Our First Date

Of course, I have to write about our first date. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before! The memory brings a smile to my face. Hard to believe, huh? I have a picture of him in my mind sitting across from me in the restaurant. He looked so charming, and sweet, and vulnerable. He wanted to please me so badly. He wanted the night to be so perfect. Our first date…what a laugh! We had already been living together for three months at least. Did I ever say we moved fast? So fast we had never been on a ‘real’ date until after living together for that much time! Yes, laugh! Be happy! Feel light! It’s how this memory makes me feel…so shouldn’t I share it?

What was the name of the restaurant? I can’t remember. Viper? Vroom? Something starting with a ‘V’. It eventually closed, and no wonder, the service wasn’t the greatest and the food was hit and miss. Except the night we went. Recently opened, it was lovely. There was a Russian singer and a small wooden dance floor. We ordered too much food and were greeted by some of his students. I wanted so badly to look beautiful for him. I wanted so much for him to be proud of me. We shared our dishes and as usual he had to order something disgusting…well, only if you find beef tongue disgusting I suppose. I don’t remember my meal. And when I asked that we dance. He agreed and took my hand and led me to the floor. Did I wear my red dress? He held me tight and spun me about, and oh how well he could dance! It felt like dancing amongst the stars, and there was no one in the room but us and that Russian singer to be heard.

He had this way of looking at me that said, “You are the most amazing, incredible, special woman in the world.” Oh, I believed it. I had never known a man to be so intelligent, talented, handsome, and graceful, and this one liked me…HE LIKED ME! I saw it in his eyes, I felt it in his touch, I heard it in his heartbeat, I tasted it on his tongue. He liked me! And for a time, he LOVED me.

How I wanted to pull him to me and hold him tight. We had such a magical, magical night! Shooting silly pellet guns and going to the children’s arcade, but hey, they had a bear ride (like a mechanical bull ride) that threw him off, and we raced each other on a video game, and he let me win at least one game of air hockey that I love to play so much. We were silly and laughing and in love, so what did it matter if we acted like children.

Our first date…and I loved him so much!


I ran so far away

When did I realize that the time had come? When you asked me to spend a 3rd year with you in Kazakhstan (October)? When you made me burst into tears once again with your constant stream of criticism (November)? By December 2015 I was interviewing for a position in another country…in the Middle East…where women cover and can’t drive and must have a guardian to do almost anything in her life. But what of it? If it meant I could get away, if it meant leaving you, if it meant pushing you to .the limit and forcing a decision from you. Our friend said you called and told him you were afraid of losing me. So another proposal to be taken back…again. Who can believe anything that escapes your mouth.

No saying I love you. Your words. Then when it was time to count down the days, suddenly, you were telling me all the time. I love you. I love you. I love you. I mumbled it back a few times. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. Didn’t you cry into my lap as I packed? My poor baby, my poor baby. And still you had moments where you couldn’t control yourself. Where you had to badger me yet. Make me cry. My tears and screaming at you on the street; we on our bikes; what a sight. Had Taldy ever seen anything like it? What a decision to resign a month early to get away from you. Sure I had a family excuse, but that was a lie. It was time to run and I ran so far away. Thousands of miles to get away from you. I reached home and got in my car and drove. I drove until I couldn’t drive anymore and still I couldn’t get far away enough from you. Christ, I was in your homeland to the North. I saw so many sights that in a normal relationship I should have seen with you, but it wasn’t meant to be. DSC04178.JPG

Your mom was so confused when I visited. How could I have been job searching in December when I didn’t learn my contract was not being renewed until March? My eyes tearing up; my mouth set firm to say nothing. The confusion in her face and my heart breaking.

I ran so far away.

Then it was Greece and refugees and stress and sadness.By the beach with the ids.jpg I cried some times and then I didn’t cry at all. Now, I’m here and you admit that you checked my FB page. I seem happy. Really? I remembered your birthday the day before…out of the blue and suddenly and I cried. I’m so happy? Trapped on a compound, listening to the same music every day, wondering about you. The good, the bad, the ugly. I’m in pain, but less so. There’s no one to badger me. There’s no one to criticize. There’s no one to make me burst into tears on the street. I can spend my money and do the dishes the way I want. I can go to bed at the hour I feel. I can wear my make-up and if it makes me look old…shrugs shoulders…you knew my age from the beginning…and for a little while you didn’t care…and then it became every thing. Oh well, are you lonely? Are you sad? Do you miss me? I miss you. No matter what. How stupid…how weak we are. I’ve ran as far as I can go. I love you. I love you. I love you. Why didn’t I tell you so?

No Respect for Privacy Known as Vengeanace

Caro E

Zarina L

Kamilya O

Sarda K

Aigerim S


Ainur T

Saniya K

Viktoriya P

Kamilya A

Your list of ten to travel to Almaty for. How stupid of me to offer to get our friend’s cap from your flat! And how you went on that I should stay and play with your kitty. Play with her. She looked lonely when I left, play with her. I halfway agreed thinking I would just get the cap and leave, but no…I had to glance around and look what I found right on the desk just waiting and where had your kitty run off to…wasn’t she just here and now she’s gone and I’m looking at your list of ten…with abbreviations to remind you which girl you found on which website; what times they could meet you. In the morning, in the morning, in the afternoon, at noon, 4-5, in the evening. On and on. What is this? A marathon. Are you so desperate to replace me? Is your ego so bruised? Is it so difficult for you to be alone? And these poor girls! I’m sure they aren’t expecting a ring yet, but how many will you actually meet today? And will any of them know that you are meeting with another? and another? and another? God bless them each and every one if they find you charming.

Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. But until then, I wonder if they will find their names here and wonder. Who is this? What is this? Why is my name here? Why is my privacy disrespected? Why is his privacy disrespected? Grow uneasy, squirm fretfullly…hopefully not scared though. I’m not after a single one of them…but you…desperate, pathetic little boy. Be my friend with benefits…be my cuddle buddy. Was that a week ago? Two weeks ago? When you asked me to degrade myself and give you what you want while you pretend to care about my feelings? Why does it hurt? Why does it twist in my gut and leave my mouth sour?

Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. What vengeance HE has wrecked on me. Surely my sins did not warrant loving you like this and having you tear my heart out like that.


He was my Home

What happened to my favorite long talks in the middle of the night? Lying naked together. “Cuddle me,” he’d say and roll over. I would press my face into that little place between his shoulder blades that I loved and breathe in the masculine scent of him, draping my arm over his broad chest, thrilled to have such a beautiful lover to call my own. And he is beautiful, all long arms and long legs and long back. His smooth skin taut across his muscular frame. We would laze there, pleased with life and each other, and just talk.

What were those long conversations about? Life, politics, neighbors, colleagues, love, sex, music, books, religion, we covered it all. Oh, and those baths. He would scrub my feet and I would wash his back, counting the moles and freckles, pretending they were a star map of the night sky.

We spent hours in the hot soapy water, just talking more long talks and laughing with each other. After a time he decided it was too much time spent wasted, and our long baths were cut.

What went wrong? When did the snide remarks become stitched into the fabric of the words we had to say to each other? When did he start to sneer at me and mimic my words in a whiny, nasal voice? When did his criticisms cross the line of being constructive into destructive?

How I cried in my pillow like a lost child. There was a time in those long conversations that I felt I had found a home. In that lengthy, lean body and in the strength of those exquisite hands, I found safety. He said when we last saw each other that he gave me his heart. Yet, he doesn’t seem to realize that when I held it most carefully in the palms of my hands, when I cherished it and relished in it, he ripped it from me. No, you’re too old, he said. Then, of course, he left me standing there to go skating with another woman, a younger woman. There’s no home to be found in that action. So now I’m lost, flustered in my confusion. Wasn’t I once perfect? Wasn’t I patient and kind? Wasn’t I amazing and strong? Wasn’t I beautiful and talented? Home, home was wherever he was and now I don’t know where he is but in India, perhaps with another young woman, the world his oyster and the sea full of fish. And I feeling lost of house and key, with no home to call my own.





911 DustWe were watching the documentary on my laptop. I don’t know why we didn’t hook the laptop to the TV, but this allowed more intimacy, our chairs side by side. He leaned into me intensely, directly beside but somehow feeling as though he was behind me as well, hovering. I stared at the screen and tried to keep calm. Was it Loose Change? Or 9/11: Explosive Evidence? I don’t remember. But I was learning.

He leaned in and snarled: “How can you be so naïve? How can you not recognize that the US government would do this to their own people?” I wasn’t sure where to begin. I tried to argue that the conspiracy theorists could say anything; I asked who were these people to begin with? Nothing I said mattered. I was too stupid to see the truth with my own eyes and the architects who said and agreed that there was something suspicious to the way the buildings came down were all right. I was tired and beginning to feel strained by the interrogation I was receiving. I didn’t understand where this anger was coming from. I didn’t know why he was so angry and so disgusted. Maybe he was right for different reasons…maybe I was stupid, because I sat there…I let him badger me…degrade my ideas and feelings… and I tried to argue my viewpoint as best I could with what I knew and what I surmised based on my own intelligence.

None of it was good enough. I was unbelievable in my ignorance. He snarled and glared and I felt I was meeting someone I had never known before. Don’t let me be my father. Stop me if I’m ever my father. Was this him? I looked at the screen and tried to keep my head up. So many rules to remember. Be submissive. Be complacent. Be quiet in the staff room…your voice is so loud, you don’t know how loud your voice is. Why did you say that at the table in front of everyone, don’t you know people could hear your every word? Sugar is the white death, how can you eat so much of it after all I’ve tried to teach you? Take off some of that make-up, it makes you look old. Your clothes, why do you always wear so much black and white, it makes you look SO old. Don’t you know how to chew, you should chew like this! And I felt something inside of me crashing down into the center; the center that could not hold like stacks of floors falling down one upon the other. He saw tears in my eyes and for a moment it seemed he might back off; he wavered and then stood straight–I was ignorant and naïve. So disgusting to behold. And then the documentary was over and in my distress I fumbled, wanting to return money  that I owed and I offered it all wrong and he left that night. Refused to stay any longer if I was going to be that way.

And the center couldn’t hold as I laid in my bed alone after he’d gone; crashed down in so many pieces..tiptoeing through glass that would shatter ever more if I didn’t step carefully around it. I had no answers left for his questions, his insistence. I was dust billowing up to the sky, darkening out the sun.

Our personal 9/11

My Angel of Light


Winter Camping

I never had to worry about my bike tires, or little things that needed fixing. He took care of it all. He was good like that. He fixed and re-arranged and made sure things worked properly. And the last time I was sick…he took care of me so well. He cooked, he cleaned. He baby-ied me the way you hope someone will do when you are ill. “Baby, can I get you some water? Baby, are you warm enough?” A long difference from the year before when he pushed me for coughing near him, telling me it was ‘disgusting’.

Yet, it was the other things. The constant reminder that he wanted to marry someone younger. The twisting of words to make me feel belittled and stupid. He kicked his father once in front of my son. What should that tell me about how he treats the people who love him most? He smothered me the one time with a pillow when we were play fighting, and for a moment I was shocked and scared he was going to hurt me. He told me it was my fault. He said, “I told you to stop tickling me.” And this is symptomatic of our relationship. It was my fault that we didn’t travel to India and “You better not go to work and tell everyone I didn’t want to take you. I tried, but you chose to buy your ticket to go home.” After his constant questioning about why I didn’t go home??? The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I saw his history on his laptop and knew that he was messaging a girl named N—- in New Dehli. What a beauty and how interesting she seemed from her profile. She was the right age.  So maybe it wasn’t his ultra-conservative, Christian friend he didn’t want me to meet.

My angel of light…who walked with me up the mountain to winter camp. Who carried my bag so I wouldn’t have to do it. Who gave me his coat in the middle of the night because I was so cold. Who pulled off his wool socks and said, ‘Here, wear these too.” Who hurt me to the core of my being telling me at my age I was probably infertile and would only have deformed babies if I could have a baby at all. Who I suppose can imagine and believe that N—- of New Delhi and her womb would produce only healthy, non-deformed children.

His light is blinding as it is cutting. My angel of light. How did God survive the heartache of misplacing his love for his angel of light? How do I do the same?

He Bought me a Winter Coat

My beautiful winter coat that he bought me last year. Deep, dark blue with paisleys swirling about. I wish it reminded me of his slate/blue eyes, but it doesn’t. He didn’t like my winter coat last year. It was light blue and simple and actually for a child of 10 or 12. The sleeves barely met my wrists and the coat just made it to below my waist, and he hated it. So he took me shopping and watched me glory and spin in the blue, waist-cinched, expensive coat with its matching hood and blue-dyed fur about my face. I glanced at the price and was certain I could outwait the price until a sale. The next day, was it? He snuck out of the flat with some excuse and upon returning briefly met me in the foyer and tricked me into thinking he hadn’t bought it after all (I had suspected all along). Later, he suggested I go to the foyer for something and that’s where I found it. Perhaps he sent me to lock the door. I just don’t remember now. I think I squealed with delight upon finding it hanging with our other winter clothing. He loved me then. I loved him, too. I would give you anything you wanted my love said to him. He wouldn’t give anything to me but a year or two. How my heartaches! A friend promised I wouldn’t always feel this way. May good promises always hold and never end up broken.


Spinning Top

His love is like a spinning top. Set loose it whirls at the speed of light. Spins across the floor graceful as a ballerina. A strength in its movement. Then gravity begins to pull and the top wobbles, no longer strong in its velocity. Baby, baby, baby, come closer he calls to me. Hold my arm. Let me guide you along the way. He carries a cluelessness about him.

Let’s travel together. Of course, baby. Let’s go here, let’s go there. Let’s spend 5 or 6 or 7 days. It will be amazing to see some place with you. It will be amazing to spend this time with you. We will see new things, baby. We will go to new places, baby. Just me and you, baby, he says. But no, he begins to reason. You need to go home. Your family needs you. This place is in the opposite direction. That place is too dangerous. What about your stomach? You’ll get sick and you’ll still have to travel home. What about your finances? You need to think about your money. I’m just thinking of you baby. I’m always thinking of you baby. Wait, baby, let’s go ski with friends. Let’s have fun with them. Wait, I say, I thought we were going to travel together. Together as in you and me and we would not make three. Why do you want to add a three? Oh, you’re right, baby. This should be just us. You’re so lovely. You’re so beautiful. I don’t deserve you. Look at your eyes. Look at your face. But, oh, wait, maybe we can travel here, or travel there. But, you know, you need to go home. You need to see your family. You should be thinking of taking care of things back there. Shouldn’t you? I sigh. I will book my own ticket. I will go home while you wobble, this top about to topple over. So I will wait. I will ask a day or two later for the truth. You never really wanted to travel with beautiful me, lovely me, me with my eyes, my face. You don’t want that one friend to know that you have a girlfriend my age. You don’t want to explain that we live together. You don’t want to share about me with him because, what? It’s a disgrace. I’m so tired. My love is full of ache. I do deserve better. I can’t get a hold of you and make this top spin faster, fuller, farther, longer. You will travel alone? With some couch surfer? With Kamilla? I see your Couchsurfing page. I see the name. What is couch surfing for, but to find people to travel with, baby? He snaps, his tongue razor sharp. But we are breaking apart. You are taking me winter camping because you know I want to go and we go. The white winter mountains and the cold winter air mix into a bright serenity that my eyes (those lovely eyes) cannot get enough of. And later we will travel for a day to another city to see their giant old growth tree and Chinese architecture, but somehow you don’t understand. It’s not the same. It’s not 5 or 6 or 7 days of you and me and making two. It’s little treats thrown to a dog. Little treats thrown to a dog that keeps chasing a top, a top that can’t keep spinning, that gravity will pull down.

But, oh, what a lovely top when you look in my eyes and seem startled to remember for a moment the beauty you find there.

Ironing Shirts

I taught him to iron his shirts. He didn’t do a very good job and later I went back and ironed them again, but he knows more or less now how to do it. Is this a mom thing? a girlfriend thing? I told him today that a good woman always looks after her man…it has nothing to do with being a mom or just a girlfriend. He said I was like a mom. He has started to turn this all into a mother thing. He wants out, but he isn’t mature enough to figure out how to do it.


Later we stretched for a bit seeing as we didn’t make it to the gym. He took a cup of water and held it over my face while I laid on the yoga mat, tipping it ever so slightly. I had the insane thought, “he won’t let it drip on my face if he really loves me.” Then I waited until the water splashed down. Haven’t I told myself for months that he doesn’t really love me? What a silly immature game to play.