Lockout

It wasn’t the first time that cops had knocked on the door of our home but it was the first time one of us had readily called them.  It was about 6:30 in the morning and David had locked me out of our shared apartment around 4:00 AM.  There I was, pajama clad, hair in a messy ponytail, and standing in mismatched shoes – at least I had my glasses on so to see the back door I was trying with all of my might to break into.  I had just returned from Rite-Aid with a purchased pair of heavy-duty pliers and I was attempting to break the durable chain lock that stood between a comfortable place to rest my weary head and I.  All the while, politely shouting (if that’s possible), “David, please let me in!”  I was patiently keeping my cool as the last thing we needed was for one of the neighbors to rat on us to the landlord again.  Those who know me well know that this is too much drama for me – I do not willingly partake in such spectacles unless I am absolutely forced in to doing so.

Earlier that morning, I awoke from my snooze to pick up David from his bartending job in downtown Los Angeles just like every other night he worked.  We had opposite schedules and we shared a car, so I willingly woke at 2am on those necessary early mornings to pick him up.  It was just one of those humps in our lives that we needed to get past – it wasn’t for forever, I would tell myself, always trying to see the glass half full.  Unfortunately, David drank the rest of that beverage long before I recognized the glass was just plain fucking empty and I’ll bet with my bank account that it was once half full of whiskey.

David and I had been in a bitter fight the previous afternoon and for the life of me, I couldn’t begin to recall what it was even about.  What I can recall, however, is that when he got into my Mazda that particular night, he was completely obliterated to the point that I feared he would puke all over the passenger side of the car.  I asked if he was working in such a state to which he replied, “yep,” with an audible, heavy slur.  I will spare you the unpleasant details of his ongoing verbal abuse during the entire fifteen-minute drive back to our apartment.  I decidedly “took” his debasement, so to speak.  In other words, I didn’t utter a word or attempt to defend myself.  I had determined in my mind that as soon as we pulled up to our building, I would wait until he got out of the car and closed his door at which point I would drive down the street, park, recline the driver’s seat, try to take a nap and wait out the time before he would inevitably pass out from his drunkenness.

As David exited the vehicle and I eagerly sped away, I peered in the rear view mirror to witness a shocked expression upon his inebriated face – guess he didn’t see that one coming amidst the brunt of his intoxication.  Unfortunately, what I expected to happen afterward, which was him quickly passing out, did not happen.  Instead, I received a plethora of consecutive phone calls, which I intentionally ignored, until he finally left the nastiest voicemail I have ever received in my life that concluded with, “go fuck yourself.”  After this, I received a couple of repulsive text messages, one that passively read, “I hope he makes you feel good.”  It wasn’t the first time David had accused me of being unfaithful.

When I decided to return home to sleep on the couch about an hour later, I found myself intentionally locked out of my own apartment.  David chained the back door and dead bolted the front door.  When his careless actions were questioned later, his response was, “Because I didn’t want you to bring him back to the apartment.”  Wow.  Now, for the record, I was not cheating nor did I ever and nor did David have reason to suspect me of doing so, but if I was, give me a little more damn credit!  After several hours of attempting to literally force my way into our apartment and taking a chilly, cat nap in the backseat of my car, I called the cops knowing there was empirically nothing they could legally do that I already hadn’t but it was worth a shot, right?  Now that I think about it, the usage of the word legally might be pushing it considering I was failingly utilizing tools to destroy a relentless chain lock.

After the police made their departure, I sat at the community patio set outside the front door to our apartment.  My cats were visibly concerned as to why mommy was not simply coming inside.  My oldest even tried opening the door for me, stretching onto his hind legs and banging on the door handle with his big, furry paw – his version of turning the knob.  My best girlfriends finally awoke to the multitude of missed calls and text messages from me pleading for a place to sleep.  I made my way to one of their apartments around eight in the morning where I was provided with a change of clothing and a spare toothbrush.  I went shopping at Rite-Aid for a second time that morning for makeup essentials to make myself halfway presentable to the public because God only knew when David would awake from his drunken slumber.

When I arrived back at my apartment later in the afternoon, I was met with a myriad of histrionics.  The first being dried vomit in places other than where it belonged and the second being the stack of marriage memorabilia complete with the “piece of paper” or marriage certificate laying on the coffee table.  On top of the pile was a short note from David, which read, and I paraphrase, “I placed our marriage photos and certificate on the table because that is exactly what’s on the table right now…”  And I think one can safely say that that was the beginning of our demise.

What Would Mama Do?

I’ve been missing my mother something fierce these past few days as I take note of all of the people who have come and willingly gone from my life or those I had to consciously walk away from and also as I deal with “bumps in the road” of my renaissance.  My mama had a way with wisdom and words so I often ask myself, “What would mama do?”

At the same time, there are things I do differently simply because I learned from her mistakes – My marriage being one of the major ones as I described in my “Musings for David” and also of extreme importance, my health.  My mother often refused to seek medical attention due to the unfortunate fact that she did not possess health insurance or an income that allowed for hefty expenditures.  A little over two days ago, my eight-year-old house cat ferociously attacked me and left me with a forearm of multiple scratches and worse, three deep puncture wounds, from his bite, around my left wrist.  The gory details of why these events occurred are not what I am aiming to discuss, however, suffice it to say, that I blame myself and in the almost nine years I have had my baby, never has he ever done anything of the sort to me.  What this particular blog is about is my initial reluctance to seek medical attention.  I do not have health insurance nor do I have the spare funds to accommodate such ill-fated occurrences.

As I awoke this morning to a left arm that was swollen like the Goodyear blimp and as painful as if it was broken, I realized that not seeing a doctor simply due to finances was absurd.  If there is one thing I learned from watching my mother self diagnose herself with sinus infections for a year and a half only to find out it was lung cancer all along, I learned that we’re all gonna die anyway – who cares if we die with debt?  Ironically enough, my mama also taught me that one.  She would say, “We weren’t born with our wallets and we don’t die with them either.”

I asked myself what my mama would be telling me to do, not necessarily what she would do and like so many of you have done out of the graciousness of your hearts, my friends, she would have told me to go to a doctor.  And so I did.  I am happy to report that I just began my antibiotics this afternoon and I already feel halfway to a full recovery.

In Good Company

I’ve been searching for the inspiration and the subject of what exactly to post about as this last week and a half have been quite eventful.  To be truthful, it is difficult to type as my left hand and arm are pretty useless due to a recent freak accident about forty-eight hours ago.  I must make this short and sweet, as the doctor has ordered me to keep my arm elevated, hand toward the sky.

I am currently witnessing the gorgeous, orange sunset amidst dark blue clouds from my bedroom window of my new apartment.  I officially moved in two days ago and despite all of the anxiety inducing issues that have been erupting – you know the saying when it rains, it pours – I am staying positive and trying to focus on the beauty around me.  I think that all the seemingly stressful things that have been happening these past few days are all part of the lesson in continually shaping me into the positive being I already am, enabling me to see the splendor even in the darkness.

Last week, after receiving a bit of bad news at my new job, I came home to an apartment that had been cleared of David’s belongings.  I stepped into the living room that once was our home together, where we would cuddle on the couch, my head in his lap, him playing with my hair and us both laughing our asses off at South Park reruns.  The heel of my boot echoed in the emptiness of the now couch-less living room, the tears instantly began to well and my heart pound.  The sound of my cries resonated off the naked walls of the dining room that was now void of the table where David and I shared many homemade meals together.  I reached for my cellphone, as I immediately knew that I did not want to be alone.

Good company goes a long way.  It was a late night, however, one filled with heart to heart conversation, lots of red wine, delicious ice cream and pink plaster of Paris instead of heartache, tears, loneliness and restlessness.  It’s these special hours in life that allow me to laugh when I want to scream, that empower me to smile through the tears and that make it possible to practice gratitude for all that comes my way even if it is seemingly an obstacle, for it is these obstacles that demand the kind of strength necessary to march forward.

 

Third Eye

When you walk into a room and you see the guy you agreed to go on a date with and you get that feeling that you shouldn’t go on that date, DON’T GO!  Don’t say, ‘well, I already committed so I’ll follow through’ DON’T GO!  That’s your third eye, people!  It’s called INTUITION!”  The ball-busting yoga instructor shouted at the Friday night Vinyasa flow class that ran an hour and a half longer than its scheduled time.  Never in my life have I experienced a yoga class that powerful, that moving.  I lay there, in the candlelit studio, on my drenched yoga mat, tears streaming down my face, palms facing the sky as the passionate yogi spoke about love, politics, peace and most importantly, one’s intuition – our penal gland, our instinct, our third eye.  I reflected on all the times that I ignored my uncanny ability to sense things, that so many recognize as a phenomenon but as the yogi so ardently pointed out, it’s not some mysterious skill – it’s very, very real.

The point is that, as I move forward, I do so with the intent of following my instinct, which is to do things differently than I have in the past.  This isn’t to say I regret a lot of my past decisions as I don’t regret much in life but I could sit here and give you a long bullet list of things that would have resulted in more favorable outcomes had I listened to my intuition.  For example, had I listened more intently to my intuition, I would have recognized David’s substance abuse problem long before we even discussed engagement.  What does this mean, you may ask?  Does it mean we wouldn’t have gotten married?  Not necessarily as I don’t speak about the third eye as if it’s some future predicting mechanism.  It’s more simply a reflection of my own actions in reference to an uncontrollable reality.  I walked around with a blindfold on for longer than I am probably aware of – a blindfold that also deliberately, opaquely covered my third eye.  I created an environment that was favorable to what Lindsay wanted to believe, not what truly was.

The day I finally took that blindfold off was an immensely difficult day.  It’s similar to learning how to walk without braces for the first time or living life underground only to be suddenly surrounded by fluorescent light.  It’s also frightening because how does one sincerely know the difference between reality and denial when he or she has been living in denial for so long?  I was like a deer in headlights.  I trusted the braces to keep me upright and just like that I was all on my own.  I felt like I had walked outside and stood there, my head toward the sky and my wide-open eyes staring, painfully at the sunshine for hours.  The days that followed, I began to see beauty that unrecognizably sped by in a blur before and I began to “smell the roses,” for lack of better words.  You know that saying, “Practice makes perfect?”  Regularly seeing life through the naked eye, thankfully, becomes default as long as one remains conscious.  Utilizing that third eye becomes a habit, as well, reliant on remaining conscious.

I willingly set that shit on fire – the blindfold and my life.  And in my mind’s eye, I watch for those that fan the flames.

Set-your-life-on-fire

 

Never Forget the Feeling

There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought I would sit down, one day, to write David and I’s love story.  A love story complete with fictional characters and maybe even some Vampire sparkles thrown in there from time to time – that’s how incredible and noteworthy it truly is.  It’s the kinda shit they put in the movies, really, and definitely a novel I would have enjoyed kicking back to, putting my feet up, glass of wine at my side and reading – as long as the author altered the ending, of course.  You may be thinking, “How could their love story possibly be that grand – she’s getting a divorce!”   That’s precisely the reason why I want to write a bit about this – why I want to tell you what it was that made me fall in love, that made me say, “I wanna spend the rest of my life with this person.”

David and I actually briefly met in June of 2009; a year before we even exchanged names or numbers.  The most we had exchanged on this hot, summer afternoon were a few words, some eye contact and a single flower that I wore proudly behind my ear the rest of the day.  He was working at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in New York City and all of my Angelenos know just how much of a chore it is to find a decent Mexican restaurant in New York City.  I’m sad to say that, Cabrito, as it was so cutely called, is no longer around but the sidewalk at 50 Carmine street in the West Village is.  After devouring the heavenly tacos al pastor because at the time I was not a pescetarian, I laid eyes on David.  Immediately, I felt an unexplainable connection to this perfect stranger, and I confided to my friend, “That is the epitome of my type.” I wasn’t speaking in purely physical terms, either.  A year later, in July of 2010, we shook hands outside of Cabrito – a meeting that was heavily facilitated by David’s older brother and one of my long lost friends whom if it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t even have been at Cabrito that warm July night – the same night that would host our wedding date two years later.

I spent the last four days of my annual New York City vacation with David.  From rooftop parties to Brooklyn bound trains, from taxi rides to late night rendezvousing in community parks underneath the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, from sharing earphones to a single IPod to endless, educated conversations, from fearless professing of our intense feelings on a Manhattan rooftop, in midtown, as the sky began to subtly spit raindrops on the tips of our noses to racing on foot to Grand Central Station, luggage in tow, so that I didn’t miss my bus to LaGuardia airport – these are only some of the memorable moments, the implausible minutes of our lives, together, that made David utter the words, “Never forget the feeling” and made me gift him the following Christmas, with a bracelet that was engraved with those poignant words: Never forget the feeling.

At times, I can’t help but wonder and ask myself if David and I somehow, somewhere along the road, forgot the feeling.  I can only speak for myself, however, when I say that I don’t believe I have because as I write about these memories, I long for them and I weep – I can relive them.  I’ll never forget how it felt, standing on a rooftop overlooking Manhattan, with the Empire State Building at its focal point, repeatedly asking David where he came from.  A guy like him, I thought to myself, is too good to be true.  He swiftly responded with, “The same place as you.”  I’ll never forget how I felt when he finally gained the courage to kiss me, in his brother’s basement, by the pool table or the preemptive anxiety leading up to that momentous first kiss.  I’ll never forget the gentle way he secretly placed his hand on my knee while we sat in a restaurant booth, conversing with friends, and the way my hand instantaneously responded by covering his.  I’ll never forget the liquid nerve it took for me to strip off all of my clothes and seduce him at his shower door, after he’d gone to wash up, and I’ll never forget how it felt when we carnally made love for the first time.  I’ve never forgotten the way my head fit perfectly upon his chest, my ear effortlessly covering his heart as if to protect it; *so perfectly that I actually wrote a song about it, performing it live in Los Angeles, several times.  The first time I laid my head on his chest, I’ll never forget how I felt when I said to him, “I like the sound of your heartbeat in my ear.  It lets me know that you’re real.”  And I’ll never forget how I felt after David confidently confessed, “I love you” only four days after we met and just hours before I had to board a red-eye flight back to the opposite side of the continent.

I am learning the hard way that, in life, nothing lasts forever but that doesn’t mean that the memories do not last.  This doesn’t mean that the feeling is forgotten or that letting go results in forgetting.  Letting go also doesn’t mean that one must forget nor does it mean one must be hard on him/herself for remembering.  What there must always be is a balance – One can let go yet always evoke, for isn’t it our experiences that shape us as we move forward?  I’ll never forget the feeling.

*Listen to “Don’t Wanna Miss a Beat” Unplugged – the song I wrote for David.

http://www.reverbnation.com/lindsaytaylor/song/5075973-dont-wanna-miss-beat-unplugged

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