It's been a while since I've done any internal demolition here on my blog - been too busy obsessing about animal stuff, but this morning, after the strangest dream involving Honey Lee Cottrell and Susie Bright, a sailboat sunk beneath the waterline and a cat on this underwater boat somehow staying dry, licking it's un-declawed paws in that sexy way cats do when they are completely unperturbed by anything going on around them, oh yeah and my camera case with the Hasselblad inside it getting stolen from the deck of the boat, I suddenly started obsessing in that way I do - about love, life and the futility of relationships.
Of all the American excuses for a good family fight, Thanksgiving is my favorite but as we head towards it and I haven't decided which of the generous offers to spend time with someone else's family I'll accept, these self absorbed feelings rise to the surface (wonder if the submerged sailboat is somehow emblematic of my sunken feelings - doubtful). Did I ever write about my miserable 3 weeks on a sailboat in Tahiti? During the rainy season? Geez, that is a freakin' beautiful place. But I have to admit, after watching tourist ships the size of space stations cruise past the islands disgorging debris and daily tons of human shit, after seeing mounds of plastic bottles on the sandy beaches of Bora Bora, watching a Picasso fish get speared for my dinner, and having a moray eel grab at my passing leg, oh and dropping a knife blade down on my naked foot as I was making dinner and bleeding all over the galley, and never being able to get far enough away when our hosts - a couple then but not now - had one of their nasty fights.
Oh, and here we are neatly back to the futility and agony of relationships. I don't like the anguish associated with change, I'm not comfortable with trying to read between the lines, I like the idea of collecting, as my friend Sue O Sullivan once said, 'a constellation of support' people who love me passionately but never expect me to dress up for dinner no matter what their mother might think, who crawl into bed with me to snuggle up, but are fine with me getting up in the middle of the night and sleeping in another room, women who don't say 'come back to bed' once I've got up and coffee is made. I want to know that loyalty is loyalty is loyalty and that I won't be lied to, cheated on or abandoned. I can't bear it when friends disappear when they dive into the steamy terrain of a new love affair, I like to know that I can break a date and it be ok, and that my english reserve won't be misread as uncaring or unfeeling. I don't do well in relationships - yet I love being in them. I need to know that a woman will be ok with the fact that my neighbour Sally comes in through my back door carrying cake but needing the coffee to go with it, and that friends will just let themselves into my house unannounced.
I don't like the way couples batten down the hatches - hmm, there's that boating terminology again. I don't like how insular, how territorial, how claustrophobic the whole thing feels. But at Thanksgiving, the lack of a girlfriend sort of comes into sharper focus - my friends have gone off to Vegas or are meeting the new boyfriends parents, or invite me to a family get together but warn me of the dynamics. Last year I had the best Thanksgiving. Susie, Bonnie and I went to opening day of 'MILK' at the Castro Theatre and after to a small cafe on Market street for diner Turkey, mash and gravy. It couldn't have been better.
I could be anywhere - with Suzy and Claire in Adelaide, with old pals in London, with my family in Berlin, in Spain with Cheryl, with extended family in Israel, in LA with new and old friends - but I am here, with the dogs and cats - fretting over whether being on my own is going to be ok. It'll be fine. Maybe I'll even take a roadtrip with Target, Calvin and Roo (what to do about 3 pound CoCo?) and hike in the snow.
The only place I don't want to be is on a boat.