One day at the dog park, I met this guy and we shot the shit. I asked him where he worked. he told me. My stomach turned and my heart beat harder. It was the store in the mall where Lauren took a part time job after she left. I said, “Do you know Lauren?” He said, “Yeah.” I said, “I knew her in college.” He said, “Cool.”
A couple of weeks ago, I met a girl at a bar. We become Facebook friends. I scroll down her timeline to find a picture with her and Lauren in it. My stomach turned less and my heart beat some. Tonight I might be going over to this girl’s house. I try to daydream about mentioning the picture, “So hey, I saw on FB that you know so-and-so.” And she will say, “Yeah, I met her at such and such, she’s great.” And then I’ll say, “Yeah, she and I knew one another in college,” while shaking ever so slightly and not feeling my fingers. But I know I wont ask.
I will be very conscious though that I am in a room with someone that has been in a room with Lauren. Someone who doesnt know that Lauren used to have a first wife and it was me. Its almost psychotic the amount of energy contained in my memory of her, how I try to suss out her continued presence. When I drive down the highway that passes her school on any given Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:45 and 4:30, I think, “She is 100 yards away from me.” Or when I walk into a family friend restaurant Sunday through Thursday between the hours of 5:30 and 7:30 PM, I think, “She might be here.” Or when I walk into a bar on a Sunday night, I think, “She is definetely not here.” Don’t even ask me about my relationship to the mall over these past 2 1/2 years. This energy doesnt exist in the physical world, it’s inanimate, it is just the product of my mind. No one else sees it or feels it, certainly not someone who never met us.
And of the people who did know us, no one asks about it anymore. If they do, it’s always, “Do you ever see her?” Do you ever see her? Do you ever see her? It’s like when we got married and the only question anyone ever asked is, “Are you going to California?” Are you going to Massachusetts? Are you going to DC?” It’s like, If it hasnt happened to you, you can’t even really grasp it to know what to ask, regardless of whether you want to ask, because it’s a wedding, or you dont want to ask because it’s a divorce. But these days, with the way I walk around constantly feeling or not feeling her maybe-presence, it’s like the TV is talking to me and no one else knows. Like, I’m looking around saying, “Do you hear that? Do you feel that?” And everybody’s like, “What?” Did I mention in the beginning, how I would wake up to the sound of her voice? Literally, hallucinating.
So, yeah. Tonight. I might hang out with someone who knows Lauren. Let’s bring it down a notch. I wont feel psychotic. It’ll be more like a celebrity sighting. Like, Michael Jackson or Madonna. “Oh my god, I am in a room with someone who was in a room with Rachel Maddow.”
May 7, 2013
I had the most intense dream last night. Lauren came to my house during a party, with her new wife-y. She was still angry with me, telling me that everything was my fault. It was a very long conversation that I couldnt get out of like when youre just falling and falling and falling in a dream. I was going back and forth and back and forth with her about everything. She came to my house because she needed help to change her name. I was not sympathetic. Then, she left. Then, I was telling Golden about the visit. Golden mentioned that she had met Lauren. Golden was bartending at a very exclusive concert at a ski resort. Golden said that Lauren came to her because Lauren needed help to become a jockey. ”Actually, she was very generous with me,” Golden said, alluding to Lauren tipping well and that Golden’s opinion of Lauren had changed. I started to say, “I know! She is a wonderful person!” But I was so tired in the dream of being both wanting and angry, needing and hating, happy to see her and insulted, this and that, I gave up mid-sentence. And I was so hurt that Golden was no longer staunchly “on my side”. That’s when I woke up, sobbing and sobbing. It’s been so long since I woke up from a Lauren dream crying. “When will it ever end,” I said to myself out loud and did my best to put myself back to sleep. I woke up not feeling terrible for which I am very grateful. I guess the take home message might be that I feel betrayed by Golden in real life.
May 6, 2013
So, I had my doctor’s appointment. It started out with a bang.This is the doctor I saw when I first came to this town and so, throughout the appointment, they were calling me by my most recent married name. At first when it was just between me and the lady on the phone or the desk lady, I would cringe, but correct, and offer my new insurance card. Then, when they called the name, to hear it positively spoken loudly to a room full of people, ringing through the waiting room, was a like a dart through my chest. I tried to suppress my initial reaction, startled, murderous, then — smiling, smiling, hello, yes, that’s me!
The doctor is in a beautiful new building, though, huge panes of glass overlooking the mountains, which feels nice — a big, new, clean space, super fresh. (Old life, new life, old life, new life.) He introduced another doctor, “This is doctor so and so,” who looked all of 12. Obviously a resident. Who, of course, reminded me of that last girlfriend I had, the first after the wife with the name I got called, because she is a resident now, too, but that dart was softer. It had a little suction cup on it, slick with spit and it stuck to my shoulder, boing. But back to the resident. Smiling! There was no moment where they asked my permission to be observed, which is so peeving. Nonetheless, I tried to be a good example of a jaded, dark lesbian with lots of thorny ethical questions. A good learning experience. And I tried to tease the old doctor in edgy ways that would only translate to someone under the age of 30. But the resident was fully a member of the boys’ club, loyal to his master, and didnt move one facial muscle in the direction of my jokes.
The old doctor said, “So, I didnt scare you off last time . . . did I? What have you been up to these last couple of years? Tell me what’s happened?” Which I most certainly didnt do, not at all. “I am trying to get pregnant. A friend is helping me.” I said. After a brief review of the tries prior to meeting him and since, we talked about Clomid and hormone testing and sonograms.
Then I asked the million dollar question — if they did IUIs with fresh sperm in the office for unmarried couples. He got tense and spoke slowly and quietly, but a smile played across his lips, which said to me that he was enjoying the intellectual challenge of it all. “Do you need to think about it?” I said, “I dont want to rush you.” Silence. “I’ll wear a ring,” I quipped. He didnt laugh. He talked himself through it. Then he said, “I see no reason why not, I do that all the time for heterosexual couples who are ‘together’ or ‘engaged’,” he said, fully flaring his fingers in air quotes. Then he tried to talk about STDs and how HIV testing works and how quarantine of the sperm works in case me and the donor decide to freeze. I interrupted his awkward explanation of the window period and said, “I used to be an HIV counselor and tester and we will be doing fresh.” He said, “So, I guess you, as the woman, assume all the risks for disease.” And I said, “Don’t we always?” He laughed some, enough to please me, which, as always, is saying something. While waiting for the doctor, I was texting with a new buddy about the trans fiction we just read, which helped me feel more gay and when I got back in the car KD Lang was singing all about that constant craving. All around, a good trip to the baby doctor for this gay girl.
So, fresh IUIs for me, which is really exciting. And sperm analysis for him. And my insurance will cover consults and blood tests, which is solidly good, too. And I am now working 60 hours a week to pay for it all, so I have more than enough money and some left over. Try #13 will be May 27 – 31. And finally, my donor’s calcitonin levels are undetectable which is another way of saying he is prolly cancer-free. Aside from how unspeakably painful I find IUIs to be, I’m really hopeful about this next round. I might even be able to afford two IUIs.
April 29, 2013
Baby doctor today. 2 pm. I cancelled trying for this month. next try will be June.
April 25, 2013
Golden cancelled her Thursday arrival on Tuesday because she had to work. The sad part is that she owns a rock climbing gym and had just returned from a week-long rock climbing trip. Which means, in other words, she is in charge of her time and made time for what mattered to her. Sadly, that wasnt me. The other hard part about the cancellation is the way she did it. I chalk it up to the fact that she was raised rich. There is this breezy, airy ease with which some rich people, especially if they are also in business, administration or politics, avoid all conflict, apologies and personal responsibility. She texts to say, “I have to tweak the travel plans a bit.” Avoid. She calls to say, “I’ll let you decide.” No personal responsibility. She says, “Should I reschedule or should I fly in and out on Saturday?” The way she says, “Perfect,” instead of “I’m so sorry,” when I say, “I guess we’ll reschedule.” Then, she segued into small talk. She is seeing someone. Someone’s name is Sarah. I ended the phone call shortly after that, without any mention of what had actually just happened between us.
It has taken me a long time to understand that the way people treat me is not a reflection on my worth as a person. It has also taken a long time to understand that observing the treatment without judgement, then accepting, and releasing the person to their own inclinations is the best way to deal with someone who is going away, in whatever way it is that they are going away from me. After Lauren left — quite a going away, if you’ll recall — Golden and I saw one another four times in one year. Last year, we saw one another once, for 5 hours. This year, it will probably be none. Maybe Golden and I are finally breaking up, too. Ten years later. Released from whatever lovely thrall by which we were so completely held and for so long.
In the past I would punish, blame, embarrass or reduce the leaver, the disappointer, the sadmaker. I think I don’t do that anymore. Sometimes, I have been taught, the right thing to do is to try, is to let the person know that I would like more, or better, from them. Or I might even ask for a goodbye or an apology. These days, though, I am even trying to be more judicious with my requests for goodbyes or apologies.
My point is, though, I guess, I am learning, in my old age, that doing nothing is sometimes the right thing. In this case, right now, I am experimenting, for maybe the first time ever, with a very quiet . . . letting go. To actually withstand the shock of this new approach, I tell myself that I am protecting Golden from my judgement and disdain, and from my sadness and disappointment. (Really, I should tell myself that I am protecting me from all the sadness that doubles and triples when I dwell on these kinds of things.) My feelings are not her problem. What Golden really wants to do right now is climb rocks, run her business and date a girl named Sarah. And that’s OK, right? So, I am left (literally, actually) to do whatever it is I really want to do . . . and to take responsibility for my own feelings. So I’m writing this, but mostly I’m just waiting for the feelings to go away, which feelings always do, if you let them.
April 20, 2013
I looked down to find that there was blood on the stick and then it said “Not Pregnant”.
April 19, 2013
my period is officially two days late here in eastcoastland. i started googling old baby names tonight. i stood out on the porch and said to the baby youre back. it started raining very gently but hard enough to be heard.
April 17, 2013
I am not very good with all these dates and additions and numbers, but no, I actually think today, today is the day I am supposed to get my period. I have gotten it on the 27th day for the last four months.Twelve more hours until my period is officially late. I am half way to a late period! (Five months ago I got it on the 28th day.)
I’m kind of really mad at prenatal vitamins. They do this to me every cycle — cause constipation and indigestion that convince me I’m pregnant. No, that’s not a baby, that’s just a lot of poo. Except, I’ve forgotten, again, like I do every month, that prenatals cause this and get all excited, thinking I’m pregnant, but no, it’s just poo. I’ve stopped taking them the past 3 or 4 days and am not burping every five minutes. I finally had a bowel movement. (How’s that for a miscarriage?) Does this seem like some angry, middle-aged, female-trouble version of a South Park episode? Poo.
In cancer news, my donor had surgery, was going to have to have radiation, then didnt have to have radiation. He wont be leaving for any foreign country until the fall, if at all. I need to call the local clinic and find out if they do known donor insemination, or semen analysis, and what all hoops I have to jump through to get a little Clomid. Maybe a shot or two. That’s as far as I’m taking it. I swear.
In best friend news, she has a heartbeat! I’m having a lot of fun being stupid excited for her. It’s a relief to be excited, considering how much other peoples’ pregnancies are bothering the crap outta me. (I never thought I would be that girl.) I’m really glad she got pregnant, too, because It’s going to keep me motivated for the next 8 months — to see and experience the excitement of the milestones even if vicariously. I promised myself just one more year of trying, but I waver sometimes; Let’s just say it’s best that I dont change my zip code on internet dating sites.
All this to say, I dont feel pregnant. I should have my period by . . . tomorrow or the next day, really.
April 8, 2013
Everything went off without a hitch — two inseminations before the positive OPK, two after. I already feel pregnant, but as we have learned, I always feel pregnant, so yawn about that. I test on the 17th, if I want to — which I probably wont. Golden comes on the 18th. I’ll either being having my period that week or my first pregnant sex.