rambling

All posts in the rambling category

Adrenalin

Published January 10, 2014 by Kim

She squinted in the sunlight, looking up–up, up, up–the cliff face, watching for a flash of yellow to mark his turn to jump.

Cliff-diving. Of all the things… She shook her head. There was no convincing her. He’d tried, but she wasn’t one to give in easily.

Besides, she didn’t need the rush. It had never been a need.

*

The clack-clack-clack of the chains, pulling the cars up the incline, the coaster at a steep angle to the earth below–

Her heart thumping, palms sweating, a smile on her face that faltered as the first car crested the hill–

Screams of laughter turning to a pained silence, and a burning need to be on the ground as soon as possible–

Pulling back into the station and a sense of calm coming over her, feeling convinced she’d enjoyed herself…

*

Stars.

Planets.

Fuzzy spots that vanished when she looked directly at them–clusters. Nebulae. Galaxies.

Millions of years shining down on her–photons traveling at unimaginable speed through the void, past clouds and worlds, to end their travels in her eyes. What had they passed? Who else might have seen what she was seeing? Who might see it a thousand years from now?

The earth, uninhabited by humans. Perhaps, in time, uninhabited by any creature–just a rock in the dark, turning endlessly around its star, other stars moving across its sky, unobserved. Time marching on endlessly…

*

She shivered.

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Personal truths

Published January 3, 2013 by Kim

I’m not entirely a nice person. I’m not terrible, or very wicked, but I’m definitely leaning toward the unpleasant.

All in my head, of course. I’m not going to go about willy-nilly making trouble, am I? No! –I couldn’t. I was brought up to stand up for myself, but be respectful. Tell the truth, but don’t hurt people’s feelings unnecessarily. Don’t be a tattle-tale, but don’t permit wrongdoing. In other words, I was cultivated to be of two minds about nearly everything (like I imagine most of us were done). Adding to that a childhood-long exposure to church, and a deeply ingrained fear of God, and you’ve got someone whose moral compass should point due north in all things.

Except…

(There’s the rub.)

I’m selfish. I’m self-satisfied. I’m preachy. (I’m also a coward, with no willpower or gumption of my own. Not unless I get a fire under me and I stumble out blindly into things, hoping for the best.) Half the time, maybe more, I do what’s right because that’s what everyone expects. It’s what I’m allowed to do. That includes not doing all the things I have the urge to do, simply because people I care about would get hurt, and it’s simply not worth their pain to have some fun of my own. Whether it’s quitting my job and doing something I like, or…other things. (Hey, I’m married, not dead.)

I feel like I’m betraying something of myself–that the girl who grew up being tenderhearted, bookish, and quiet is disappointed. I feel I should be better than I am, that I’ve become base and useless, fouled by choices I’ve made. I regret so many things, and I try to console myself by saying, “Those choices, good or ill, put me on the path that led to where I am now, and where I am now is pretty good.” Still, the words are a little empty. Mistakes made nearly half my life ago still eat at me, still drive me to be nice. I’m trying so desperately hard to make up for all the bad, that I feel like I’m half-hiding from the world.

And then I think…and I know…that if I were to walk out my door and be the me that I am now, it would be a dark and ugly thing. The only other option is the me that’s still in there, pushed aside, decades old and as silly and childish as she ever was–the one that wears funny hats and recites Shakespeare in Walmart, whose voice lapses into different accents and cadences when she reads aloud or talks about certain things, the one who dances in the house only when she’s alone or with her kids (never with her husband around), who quit singing because a friend said she shouldn’t sing, and her husband said it wasn’t so good, and now only ever does it when…well, when she’s alone or with her kids. The one that is more at home in Fantasyland than she ever could be at a club. The one who wanted–wants–to be Belle so much it hurts. She’s still a girl, with a great, wide future and the security of her imagination to keep her company. But she’s been locked away so very long, and it hurts to come out and see what’s changed, to know that future isn’t so wide or great, anymore, and her imagination isn’t what it once was…so she goes back to her room, with it’s colored glass windows and bookshelves to the ceiling, and she imagines herself a painter, or an actress, or a girl on the street bumping into her Prince Charming. In there, in that secret place in my heart, she can live forever as she was, and be happy.

So I’ll keep on stuffing the ugliness down and try being a good girl, because there’s no choice, really, between being good and kind to others or doing what satisfies me right now. I have to do what’s best, and what’s right. Perhaps, in time, I’ll be free enough to wear funny hats and recite Shakespeare in Walmart, and laugh in the faces of those who gawp at me, and tell them–as politely as possible, of course–that if they don’t like it, they can all go hang.

It’s raining men

Published October 6, 2012 by Kim

I like men.

I mean, I like men.

Tall, dark, and handsome. Lanky, muscular, easygoing, stern, quirky, nerdy, brilliant, regular Joes?–I like ’em.

(Full disclosure: I tried dating a short man, once. It didn’t go well. And when I say short, I’m saying my 5’6″ could go over his head if I wore low heels. It was an awkward date, and I ran–literally ran–through the dorm after the door locked behind me, just to get away from him and his intent to kiss me. Have you ever not wanted to be kissed so badly that you ran away? It was that bad.)

There’s something about a man. Tall enough to tuck yourself into him–under his chin, against his heart, his arms around you. Oh, such a nice feeling. Broad shoulders, the kind that hit you right there. Arms that you can sleep on like a pillow. A tuchus you could bounce a quarter on. Thigh muscles that make you sit up and beg. (I can never get enough of just looking.)

A good friend–my best friend–and I were chatting the other day on Facebook about an actor we both like (I’m married, but he is so on my list. Yes, that list. And if you’re a red-blooded female that likes men, not these poster boys the girls want these days, then put Neal McDonough on your list, too). We’re both attracted to how manly he is. Let me use her words for what I mean, because she sums it up oh-so-very-well:

“Just that in [Hollywood], all these guys are really thin with six-pack abs

and couldn’t lift a juicer, but he looks like he could split logs and get into

a bar fight and then drag an anchor across the grass or something.”

That’s what I’m talking about. A man.

We’re surrounded by a society that glamorizes these…boys. Half of them seem rail-thin, and look fit because they’re so lean. Yeah, okay, they exercise, they take care of themselves–but they look soft. These are not guys that look like they could do hard work, like splitting rails for fences or throwing bales of hay or some such. They reek of having an easy life, or having the appearance of one, because that’s what they know–what they expect. I like a man with a little hardness about him, something in the edges that doesn’t blunt or fade. I need someone I know can literally do the heavy lifting when it’s needed. And I want a man who can make me feel like a girl.

Take Mark Harmon, for example–he seems far more easygoing in real life than his character (and boy, do I love Gibbs), but if you’ve read anything about him, you know he works hard. He built his own house, for Pete’s sake! He’s not a talker, he’s not prone to making much of himself. Those young fellows of Hollywood clamor to be seen and heard, and while they flash in the pan, there are actors out there who take the world in stride and do the best they can without making asses of themselves. Actor or no, that’s the sort of man I admire.

(Here’s where people wonder what kind of complex I have. I don’t think it’s any different than any other girl liking men that remind her of her father. I do like older men, and I like them quiet, more than a little stubborn, willing to butt heads with me, and still be a font of comfort and humor–but not all the time.)

~*~

It would be nice if I could post something that doesn’t devolve into a stream-of-consciousness thought–alas, so goes my brain. I suppose, in short, I miss seeing honest-to-God men out there in the world. If you’re not running into a cocky jock, it’s a metrosexual. Both are useless. Give me a man with layers, with a quietness and strength about him, a reticence that falls away when he’s peaceful, resting, secure. There’s something inherently fulfilling about being that person to a man like that–the one he feels himself with, and knows he can set aside the armor he wears in the world.

You can keep your Edwards and your Jacobs–give me my Rhetts, my Wyatts, my Jethros. Leave the Mulders and the Malcoms and the Grissoms to me and my kind. We know what to do with them.

Kissing

Published September 26, 2012 by Kim

Trashy books (which I adore) and movies (ditto) seem to consistently indicate that kissing is this all-consuming, mind-blowing, thought-derailing, earth-shattering experience–first kisses and tense-moment kisses, at least.

What I’d like to know is whether I’m a freak for not feeling that way.

Permit me to explain–

My entire adult life, from very-first-kiss onward, through different men, right up until my wedding (and beyond), I’ve typically been thinking during kisses. I might’ve thought about the boy kissing me, about how it felt. I might’ve thought about the taste, particularly in comparison to other kisses. If it wasn’t a good kiss, I might think about how I wished he’d hurry up, or how bored I was, or how I hoped the date would end soon.

I’ve made lists (grocery, to-do, plot bunnies) in my head during kisses. I still do. It’s not that I don’t enjoy kissing, or that I’ve never had good kisses–I’ve just never had one that left me reeling, or just forced other inputs from my mind and said This is Amazing.

~*~

So, are we all like this–capable, even in the most intimate of moments (not just kissing), of putting our brains somewhere else and being completely disassociated from what we’re doing physically? Is this another one of those Unrealistic Expectations we stumble into?

Or am I really…odd? It’s not like anyone talks about it, after all.