Sticks and Bones

The first part of a chronicle of a crush-turned-obsession. I'm sorry, Julie.

To experience this in natural reading order go to A Bright, Ironic Hell: The Straight Read .

Also, try Satellite Dance and Crystal Delusions--Parts 2 and 3, respectively--complete.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Prison or Fortress? (6/14/09 Sunday)

What changes may have been wrought by Julie's Facebook page Friday were too subtly manifested for me to detect Saturday. At least, they defy my description. I felt no different--the same dread/hope of seeing her, the same avoidance, the same awkwardness with necessary interaction, the same furtive glances and heavy sighs. I can allow that there has been a change, but I'd rather not look for it or embrace it but let it do as it will, as it must. I noticed only that my pride was much subdued, though even that is so vaguely defined as to be ineffable.

Julie And I spent a silent lunch together in the breakroom. I didn't finish my food but stared out the window for long stretches between reluctant bites. I left halfway through the hour.

Megan and Sofiya were on the desk when I came out as relief. Sofiya motioned me to take over for Megan. I was disappointed to be left with Sofiya; we'd have nothing to say to one another. I adjusted the station's ergonomic train wreck--shoving the monitor back, pulling the receipt printer and mouse closer--when the door opened, which didn't register in my aural brain before "Sorry, Sofiya" and the creak-clunk of the chair on the other side of the register signalling Sofiya's departure and Julie's arrival. My first instinct was to say, "Tammy's made a big mistake" (in reference to the scheduling), but my little voice said, "Too soon." Instead, I sat, glancing, sighing, staring through Children's and out their window into the wall of trees at the street entrance...until Julie said, "It's slow for a Saturday." I looked over--she was leaving her seat--and I said, "Aw, don't say that"--she was rounding the far counter--"not without knocking on wood or something." She reached under the marble countertop and rapped on the panelling. "I think it's too late," I said. Julie inspected the flyers, salvaged precious rubber bands from the wastebasket beside the self-check and returned. Patrons kept us busy after that.

Of course, it's tempting to elevate that hour to Event, crown it with significance, but like everything else yesterworkday, I'll choose (as I chose then) to let it ride. Believe it or not, I'm not fond of analyzation, but sometimes the questions are too loud, the confusion too demanding of resolution to leave unattended. Attention to them is often stressful and not often productive. Raretimes, though, I don't induldge their urgency. Yesterday in living and today in writing, I chose to ignore the noisy pair. For someone who has always believed in the ability of the unconscious to glean the essence of experience for its unique needs, I have spent a lot of time since this started not trusting that belief. By no means is that trust entirely restored, but maybe by adding a brick now and then I can make it too strong to knock down with the huff and puff of neurosis.

Maybe another brick. ...

Suddenly faced with one of Julie's steel-rod stares, my eyes goggles and my cheeks puffed and blew out an exaggerated sigh. It was a coincidence, my action unrelated to her stare, yet it was, nonetheless, the right response. I saved the laugh for myself a few minutes later.

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