Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day Thirty--Crying Over the Horse

Okay, so what happened to that beautiful palomino Paint, Lowdown, who got me over my fears and helped me get my courage back? I sold him. I know, I know. It was one of the stupidest things I ever did. I’m crying about it now, just writing this. Of course, lately, since I’ve quit smoking, I’ve been very emotional and I’ve been crying about everything. They say that smoking masks emotions. I always thought that was ridiculous. It’s not like drinking where someone gets loaded to hide the pain. But now that I’ve been off them, I think they do mask feelings. Because along with the anger and the rage, and even this newfound sense of humor I’ve acquired where everything is funny, I’ve been sad. And it’s all coming out. I told Kurt I was feeling melancholy. He pointed out that I never even used that word before. Melancholy.

Anyway, I’ve been crying my eyes out. I’ve been crying about long lost relatives who I haven’t seen in years. I’ve been crying about long dead relatives. And dead TV stars like I Love Lucy. That got me thinking about Ricky Ricardo who died of lung cancer and I started crying about him and it reinforced my quit. Music guys like Eddie Arnold who sang one of my favorite songs, “Make the World Go Away.” He recently died and so I’ve been playing that song and crying. Les Paul. (Because I want to sound like I’m sophisticated musically.) John Denver. Which made me think of Sonny Bono out there in Colorado and I know Cher’s heart is broken even though they were divorced for years. Is James Taylor dead? I hope he’s not dead too.

Then I cried about my old customers at the Cambridge Inn because “Make the World Go Away” was on the jukebox. I cried about those who died, those who might have died since I’ve been there last, and those who are still drinking, their noses dropping lower and lower into their mugs until someone shakes them and says “Last call.” They might as well be dead.

Yeah, I wonder about those guys. Scottie, Old Man Charlie, Dave the Lobsterman, Mitch-I’ve-Fallen-Down-And-Can’t-Get-Up, Jimbo, Rich who brought me a pack of gum every time he came in, Don who’s ex-wife was born with only one nipple (or was it three?), and all the guys from IFF who brought me perfume in unmarked bottles. George Ross. Rossie. That’s what we called him. He I know is dead because I went to his funeral. He was the best. Why am I crying about all these people?

I’ve been crying about friends I didn’t appreciate, friends I didn’t know I had till I moved away, and friendly neighbors who taught me how to use draw reins and still send Christmas cards. Coworkers and bosses who I thought I would see again but have lost touch with and can’t find no matter how much I Google like Bob and Arlene. Ricky and Amy. Joy. Debbie. Diana Nova. I’ve been crying about Haiti and the little boy whose stepfather killed him, and Morgan Harrington who disappeared at the Metallica concert and now they found her body and her mother said that even her bones were pretty.

I’ve been crying about my mother who has leukemia but that’s a given. I’ve been crying about her for months, long before I quit smoking. And my father.

I’ve been crying over the death of the dream I had of having a close relationship with my brother and sister. I have given up on that. For some reason, they don’t like me. At best, they are distant and uninterested. At worst, they are mean and disrespectful. And so, I have to, for my own sanity, give up any expectations I had of being one big happy family like The Walton’s. It ain’t gonna happen. I’m sad about that. But I’m also okay because I have given up. If you don’t expect something, you can’t get disappointed.

And so all these things I cry about. And that includes the horse. I cried about him to a stranger the other day. I tried to reach the guy I sold him to but none of the contact information I had still worked. That freaked me out, that I lost track of Lowdown. My girlfriend helped me dig online and we found an old advertisement that they were trying to sell him. That really freaked me out but also got me excited. Maybe I could buy him? But oh no!—the ad was a few years old—he must have gotten sold! Maybe the new owner would sell him? Of course I would never be able to afford him. I had sold him for a lot of money back then. More than I could ever afford. That was one of the reasons I sold him. For the money. And regretted it even before I delivered him to the new owner, the rich people, with a big red bow on his neck.

I called the contact person on the advertisement. It was the barn manager where the owners were boarding him. They were still at the same place. He hadn’t sold. She told me that the daughter had lost interest and the owners had been leasing him out to various kids around the stable for the last few years. Didn’t surprise me because he was so good. She promised she would tell the owner that I was trying to reach him and I wiped my eyes.

I began having fantasies that maybe somehow I could buy him back. Maybe they’d let me make payments? Now that I quit smoking, I could afford to make payments! I even fantasized that maybe something was wrong with him and they needed to find a home for him and I would take him even if I could never ride him because I love him so much and that was the stupidest thing I ever did, selling that horse. And here I am crying again…

I don’t know if I’m going to make this no smoking thing because it’s been a month and I still feel like I want to die.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day Fifteen--Why I Need to Buy a Horse

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing that’s going to make me feel better is if I buy a new horse.

That’s it, plain and simple.

Therefore, I’m horse shopping.

Honestly, this started before we quit smoking. I’m just using the quitting smoking as an excuse to buy another one. The horse shopping actually began when I told the story about the bucker and one of my blog buddies contacted me about a horse she had for sale. That’s all that has to happen to get me going—the mere mention of an available horse. Even if I am on full-horse-overload (the ratio of horses to stalls is unbalanced), if someone tells me about a horse they think I could use, I have to stop and consider.

Due to Christmas and having to go up to New Jersey to visit my mother, we were not able to move fast enough on my blog buddy’s horse and he was sold to someone else. But it was too late. I got the bug.

The truth is, now’s the time to buy. In fact, now is the time to get a free one if you’re not picky. The whole bottom has fallen out of the horse market and people are driving by horse sales, slowing down just enough to kick out some horses and then speeding away before anyone makes them load them back up again; that’s how bad it is. We knew we needed a horse. Actually, we knew we needed two horses. My favorite horse, Harley, has headshaking syndrome.

And Kelly stole Kurt’s horse Bullet because we retired the old guy.

But we were going to wait until the summer to start looking. Then my blog buddy opened her mouth. Then my friends from Nicotine Busters told me that I should reward myself with something that has the most incredible flowing mane and tail in the world and a nice big booty to match.

I thought, “That’s a great idea!”

So Kelly and I set out on a road trip yesterday. I’d been horse shopping online for the past few weeks and I made appointments for two prospects, about two hours south of me, and an hour apart from each other, in North Carolina. We’d mosey along, stop and get some snacks, stop and have some lunch, maybe take of a few pictures of interesting things for my blog and go see horses! And since I got my singing voice back because I quit smoking, I stocked the truck with some good music including my new Smokey Robinson CD. I would sing along and serenade Kelly at the top of my lungs. People say I’m the life of the party ‘cause I tell a joke or two… It’d be fun!

Do not trust the GPS or Mapquest. Why can’t I have a map like the old days where you simply pulled over to the side of the road, figured out you had to get on Highway 10 and then get off on Highway 6 and then make a left onto Main Street? But nooooo. It doesn’t work that way anymore. The GPS had me going left and right and following motorways into brick walls and getting me all nervous telling me I was going to turn soon where there was no turn but a simple bend in the road that you would have never noticed if the English chick hadn’t piped up to begin with. Then, luckily I have a great sense of direction because it had me going north, away from my destination, and I noticed it right away.

“This don’t seem right Kel,” I said to the kid. “See if Mapquest jives with what the GPS is saying.”

“What’s ‘jives?’” she asked me.

Oh man, now I had an English language barrier along with the GPS getting me lost? I was starting to feel irritable. I wanted to smoke.

Jive talking! Don’t you know what jive talking is? Haven’t you ever heard of the Bee Gees? Okay, reach in the back and get the CD case and look for the Bee Gees. You’re going to really like this one. I can sing the Bee Gees real good.”

The kid rolled her eyes and then denied doing it.

Let’s put it this way. I tormented her the entire trip. The only good thing she got out of it was I was very agreeable about stopping to buy junk. Whatever she wanted to get, it all looked good to me. We got Bubblicious Sour Citrus, Tom’s Coconut Slices, Lance cheese crackers, Uncle Al’s sugar wafers, Combos, some kind of sour wormy thing. We got these peanut butter things that were kind of like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups except they were covered in a cluster of nuts. How can you go wrong with that? And of course barbecue-flavored corn nuts because what road trip is complete without the corn nut?

We got bellyaches. But we didn’t get a horse. One of them bucked just like Spirit did when I was buying him. I learned my lesson from that one. Never buy a horse that bucks when you are looking at him to buy. In fact, never buy a horse that does something wrong for the first time when you are looking at him to buy, as in, seller scratches his head and says, “He ain’t never done that before.” Whatever he has never done before will, in fact, be an ingrown, incurable habit.

The other horse I wasn’t gaga over. Therefore I’m having major nicotine fits and am at serious risk of relapse.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day Eleven and the Divorce

I’m so cranky the word “divorce” was bantered about last night. This should make all Kurt’s ex’s, who read this blog secretly, get excited. But don’t. We didn’t really mean it. What happened was I had this thing on my toe. I was sure it was a cyst or a tumor or something that was going to really tick me off for having since I just quit smoking. What a kick in the pants that would be if I quit smoking after all this time and wind up getting cancer anyway. Especially toe cancer. It’d be just my luck.

Kurt said it was just a pimple. That annoyed me. A pimple? A pimple on my toe? Who gets a pimple on her toe?! Now if I would have said I had this thing on my cheek or on my nose. Or even on my butt. I heard people get them there. In which case they are called carbuncles. I have no idea if they are called carbuncles. I don’t even know what a carbuncle is. But it sounds like something some old guy would get on his butt along with the hair on his back and coming out of his nostrils. Gross stuff like that.

One time Kelly had a pimple on her elbow. This was how I knew she’d never make a vet. It had come to a head and so I took a warm wet washcloth and simply washed it away. That caused her to start gagging and she ran into the bathroom where she threw-up. She threw-up from her own body stuff! That’s pretty bad when your own body stuff makes you gag. I said, “Forget a vet. How about being an architect? They make good money.”

Anyway, it’s Day Eleven and we’re still staying married.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day Five to Seven

Yesterday I felt like committing something. Murder. Suicide. Something. Luckily I stayed within the law and just stomped around the house, picked on my loved ones a little, and wondered how in the world I could carry on with fresh air in my lungs? How do people do it?!

I swear, I think it’s harder for some than others. People tell me, trying to inspire me, “I just threw them out the window on the way home and never touched them again.” Like, since they could do it, I should be able to do it.

All it does is confirm what I’ve always known. They are not as addicted as I am. Otherwise it wouldn’t be so easy. I can’t imagine ever being so flippant about it. La, la, la, la, la. Yes, I simply threw them out the window. La, la, la, la, la. Then I skipped all the way home. La, la, la, la, la. Then I ate a piece of minty fresh gum. Yeah, right. How about I ate a piece of the exhaust pipe on my truck?!—that’s how easy this is!

I know I’m a bad one, carbon monoxide aside, because I have very good willpower and I haven’t been able to beat this. My willpower is world-renowned. For example, I’ve never slept with a guy on the first date even if I wanted to. Even if he was really, really good-looking. Even Kurt, who proposed on the first date. And though I had a feeling it wasn’t a ploy to get into my pants—he really meant it—I said, “Let’s see what happens if we’re still going out by the time of the Outlaws…” (He’d also wooed me with concert tickets, none of which got me into bed any faster, or married, but were decidedly cheaper than what he buys me nowadays—horses.)

I have girlfriends who say they’re going to wait until they sleep with a guy and then boom! Next thing you know they are sheepishly admitting to me that they did it and now they hope he’s going to call and should they call him because maybe he lost their phone number? They have lack-a-willpower. Or lack-a-self-esteem. It’s a lack-a-something.

Not me. Say I would like to eat what Kelly left on her plate at breakfast. I’m often tempted by leftover Toaster Strudels. Blueberry, apple, doesn’t matter. But I give it to the dog instead. I don’t pick. I wait all day long before I have my snack. This way I can sit down and savor it. A nice big bowl of it. I favor Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Panic ice cream and I am very mad that I haven’t been able to find it lately. In none of the stores. What did they discontinue it after they got me hooked on it?! I hate when they do that! Like I can’t find Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby anymore either! Everything else I’ve been trying to replace it with is crap! I’m about ready to quit ice cream right along with the cigarettes if they keep getting me hooked on a flavor and then discontinuing it! Like I need this torture!

Anyway, I have incredible willpower in that I don’t sleep with guys or eat junk when I shouldn’t. I’ve also stopped chewing the inside of my cheek.

But I’ve never been able to beat the cigarettes. Why can’t I go to rehab like heroin addicts? Why can’t someone do an intervention where they take me away and they take care of all my responsibilities at home so all I have to do is concentrate on going to group and beating my addiction? But nope. No one takes this nicotine addiction seriously. Just because some people have it easier, doesn’t mean everyone can just throw them out the window. It’s not right.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Quitting Smoking--Day Four or Something Like That

Warning: there is a teeny weenie obscenity in here so if you think you might be offended, skip this one.

I don’t believe that anyone feels this bad when they quit smoking. It’s something like the third day now and I still can’t function.

Now it’s the fourth day and I still can’t function. All I’m doing is sleeping when I’m not ripping heads off. Ripping heads, rolling heads. But not giving head. Who’s in the mood when you want to die?

Ut! I just hurt Kelly’s feelings and now I can’t write! I just woke up and wanted to get some of these thoughts down and she came over and wanted me to look at something she was doing, making cards for people or something, and I said, “Not now, I’m writing.” She walked away sad. I was going to say, “She walked away dejectedly.” But that’s not the way I speak. Actually, I should say that’s not the way I talk. I’m a little cranky. I’m going to talk like I wanna talk. Wanna, wanna, wanna. You got a problem with that? Okay, so I considered saying, “She walked away disappointed.” I wouldn’t have said that either. I would have just said, “She walked away sad.” So I said it.

Anyway, I feel guilty. Now I can’t write. Now my stomach is clenching up. I was feeling pretty good there for a while but now I feel like crap again…

Okay, so I just called her back. “What do you want to show me?”

Kids are very forgiving.

Now that that’s over with. Okay, let’s see. I don’t think people realize how bad this is for some people. Maybe I’ll go into some examples of why I’m a bad one another time. All right, here’s one. I could never take a job where I couldn’t smoke freely. Hence, my bartending career. Some people might think, “Oh, she must have been a big drinker.” Nope. I was never a drinker. Could care less about drinking. One of the reasons I liked that job was because I could smoke my brains out while doing it.

One time I almost set my horse on fire. Horse. Not house. The head of the cigarette got lost in his mane. Yikes! I had to jump off real fast.

A lot of women stop smoking when they’re pregnant. I was always jealous of that. Even though I was super duper Earth Mother who worked in a health food store and ate only organic, whole foods, heavy on the vegetarian; and delivered my children with the help of a midwife who wore Birkenstock sandals and patchouli perfume; and breastfed until they were able to drink from a cup because I wasn’t putting any crap formula into their precious bodies; I continued to smoke. I’ll never forget seeing a notation on the midwife’s ledger right after we had Kelly: “Baby crying, parents outside smoking cigarettes, grandmother trying to console baby.”

It’s always gone against everything that I am.