Monday, August 30, 2004

Teeth-gnashing dreams.

I have recurring dreams in which my bottom teeth are stuck in an underbite, firmly against my top front teeth. In my dream, I am trying to get my bottom teeth/jaw out from in front of my top teeth. Generally, this results in my teeth shattering into vertical shards, because I keep trying to just pull in my lower jaw instead of opening my mouth first. From time to time my conscious self is able to tell my sleeping self to open my mouth and gently readjust my jaw - however, in my dream, I am never able to actually open my mouth more than a few centimeters. I have this dream several times a month, and I had it twice last week. It's an agonizing, painful, splintering, shattering dream, and I hate it.

Yesterday, after several hours of helping someone else haul heavy furniture and boxes out of one apartment, into the truck, out of the truck, and into the new apartment, four of us were sitting on the porch taking a break. My lower back was starting to throb, so I sprawled flat on my back on the wooden floor of the porch, limbs splayed out at every angle. The weather was lazy weather - sunny, hot, oppressively humid - and it had started to take its toll on our energy after several hours of moving. Just taking a breath was enough to start sweating. My muscles were starting to feel sore, which was a good feeling after several days of not working out, but not a good feeling when faced with the remainder of the boxes and furniture. Our sleepy conversation included pedicures, massages, and Christina Aguilera before turning to dentists. At that point, I shared with my fellow movers the recurring teeth-shattering dream, and that I'd even had the dream twice that week. One friend recommended a mouth guard for sleeping. The other friend, the subject of the move, shed some light on the situation. "When you dream about your teeth falling out, or grinding your teeth, or breaking them, those are anxiety dreams. It means you're stressed out."

I have arrived in FallTown. I moved my things into my new apartment on Saturday, although I haven't actually lived there yet because the room is still being occupied. I've been staying with my dear friend from college and that's worked out well thus far. He helped me move on Saturday, then we moved his friend all day yesterday, and the weather couldn't be worse. It's hot, sticky, gross, and unrelenting.

Mr. Maybe has been frustrating. He called me last Wed, but I missed his call. I intended to return his call on Thurs but received an email from him, stating that his car had been broken into and his cell phone stolen. So I emailed him a nice email about what I was up to, and a couple of specific questions about how he was doing. Of course, no response. I had stopped making attempts to contact him, then he decided to contact me, and then he went back to refusing to respond. It really made me angry. I sent him a short, civil text msg on Saturday night and he responded. He told me that he missed me and then called me a pet name. Out of nowhere. The pet name caused me to raise an eyebrow, as I have no idea what prompted such a pet name, but the sentiment was very much welcome. It at least made me feel as though his utter lack of communication is not because he never really liked me to begin with. It was affecting me very personally - it made me feel like he was just never very interested, and that all of the wonderful and thoughtful things he did and said were all a crock. I suppose it's a guy thing, out of sight out of mind. It appears as though he'll contact me when he's bored enough. Great. I just know better than to expect any sort of response from him. But at least he's being sincere.

I've sent out my resume to about ten very competitive public defenders. Cross your fingers. One was sent a week ago, and I've yet to hear a response. The other nine were sent on Saturday. I'm terrified that I'll be unemployed.

I was in HomeTown last week. Just about every one of my friends is either married and owns a home, married with children and owns several homes, or in a long-term relationship, thinking about marrying and owning homes. Enter single, unsettled female who is in the process of moving for the third time in three months, whose debt is the equivalent of a mortgage for a very nice house, who is not currently dating anyone, and who has no visible job prospects. Nothing like a friendly BBQ to yank out the deepest of forgotten insecurities. During a pleasant lunch with one close friend, she asked if I'd heard from College Ex-Boyfriend in recent months. It caught me off guard a bit, as I rarely think about College Ex anymore, except when he appears in my dreams as Mr. Maybe from this summer (odd, but I never gave it a second thought). So, at last week's BBQ, I asked a mutual friend how College Ex was doing. Apparently he fell head over heels in love with a beautiful young Japanese woman while on a business trip some years ago (I vaguely remember hearing about this years ago) and is in the course of arranging to be married to her (immigration paperwork and such). Friend confirms that she is, indeed, drop-dead gorgeous.

Unexpectedly and inexplicably, this information causes my stomach and chest to compress to the size of a pea, which does not prevent me from gulping down three more beers. The pressure in my head and chest did not subside, and in fact persisted for several more days. I started to believe that without being Selma Hayek or a flawless Asian beauty, I am doomed to lead a life of superficial and short-lived relationships that, in retrospect, must have meant nothing at all, as it must be likely that anyone crazy enough to date me must have just been biding his time for Selma. Add this information with aforementioned marriage / property ownership / child-bearing tidal waves crashing around my ears. At that moment, I confirmed that I had stepped into some alternate universe in which I absolutely do not fit in anywhere.

Mr. Maybe, unemployment, self-doubt, debt of a third world country, living out of my car. If a mouth guard can solve this, then I'll take two.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Closing that chapter: The Transition.

I drove all the way back to law school. I knew that I'd need some time in my house, in my neighborhood, in my town, with friends and all the comforts of home. Additionally, I needed to be at a wedding on Sunday. Originally I had planned to stay an extra week of my summer so I could interview in that area of the country, but friendship obligations arose.

My first evening back, I went with three friends to our favorite Mexican restaurant. My summer experience had re-established a confidence that law school had completely sucked out of me. I felt like I had the soft glow of a peaceful confidence about me. I was not irate, anxious, jittery, chatty, hurried, rushed, or aggressive. Just peaceful, comfortable, content. My three friends had spent the summer in another major city working for large corporate law firms. For the first time, I found it difficult to communicate with my own friends. It was as though we spoke different languages. The peaceful glow waivered. It's difficult to maintain the personal changes that emerge from such a unique experience, when everyone else's experience was so different from mine but so universally similar to each other's. I had nothing to share or contribute, the conversation and the experience weren't mine. Nevertheless, I had missed this town and these people, and I was so sad that I was going to be leaving, AGAIN. I wished that I hadn't decided to do an externship, I wished that if I had to do one, that it was back in the city of my summer, and not a new city, and certainly not with a prosecutor's office. I just wanted to be able to unpack my car into my room (which is now occupied by my sublettor), kick up my feet, and stick with what I knew.

The wedding on Sunday was beautiful, just perfect. By Monday, I was all business, I arranged meetings with professors, took care of paperwork, re-tooled my resume, paid bills. Tuesday was more of the same. By Wednesday, I was growing restless. By Thursday, I was bored out of my mind. By Friday, I decided that returning here for a week was a really good idea. I hadn't wanted to move on, thinking about how much I'd miss the town and the people. It's true, I will miss those things so much. But I had already grown as much as I could in that place with those people, and I was going away for a semester because I knew, both academically and personally, that things were growing stagnant, and it was time for me to seek a new and different experience. When I left on Saturday, I was ready to go. I'll miss my gym, my grocery store, my dearest and closest friends. I won't miss classes that don't interest me or the social life that's like the never-changing weekly menu of a school cafeteria.

Now I'm back at mom's house. Mr. Wonderful has now become Mr. Maybe. He hasn't responded to my email or calls this past week, after we exchanged a few emails in the beginning of the week. I let him know that I had booked a flight for a long weekend back in that city two months from now to take care of job stuff and visit with people that I met this summer. I particularly wanted to spend a few days of my 4 day trip with him. I haven't heard from him since. It hurts me deeply to think that this was an all-or-nothing situation for him. I told him that it would be important for me to continue to communicate with him, especially since I felt as though I'd need some support professionally, moving from criminal defense work to working for a prosecutor's office, and also since I intend to begin interviewing with public defender offices for a full-time position this fall. Perhaps Mr. Maybe needs time to chill out. Perhaps he isn't willing to communicate as much as I'd like to. Maybe I'll check in with him in another two weeks, after my first week with the prosecutor, just to debrief. Maybe I should rebook my flights so I'm not in town for 4 days, just wishing that I was with Mr. Maybe but instead just bumming around the city by myself. We'll see.

This week, I have to mail my resume to every public defender that I want to be hired by. There are quite a few. I'm stressed that I may be unemployed when I graduate, or that I'll be employed in a city that personally frightens me but offers great work experience, or that I'll just be all alone in this crazy world.

I'm still in a funk. Leaving Law School Town to come back to Hometown didn't shake it. The benefit to this funk, I suppose, is that I cannot wait to begin the next chapter on August 30th. Stay tuned for The Next Chapter: Woman of the Law Goes to Prosecutor's Office.

Closing that chapter.

My last night was Friday the 13th. I packed up my car and headed to Mr. Wonderful's house, where I was to spend my last evening in the city. Our whirlwind courtship had hit some uncomfortable moments for a few days, but by Tuesday and Wednesday, things were better than ever. We had a wonderful date on Wed night and Fri night was the night of the Final Date. The Final Date was perfect. We went to the neighborhood pub, watched the Red Sox, two of his wonderful friends joined us there. We then moved on to play pool, but first battled wits in a Connect Four tournament while we waited for a table. We played two rousing games of pool, Battle of the Sexes style. As he shit-talked me during the pool game, he leaned over and absent-mindedly kissed my cheek, mid-sentence. As we walked up the stairs to exit the bar, he put his hand on my lower back to usher me by. These small gestures of affection demonstrate a sense of intimacy and comfort that I knew I would miss so much. Our courtship had been so smooth and effortless. It was as though we had already known each other and were just working on knowing each other better.

The rest of the evening we spent by ourselves. It was comfortable and romantic. We talked, we kissed, he made me laugh. In the morning, he very sincerely and abruptly told me that he was going to miss me. He assured me that we'd see each other again sometime. And then I drove away without looking back.

As I realized I was driving down this major avenue, past all of these landmarks, for the last time; that this was the last time I was going to drive away from his house; that this was the last time I'd be in this city; that this was the last time I'd see my wonderful clients again - I cried. All the way down the road, through every stoplight, past every landmark. I sobbed loudly, shoulders shaking, tears streaming, wondering why I couldn't just stay, just as I was, in that city, with that job, and those people? I was exactly where I wanted to be, and I was ready to stop moving on.

After about five minutes, I arrived at the highway. I wiped my tears, sniffed a few times, squared my shoulders, and moved on.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Moving on.

I'm puttering around by room trying to get my things packed. I hate packing my room, I hate packing my car, I hate not knowing what box to look in for a shirt or deodorant. There's a large lump in my throat as I collect my toiletries from the bathroom shelves, putting each item in its respective bag; as I choose which clothes go in the suitcase and which go in the irretrievable rubbermaid container; as I pull the pictures of old friends off the walls, regretting that I have not one photo for new friends this summer. I can't imagine what it's going to be like when I wake up and don't send Mr. Wonderful his morning commute text message on my way back from the gym; I can't imagine what it's going to be like when I can't spend my day running around the youth detention center, talking to the residents, representing them in hearings, teaching street law, calling attorneys, courts, social workers.

When I moved down here, I was sad to leave friends but excited at what was next. As I move away, I'm only sad. Quite unintentionally, I built a life for myself here. I'm looking at spending another 13 weeks living out of suitcases and my car, making new connections, and then leaving again. Then I'll spend another 13 weeks at my familiar house and law school, but having not seen anyone in 9 months. Then I'll study for the bar somewhere for the summer. Then I don't even know where I'll be a year from now. Will I even have a job? Will I ever find anyone that I adore as much as I adore Mr. Wonderful?

I have to wonder what force in the universe has given me such a perfect summer, just to take it all away. If only my life could go on just as it is now. I do miss my dearest friends terribly, but I'm so tired of constantly moving on.

I am so. angry.

Romney cries injustice, blames public defenders.

The economics of being a public defender.

I cannot even believe that the governor would blame the public defenders for not being able to afford to take assigned counsel cases, and THEN blame the release of the accused on the public defender. This makes me hella angry.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I promise I'll resume blogging soon. I have a lot of thoughts to share about my summer experience, particularly the past 3 weeks, but don't have the time right this second to go into it.

In the meantime...

You're The Sound and the Fury!

by William Faulkner

Strong-willed but deeply confused, you are trying to come to grips
with a major crisis in your life. You can see many different perspectives on the issue,
but you're mostly overwhelmed with despair at what you've lost. People often have a hard
time understanding you, but they have some vague sense that you must be brilliant
anyway. Ultimately, you signify nothing.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Sunday, August 08, 2004


I'm alive. I've been spending all of my free time engaged in this torrid, whirlwind affair with Mr. Wonderful. Clearly this will terminate with my departure on Saturday. We've been spending almost every day after work together - which I generally think is an unhealthy habit, and I think we might be spending too much time together for how well we know each other. Something odd happened between us yesterday - no specific event or occurrence, but there was a distance and today he cancelled plans on me. We've tentatively rescheduled for tomorrow, but here I am suddenly with free time and no one to spend it with.

I'm pretty upset about it, but there's nothing that can be done. This has been quite a whirlwind indeed.

See you all in a week.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Why this guy is unbelievable.

He painted his room orange yesterday. Orange happens to be my favorite color.

He and his housemates have two kittens. The kittens love him best and hang out in his room.

His friends feel like friends I've known forever. By far the best people I've met all summer long.

I feel like we've known each other forever already.

He has two really hot tattoos and a nipple piercing.

He is a public defender and is incredibly passionate about his job.

He loves that I curse and is amused when I get worked up.

He loves the Red Sox.

He is incredibly sweet, thoughtful, considerate, and witty.