Friday, February 24, 2006


A very dear friend once told me about "fast fiction," a challenge by Warren Ellis to write a complete story in 200 words or less. So I tried it. And as I sit here digging through old files, I found my attempt. And in the darkness before dawn, it seems like as good a time as any to share. So let me know what you think.

Just friends?

tumblers fall


hinges creak

I want you…right…now.

“Can I come in?”

door opens

My turn.

lips embrace with a sense of urgency, your body pulls back

“Not so fast, dearest.”

door slams

trace your collarbone with kisses until I take your pulse with my tongue

“Do you like that?”

I know your buttons…

press my thigh tighter to get your answer

“Then come with me.”

lead you slowly to the bedroom

button by button, you watch me loosen your shirt

“I love you for your mind,”

unbuckle your belt

“but tonight, I want you for your body”

Can’t keep my hands off you

you pull off my sweater

Can’t keep my lips off you

you hike up my skirt

“The boots stay on, baby”

All the better to ride you with

push you onto the bed and climb on top
ride, and ride and ride until you explode
and I collapse, barely breathing

kiss your earlobe as I get up

“Always told you I’m amazing”

pull on my sweater

“Believe me now?”

straighten the skirt

“You want more? Oh…Sorry..I thought we were just friends…”

hinges creak

door slams

Friends with benefits. Amazing, fuck-tastic benefits.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Claire version 2.1

I'm sorry to keep the handful of you reading this in suspense, but I needed a day or so to process exactly what happened. (And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, start here - one post back.)


That's precisely what happened.

I can't say it was or wasn't what I expected, because, as I said last night, I wasn't sure WHAT to expect, and perhaps it was the lackluster qualities of the evening that struck me the most, leaving me to ponder whether I missed something or if there was, truly, "nothing to see here."

I arrived at the house and only knew one person - "Jim." Two of his friends I had met once before, but couldn't have chosen them from a lineup if my life depended on it. And the rest were work friends from the office long after we were no longer together. As I'm taking off my coat, and scanning the faces for an island of recognition in this unfamiliar sea, a woman tapped my shoulder.

"Are you Claire?" she asked.

"I am. Have we met?"

"No, we haven't. I'm Blair." (Name also changed to protect the innocent)

There she was. Right in front of me. "Nice to meet you! Jim's told me a lot about you! How's the trip been so far?"

But she wasn't having any small talk. She had done her duty, or so it seemed, and introduced herself. Any opportunity for me to obtain my conversational sea legs was not to be, as she walked away, found Jim, and stayed plastered to his side the rest of the night.

I don't say any of this to be catty. I have no problem with this woman. She makes Jim happy and enough for me. That said, that's my disclaimer for the rest of this post.

In watching the two of them, I noticed a couple of things. First off, she reminds me of me when we were dating. Not surprising, since people tend to date within a certain pattern. Similar hair cut, similar height, similar clothes. But since then, I've lost weight (she's thinner than I was with him) and become more girlish in my appearance (I was quite "who Cares" in my fashion sense with him), donning jeans that fit my new form and tighter sweaters that replaced the chunky winter turtlenecks. And yes, there's even a similarity in the names (totally coincidence, I'm positive, and not in a facetious manner either).

When we dated, I was a polar opposite to the woman who came before me. He got to the same point of near marriage with Abby as well before she cheated on him and broke his heart. After me, there was a pendulum swing back toward the Abby type, and an "off the board" choice in there somewhere too. The impression I got was that Blair is the midpoint between Abby and I, combining the traits he enjoyed and abandoning those he found annoying. So in that respect, I see her as an upgrade - Claire 2.1 if you will - instead of an entirely new model.

I also learned something more about myself last night. I'm surprised to say, I don't feel any pressure to get married because of the encounter. Many people see a former S-O moving on to the next big step in their lives and feel inadequate, as though something is missing. I don't. Probably because I know I'm not at a point where that is an option right now, so why waste effort and self-esteem longing for what isn't practical.

I think one reason I miss him, is that I miss being with him. I watched their easy-going nature, the sense of humor, the caring and the love there, and I remembered what it was like to love Jim. Life was easier then because he was there. There was no stress, there was no strife, there was just an ease to everything about us. The relationship was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, or we'd still be together. There were problems and incompatibilities, however, in spending time with him, you felt good about yourself and about each other. That's what I'm looking for and can't seem to find.

Not only do I miss that, but I miss the person I was at that point. Unjaded, open to love, caring more for him than for myself. Naive? Yes, to a degree, but a naivete that opened my heart to an extent I don't think it will ever reach again. Now I'm more closed off. No one will see that side of me again. Many people who know me now would likely never believe that person ever even existed. I miss her, and seeing that last night brought it all flooding back.

So there you go - the report card. no fireworks, no attitude, no catfights. Sorry if that's disappointing. I just call it, a sign of maturity. Now, if only I knew what to call this small pang of regret I feel....or how to assuage it into oblivion.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Upgrade? Or New Model?

It's Sunday night and I'm playing that game normally reserved for earlier in the week...staring at a phone, waiting for it to ring. Luckily, it's a cordless, so I can blog while I keep it on the fringe of my peripheral vision. My ex is in town, and he wants me to meet his new fiancee. Not new as in "just got engaged this month." New, as in, "not me."

You see, Jim (name changed to protect the not-so-innocent-but-did-his-time-in-the-doghouse-and-reformed) was my first love. We met in college and he swept me off my feet in every sense. He's a few years older than I am, but our goals matched perfectly. We thought we were destined for each other and immediately started thinking long term. Then grad school reared its ugly head and we never saw each other. Our Sundays on the couch turned into two people setting alarm clocks for 3 a-m to see each other in the middle of the night because of his research or mine. And in the end, that drove him into the arms of another woman and out of my life.

About a year later, we started speaking again, and it was like no time had passed at all. We were both out of grad school, living in the same area, and we clicked, but I was seeing someone, so I didn't notice it until another year or so later when he asked me to come back to him. Lord knows I was so tempted...He knows because I talked about it with Him every night, and never seemed to get an answer. So I took that as my answer, and didn't go back.

A few years later, he moved away, and after a little while started dating someone. I've been nothing but happy for him, as he is one of those people for me whose happiness is paramount to anything I want for myself. He still means that much to me. Even so, his engagement unexpectedly reduced me to tears. I want him to be happy, I want him to have everything he wants in life, but there's a twinge of regret in my heart that I don't get to share that with him. I've never stopped caring for him, though that caring has evolved from the love we once shared into the deeper feeling of respect for his place in my life. He will always be my first love, and as such, he has become the yardstick by which I measure all others. He's helped make me into the person I am today, for better or for worse.

Now someone else is taking the place I once thought would be mine. And tonight, when that phone rings, I'm meeting her for the first time. It leaves me with so many questions... Am I still important enough to him that he chose for us to meet? Does he really want my opinion? Or is he doing it out of obligation - the feeling that if they're in town and I find out that I might be offended? Is she just going along with him? Or did she instigate this dessert and drinks party because she wants to see who I am and if I'm a threat? And, yes, there's a petty side of me wondering if this is an upgrade? Or a new model.

And as I typed those words, the watched pot boiled. Let's go see, shall we?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Got a light?

No, I haven't taken up smoking - I'm simply burning the candle at both ends these days, and am considering cutting it in half so I can burn it at all four ends to get more done! I don't blog about work, but suffice it to say that my new project at work has a voracious hunger, and it's diet consists of my time. Which is why I haven't been around.

Want to hear something sad? Since my computer crashed, I haven't even taken the time to reinstall iTunes. Okay, so I did, but I somehow ended up with two copies of every song I reloaded onto this thing, so I've uninstalled it and I'm waiting till I have a good hour or two to sit down and plow hrough and figure out what I did wrong.

It's interesting how dependent we become on our computers. I'd be in a world of hurt had I not written down all my financial passwords. I still haven't re-downloaded the money management program I purchased last month. I never would have become a writer were it not for I'm still trying to salvage my last few items I wrote.


Anyway, I didn't log on to bitch...I feel like that's about all I do of late...I just logged on to say hi and hope that maybe starting the day writing something could put a new spin on the rest of my day. So good morning and I hope all is well in your worlds.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I'm Back!

Yay! I've resuscitated my computer, and my online connection is back! So waht better way to say hello than with a rather odd article from the News & Star.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Brief Update

My computer is up and limping, but still no internet connection yet.  Perhaps I'll get that done tonight.
And since I've received your comments by email, a quick response:
Yoda:  I'm not as worried about sending a quick email as I am logging into the server and blogging.  If they want to track me that badly, they can, I'm doing it after hours on an approved email site, and there are no work references here anyway.
Farrago: Yeah, I'm a strange bird.
Paula: More later when I'm not starving!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cut off!

Aack!  My computer has crashed!  Rolled over and died, even.  Stayed up until 1 am trying to get her limping along again, and finally succeeded.  Then this morning I reinstalled Windows so she's starting to look like herself.
Hold on a second - if I've lost my computer, then how am I posting?  Well, since I can't blog from work, and really have no desire to anyway, I'm trying to email an entry from my personal account after hours.  I think I remember my post-it-by-email address that I created so long ago.  If I don't, then you'll never read this anyway and you'll all just start wondering what happened to me...but on the off chance I do, I haven't totally disappeared.
Keep your fingers crossed - it could be another long night.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Which Muse Am I?

My friend mr. schprock asked a valid question on his blog....Who is your Muse? First time through, I misread the post and thought he said Which Muse Are You? I could only remember two or three off hand, so since I haven't been sleeping much this week, I dusted off my Greek Mythology and read up on all nine of the Greek muses...Terpsichore, Calliope, Clio and the crew. Then I scoured Google and found this great quiz that says I am Euterpe - muse of music and hapy when all is in harmony. Accurate, but geesh, couldn't I get a better name?

After a second reading, I realized he wasn't asking which muse *I* was, but who inspires my writing. DOH! Guess it's all that sleeplessness clouding my concnetration. Which reminds me - update: still no word from him. The social circle in which we first met reconvenes again tomorrow night and I'm entertaining the idea of not going. Part of me is thrilled to see him and part of me scared to death to see if he will ignore me in person as he has all week, and avoidance will allow me to continue to dwell in denial a bit longer, grasping to that hope that perhaps he still cares, just a little bit. And right now, that's all I have going for me.

Also, as an aside, anger is inspiring my writing because I wrote this long and beautiful post that blogger lost when I clicked publish. Thank goodness I'm not sleeping cause I'll be up a while trying to recreate that thing!

But I digress.

The first line of the post suggests that all bloggers want to be writers. I disagree. There are a significant number of bloggers out there who care naught for the proper turn of a phrase, much less stringing them into a coherent and compelling whole. These are the people who use their blogs as cyber-extensions of their real lives. Who use the written forum to gossip and play and bully. These are also the people who type like they text - all done as fast as possible, no time spent, no effort expended, words reduced 2 stuf lik this. C'mon people - I only text like that when i'm driving. Get real!

Anyway....the bloggers whom I read take the time to put effort into their work. We may not share our true identities with the blogosphere, but we share our true selves, something much more precious and guarded. We write not to please others, but to please our selves. Sometimes that means a lengthy tale, a dream, or a diatribe.

I am a very private person. You will never see a photograph of me on this blog or an identifying detail. I was actually quite frightened when I started getting comments, afraid that it would be someone who would recognize me. I started this blog just as an outlet for the words I couldn't say to the people who were special to me, so I wrote them here, knowing they would never read them but not having the patience to write them longhand. But as time has passed, I have started to use this not only to exorcise demons, but to stir them up a bit as well. One person who knows me in real life has this address, and he never reads it anymore....even so, I stay away from the personal stuff and try to write that which will connect with someone.

I think we all do that. Whether it's a dream, a story, or a current event commentary, I think we all try to strip away the identifiers. We strive to use that one common thread of language to delve beneath who we are and into what we are. I speak only for myself, but I think that if I can hone my words to the point that, for one brief moment, you forget that you don't know my face or my name, and can instead identify with the moment frozen in time, or see a picture of what I'm describing, or feel the heartbreak or joy or elation or confusion....if I through my words can reach beyond the day to day and evoke a moment of shared emotion, then my muse, whomever it is that day, has been successful.