Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Squeaky Flip Flops

I don't know if it's a universal thing, or if it's just the guys in my house. 
They have specific times of the day when they suck.  For the small one, it's pretty much whenever he doesn't get his way.  He's a teenager, and when you tell him "no", his teenager-y brain produces some sort of hellish hormone that tells him to make everyone else around him miserable.  And he does it.  Well. 
For the grown-up one, his "suck" is normally all concentrated into one big ball of suck during the morning.  I won't mince terms, here...he's an ass.  A big, giant ball of suck and ass.  A suck-ass.  He's grumpy and tired, and everything he says and does is pinned to that excuse, and there's just no getting around it. 
About 90% of the time, there will be an apology later in the day, followed by the "you know how I am in the morning" excuse, phrased within some glob of manipulated nouns and adjectives, that's supposed to make "this time" a little different from "the last time." 
I hate it. 

This morning, I hated it enough to get up out of my chair, put on my jacket, and walk out the front door, away from the huge, suck-ass argument we were having, that would have no resolution, because I wasn't arguing with my husband, but instead, a great big suck that takes his place every goddamn morning.  Fuck that guy.  

Unbrushed, wild hair in every direction, tears blowing across my cheeks, splattering my glasses, and looking like a crazy person. 

I skipped the park next door.  It's always populated, and I didn't want people.  I wanted to be left alone.  I wanted to be allowed to be angry, to hate the stupid, suck-ass person who replaces my husband every goddamn morning, and to cry in public like a weirdo without worrying about looking like a weirdo.  So I kept walking...

I found funny little secrets that I never would have found, had I not left my house this morning on foot. 

I discovered that even tho I'm mildly disheartened at the city's decision to chop down the wild berry bush at the park, there are so many more hiding in unexpected places to take its place. 
I found the perfect hidey-hole to make out like a horny teenager with my secret lover...should I ever acquire a secret lover.  I also discovered that it's full of trash, and (I very much suspect) the urine of a bunch of teenage boys.  (Note to future, hypothetical-secret-lover; we might need to carefully consider said secret make-out spot.)

A little further up the road, two little chihuahuas were signaling my arrival, and warning me of their viciousness as I approached.  The furry one took a nip at one of my exposed ankles,  while the little squeaky one yapped frantically from the safety of the yard.  I stopped and tried to make friends, but neither one of them were having it, and they both disappeared like little furry rockets when they heard the neighbor approaching with a noisy trash can dragging behind her.  Weird little things. 

My flip flops squeaked under my feet as I walked uphill. 

I found myself face to face with a man who appeared from his backyard, and found myself unable to take my eyes off of him as I walked past.  No thought to my crazy, wind-blown hair, or the fact that I'd left the house crying, in my yoga pants and pajama shirt.  Just an expressionless taking-in of him, without regard to what he might be thinking of me.  I wanted to see him, and so, I saw him. 
He jumped into his big redneck truck which was at least four-thousand feet from the ground to the driver's seat, and fired up the engine as I rounded the corner. 
Walking past his house, I was suddenly smacked square in the nose with the most powerful, fragrant honeysuckle bush I have ever smelled in my 33 years on this planet.  I breathed so deeply that I got dizzy, and forced myself to keep walking, rather than stopping to bury my entire head in the bushes. 
I was briefly reminded of one of the games I used to play with my weird step-sister.  "Feed the Queen," we called it.  The Queen wasn't allowed to move.  She laid with her head in the other girl's lap, and was fed, usually honeysuckle nectar, by the rest of us...usually my step sister, and her creepy next-door friend.  I hated being The Queen.  My goddamn nose would itch so bad, and I wasn't allowed to scratch it, because The Queen wasn't allowed to move.  Those little bitches would giggle while I squirmed, twitching my nose, and declaring "I'M The Queen, you're supposed to do what I say!  Scratch my nose!"  They wouldn't.  But I never moved...

That four-thousand-foot-tall redneck truck was coming up behind me now. 
Yes.  Come up and get me.  Snatch me up from the street.  Yank me up out of my shoes, and stuff me into your giant piece of shit truck.  Take me back to your crappy house and throw me into the hole you've dug in your basement, where you'll feed me stale bread and dirty water for weeks, until I'm Stockholm-ed to you.  Like a weird, day-blind stinking basement pet.  And I promise I will love it.  I will love you.  That'll teach that husband of mine to act like an asshole...

He drove on.  Obviously. 
And anyway, my kidnapper doesn't drive a big obnoxious lifted truck, with stupid redneck stickers in the window.  My kidnapper doesn't cut the sleeves off of his dirty T-shirts, or wear backwards baseball caps, and say "hey, ya'll, I seen a UFO while I's feedin' the cows." 
My kidnapper is much more Hannibal Lector, and his suits are always freshly, and professionally cleaned and pressed.  He's polite, with proper diction and grammar.  When he does drive, it's certainly not some shitty Larry-The-Cable-Guy truck.  And my bread absolutely won't be stale.   I mean, the nerve of that kid, offering me stale bread. 

On the way home, I passed the house of one of the lovers of my mother's fourth ex husband.   I found her driveway littered with garbage, and wondered why that seemed to be such a fitting metaphor for the women in my step-father's wake.  What the hell was so special about him, anyway?  Egotistical liar on a sociopath level is a *very* kind way to describe him. 

Of course, this leads to thoughts of my mother.  My least favorite thoughts in the whole world.  If thoughts were poop, thoughts of her would be the maggots in the poop.  And she's in town right now, which makes me loath her even more.  Don't ask me why proximity makes a difference.  It just does.  The closer she is to me, the more I can feel her DNA writhing and wiggling inside of me, creating this strange, temporary insanity that I can't ever seem to explain.  Her genes literally make me crazy...

Then, like a rainbow-colored hug from the universe, I see a sign stuck in the ground advertising lawn service or something, and the owners share the same last name as a friend of mine, to whom I have recently found myself drawing very near, and finding much love and support.  Thoughts of my mother sailed away, and thoughts of my friend swooped in and surrounded me, as my squeaky shoes and I plodded up the hill, smile spread across my face. 

I rounded the corner to my house, trying to figure out what kind of environment I would walk into when I arrived home.  I'd been gone for nearly an hour and a half, and it was good for me.  I doubted it had been good for him, and certainly wasn't looking forward to coming home to it. 
No car in the driveway.  Mr. Grumpy Suck Ass had gone to work.  I had four missed calls on my phone.  And a voice-mail saying that he'd tried to find me, but couldn't.  Big, big happy.

It isn't as tho I have never taken a walk around my own neighborhood before.  I have.  Lots of times.  Normally, however, it's with some destination in mind, or because I feel I "need the exercise."  I've never just walked before.  Just to walk away. 

I had a therapist tell me once just to "walk away" from an argument when it was too heated, and obviously going to get nowhere.  It isn't in my nature to do that.  I *need* to fix things that are broken in that way.  After today, tho, I might just start walking the fuck away from this nastiness the moment it starts in the morning. 
At this rate, I will be a waif by summertime. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Pantomimed C


"You pantomimed a giant "C", rather than speak the word out loud in front of my kids.  Maybe you aren't ready for people to know about it yet, or maybe you just didn't want to scare them. 

I'm scared.  I wonder if you are. 
I wonder what will happen next.  If you will accept the treatment they offer.  If you will just let it happen.  Whatever your decision, I won't judge you for either, because honestly, I can't fathom what I would decide. 

I wonder if you miss him, and this is the universe, facilitating your way back to him. 
Of course you miss him. 

I can't help but feel such guilt for the way our relationship has changed.  It's dumb.  Because you're dying?  It doesn't change the fact that you were cruel.  It doesn't change anything, really.  And truly, you were dying all along.  We all are.  Now there is just a grotesque, malignant word pinned to it.   A foreboding word that promises imminent doom.  The pantomimed C. 

I hate it.  I hate the lump in my throat that the lumps in your belly are creating.  I hate the finality of it all, and the sickening sensation I feel tingling in my neck when I think about losing you.  I hate the friendly and tolerant way we have begun to accept one another, instead of the complete immersive love it seemed we always had before.  And now it seems you are another being completely, because of this foreign thing inside you.  It's taking you from me, and there is nothing I can do about it. 

The world was insanity when he left.  What will happen when you are gone?" 

I wrote this the day she told me.  Some things are more certain now.  And some things have larger question marks attached to them. 
I love her.  I fear greatly for her.  I feel sorrow over the great pain she's in a lot of the time.  Guilt for thinking "the universe put the cancer into the wrong belly..."  Oh yeah, I go there.  It's not pretty. 
Scathing hatred for the medical community, and my personal feelings about their "treatments." 
Back and forth between thinking she will live on forever like some sort of earthly goddess, and thinking "she will die within the next few months." 
I'm a spectrum. 

But I don't matter.  No amount of wishing will debilitate those tumors.  They are there.  Housed warm and safe where she once so lovingly cradled her babies.  Nurtured and warm.  And no amount of my fear and worry for her will cure her.  No amount of my fret will ease her pain. 
They are there. 

Whether we avoid the word, or not.  

Friday, May 6, 2011


It all goes forward. 
Whether we are actively aware of it, or whether we aren't, it all goes forward.  Constantly. 

I suppose I didn't pay attention to it before. 
My kids grew, but it was in small bursts, small enough that I shrugged it off, made those old stand-by comments (oh, they're growing like weeds!  I can't believe it's time for X birthday already!  Didn't I just give birth last week?)  But truly, even their growth spurts weren't enough to slap me into reality. 

No one died, not really.  I was briefly shattered when my grandfather died, but he didn't stay gone long, and I moved forward. 
No one got sick, not really. 
So there was just no reason, I suppose, to digest the fact that things were going forward, every second, every day. 
My face even seemed to stay the same. 

And then, like a gunshot ripping thru the silence, my son is six feet tall.  The summer-time freckles on my face have turned into permanent age-spots.  My grandmother is bloated with cancerous tumors.  My girlfriend is no longer a "girlfriend."  I have barely spoken to one of my best friends in seven months, and I've removed several more from my life completely. 
I am 50 pounds heavier than I was two years ago, with greater confidence than I have carried in 33 years. 
I am certain of things that I knew were completely untrue, just months ago.  And what I knew to be true not long ago, now leaves me scratching my head.  

I miss my girlfriend.  But, it was lovely. 

I miss my friend, terribly.  But I know that people grow apart.  And it's ok. 

I don't miss the people I've dumped.  But I wish things were better for them. 

I miss my miniature-self.  But I know that this fat ass is no better than a skinny one.  

And it all keeps going forward, regardless of what I say, or do. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Hate You, Sunday

I've got two small people of my own, so I can't really avoid the title, or the few stray people who don't really "know" and who will inevitably toss a well-meaning "happy Mother's Day" in my direction. 

I have a general distaste for commercial holidays in general, and Mother's Day is no exception.  We can't just instantly deserve praise and presents because we squeeze out babies.  It shouldn't work that way, and having expectations attached to a specific day every May simply because we reproduced is kind of crap if you ask me.  And I know you didn't, but you're here, and you're reading, so I'm telling you.  So there.  That kind of praise and recognition should be given when a mother is truly a mother.  When she devotes herself to being a mother.  When she dives in head first, and wears that word...not because she diddled some stranger in a parking lot in a drunken stupor, and shat out a baby nine months later because she couldn't afford an abortion.  There's a difference in being a mother, and making babies.

Aside from that, there's that whole personal "mother issue" thing of mine, nagging in the background.  Like one of those wiry hairs that gets stuck in your shirt, and just kind of pokes at you all day, until you're nearly nuts, and ready to strip naked in public to get rid of the fucker. 

She's not there.  And when she is, I wish she weren't.  Ever. 
What's left in her place is a big, gaping hole.  A stub where a limb should be. 
And every year, there is an entire day with her name pinned to it.  And I hate it.  In my eyes, and in my experience, she was the equivalent of  the woman who diddled a stranger in a parking lot.   And then, did little else. 
I successfully ignore her every year, and have done so since I stopped speaking with her on a regular basis.  It's not hard, and I'm not bothered, not really.  Just the nagging reminder...
she isn't there.  She wasn't there.  Just a lot of really weird shit that I have tried to put into the hole she and my father have left.  

But, I am a big girl.  We will move forward, as always, and ignore this day (as is the unspoken tradition in our house.)  Maybe we'll buy a potted plant for our Gran, and make that our new tradition. 

And maybe I will sit a moment and be grateful that, for now, she's all alone, and I'm not.  :p
Then, maybe I'll grow up a little on Monday.