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Zoe Books a Flight to Florida & Sophia Books Passage on the Ship of Indifference as the Sublime Consumers of the Lightness of Being

March 25th, 2010 3 comments

March 25th

Please send your ADVICE to two single women, whose lives are suddenly crashing in chaos! Zoe and Sophia, BFFs for thirty years, find themselves unexpectedly cast into the world of re-creation and redefinition after decades of being faithful wives to George and Marty. They need advice from anyone willing to help them. For instance, what advice would you give your BFF if she asked, “WHY DID I LET MARTY COME HOME? WHY DID I OPEN MYSELF UP TO BEING REJECTED ALL OVER AGAIN?” Any advice you can give to Sophia would be helpful, but this is what Zoe said.

Holy shit was Sophia’s first thought as she awoke. What am I doing? Over and over the words drummed in her head. Sophia lay in bed next to her husband Marty, from whom she’d been estranged for six months, since he admitted his affair. Several days before, Sophia put up no resistance to his request to come home. Marty found Sophia dancing with Zoe to Latino music at a restaurant in Portsmouth one night. He simply proclaimed that Sophia and he belonged together, and that was enough to convince her to reconcile with him.

For the first few days, their reunion was magical. Marty was kind, affectionate, attentive and apologetic. Sophia was forgiving, trusting and loving. And of course, the sex was amazing. Together, they read a book called After the Affair by Janice Abrahms Spring. They knew a blueprint was crucial to help them work through the pain of Marty’s betrayal, discover why the marriage had broken, and to heal the hurt of their animosity toward each other in the preceding months. Marty collected his belongings from his girlfriend Fugly’s house and told Sophia that he’d broken it off with her. Sophia made an appointment for them to see a therapist.

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Zoe & Sophia Dance to Hot Latino Music and Confront Scary Places as the Sublime Consumers of the Lightness of Being

March 20th, 2010 Comments off

March 20th
Please send your ADVICE to two single women, whose lives are suddenly crashing in chaos! Zoe and Sophia, BFFs for thirty years, find themselves unexpectedly cast into the world of re-creation and redefinition after decades of being faithful wives to George and Marty. They need advice from anyone willing to help them. For instance, what advice would you give your BFF if she asked, “I’VE BEEN IN A PATTERN THAT DOESN’T FEEL GOOD. DO YOU THINK I CAN CHANGE THE PATTERN?” Any advice you can give to Zoe would be helpful, but this is what Sophia said.

One late afternoon Zoe rushed around her house, cleaning again each spotless room, deflecting thoughts that stalked her like little harpies. She was acrobatic in her ability to dodge these thoughts, but the one sure method she removed from her repertoire of agile moves was her dating websites. She was on lockdown with the laptop until she figured out why she needed connections with the faces and words of so many strangers.

Five miles down the road, Sophia sat with her elbow leaning on the dining room table, her hand cradling her head. She tried to write, but all her mind did was listen to the rain and think what a perfect metaphor it was for her life. Rain, like tears, echoed her pain, but rain was restorative, infusing life into withering plants. She knew she wasn’t a drought-blighted plant, but sometimes she felt like one.

Zoe knew she needed to talk about her thoughts when their whispers escalated to screams. So, she called Sophia.
“Hey, Sophie, what’s up?”
“Nothin. How are you?”
“Not good.”
“Why not?”
“I’m restless. Three days ago I banned myself from the dating sites and resolved not to talk to or see any of the men who keep pursuing me. It just feels so empty.”
“What made you decide to do those things?”
“I realized that whenever I feel lonely, I panic.”
“So, being by yourself scares you?”
“My skin crawls, Sophie. My stomach churns. I feel like an animal, cornered by prey, trapped in my aloneness.”
“Does staying busy help, Zo?”
“Yes.”
“What do you do with your time?”
“When I’m not at work, I drive and stare mostly, and if I’m not driving and staring, I’m trying to figure out how to sleep.”
“Oh, baby. That’s depression at its worst. Has there been anything bright in your day?”
“Jackson in Florida called. He was very kind to me, in a friendship way. He recognizes that what motivates me to fill time seeking male attention is a need to plug holes of loss and abandonment from my past, going all the way back to my father’s death when I was eight. He gets it.”
“Doesn’t Jackson count as one of the men pursuing you?”
“He’s different. I have strong feelings for him. And he’s in Florida. All we can do is talk and write since I disabled the Webcam on my laptop.”
“Is he helpful? I mean, does he offer you good advice?”
“He says I need to change my thinking. Maybe that’s the secret to solving most things we perceive as problems. Just change the way we think about them,” said Zoe.
“Did you say the secret? I haven’t finished reading The Secret, but I think the message is pretty simple, really. Change the ways we think because our thoughts have a powerful influence on what we bring to ourselves.”
“Yes, simplicity itself,” said Zoe, “but it’s not so easy to do, especially when we can’t see the trees for the forest. What’s going on with you?”
“I can’t talk about it on the phone. You wanna come over?”

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Zoe & Sophia discover The Secret, Sexy Hair, and Nutella Cheesecake on their Adventures as the Sublime Consumers of the Lightness of Being

March 14th, 2010 2 comments

March 14th
Please send your ADVICE to two single women, whose lives are suddenly crashing in chaos! Zoe and Sophia, BFFs for thirty years, find themselves unexpectedly cast into the world of re-creation and redefinition after decades of being faithful wives to George and Marty. They need advice from anyone willing to help them. For instance, what advice would you give your BFF if she asked, “AM I EMOTIONALLY BALANCED ENOUGH TO LOVE A MAN RIGHT NOW?” Any advice you can give to Sophia would be helpful, but this is what Zoe said.

Sophia awoke in the night, puzzled by the weight across her chest. At first she thought it was Tolstoy, the huge Maine Coon cat who habitually sat on Sophia as she slept, pinning her to the bed. Sophia poked at the object, didn’t feel fur and realized an arm rested on her. Only then did she remember there was a man in her bed, her new lover, Jack. She carefully lifted his arm and slipped from the covers, tiptoed to the door and went downstairs to her laptop in the dining room. She opened her Facebook page, hoping Zoe would pop up in the chat box. Sophia needed badly to chat.

But when Sophia logged in, Zoe was logged off, which sent Sophia stumbling up the rocky path to panic. Sophia asked herself what the hell she was doing. Why was she involved with a man who had cheated on his wife? Was she seeking a man like her ex, Marty, who was horrid to her, hid his affair with his predatory girlfriend Fugly, and then dropped Sophia on her head with no discussion, no kindness, no closure whatsoever?  Was Sophia setting herself up for a repeat performance of the worst emotional wreckage of her life? Just as these thoughts threatened to dispatch Sophia to Planet Nuts, she heard footsteps creak down the staircase of her 1770s home in New Hampshire. The door to the living room opened, and in the frame stood Jack, looking for Sophia. She smiled and waved shyly as he walked toward the dining room.

“Are you okay?” asked Jack.
“Yes, I’m fine. I can’t sleep, so I thought I’d write for awhile.”
“Why do I get the impression you’re not telling me the whole truth?”

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Zoe Finds “Art” & Sophia Finds a Man in a Cafe as the Sublime Consumers of the Lightness of Being

March 9th, 2010 Comments off

March 9th
PLEASE send your advice to two single women, whose lives are suddenly crashing in chaos! Zoe and Sophia, BFFs for thirty years, find themselves unexpectedly cast into the world of re-creation and redefinition after decades of being faithful wives to George and Marty. They need advice from anyone willing to offer it. For instance, what advice would you give your BFF were she to ask, “I WANT TO SPEND TIME BEING MORE CREATIVE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?”Any advice you can give to Zoe would be helpful, but this is what Sophia said.

Before Zoe opened her eyes, she tried to remember where she was. The smell was familiar. Sparky, her stroke-impaired yellow Lab had involuntarily purged enough hard turds into the dog bed to fill the air with a distinct olfactory unpleasantness. Zoe could feel the weight of her laptop on her stomach where she’d left it when she fell asleep after Webcam “dating” late into the night with Jackson in Florida.  But the angle of her head was unfamiliar because she wasn’t sleeping on her own pillows. Finally, she remembered she was in Cambridge, at the home of some old friends, who invited her to dinner and to stay over. The windstorm a few nights earlier stole the power from hundreds of thousands of people in New Hampshire, and Zoe still didn’t have hers back. Because the branch of Zoe’s company didn’t have power either, Zoe had to work out of its Boston office for a couple of days.

Zoe finally opened her eyes and smiled as she remembered the night before. Her friends were an interesting couple. He was an artist and poet originally from (Rasta) Jamaica. She was a painter and dance instructor, a New York Jew fortunate enough to have a comfortable trust fund. The couple found each other at an arts festival in the late 1970s and had been happily married ever since.

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Zoe & Sophia Plan a Night Dancing at a Club with Twenty-and-Thirty Something Sexy Women and Brave a Night without Power During a Windstorm

March 2nd, 2010 Comments off

March 2nd
Please send your ADVICE to two single women, whose lives are suddenly crashing in chaos! Zoe and Sophia, BFFs for thirty years, find themselves unexpectedly cast into the world of re-creation and redefinition after decades of being faithful wives to George and Marty. They need advice from anyone willing to help them. For instance, what advice would you give your BFF if she asked, “IN ORDER TO GROW BEYOND MY PAIN, I NEED TO FIND COMPASSION IN MY BROKEN HEART FOR THE MAN WHO BROKE IT. HOW DO I DO THAT?” Any advice you can give to Sophia would be helpful, but this is what Zoe said.

Zoe pinched her cheeks in the pre-dawn as she drove north over the Tobin Bridge in Boston. The night before she’d slept at her daughter Sara’s house, after first attending a bi-monthly group-therapy session in Cambridge.  Zoe strove hard to fill in the space left by another silent spell from Jackson in Florida. Group therapy wasn’t working too well, and dating other men wasn’t working at all.  Zoe was also chasing away her mounting alarm about Sophia’s plan to move to Florida. The only way she knew how to quash her feelings was to drive and connect, drive and connect. Spending so much time in her car, Zoe became skilled at snapping pictures,talking on her Blackberry, checking her Facebook page, and chatting live—all at the same time as she drove. She took multi-tasking seriously.

Sophia meanwhile paced the bedroom floor of her 1770s house on a lake in New Hampshire. She counted the knot holes on the pumpkin pine floor boards, the ones laid before George Washington was president. Somehow, Sophia had it in her mind that her own life was a patchwork of knotholes, like those from the old boards. Trees grew around knotholes, the ones created when limbs were ripped from their trunks. Sophia felt like an old tree, whose trunk had been ravaged by wind. But unlike a tree, which “knew” it had to grow around a knot hole to reach skyward, Sophia was stuck in the hole of her failed marriage to Marty, a man she had adored with all her heart. He broke that heart when he left her for his girlfriend Fugly, as Sophia called her.  And Sophia simply could not figure out how to grow around the hole left by his departure. The hole gaped open and dripped with pain because at the base of it, she had to admit she still loved and missed Marty, notwithstanding the profound choices he made to cut her from his life.  The ‘hole’ was also literal when it came to their financial affairs.

Fugly and Marty first met when Fugly approached Marty to become involved in a project to be financed by Fugly’s legendary father-in-law, Famous Father. Famous Father pulled out of the deal when he discovered Fugly and Marty were involved. Fugly moved out of her home, leaving behind a husband (Famous Father’s son), and their three young children. When the project crashed, Marty’s and Sophia’s financial situation plunged into a downward spiral. Sophia guessed that Fugly would be financially set for life and would ultimately take care of Marty if their relationship lasted. As it was, he lived at Fugly’s new place on the days she didn’t have child visitation, and she paid for Marty to live in a motel near her house on the days he wasn’t allowed to stay with her. (Only Sophia’s dogs were allowed to live full-time at Fugly’s). Sophia, on the other hand, couldn’t afford to pay the mortgage on the marital home. So, she had decided to move to Florida, not only to get away from Marty, but because she found a place to rent that would cost a quarter of her current mortgage payment.

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