of personal and may reveal things about people which they'd prefer remain unrevealed. Ahh, but such are the risks we run when we have a blogger in our lives. Yes?
(waits for collective affirmation from the blogosphere)
(gets sick of waiting and gives self permission to get on with it)

As you know I am really big on "oh-my-god-that's-so-weird" moments. Cosmic signs, coincidences, and especially things coming full circle. Even more since I went to Korea, but also before, I like to look at dates and anniversaries, and I like to think about "on this day one year ago..." and I like to sing "every five years or so I look back on my life and have a good laugh" (indigo girls) and so forth. I like the neatness with which time packages up our lives.

This brings us to Rosh Hashanah. I have had the last couple of days off of school from Hofstra, since sundown Wednesday. Since I am not in the least bit Jewish and am perfectly comfortable writing the "o" in god, the high holy days don't really do much for me (a high holi-daze, however, is a different story). What they really do is give me time off school. A mere week after Labor Day. And then with no more three-day weekends or holidays until Thanksgiving. Columbus Day, you say? Not at Hofstra, which has clearly come down on the side of Jews as opposed to slayers of indigenous peoples.

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It's all about casting off the past and preparing yourself to plunge headlong into something better. I love New Year's Eve/Day for this very reason. It epitomizes my whole time-looking back-looking forward-isn't life amazing thing that I mentioned a couple paragraphs ago. So I'm down with Rosh Hashanah, and fond of the lunar (some would say "Chinese") new year, too. I think we should co-opt as many cultures' calendars as possible. What could be better than one new year fresh start? Three new year fresh starts! Yeah!

Anyway. Now for the trippy part. I am currently in Boston. I came up from New York yesterday to retrieve a few things from the house here, while I have the use of a kind friend's car and another kind person's assistance to boot. But even as I arranged to come up here I'd forgotten this week, until I started plotting how to avoid anticipated traffic, that I also came up from Hofstra for a September stuff-retrieval sojourn in Boston LAST Rosh Hashanah. Which I now clearly remember because there was SO MUCH TRAFFIC as the Jews all fled New York City for the holiday; it took three hours just to get into Connecticut.

So that in itself is fun, the whole last-year-Rosh-Hashanah same-thing. But it gets better. Last year my September was indeed spent casting off the past, in particular one despicable sordid member of it whom we like to fondly remember as the interpersonal jackassical alcoholic demon of all that is lying cheating betrayal, or "the evil ex" for short. Among the interpersonal emotional tricks I was playing on myself during that casting off time, I had re-opened a ferociously close friendship with "the first guy I loved" from high school/early college (i.e., BYU time. That is to say, the faaaaaaar distant past.) Yeah, found him on MySpace, "coincidentally," (and by that I mean probably not coincidentally at all) right as evil ex and I were disintegrating. This led to a few months of both of us sort of marveling at how "after so long" we had "magically found" each other again, although I would like to point out for the record that if MySpace is magical, it is so in a kind of The Prestige way -- be careful. And be afraid.

So anyway, there I was last September having way too many way too intense conversations with this man who is now married with two small children, and as much as I did care for him very much at age sixteen and then again briefly at age twenty-one, even I can admit that he "reappeared" at a time when the most evil betraying raging alcoholic demon I'd ever let into my head had just ravaged my trusting soul and therefore the teenage love friend, who had no shortage of issues of his own to work out (let's just say I wasn't the first "other woman" he was having late night phone conversations with), was kind of sucked in to my emotional vacuum and it was stupid and furthermore it was stupid. Now stick with me, because I'm almost to the point.

Last Rosh Hashanah I lay on the mattress in the little guest room of this Massachusetts house, just as I am doing this Rosh Hashanah weekend. These are in fact the only two times I've slept on this mattress in this room, because usually when I'm at this house I'm living here and sleeping in a bedroom, so the association would be powerfully strong already even if it didn't have the extra Rosh Hashanah cast off my old year anniversary full circle going on. And I thought about some of this full circle Rosh Hashanah-ness as I drove up here last night belting out Patty Griffin songs at the top of my lungs and leaving me with hardly any voice once I got up here (though you don't need much of a voice to enjoy cheese fries).

Here's the point, about the present: Brian, the boyfriend, my partner in a relationship in which I am quite content, lovely Brian, he is in Maryland with his entire group of high school friends this weekend at a wedding. For a variety of reasons (although there are 1-2 prominent ones), I am not there with him. (I won't get into those here as that would take a while; this entry is long enough, wouldn't you agree?) Last night as I sat enjoying my cheese fries and the end of the Red Sox game I started getting "wish you were here" messages from him as he and his high-school crew partied into the night. Furthermore, I woke up this morning to several very late night text and voice mail isn't-there-some-way-it's-not-too-late-to-get-you-here messages. In fact, it is too late. And since I did not go with him to the Maryland wedding adventure, I am running a 5k in Brooklyn tomorrow, so at any rate now I'm doing that and even if it weren't too late in time, it would be "too late" in the "too bad you didn't plan this accordingly to begin with" sense.

Last Rosh Hashanah, unhealthy-in-his-marriage-high-school-love friend was on a business trip and he called me, a lot, from there. In fact, he invited me to go there. To see him. Because he was on a business trip away from his wife and two small children. I would like to point out for the record that I said, "No, I am not coming." But that Friday night I went to sleep on this very mattress in this very room in Boston amid can't-you-just-change-everything- and-get-on-the-next-plane and woke up to text and voice mail messages about it.

It's weird.

Now of course the differences are many, duh, I see that. For one thing, let's start with the fact that one situation is appropriate (if unfortunate) while the other was so entirely inappropriate it shocks me I could have suspended my disbelief to participate in a conversation about it as long as I did. (And if anyone is wondering what kind of evil person I am, no, I did not ever see high-school-out-of-the-woodwork friend last year, and I in fact told him he needs to learn to be honest in his marriage. We also stopped talking late last fall. Right around when I stopped being an alcoholic and clued in that he and I were both pathetic and using each other emotionally for shite we needed to go work out ourselves.)

Nonetheless, it was weird. Despite the differences. Which, interestingly, Despite Our Differences is the title of the Indigo Girls album that was released that very Rosh Hashanah week last September, which I was buying at a Borders on Long Island when I received the first "come meet me on my business trip" message and which contains a few songs about heartbreak/betrayal that at the time reminded me of the freshly cast off evil jackass ex.

And just to further stir the weirdness pot, I am also in the midst of this whole weird thing about my cousin's wedding next month to which I of course want Brian to come but about which there is an issue which is decidedly different from the reasons for which I did not go with him to his friend's wedding but which seems to leave me feeling kind of oddly similar when I think about it. Wedding weirdness.

HERE'S MY POINT! (At last!) It is ALL ABOUT casting off the sins of the past and moving forward and doing good. It is all about new years and new horizons. Frankly, it may be all about love. And by that I mean love. I do not mean Days of Wine and Roses-style finding a fellow traveler who will accompany you down into your circles of hell. I do not mean being afraid to face your life and fears and so talking to someone thousands of miles away instead. I mean, love. I mean two peas in a pod. I mean making mistakes and then when you see they are mistakes, saying, "Oh, that was a mistake, and I am sorry for it" and then growing from that realization and doing something to make it right. Love does not mean "never having to say you're sorry" (god, I hate that movie). Love totally says it is sorry. Because it truly is, when it does something wrong, and it is not just blowing smoke when it apologizes. By love I mean moving forward, together. I mean knowing each other. I mean finding someone when you were not even looking.

And here's my other point: I LOVE NEW YEARS. Even Jewish ones that I don't know anything about. Because I love looking back to see how far I have come since the last one, and by extension contemplating how far I might be able to go before the next one.

L'shanah tovah!

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