Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wrapping Up, Coming Home, Moving On...With Pictures

The last post with the Agnes comic strips was actually very telling. It was the day I stopped being directly helpful in Connecticut. Oh, don't get me wrong; I was still supplying emotional support. But both the Lovely Cats and Princess Kitty were doing better.

We had gotten through the urgent, survival times. We were now at the point where I was sitting, reading Agnes, and nodding saying "that was great! what next?" as she worked her way down a list. She was at the place where it was time to learn to do it all without another person there to help, because that is their new reality. They had to learn to do it without me, or they'd never learn to do it without me. It was time to go home.

On Sunday the 16th, I hugged everybody and headed out. After a (far too short) airport visit with Nemeria, I made it back to New Orleans and Lithus. Who met me at the airport looking oh so beautiful, and with 9:15 dinner reservations at Mortons. But first we stopped by the apartment to drop my bags and I found...


Winnie the Pooh underwear...

And oh my God, I actually own this jewelry

We had less than 36 hours at home before we moved out again. They were a good 36 hours, though. And then...back on the road. To fight fires this time, rather than log. Into Idaho and Montana. Into this:

If this is what it looks like from the ground, you can imagine what it looks like from the air.

But life is ... as it should be. "Back to normal" doesn't work. The Lovely Cats, Princess Kitty, and the Silent Prince have a new normal, and there's no going back. Lithus' and my normal is anything but. Still, life is how it should be. Again. And finally.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Friday, September 14, 2012


It's been...strained...around here, for obvious reasons. Self-care is something I'm good at though and, as such, have rediscovered one of my favorite comic strips: Agnes, by Tony Cochran.

Until I have more time, allow me to share...

Because, after all, it is a fact. Rhinos do love the theatre.

Those are Pobble Thoughts, with some truth thrown in by Agnes. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee, and perhaps even a lovely partner at the ballet.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Just To Be Very Clear

In sociology, there are labels attached to people in groups that define what roles people play. One is The Star. The Star is exactly who it sounds like. The Star is the person around whom the group revolves. This person is the one everyone considers their best friend. This person is kind enough and generous enough and open enough and loving enough to encompass everyone in the group. The reason everyone considers this person their best friend is because this person is each of their best friend. This person is not me.

Another role in a group is The Power Behind The Throne (PBTT). This is the person the Star considers his or her best friend. This is the person who, when The Star needs just a minute, The Star calls The PBTT. This person is not the face of anything. This person is not a sidekick. This person is the Doc Holiday to Wyatt Earp; Han to Luke; Zoe to Mal. This person is me.

Recently, I've had some unexpected and humbling things said about me. And I don't mean humbling, as in "damn right I'm that good, but I don't want to come off as arrogant, so I'll say I'm humbled" but honest to God humbled. I would tell you what they were, but I can't bring myself to do so. Trust that it is appropriate for some humility in the face of it all.

My favorite though is that I was called Samwise Gamgee.

In fairness, Sam comes off a little sidekick-y in the beginning, but watch long enough, and you realize he's not. He is, indeed, the power behind the throne.

He carries. He is constant. He is there. Remember this exchange:

 Sam: [Both are overcome by exhaustion] Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they'll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields... and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?
Frodo: No, Sam. I can't recall the taste of food... nor the sound of water... nor the touch of grass. I'm... naked in the dark, with nothing, no veil... between me... and the wheel of fire! I can see him... with my waking eyes!
Sam: Then let us be rid of it... once and for all! Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can't carry it for you... but I can carry you!

This was the exchange that caused the person to say I was Samwise. And this person is right. I will own it. I carry. I am constant. I am there.

But there is another quote of Sam's. One most people didn't even notice at the time, let alone remember:

 Sam: [tearing the spider silk away from Frodo's face] Oh no! Frodo... Mr. Frodo, wake up... Don't leave me here alone. Don't go where I can't follow... Wake up.

And this is what I want to be very clear about: I am selfish. I am a selfish, self-centered, self-serving bitch. I am not The PBTT for just anyone. There is this small group of people... I need them. I have accepted this about myself and about them and I need them. I will not give them up without a fight. Because I will follow them anywhere. I will carry. I will be constant. I will be there. But I don't want them going anywhere I cannot follow, so I will fight. And I will be stronger than whatever it is that I have to fight; I will be strong enough to carry whatever I have to carry. And I will win. Because I need them.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. And it will serve people well to remember them.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

What It Looks Like

Do you see that body language? That is a family position, not a posed one. That is a personal moment, not a political one. That is a peaceful, happy family, not a cast of characters.

Do you see that expression? That is a man in love. A man in lust. A man in awe. A man in respect. A man in admiration. A man with an equal and he is looking at her.

Do you see that man? That man believes he is the luckiest man in the world in that moment. Not because of his job or his title, but because of the women in his life, who love him back.

That's the brass ring, people. That's what it's supposed to look like.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you a hell of a lot more than coffee.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Really? That's It?

I'm learning I am really, really hard to shock. Don't get me wrong; I'm not hard to offend. There are horrors and horrific people in the world and I am appropriately offended by them. But shock? Shock is different.

Several times during the summer ~ even going back to late spring ~ people have said to me "I don't know if I should tell you/show you/share with you" some great thing in their lives because they are concerned it will shock me. It will be too much for me. It will change the way I feel about them.

Each time, I have assured these people that they can tell/show/share with me anything they want to and, if it shocks me, I will at least respect them for being able to admit to this huge thing and we would go from there. Each time, they have shared with me. Each time, I have waited and waited for the other shoe to drop ~ for the horror to be revealed.

A messy basement. A teenage pregnancy. A teenage abortion. A couple tattoos. A closet full of bondage toys, used consentually. Several too many drunken evenings.  ...  ...  Really? These are supposed to shock me? Do you know me? Have you met me?

The Lovely Cats "confessed" her messy basement to me. Talked it up so much that I expected a crack house lurking below us. Wouldn't let me go down there because it was, as she had been told by another friend, "like an episode of Hoarders." I finally took matters into my own hands and went down there. Obviously, these people have never actually seen an episode of Hoarders. Where were the dead bird carcasses? The piles of trash and waste? The towers of moldy newspapers? There aren't even paths down there, because there don't need to be paths! The stuff is spread out enough that large-ish stepping gets you through.

And, of course, there are the stories she is finally sharing with me that come out of her marriage. Again, don't get me wrong; they are awful. And yes, I would happily hand him his dick. And yes, she is a different victim because she is who she is in my world. But folks, I worked domestic violence for thirteen years. I can take what she can tell me.

It has been a season of Confess to the Pobble, because all of those abovementioned things have indeed been shared with me by different people. But no one has mentioned shooting up cocaine into their genitals, or molesting children, or drawing a weapon for the first time before they hit puberty. Also, no one has confessed to wearing flip-flops to high tea, cutoffs to the opera, or a t-shirt to dinner at 5-star restaurant, either. A warm salad fork I can handle, but just because I love you.

For months now, my friends and acquaintences and family have talked and I have listened. And the only thing that shocked me was how hard it is to shock me.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.