Sunday, December 5, 2010

Something Has Changed

Let me start with a question: Does the feeling one gets on rollercoasters correlate to sex? Don't snicker. I'm new, and still untapped. I'll get to the reason for that question later.

On Thursday, I had it out with my mother. Well, Mom didn't really respond during my passionate tirade beyond a few compulsory "Well, I did this," and "I did that," but she did ask my opinion on 28 years of tumultuous marriage, of which I've witnessed 23 of those years. Everything that I've thought, every annoyance I've had at Mom and Dad's bickering, every explosive fight between them that I've cowered from, every instance where Mom spent six hours fuming over some small thing that Dad did (and I know it may not have been a small thing to Mom, but you've got to set your priorities in life, especially when it's been a repeat offense, like him forgetting somewhere she wanted him to stop on the way home from work), all of it came pouring out for 20 minutes straight. And after, I felt complete relief. I felt completely new. I felt like I had truly been reborn, that I had entered a new phase in my life. I determined that I would let nothing bother me in my life anymore. In the weeks leading up to this, I began to let my parents' squabbling bother me less and less. I used to want to know exactly what's kept their marriage together by a very thin string, or why Dad was attracted to Mom, but I'm never going to find out. There's no answer. All I can do now is concentrate fully on what I want in my own life, and that includes my own relationship, whenever that might be, but not too long now.

That night, I had a dream that I was in color, and people in fedoras and other diners at a restaurant were in black-and-white. And I couldn't relate to any of them. And I realized that there is a generational difference, that what was good for those people back then, and my parents, it's not good for me. I want to be attentive to a mate. I want someone who fascinates me every day, who makes me shake my head in wonder and think, "What will the next day bring? Because I want more of that."

The next day was the first day of the rest of my new life, and I was surprised, stunned and flattered. It began with someone on Facebook surprised that I had taken a job, saying, "I thought you were a man of leisure." I had never thought of myself that way before, but I am now. After I described to him the job of a substitute campus supervisor (which includes being paid for reading, because depending on how many students there are to take to the office, there's a lot of downtime), he said it sounded like something out of "Office Space," and at first, I didn't understand. But as the day went on, I realized he was right. I have the same type of job Peter Gibbons had at the end of the movie, a job he loved. And I'm just as happy as he was.

The day skyrocketed when I went into room 624 to pick up a kid to take to the office at the request of one of the assistant principals. As I turned to walk out, I heard a "hello" from the left side of the room, and it was one of the girls in the class. As I walked out, another waved to me. Now, I know I lost a lot of weight, from 260 lbs. to 208 so far. But I didn't expect this, and I was totally floored and flattered. And I love it. Me, considered attractive by others. Those girls are out of my legal jurisdiction, so I'm obviously not going to pursue anything further, but now that I've impressed that demographic, I'm going to work on my own.

The wonderful feeling I got from that instance stretched into the next day, Saturday, the next greatest day of my life. Meridith and I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain, because they were having a toy drive in which you donate a toy or two worth $15, and you get free admission. We waited at the front gate, deciding to stand instead of sitting near one of the trees around the entrance, and it was easy because with all the weight I lost, my feet don't hurt anymore if I walk great lengths, as I did during the day, or if I stand for nearly an hour, as I did then. Meridith and I had a great conversation with one of the hosts wandering the entrance talking to people, and we talked about the cheerleaders who had come to the park to perform in competition at the Golden Bear Theatre, about how I'd be more impressed, and probably more aroused, if those cheerleaders could do the routines in heels, and also about the park itself, about the recent changes in management, the upcoming new rides, and the re-theming of Superman: The Escape. Great guy. Meridith told me that he had said that he's on Facebook, and I looked last night, but couldn't find him. I'll look again later today.

Our first ride at the park was on Ninja, which immediately became my new favorite ride, because it felt almost orgasmic with the sharp turns and drops. At the end, I asked out loud, "Does anyone have a cigarette?" I tried that line again at the end of Viper later in the day, foreplay before going on Ninja for a fourth time, and someone laughed. Those forces on Ninja feel soooooooo good. I hadn't been that happy in months, and I told Meridith later, not only because of the ride, "Why shouldn't I live my life like I'm at a Disney theme park? We don't know why the hell we're here, so let's do as much as possible that we love."

Before Ninja, we went to the Skytower, which now is a museum of sorts, with pieces of rides from Magic Mountain's past, as well as photos of what it had decades ago, and found that it wasn't open yet. After three times on Ninja (I appreciate good loving at that near-late hour of the morning), we went back to the Skytower and found it was open. I had a great conversation with the female elevator operator about how boring the Santa Clarita Valley is, and immediately expressed my sympathies when she said that she lives in Antelope Valley. I couldn't feel any sparks between us (I'm always looking, but subtly), but she was nice. On the way down, I talked to a blonde-haired girl working the elevator, and we got to talking about New Year's Eve. I told her that it's fun on New Year's Day to go on YouTube and see the videos people shot at the park on New Year's Eve. She said she had already asked her boss for that day off, and I told her that now, she'd better be really on top of it. Nice girl as well, but I liked the first one better. Unfortunately, I didn't see her outside of the elevators before we headed elsewhere.

During the day, Meridith and I got to talking about our futures and....I'm seriously thinking about having kids one day. I'm not ready for it right now. But you know, it would be nice to introduce a new generation to all the books and movies I have loved. And I learned some surprising things from her that were probably not brought to me because before the forced weight loss, and during all the years before, I had been vehement about remaining single.

First, Meridith told me that if I had kids, she would spoil them rotten. After our fourth ride on Ninja, as it was beginning to get dark, I jokingly asked her to be specific about what she would spoil them with, so I could save money. Not to be a cheapskate, mind you, but I was just curious. I told her that if there were any books involved, the kid(s)'s dad would probably steal them away from them. I know though that boy or girl, or boys or girls (one or two; I'm not sure yet, but three and four seem like too much to me), they're going to be a lot smarter than I am, and that's not scary unsettling, but just scary and amazing. I started reading when I was 2 years old; the next generation's probably going to have a bookcase installed in the womb, and coming out having read all of Dickens and probably many of Roald Dahl's books, too.

While we were sitting near the lockers in massage chairs that cost far too much to put cash into ($1 for a 3-minute massage? Nah), Meridith said that when we were at Chick-fil-A some weeks ago, Mom had seen two women at a table near us. One was a mother, and the other was her son's girlfriend, and the girlfriend had decided just like that to go out to lunch with most likely her future mother-in-law, and it was a very friendly outing, according to my mother. Apparently, Mom wants someone that's like a daughter to her. Well, that was naturally what I was thinking. Someone like that for Mom, and someone like a sister to Meridith. I wouldn't do it any other way. And I hope it'll be that way on the other side as well, because I'm not getting involved in all those tiresome "Oh, my mother-in-law is so terrible" jokes. I can be funny, but not like that.

That night, or most likely very early this morning, I had a dream in which there was another set of middle school girls, and the one comment I kept hearing above all others was that, to them, I was a "hottie." Me. That. Me? That? I'm still stunned, but I think I must have freed more than just everything I've kept inside up until late Thursday afternoon. I think I fashioned an entirely new personality for myself that I began embracing on that very day. For example, at Six Flags, I unashamedly wore a Batman cape that my sister had won at Whack-a-Mole and gave to me. I loved that about the park that day. A lot of people were wearing capes, which meant there were a lot of superheroes in the park.

This morning, I watched "Julie & Julia" with writer/director Nora Ephron's audio commentary, and I was utterly charmed by the movie all over again. And, watching Amy Adams, I determined that besides everything else I'm looking for (I want a rapport like William Powell and Myrna Loy had in "The Thin Man"), I might seek an Amy Adams-type. She's heart-wrenchingly beautiful to me.

I love my new life. And no matter what happens, no matter how many further arguments Mom and Dad have (such as the one they had a little while ago, which will continue in spurts throughout the day), I'm looking out for me. I'm the only one in this body (and it's becoming such a good-looking body, too), and I need to do what satisfies me. I partly have the job I want, I know it's the kind of job I want full-time, so now I need to seek out the other half of the life I want. For now anyway, my one true love in life is reading, but I look forward to that eventually changing.