Do you know who your friends are?
I know who mine are. It took a lot of weeding out, but I have a fair idea. I think I'm lucky that the list is as long as it is. And I think I finally know where my loyalty belongs. Finally.

A real friend is someone who goes out of their way for you even when it demands more than they can really give. A friend is also someone who you want to be able to give the same stability, no matter how hard you have to scrape to muster up the energy. Yeah, simple. Simple to say, not simple to do. And it should be no other way.

I got a phonecall late last night, while I was literally hiding out with Satyr. I spoke with my father-in-law a few hours before, and it really had me thinking. Big Frank and I really are close. We've been the ones to keep more in touch than Debbie and I. She's busy, really stressed and concentrated on her job. Sounds familiar. He is completely the other side of a father figure for me, and I respect him a great deal no matter what. He's my buddy, my comrade. And it hurts me to know that his feelings have been so hurt. Not that he'd admit it, no, no. You would more likely hear the old saying, "Forget about it." than bitching. He wants so much for all of this business to work out, but none of us really see how it can. None of us. That side of the family or mine. Mine is angry, their's is sad. And oh God, I wanted to wail when he said he missed me so much, loved me, worried about me, that he just wanted me to be happy, move out there.....whatever it took. Because "one thing had nothing to do with the other". I guess it really sank in that they're my family too, regardless of what I am to their son. And I bawled from the grief and relief at the same time when I hung up the receiver. Bittersweetness of weight being lifted.

I think I'll relate what I wrote in my journal last night, and maybe then take the time to explain it. I don't think I have any other way to break into these thoughts.
"Frank has systematically pushed both his family and me away. It's to the breaking point where it's no longer "What do you want?", but "This is what you get". I can hear the exhaustion in their voices when I talk to them. They're just as tired as I am and just as resolved. There are only so many times you can run yourself into a brick wall before you just want to walk in the either direction.
"Grimley called tonight - but the line was silent when I answered it. And I was thankful at least for this chance to pause before things rushed forward again. I needed time to reflect on what was going to be cut off before concentrating on anything that might be sewn on. I was not expecting a call from him, not now, not this soon. Perhaps he knew it was too soon as well, or just not appropriate. I won't play at knowing what the future holds, I just know it's going to be a direction similiar to this one. New people, new chances, maybe something real this time. Or maybe not. But I have to take other risks somewhere down the line. There has to be something real somewhere that fits me...I keep hoping.
"Am I angry? No, not really. Not anymore. Why should I be? I took this on myself, and it didn't work. So I will pay the consequences. I can't fix Frank. He is twisted and broken beyond all recognition. And I was beginning to look the same. He will never let me -just me- touch him. 'Specially not his soul. I think he enjoys making me the bad guy. I think he picked me because I always wanted to believe him - and I actually wanted to be tricked instead of facing the truth. And when I didn't believe anymore.....he just shrank pathetically, into something I would not want to be, and in the end, I cannot be.
"Now, I love my family. That means the parents who adopted me, all 7-8 half-siblings, my aunt, my cousins. I dearly love all of my in-laws. This isn't their fault, they were just as hurt as I was. I love my Kash, Bear, Satyr, Cammie.......the list goes on for people I know are my friends no matter what I drag home with me in the hopes that I can heal them and make them fly.
"But him? I put him above all others. I lied, cheated, stole - just to keep up with him, just to be with him. Am I proud of myself? Hell no!

"So, the question is, do I still love him? Sure - like I could stop that once it started. I would love him like any member of my family that has consistantly let me down. Family: You have to love them, but you don't have to like them. Could it ever be the same? Never. Is a friendship possible? We were trying that. He stood me up as if we were dating. I don't tolerate that shit in anyone else, why does he think he's any different? He used to be. He is not anymore, and that is not for a lack of my trying. I have some vague shell of a friendship with him, if you can even call it that. He does nothing to better the situation, so it is obvious he still can not give back to anyone without feeding his own motives.
"Do I want to stay married to him? I ask you something...- would you? Doubtful, man, doubtful even without knowing the whole story. That means both sides, his and mine. But no, I can't say I do. I know both sides, this is my story too, remember?
"So logically, what would someone do in my situation? How about totally hang it up? Say it was fun- well, not very- how about exciting? to think we at least had a chance at something so great. We were lucky to be able to take that gamble together, even if we never did share much during that time. A gamble on something as tangible but elusive as love, no matter what an ugly creature it turned out to be in the end.
"I will always love him, I can't help that. I will just have to learn to forgive myself for it somewhere down the line.
"Remove him like a cancer I have to. I have to. I have never met someone so selfish, so clueless to real human nature, so insincere, so conniving, so stricken with self-pity, so sinister, so stubborn, so disloyal, so unforgiving. And I married him, completely aware of what and who he is! How dumb am I? But I thought I had good intentions, and that they would somehow miraculously turn him around. Yet again, I am an idiot.
"So remove him I will. Replace him? Never. Recover from him? I have my fingers crossed- at least recover enough from this to move on. Find some happiness without him? That shouldn't be that hard, anything is up from here. But unfortunately there are those little loud parts of me that scream......'not without him! Never without him!' And those parts make me sick. They are much more quiet these days, thankfully. But still, it has to go up from here. It just has to.
"Strengthen him, bless him, pity him. He's the one who's gonna need it. Not me. I've already survived him how many times? But I cannot say for sure that he will survive me. Maybe just by saying that, he will. Excellent, I wish him every bit of luck in the world, because I think he's going to need it.
"Oh shut up, already! You made your bed, so you'd better get used to sleeping in it. And I will sleep in mine. Like I've said before, I didn't think this thing has a reverse. I think I was right.
"Ah Bubby, Bubby, Bubby. You're the biggest fuckin' idiot I think I've ever met. Dammit, you were so brilliant."

No more hiding behind handles. No more 'maybe's. No more, 'let's try to make this work'. No more beating around the goddamn bush. It's relentless, it's ridiculous, and it puts a serious damper on my sense of humor and both of our senses of what's right and wrong. No more one-up-manship, no more mind games, no more trying to fix it. Leave it alone! It's fuckin' broken!

Your ability to breathe has nothing to do with me, so stop playing at that. I thought you would be content to be friends, but whatever. We have hurt too many people by our actions, not even discussing what we've done to each other. Have you not seen the trail left behind us? Ugh. Let's just get it over with already! Just get on with it so we can let other people in. 'Cause we aint ever gonna let each other in again, I know you agree.

I also want to let this place go. It's a ridiculously strong link that doesn't need to be here. I have other places to put my efforts, and it was yours before mine. Happy hunting, it's fertile ground. Me? I will take care of the family. Your side will be waiting for you when you get out of your snit, I'm sure.
Funny how the only thing we have to divide is Everything2. And baby, you can have it. Oh boy, can you have it. My predecessor has the belief that nothing's trivial. I, on the other hand, do not agree. I believe everything's trivial if you don't know what's important. May I be the first of either one of us to realize what is important.

Us, I can't fix. Everything else? No problem.
My friends know where to find me.

Before I close with this node, I would like to remind all of you to eat your loved ones before they eat you, to remember no boogieman is uglier than our own psyches, to cherish those fleeting moments of happiness for they do not have instant replay, to dance nekkid with knickers on your heads because idiocy makes the heart grow fonder, and to never, ever, ever let the bitterness win. It's been a pleasure playing with you all.

This is windigo .... signing off......


This is a bee-yoot-if-full example of the bullshit that has pretty much continued all the way up until this point. Until Burning Man, the Iacovinos and I were still being hand fed whatever Frank could come up with to give us. I was under the assumption that he really did want to give everything a go again, and his parents were keeping their fingers crossed that what he was telling them was the truth this time.
Not so and not to be. When all hell broke loose two weeks ago, Debbie (his mom) was in Maryland visiting friends, had been trying to contact Frank to know he was all right, and still after little things like the Pentagon blowing up, you know, nothing to really worry about......(sarcasm, big in NY in the 1920's.....never really caught on.), he still remained unreachable. My mom, (who REALLY hates him) was calling his cell phone to make sure, for MY sake, that he was safe. Nothing. Nadda por nadda. He called his grandfather in Tucson, that's the only way we knew he was all right.
What do you mean he's never paid a dime on the Camry? What do you mean there's been investigators in AZ looking for the damn car? What do you mean he hasn't called you either? The list, as is usual knarph style, goes on and on.
So I drove into Deland last Thursday, right down the street, LITERALLY from ACR, where knarph used to work, and finally sat down with an attorney. The papers are getting drawn up tonight, I sign in the morning, and if all goes well, we're both as free as birds come Friday. Yup, in Florida, when you don't like someone, you can get things to happen pretty quickly. And the funny thing is, he acts as if this were MY fault! Reap what you sow, you know?
But on the lighter side of things, there is such things as forgiveness. And an old part of my life has forgiven me, so I'm sure I will forgive. I have the best friends and family in the world to get through this with, and I couldn't ask for more.
And I found someone I thought I had lost years ago. I thought I had lost them forever. It feels good to know someone hadn't forgotten about me either....even over the years, two marriages, and a lot of miles. I think I'm finally getting that second chance I dreamed about, it's come at a really weird time, but it's worth making room for.

Life is pretty fuckin' good right now....but that can't be. It's just so damn easy....there has to be something wrong here's good, friends are good, finances are getting caught up, art is flowing, love life is fairytale BIZ-ARRE....I'm so used to pitfalls...I know there's gotta be one here somewhere. Or maybe not. And maybe the last four years'll just melt away like a dream. Hmm....Damn. This is beautiful!