Friday, 19 June 2009

I Think We Can Make This Work

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

She said that she knew that she had to work on some of her behaviors and that she doesn't mean to treat me unkind. She said that she really didn't want to hurt me, that she loved me, and that she wanted to change.

That left the door of hope open for the relationship for me.

We'll see.

I know that there are things that I need to work on too.

I made it to a therapy appointment the day after I got back from my road trip that I set up through an organization in Manhattan that matches people up with therapy that they can afford.

I couldn't afford much.

You get what you pay for.

I got sent to a Community Clinic in an all black neighborhood about an hour subway ride away. The appointment turned out not to be therapy after all, but rather an intake appointment where the gentleman told me that he couldn't get me in to see a therapist for another two to three weeks and that the best he could do was get me immediately enrolled in a 5 day a week drug and alcohol program that would last for eight months.

It wasn't gonna work for me.

I felt like I needed to get in to see someone immediately to help make heads or tails of my thinking.

Marie'd gone with me to the appointment and called her therapist who said that she could see me for an appointment and help me find a therapist that I could see on a regular basis. It would cost more, but it seemed worth it after the money I'd just paid traipsing across the country, shaking and delirious, clutching my backpack with all my belongings, one false move away from being homeless and screaming at the sky in vain about Marie in an alleyway in Seattle.

And I set up an appointment for later on in the week.

Marie and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking through Park Slope in the chilly air as thunderclouds gathered above our heads. We were looking for somewhere to eat and wandered, talking and reconnecting, at one point stopping under a tree that formed an arch over the sidewalk to kiss. After an hour or so of searching the streets with a nervous, sexually charged tension between us we came upon an Italian place where we talked round and round the entire the idea of how we could make things work.

I was feeling somewhat shitty about myself and the prospects of anything working out as I'd gotten drunk the night before at the bar and still felt slightly hungover, a anxious knot in my stomach.

Marie'd gotten called into the office after our brunch the day before after I'd returned, and I'd decided to go and look at a place that was for sublease for the summer, just in case that's what needed to happen. After I'd gone to see the place I didn't feel like going back to the apartment by myself and decided to stop by O'hanalon's where Tugboat worked. I told myself I was just going to have a few drinks and kill some time, hang out with my friend and watch the game while Marie worked. The next thing I knew I was shitfaced drunk and Marie was coming to the bar on her way home from the office. After that it was pretty much a blur. I made it home with Marie and woke up hungover and feeling shitty about myself and life in the morning. And figured that I'd fucked things up again as I could tell she was upset.

But she wasn't as hard on me as I was on myself.

At lunch in Park Slope over pasta we agreed that we should take it slow.

I was feeling unnerved by the weight of it all and just wanted to rest, go and talk with someone about all that was spinning around in my head, get my thoughts straight, make sure that I wasn't crazy, get back to work and come up with new direction for things.

Marie had to go into the office again to pick some things up and had to stop by Molly's on the way too. I wasn't sure about any of the details. But she said that she didn't want to be left alone just then and I followed along.

On the subway ride into Manhattan she held my hand, rested her head on my shoulder and leaned in occasionally to give me a kiss, her hand resting on my thigh brushing against me. She looked up at me with a little bit of shock. "What's that?" She said, surprised. "What do you think it is?" I asked as I looked over at her and smiled, feeling slightly delirious as the train rattled along the tracks under the setting sun that was parting the clouds outside the windows. "That's how I like to ride the train." We laughed at the thought and the tension between us was broken.

We sank into each other.

We could laugh again.

It would all work out.

Molly and Marc were surprised to see me when I walked in their door. It was good to see them. They had company over and Marc was on a comedy roll. I felt at home, although somewhat saddened by all that had happened. We stayed a while as Marc played the fool to Molly's straight and we all laughed as the conversation tumbled round.

It was getting late and Marie had to go by her work.

The three girls in the office stared at me with a combined look of disbelief, distrust and concern as they'd seen how Marie'd been hurt by my leaving and I tried to fade into the walls.

There was a box of my shoes from Texas that my mom'd sent before I'd gone to Utah sitting in the office waiting for me as though I'd never gone anywhere. Things can't be sent to our building as we don't have a buzzer, are never there, and packages usually just end up back at UPS, FEDEX or The Post Office. I opened the box. On top was the cowboy hat that Marie'd bought me in Luckenbach on her trip to visit me not long after we'd met. She immediately put on. There was also a clothes hamper full of my shoes that I carried out to the street as we tried to get a cab as Marie walked along the darkened streets of Midtown with the cowboy hat on.

Back home we made love and feel asleep.

The next day she had to leave Upstate to cook for two weeks at a yoga retreat at her friends place. "I think we can make this work," she said before she left.

I felt slightly lost without her.

I wandered the streets aimlessly, unsure, for hours.

She called as I walked towards home.

I just needed the reassurance of her voice.

It would all work out.

The next day I worked at Fleurs Bella and felt that I'd not only ripped the fabric of Marie's and my relationship by leaving, but that I'd also ripped the fabric of my relationship with New York. I worked in a daze as the event whirled around me. Twelve hours and a couple of beers later with the people I worked with and I felt settled back in again.

After work I walked through the rain to Yoko's apartment to water her plants as she's still in Japan. And for a brief transcendent moment as I looked out the open window in the hallway of her sixth floor walk up in Alphabet City over the tops of brick and steel buildings juxtaposed against the gray sky I knew that somehow I would make my way through the chaos of the City and that it was home.

I don't want to tear things apart again...


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