I've been wanting to post for awhile now, but was unable to figure out what I wanted to say. I finally lost the Pat Patton 5 (see prev. posts) and while it felt great, it must have been a true release because there was no sense of exhilaration and the poignant post I'd planned no longer seemed relevant.
It's strange because all emotions about this are gone...which, is exactly what I hoped, but I suppose I never truly believed it would happen!
I've written in the past about our rocky teen-aged love/hate relationship and I've made statements about how we felt about one another. It occurred to me that it's wrong for me to make any statements of how Pat felt for me...I'll never really know. My friendship with Pat is no longer important, but it was important to me then.
We were never boyfriend and girlfriend, just friends with benefits long before the term was popular and long before I realized that I was way too fragile for that kind of arrangement.
It's possible that it's a period of history significant to me and not to him. As one friend put it, "You may not be a blip on his radar at this point". I'm not at all sad when I think that's probably true.
Those of you who were actually there may remember the not so fond memories of our drama, but the negatives seem less important to me now. It's also important for me to say that I haven't spent years pining for Pat or stuck in the past...but, he was a significant person to me for a short period of time when I was very young and much more vulnerable than I knew at the time.
More importantly, in our own private way, we were friends and I did love him.
So in the interest of closing the book on Pat Patton and of getting started on the next five pounds, I'll close with a few of the positives.
I belong to an Artist's Way group and a couple of years ago one of our assignments was to make a Valentine for a past love. I'd never really thought about loving Pat...mostly because it seemed silly since we were so young, but when I started making the Valentine for someone else...Pat just kept popping in and I realized that in my own way I did love him and as young as we were, he was probably my first love. So, I went with it and made my Valentine for Pat as a way to remind myself that I did have a few positive memories of him.
- ee cummings: Pat and ee cummings could have been twins...at least that's what I thought until a few years ago when Michele sent me his eighth grade picture. What? This child was not the man I remembered? It sounds crazy, but I never saw Pat as he really looked, I only saw him as ee cummings (they both smoked and share the same zodiac sign). This might explain why I romanticized our drama! Though, if you look at his picture compared to ee cummings long enough, I swear you'll see a resemblance!
- I've already written of how bath and body issues and feeling unclean were a big deal to me, so you regular readers will appreciate how much I appreciated Pat telling me that my neck and skin always smelled so nice.
- On the same vein, before Pat, I'd never had a haircut in a trendy salon before...and to me, The Mad Cutter seemed trendy. Pat and a friend came with me and waited while I had my hair cut. The stylist raved about how thick my hair was and how the natural color was just perfect etc... I could barely contain my delight. Pat was listening and later, as just the two of us walked home, he was quiet and said,"You do have nice hair and it's so obvious that you shouldn't be so happy to get compliments." In an extremely defensive and loud tone I said, "Well, I happen to like compliments!" Pat stopped walking, put his hands on my shoulders and said,"You have pretty hair and I like it." To many of you that won't sound like a big deal, but coming from a fourteen year-old boy who I regularly wanted to set on fire or at least decapitate because of his cruelty, it was a peace offering. We were nice to one another...for a day.
- One day I was crying and overwhelmed by the mess in my room and couldn't even see where to begin cleaning. I was about to abandon the effort, but Pat came over, surveyed the mess and told me that if I promised to keep it nice he'd clean it "just this once". He did. My room looked amazing and he even managed to string up some stuffed animals an old boyfriend had won for me at a carnival into some sort of makeshift mobile in the middle of the room, which was a funny creative touch. I freaked when I saw him sorting piles of my clothes including bras and underwear and he said, "Laura, if you want my help, you have to just let me do it and stop worrying about me seeing bras when you've got about two hundred candy bar wrappers on the floor." OH GOD! I left the room and let him work, only coming in when he called for more garbage bags. My friend Michele was not exactly a Pat fan at the time (she'd been his main crush and rejected him months before), but when she saw my orderly room she was blown away and said, "Laura, this is why I can't hate him...it's like he's a jerk, but then he's so nice. Do you think he'll be nice at school now?" I said, "Nope". I was right, he was a jerk, but then, I didn't keep my room nice either. I guess I showed him.
- I can't remember exactly what it was about, but all of us (a group of friends) feared for my friend Michele's safety...she'd been the target of a rough group of boys who talked openly of raping her and dragged her kicking and screaming into some bushes to prove it, but then let her go. While it makes no sense to me now, we didn't feel there was anyone we could report them to or maybe it just never occurred to us and we felt we had to handle it. It was tense. Suddenly I had some clarity on the issue and came up with an idea. The girls left and Pat said, "Laura, you're like Alice...you always know what to say to us. You get hyper too, but then you calm yourself and everyone down." I found the following description of Alice and while of course, I had my hysterical moments (Sandi can vouch for that-she was my Alice), I think both lines were true:
"Alice was the emotional center of the diner and often the voice of
reason. Even Mel looked to her for advice, as she was most level
headed, even though he tended to dismiss her as a "broad" just like the
other waitresses. Alice often had to help diffuse the tension whenever
someone (usually Mel) would make a ruckus."
"However, she was also passionate enough to get into situations she would later regret."
- Pat caught on very early that I was a much happier person when I didn't have a boyfriend. He told me (as a friend), "Laura, when you don't have a boyfriend you seem happier. Why do you even need a boyfriend? You start acting nervous and jumpy." Wow, he had identified and tapped into a pattern that was just developing...I didn't listen, but wish I had. It was true and became more true with each new boyfriend...I seemed to lose a bit of my identity and become nervous about how I'd keep them. Having boyfriends meant angst/boredom/drama and being free meant a break from it, but at the same time, I wanted to be liked and sadly, I needed the attention.
Of course there are horrible Pat moments to remember, like the worst nickname ever (Thanks to Roberto for attempting to erase it from the chalk-board before I could see it). I dished it out too, but in a different way...my abuse of Pat was on the level of his abuse of me, but more private and caustic...hard insults usually in the form of a casual question and designed to fuel his insecurities. It's all old now and I prefer to stay with the positive. I have no clue where Pat is or what he's doing, but I do hope he's happy.
OK...so on to the next five pounds. Well, these pounds are different. I have not lost any more in almost a month, but have not gained. I've been pretty religious about my calories and exercise, so I'm just trying to ride it out. I think, though, that these next five pounds are going to be named Faith...because I need a show of faith to keep me on track. I like instant results (as most of you know) and will feel much better when I hit 235. Let's say I'll lose five pounds to restore my faith!
And on an ee cummings note...Mark and I have a special ee cummings connection that I won't get into here, but I have him to thank for introducing me to both my favorite Woody Allen film and my favorite ee cummings poem.
Oh, and by the way...I am newly enchanted with poetry of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda...interesting, how his poems remind me of ee.