Sunday, April 29, 2012

This Isn't Everything You Are

I don't know what triggers it. 

The song on my iPod maybe.


One second I'm standing at my sink, looking out the window and washing a pan.

Wait, no.

It wasn't a pan.  I had filled the pan with soap and water and left it to soak.  It was the beaters for the mixer; I was rinsing the beaters for the mixer.

And suddenly the singer is singing:

And in one little moment, 
It all implodes
This isn't everything you are.

And so it does.  It all implodes.

These tears come fast, there is none of that build up where you try to steer yourself away, there is none of that filling of the eyes and then the blinking and the spilling over, none of those solitary warning tears traveling slowly down the cheeks.

These tears are different, they feel like they are crouched, ready to pounce at a moment's notice, just waiting for the smallest crack to launch themselves through.  They come with a sob, they come with the kind of noises you only make when you're alone in the house, and suddenly I've dropped the beaters into the pan, feeling the splash of soapy water on my face, and I brace my hands on the side of the sink because there's nothing left to do now but FUCKING FEEL IT.

Have you ever given in to sadness, to hurt, and JUST. FUCKING. FELT. IT?

Because if you have, then you know what happens next.

In a moment, bracing against the sink won't cut it, the sink won't hold me up, and I know I'm going to need a proper place to collapse in 3...2...1...

The hallway.

I'm on my knees.

I lean my forehead into the rug and let the tears stream straight down.  I slam my hands against the floor and let out some sort of foreign noise that I would never want another human to hear, yet that sounds so true to my own ears that I don't even feel embarrassed for myself. I give myself back over to the whole thing, let it have it's way with me until I feel that my ribs will crack from the heaving of all this crying and that I might never, ever be able to stand up again because I am so exhausted. So worn.  So beat.  

Some time has passed.  It could be three minutes, it could be seventeen minutes, it could be one hundred minutes.  I don't really know.  There's a new song coming from the kitchen.

You stand there in your heartache,
Waiting on some beautiful boy to
To save you from your old ways...

And I'm not sure if he's saying own ways or old ways, but it doesn't matter really because my own ways ARE my old ways and, anyway, it occurs to me that-

No one is coming.
No one is coming to save you.
So you'd better FUCKING start swimming, because you're drowning, girl.
In a big, big way.

I stay in that spot on the floor for a while, not crying, not waiting, not standing.  Just breathing.  Just being.

And then I get up.  I go back into the kitchen.

I turn the iPod off.

And I finish washing the beaters for the mixers. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sharp Corners, Jagged Edges

"What does it matter anymore?" he asks.

"It just does," I answer.

"But it's a day that only means something if you're still married.  And you're not.  Well, legally you are,'re not."

I'm quiet, at a loss for words.  At a loss for the right words.

It's my first wedding anniversary since separating.  It has been almost a year since we made the decision, and yet, for weeks, this date has been taunting me from the calendar that hangs on the wall in my kitchen.

He's wrong about it not mattering, and I know it even as he points out that I've been, up until this conversation, a logical thinker.  But this, this is not logical.  Logic, reason; they play no part. 

It's all emotion.  I'm all emotion.

Because no matter where I stand today, all those years ago, I stood beside someone.  We made a home.  We made a family.  We made a life. 

Taking that apart, no matter how right you believe it to be, no matter how hard you try to work together to make it easy and gentle, is hard, painful work.  There's no hiding from that.  It's a process wrought with sharp corners and jagged edges. 

It hurts. 

You mourn. 

You move on.

But you mourn.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chips and dips and sips, oh my!

PEOPLE are coming to my house today.  

PEOPLE, as in plural, as in more than one.

It has been so long since I've fed people who are not 6 and 8, I forget what other grown-up humans like to eat.

I'm guessing NOT dinosaur chicken nuggets.

Or macaroni and cheese.  Or hot dogs.


So I've settled on dips.

Everyone likes a dip, whether it be a hot dip, cold dip, cheesy dip, or chocolate dip.  

Then there are the instruments for dipping.  You can dip potato chips, corn chips, specially-made-for-dip-scoopy chips, organically-grown-maize-ground-between-two-sun-baked-bricks-(made-from-an-elderly-Native-American-woman)-by-Stan-The-Farmer-of-Huntington-Iowa chips.*  

And, I suppose, some people sometimes dip carrots and other stupid healthy vegetabley type things, too. 

Of course, my other option is to just blow all of my money on wine and beer and get my friends so sloshed that they don't remember that I never ACTUALLY provided them with any sort of food whatsoever, dip or otherwise.

Think I'll go with that. 


*Yeah, sorry Farmer Stan, but your chips cost like 5 times more than everyone else's, so it's Tostitos for my friends today.  


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Letter From The Easter Bunny

Dear Child,

You may have noticed your Easter basket looks a little sparse this year when compared to years past.  After careful consideration, I have decided that you are old enough to understand the truth about The Easter Bunny's financial situation, particularly because it directly relates to the contents of this year's Easter basket.

You may not be aware of this, but times are tough where I'm from.  Santa had to lay off almost 1/3 of the toy-making division of elves and word on the street is that he's in negotiations to outsource all Letter Reading Operations overseas.  The Tooth Fairy has rolled back her payouts to 1998 prices.  Even the Leprechauns have stopped leaving gold under rainbows; they need it to cover rising fuel costs.  I'm not the only one in the industry implementing widespread cutbacks in production.

On a personal note, the economic downturn of the last few years has hit The Easter Bunny even harder than some of my colleagues.  I currently find myself upside down in my mortgage.  I've tried to refinance my hole, but the banks say it is barely worth the ground it's dug in.  Also, I'm not sure how much you know about the reproductive habits of my species, but suffice to say, your pal The Easter Bunny writes a lot of child support checks each month.

I mean A LOT.

Now that you understand the financial hardships I have been facing, I would like to direct your attention to the contents of your Easter basket.

You may note that, in years past, the bottom of your basket was lined with fake, plastic grass.  This grass was formerly made by Santa's elves as part of a summer jobs program which allowed unemployed elves the opportunity to secure off-season work.  However, over the last few years, the elves have begun to take production underground and are now charging by the ounce.  The Easter Bunny does not buy grass by the ounce.  Therefore, you will note that the grass in your basket this year is from your front yard (specifically, that now-empty patch by the mailbox).  The color and lushness of the grass is not my doing; you can thank/scold your parents and their attention to lawn care for that.

Perhaps you are thinking, "The Easter Bunny has forsaken me!  There are no toys in my basket!"  Not so, child, not so.  If you dig through the grass clumps of your basket, you will find that I have included a Classic Toy for your entertainment.  While it may appear to be a simple rock, let me reassure you that many a child has found great joy in such a gift.  This is an open-ended toy; the possible ways to use it are endless.  You can throw it, catch it, kick it, look at it, lick it (if you haven't done this yet, rest assured, you will), paint it, hide it, seek it, collect it, drop it, hold it.  The limits are only as narrow as your imagination.

Lastly, there is the issue of candy.  In retrospect, I admit that leaving you with only half of a chocolate bunny and a stale, headless peep was perhaps a poor choice on my part.  I spent a considerable amount of time trying to decide which end of the bunny would be less traumatic:  only a head or only a bottom.  I see now that neither was a particularly attractive option.  Please accept the spattering of black jelly beans as a token of my most sincere apology.

I hope that I have helped clear up any confusion surrounding the state of this year's Easter basket and that you do not mistakenly interpret it's contents as a statement on your morality/behavior these last 12 months.  Your understanding is greatly appreciated.


The Easter Bunny