Thursday, October 06, 2011

Woof. I am a dog

My friend P called today at the office about a business thing and told me in passing that she loved my blog because I'm always happy. God Bless Miss P I thought. Or rather, I'm sure I do a very good job of appearing that way, as if my roses are blooming and the blue birds are whistling overhead. The truth is, dear reader, that I rather fear that I'm done with my life as I know it. I've tried every single thing in my bag of tricks that I can must to bring my marriage back together but I've rather given up.  There is not a thing you can do to make someone love you when they don't, as many country singer/songwriters have told us. I can't be steadfast and hold my head up high and wait for him to come home. I can't turn the other cheek and get on with my life. I can't pretend that I don't care. I'm just not made that way. I make friends slowly and, with one or two rare exceptions, those people are my friends for life. I protect them bravely and lavish love upon them and laugh as much as I can, but I do not know what to do when love is withdrawn. I don't think I've ever experienced it and I'm doing a particularly lousy job of being Grace Kelly about the whole thing. I think it might be that I've come to the end of my rope. I don't like this one bit and I don't think I'm going to take it anymore.

I don't even know what this song is about but when I listen to it it makes me feel the way I feel now, sort of empty and whistling inside like a suit of armor without a soldier.  I think we've come to the end.  I've tried to be jolly and smiley and a good sport about it all, but I don't like it one bit. The man I love doesn't live here and it doesn't look as if he's going to come back and I don't know why. I've thought of everything I can, turned over every little pebble in my brain, but I still don't know what it is or whether I could've done anything differently. The whole world, in 14 weeks has been turned upside down and shaken a few times to see what would fall out. Many things fell -- parts of my heart, a few odd socks, the alarm clock on his side of the bed which became my nemesis, cups of tea together in the afternoon, Sunday newspapers. The list could go on rather boringly, I know. I've started watching documentaries every night to distract me (some good ones: Buck, Bill Cunningham New York) & am enormously grateful for my job which fills my days with excellent stuff and good, solid people. But unlike my executive self, I'm not clever or strategic when it comes to this stuff, I'm not the character in the books that lures the young millionaire into a marriage of furs and emeralds, I'm the girl on the corner looking up the stars, wishing for the boy's hand in hers, and her head on his shoulder.  I can't plan and execute a Grand Illusion whereby I pretend to not care with such aplomb that he comes running back in shocked awe at my icy demeanor and my couldn't care less attitude. No here I am, dumb as hell, heart on my sleeve, miserable. Lovely Monica who made me tea this morning to help my fluishness said "no-one should ever care about people who don't care about them" and I nodded in agreement, ferociously and wholeheartedly till I left the room, teacup in hand and realized in horror that it doesn't really matter to me. I'm a dog, not a cat.  (You are aware that all people, without exception fall into one or the other category. You are either a dog or a cat.) A cat doesn't give a shit about anyone. A dog loves even the person who beats him.  I wake up every morning smiling at the sunshine, stretching into the new day, wagging my tail while making the tea and the smoothie for the child who wakes up grumpy but appears from the shower with a grin on her face.  And I do expect the best. And I do believe everything will get better. But today, I'm not so sure. It might be time to let go.

And as I say every night, before I go to sleep, God bless Mary Karr, who gets me through the crud better than anyone. Sleep tight, sweet princes and princesses.


lucia said...

I have so much admiration for your heart and honesty - I've been following your blog for many years and haven't commented - but I want to say that I've been along for this ride and have learned so much about HEART and GUTS and LOVE from you - thank goodness for Mary Carr and for YOU.

With many woofs from another (noble) dog here.


k said...

Like dear Anne Elliot loving longest when all hope is gone, bless your fine heart and amen to the dog and cat reference.

I honestly believe the magic of love is in the pitching so much more than the catching. It takes a while for the sting to abate, time enough to catch your breath and marvel that such a loss does not kill you. It may, in fact, deliver magical gifts in its own time.

I am glad there is a grumpy waking teen in need of breakfast and a friend to make cups of tea. These things can be the center that holds while everything spins. I am sending you lots of love.

Z said...

I'm so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time, I hope that things become settled, in whichever respect, soon and for the best.

Anonymous said...

Good God, I feel for you. I have a cat but, I too am a dog. You can only do all that you can do. Then you have to feel it and try to hope that getting it out will help you to move on to someone who will love you back. I am so unbelievably sorry. It's got to be torture for you. Even though we've never met, my heart it with you. I know there is a better day coming. Love, Elizabeth

Jessie said...

An unrequited kind of love that you both have and also need is, in my humble opinion, probably the single most pain that one can have aside from death (and it can feel like a death of sorts as you realize that perhaps it never will be). I find it difficult to believe that any human could convince themselves that it doesn't matter or that it doesn't hurt.

Here's to Mary Karr and for things getting better and for finding the kind of love that you need.

LPC said...

It does get better. And you deserve better. Not in the daytime TV everyone scream at the host kind of deserve better, not popular culture blah blah blah, but you. You, as you, deserve better, as in really better.

Take all help offered. Ask for more if you need it.

Your writing is a light.

Ann said...

It's difficult to know what to are courageous and strong, even when it doesn't feel that way.

And one of the most profound of life's paradoxes is that when one finally gives up and surrenders to a deeper knowing, real empowerment slowly takes root inside and we re-connect with the internal navigational system.

Are you riding?

P.S. My sweet spotted (English setter)is recovering very nicely from the amputation of her right hind leg. Treatment for a glandular cancer that was growing ravenously and painfully in her foot. I think she will now have the life she deserves, however long. And I so hope it's long, she's just an epic pooch.

Wally B said...

You bring joy to so many people. Your writing, your style, your wit, and above all else, your love of life. I'd love to hear that whistle

The Return of the Native ... sort of. said...

Don't forget that it takes two to tango - so don't beat yourself up. Life is hard but it does get better - been there, done that etc.
And use your friends when you need tea and sympathy - going through my divorce I had some really good chums who didn't mind me dropping in and boring them rigid with my problems.
Lots of courage winging its way to you over the pond!

sue said...

I admire your honesty and courage. Please look after yourself and try to eat well and live well.

Believe it or not, you are the lucky one to feel the depth of emotion and love that you do...

Take all the help and love that is on offer.

Warmest good wishes

Miss Whistle said...

@lucia thank you very much for saying such nice things lucia and i'm glad that you dogs must stick together and roll over on our backs for tummy rubs. woof woof! x

@k thank you for the love and yes and amen to the pitching rather than the catching xx

@Z so kind, thank you. x

@Elizabeth can't tell you how nice it is when people reach out; am most grateful x

@Jessie it may be worse than death, in fact, because at least with death comes some kind of resolution. here's to Mary Karr indeed! xx

Miss Whistle said...

@LPC i am so grateful for your virtual friendship and you always say the right thing. sending you love x

@Anne oh so glad to hear that your spotted is recovering. an amputation must be awfully traumatic. i've seen so many dogs do brilliantly on three legs! yes, i'm riding a little, at the weekends and it is my very favorite thing. nothing like a horse to take your full and undivided attention and love xx

@wally i think we're birds of a feather; wish you lived nearer so i could whistle and you could play the banjo so we could all hear it! x

@The Return -- it's all about tea and sympathy isn't it? i have the very best girlfriends a girl could ever want. i am most grateful. thanks so much for your lovely comment.x

@sue thank you. love shows up in unexpected places. kindness too. it's rather lovely. take care x

Lorraine said...

Reading your posts over the last few months, it never occurred to me that you’re not in terrible pain. How could your heart not be broken by the calamitous events that have befallen you?

I find your courage superhuman: You get up every day, put a smile on your face and care for your children, animals and household. You’ve returned to a challenging career. And through the pain, distraction and busyness, you still find beauty in the world. You make time to read, to write and to share yourself with friends and strangers.

“I am a dog,” you say.

I find that admirable. In my worldview, dogs are superior beings.

A dog loves you without discrimination. He accepts you “as is” and doesn’t give a damn about your wrinkles, your skin color, the car you drive or the college your kid attends. He’s just as thrilled to share your estate in Bedford as your tenement in the Bronx.

What stonehearted man withdraws love from his best friend? “Sorry it didn’t work out. I’m getting a new puppy. You’ll get over it. Or maybe not—I really don’t care.”

That person is not worthy of his dog’s devotion. But, of course, you’ll never convince the dog of this…

Diana (@livyloorose) said...

As Lorraine said, it also never occurred to me that you're not in pain. You're so open about your life and I've so wished for a happy ending. I too am a dog. I wish on stars and hope for good and I'm loyal to the end. It's beyond painful when it isn't returned or suddenly stops. I'm not going to pretend to know all your pain, but please know that I'm hoping for that day when you wake up and is well again.
Now, I do feel the need to stick up for cats since I've had two who think the sun rises because of me or maybe it's because food magically appears when I get up in the morning...

Joan Sobel said...

We've briefly met a few times over the years (I was the first assistant editor on BOOGIE NIGHTS and KILL BILL vol1 and 2). I came across a posting of yours a few months ago and so loved your creatively rich and amazing blog that I've become one of your admiring followers. I normally don't comment on blogs, but after reading your last posting, I felt compelled to. Even in conveying the pain that you have been going through in these past months, you've still managed to share such beauty with all of us out here on the internet, by opening your heart, by sharing Tomas Transtromer's transforming poetry, by your photos and links, and mostly by your courageous and lovely words. Being a dog is being most kind, caring, loving, and loyal... qualities that we humans seem to struggle with and too easily cast aside in favor of our own ambitions, whether personal or professional. I can only thank you for having the heart and courage and kindness and creativity to share your life and insights with us all.

nancyblackett said...

I have admired your incredible fortitude over the past few months. Your heart was open, you never apportioned blame, you invested in remedy, you kept life going for your children and your lovely dogs, you got back out into the world of work. But never for one second did I imagine that it was easy or carefree. How many days did you wake up thinking "this is not fair" but you never once whined or complained. Maybe you are a dog, but your loyalty, your tenacity, your care for others, your joy for life are all things to be celebrated. Woof woof, indeed

Deborah said...

Gosh Miss Whistle, I haven't dropped by for a while and am taken aback to read this. I hope you are rallying and that things are sorting themselves out naturally, as they tend to, over time, one way or another. You have the advantage of being able to express your position with exquisite clarity. That must help with decision-making... a bit. I don't like dogs or cats, and can't cobble my thoughts together anywhere near as well as you, so I'd be in a far worse situation. Small comfort, I know, but you should trust your own judgment. It is good and sound. Deb