I took a funmergency jaunt to Portland last weekend. I desperately wanted sublime escape. I thought it could bring me quiet, time, and space, and would help me garner insights into the problems that were binding. I brought my journal with, and a bag of vegetables. I had a couple pairs of socks, a change of clothes, the book I'm reading. As soon as I finished having my transmission fluid changed on the trusty Subaru, I hit the road with big latte in the cup holder and the empathetic ear of my best pal in Chicago on line. She was listening to me complain and asking me clarifying questions. "I don't mean to sound insensitive," she prefaced at one point, "but are you really all that surprised?" It is no surprise to my ex-lovers; I am hard to pin down, emotionally speaking.
When Hadj and I get into tiffs we have this questionable habit of using a lot of metaphor and symbolism in our communication. I have, in the past, compared us to our respective favorite stuffed animals.
"You!" I once said shakily, while waving around his stuffed shark that has the sewn in teeth made of bone beads, "You are a shark! With hundreds of sharp teeth! You never stop moving! You can't sit still!! And I!" I picked up my pot bellied, anatomically impossible, monkey who has a red yarn smile and is missing his black plastic triangle nose, "I am a monkey! I am soft and cuddly and slower! I...!" The comparison began to lose its steam.
He indicated that I was "out on a limb" at some time last week; in one of our close quartered discussions. He talked about my having left everything familiar behind. A light bulb went off in my head when he said that, "out on a limb," and I said, "I am on a limb, and that is most often where I want to be. It seems safe to me. I am a bird. I am a monkey. I want to come and go as I please. I want distance. I want to observe from there. I want to drop down or fly up at my immediate discretion."
It's hard news for a lover to hear and not be hurt by. It's hard for me too, to require such distance, to be compelled to isolation so often, but still desiring of closeness and intimacy. I don't know how to solve the question of how much space is enough and how much is too much. I don't know how to follow my energy in a flow too well yet, but there are other things I have figured out.
As I mentioned, I made a car maintenance stop before I hit the road out of town. I stayed in my car while waiting for my turn for service. I wrote in my journal in the sunshine. I used a phrase, which I picked up from my last girlfriend, quite a few times.
"What a pig fuck."
I think it's written in there about twenty times in three pages.