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Mar 23, 2017

Jaina Chronicles: Slowing Down

The arrival of Jaina has brought all sorts of emotions I wasn't expecting. On one side, there's the positive: having more love for her than I thought possible. On the scary side, there's the abject terror at realizing I'm responsible for another living thing, whereas before I could just coast along by myself.

I almost had a breakdown Tuesday night before open mic. We were resting on the bed and she went into her mouthing mode where she tries to nibble on your hands. Being an unexperienced owner of a pit terrier, I saw this as an extremely negative development. She didn't seem to want to stop until I moved away, and the look in her eyes seemed aggressive to me. I freaked out inside. I saw visions of an aggressive dog that would attack others and not listen to me. It was my insecurities hitting me full force.

I teared up, and had to fight hard to stop them from rolling down my face. I walked away, and she followed as she normally does, thinking I might have some food in my possession. I couldn't look at her directly, if I did I would've cried uncontrollably. The wave wasn't passing. I had a heavy, sick feeling in my chest that I didn't have the skill or talent to do this, to raise a dog. I knew that her failure would only be a reflection of my own.

So I sat down at the keyboard and looked up mouthing. It's common. Natural. And that there are pretty straightforward methods when it comes to training them to always be gentle in this practice. Hell, I was bitten at least a half-dozen times by my Yorkie growing up, and he was extremely well-behaved overall. I calmed myself down quite a bit.

Since then, there have been mostly ups, but one down. She's no longer inhaling her food, and I can hear her chewing it. She's also beginning to understand the "sit" command.

On the down side, Matt came home late last night with another bombshell: his mother OD'd, purposefully. I know this fact doesn't really make sense here, but it's gotta go down. Jaina's at home with him right now (if he's at home), and I hope she is able to provide him some comfort, as she does me on a daily basis.

Mar 20, 2017

The Jaina Chronicles: A New Arrival

Well. Friday turned out to be an interesting day.

I visited Jaina at the local shelter the day prior, fell in love, and promptly submitted an application to adopt her. So I was a bit surprised to listen to a voicemail I let go from an unknown number stating that the application was approved and that they wanted me to schedule a pick up time.

Ok.

My initial thoughts about getting a dog involved taking a couple of days off of work to get the pup acclimated to a new environment. With the boss and VP at a conference this week, taking off would be tough. I was hoping to take off the next Friday and following Monday for a long 4-day weekend. But I learned otherwise when I returned her call: they could hold her til Tuesday at the latest.

The choice was clear. I had to figure out how to get her over the weekend. Luckily, I was picking up a dog crate that evening by coincidence so I'd have enough to get by with the help of C and the extra supplies she offered to hold me over the weekend.

Which meant her arrival would add to the already-present chaos of having two other dogs at the house that I was watching for friends. Would not have willingly planned it that way.

So Saturday afternoon I picked her up. Not going to get into details here, plenty of those in the future. Let's just say things are going well. I'm feeling an incredible amount of joy at the end of this process, and I have C...the ex-gf...to thank.

More soon.


Mar 14, 2017

Weird Times

Seems like nothing but those as of late.

Last week I went over this space, pulled in some of my writings from the in-between years and placed them here. Part of that entailed re-reading much of my older pieces when I was involved more heavily in creative nonfiction. It was quite an eye-opening task. It seems like I used to look at the world with a humble reverence, if not steeped in a bit of uncertainty and longing, but man the outlook seemed more positive up to a certain point.

But in truth, the things that still plague me plagued me then. I'd like to shift to a return to the old mode of thinking, if for little reason other than to remember, and to perhaps look at things through a lens of beauty when I'm feeling surrounded by things that aren't so great. I felt more in tune with things around me then, more in sync with my surroundings. But there is no magic wand for these things. Only heavy lifting.

The ex-gf who's more like a girlfriend is moving away in two months. Not going to get into the details contained in the first half of that sentence. They don't matter anyway. She's moving 4-5 hours away, and then she's either heading out of state after summer or somewhere in-state to a larger city. I had a thought at lunch, and I'll pose it as a question here: am I great at destroying beautiful things?

Now I struggle with cutting off our relationship sooner, or waiting til the ultimate cut-off date when she really leaves. I don't know what to do. Part of me feels like it can't grow until she's actually gone. Because as long as she's here, I'm going to want to be with her, but given she's not truly here for long, I'm lost.

I really would've liked to be her boyfriend again. I feel like we got to a nice place after we took a step back from the relationship. Can't help but think of the what-if: what if I just pressed her harder and agreed to work on it instead of refusing to bend after she walked away (for the nth time)? Now she's thanking me for the time we had because it's helped her face her demons, has made her stronger and helped her realize what she needs to do.

This is all great, and genuine, though the turnaround surprises me a bit. And fucking ironic that when I survey the landscape, I still feel lost. Maybe not as lost as 18 months ago. The road ahead will be taxing.

The band is struggling with the EP. Somehow came out of our last mixing session than a less-than-ideal result, something that shocked and dismayed us once we listened to tracks on a few sets of speakers. Also having issues deciding on one song title as well as the order of the songs. Sometimes I can feel the will ebb from my being.


Mar 9, 2017

Filling the Space Between

It would appear I've been writing in some form of this space since 2005. Twelve years. While the frequency of posts tends to ebb and flow, I seem to always return. Fortunately so. One of the reasons I write is to remember. Many posts on this very domain contain details I've since forgotten about. It's a luxury to be transported back to a place in time by words when the memory itself doesn't emerge.

Much of my creative writing ceased when I graduated college. Life became a lot more routine, and corporate. At the same time, I also started another blog focused on a niche interest; those posts won't be seen here, but I amassed several hundred since beginning in 2011. Writing has been there, but reflection through writing has been largely absent.

I return here as a humbled soul. One who is still haunted by the echoes of an old life no longer realized. I've spent some time this week re-reading these entries. The hopes, the failures. Perhaps what I'm struck by the most is how little real emotional progress I've made over the past years. How the depression hasn't really lessened. How I still seem to have little more direction than the wind provides.

In terms of having things, I have less than I ever have had. And that's not a possession thing, it's a structural thing. The roots of my foundation are not deep, the walls themselves barely holding. I'd like to return to writing and reflection, produce more nonfiction and poetry. But I fear it will be as many of my other expressed desires in this space: wanting followed by inaction.

Either way, will try to light the spark. Produce a flame. See farther into the darkness.