Thursday, August 5, 2010


There should be a SPF for love.

Being the SPF Nazi that I am, I slathered myself in 100+ Coppertone while in Florida. Didn't even go for the organic stuff. I wanted full protection.

And damn it, I still got burned.

Granted, I have a golden tan that is lovely - far prettier than the brown skin I see here in Sacramento all summer - but I also have one scorched heart.

The thing of it is, there's no reason to have a burned heart. I knew the complications going in. I knew the risks. I knew of the possible outcomes. I took the chance.


And it's not his fault, it's really not.

He wants what I want and I do believe that he will get there.

But he also has a mistress. I met her a few times while we were there and I didn't much care for her. Had I known she would be around on the trip, I would have known more about my seemingly wonderful guy's personality.

Yes, his mistress is with him a lot. She announces herself on his ever present Blackberry. She pushes herself into our conversations and makes it known that she needs him in other conversations. She is controversial. She is loved by many, feared by some, hated by others.

Her name is Landmark.

My guy didn't tell me that he's a "big gun" leader for Landmark. Which explains how outgoing he is, how confident he is, how communicative he is, how present he proclaims to be.

Except that he wasn't all that present when things went downhill small bar we were in and he proceeded to pass out in the bathroom. On the toilet. Then the bartender carried him to a bench where he slept for two hours while I smoked cigarettes (that's our secret, please) and drank beer.

I wonder what Miss Landmark would have said about THAT.

To be fair, I don't mind Landmark. I briefly considered enrolling in a course at one time. I know a lot of people who have thrived with Landmark. I know it also to be a bit of a cult; a place that "feeds" information, validates like crazy and allows its followers to hide behind its well-polished fascade.

I'm picking on Landmark because "she's" an easy scapegoat. I believe that if Chris pulled back from Landmark and truly pursued the things that he wants:

1. Move to the Bay Area
2. Find principal position
3. Marry
4. Have a child
5. Play music

...that he may have an actual shot at one or all of the above.

But until he cuts the Landmark umbilical cord that is feeding him, I don't think that there's much of a shot.

Chris captivates me with his brains. I love how he thinks. I'm amazed by his schooling. His ideas are groundbreaking.

Chris makes me feel amazingly sexy in a school-boy way. He leads me by the hand, he kisses me so gently, he tells me I'm pretty.

Chris takes care of details. He gets me another glass of wine, encourages me to eat the last prawn, makes sure I'm comfortable and happy.

Chris dials it down. We sit by the pool and he digs into my US and OK magazine stash. He doesn't rush. He's content to rest his hand on my knee and stay a long, long while.

Chris tells me stories of his family; of his traditional parents who are Methodists, married forever; of his brothers, of his wonderful nephews and two nieces who are soon to be born. The pride in his face - when he speaks of his family - makes me want to know them.

Chris and music are mesmerizing together. His band's "Final Approach" becomes our tag line for the countdown of our days together.

Chris confuses me. He wants me to stay. He wants to me go. He asks fact-finding questions but leaves the biggest one out: "Will we see one another again?"

Chris goes to work on Monday. I should be long gone. But I'm not. I'm in his old Miata, in his town, finding my place on the shore of the Gulf. Warm salty tears mix with warm Gulf-y waves. What does he want? Why am I here? The answers scare me.

Chris takes me to Tampa late Monday night, while simultaneously facilitating a Landmark call. He wants one more dinner with me. The call is put on hold and resumes when the entrees are served. I wait. I get up, make my way to the restroom. My flip flop breaks. My expectations break, too.

The call is completed. Chris chastises himself for not being more present. He takes me to my airport hotel. He asks to stay; he's tired and it's a long drive home. Of course I agree.

At 5am, I rise and dress. He helps me with my bags and to the shuttle. I don't remember how we say goodbye.

The tears start in the shuttle.

They continue into the Tampa airport.

I ease into my aisle seat and the flight attendant's gaze meets mine. She approaches. "Are you OK, honey?"

I am OK, yes, that I am. But...

I'm not a playmate. I'm a mom.

I'm not a date to look forward to in six months. I'm living now.

I'm not certain that the real Janeen went to Florida. That girl took a rockin' body, small bikinis, teeny dresses, gold flip-flops, big eyelashes, sparkly lip gloss and a huge tolerance for wine and vodka.

Maybe we were both playing the parts of two very, very different people.

I get off the plane in Houston, find my gate, find a Starbucks, dig for Ativan. Nerves calm. Momentarily. Then the flight is called and the tears start again as we are lining up to board.

Once again, I find my seat, bury my head this time and turn on my MP3 player. The songs that I loaded for the trip are haunting: OAR's "That Girl" and Lili Haydyn's, "Saddest Sunset." And then "Final Approach" breaks in just as we begin to take-off.

Finally, the Ativan settles me and song by song is played in a surreal and dreamy haze.

In Sacramento, only 11am and the day is beautiful, my mother pulls up. I push my suitcase in her trunk and then slide into the passenger side of her car. It is then that I cry the hardest. I don't believe that she knows what to do. How could she? She's never been in this position before

I just want to be comfortable. To call the trip what it was and leave it there. For good.

But, I can't seem to get my bearings and I need to get them damn quick because we are leaving for LegoLand in one day. Meanwhile, Chris is on the coast- in a rented house - with 70 of his closest family and friends, celebrating his latest degree and his upcoming birthday.

Where does the truth lie? Is it in the Gulf, where I found so much peace and where I left so many tears?

Maybe there is no truth at all. Maybe it's just my latest lesson. Maybe it's my "Final Approach" to something really, really big. Maybe the game of love takes a wild detour when there is so little information, so much distance and so much glamour when it's finally right there to look at. Maybe I just don't want any of that at all.

1 comment:

  1. wow - so glad to be updated... i've been thinking about you a ton. i still want an in-person. let me know when you can get together.

    glad you're home, girl. this sounds like *quite* a trip...