February 23, 2004|Posted in: Uncategorized
…in Sonoma. Back after a long weekend, a long (birthday) week, a long month, even though February is the shortest one. I was road-trippin’ with my gal pals, women I’ve known since early high school. It’s all good — catching up, comparing our lives, aches and pains, loves, kids, jobs, gray hair. Fun, if frightening. I think I need a few days to digest it all. So instead, apropos of nothing, here are some other random thoughts, in no particular order, but bubbling around my brain at 1:30 in the morning.
The biggest thing: Falling for a new guy is a marvelous thing. The warm fuzzies, the firsts, the giddy stomach, laughing about everything all the time, daydreaming. It’s a lot nicer than cursing my ex. I think I’m in danger (biting knuckle).
Ex = (silent scream). New car. Fat paycheck. Whining about child support. Need I say more?
I got myself a tattoo and a belly piercing for my birthday — it’s the gift that keeps on giving. I’m not a gal who likes her belly button touched — in fact, it’s a mark of the Park clan that you’re a true scion if you don’t like to be touched there. What possessed me? I was already in the piercing parlor, so what the hell; I was a bit out of it from tattooing torture and figured it couldn’t hurt any more (it actually hurt worse than the tattoo); I was ready to shed some crap from the past and a minor phobia like the belly button thing seemed a good place to start.
The tattoo is of a quill pen and it’s on my lower back, where I will never have to look at it, and yet it’s always with me. When I stood up after the process, the young guy and his girlfriend on the next table said, “Whoa, that’s bad-ass.” When I got home, my eldest daughter said, “That’s sick.” (sick = good, fyi) My kids told me I’m cool. I think it’s funny and weird and am glad I can’t see it, else I might be horrified at the whole idea. We’ll revisit this topic when my skin has healed and I’ve had a stern talking to by my mother.
Bills, health, kids, deadlines, paperwork, taxes, divorce, minutes from a meeting to type; problems with the well, with the phone line, with the escrow; why can’t I sleep; still awake; cat fight outside my window, peeper frogs on the creek, some endless beeping from the electric dog-fence, and a low thrumming in my ears that could be tinnitus, passing traffic, hearing damage from too many rock concerts many moons ago, or my imagination; plants needs watering, floors need mopping, car payment due, gotta buy nail polish to match my dress for Saturday night, can’t get this guy off my mind, and what am I doing here? How did I get to this point in my life? When am I going to grow up? Why am I always the fuck-up? Why can’t I get the approval of certain people, and, conversely, why do I need it?
Etc. etc. etc.
Can’t sleep. Still can’t sleep. The merry-go-round in my head won’t shut off. Write me some letters, friends, and tell me how to sleep.
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of "Veronika Layne Gets the Scoop" and "Veronika Layne Has a Nose for News" (rep'd by Booktrope). She is the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. Her articles have appeared in Thrillist, Quill, Paste, San Francisco Chronicle, and in many magazines; her latest poetry appears in The East Bay Literary review.