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My Mother Named Me
"Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit. "
I make a wish, watch the rain. I love these days though I've little urge to get out of bed. I take the dogs out, stand in my sweats and that black trench coat I bought from London Fog that makes me think of Audrey Hepburn. It needs to be cleaned.
The rain here is wimpy. It lightly streaks my coat and sits on my pigtails, but isn't strong enough to wash my face or dance on my tongue the way it does in the movies. I am wishing for all kinds of things this month.
We leave early. I bring a blanket and pillow in case I get the chance to sleep in the car. I don't. The rain continues. April showers. It delays our travel but we get there eventually.
Sometimes when he's driving I will steal glances at his beautiful face. I never grow tired of it. He is dark and handsome and has no idea the power he has over me. I am admittedly vulnerable. A driver swerves past us and swears at him. I am scared for a minute and think of protecting him. I can't imagine my life without him.
I woke up this morning with his arms around me. This is one thing I love about trips together. No distractions. In his sleep he innocently loves me. I feel safe. We get up for breakfast and walk around a bit.
In the afternoon I walk around the stores by myself. I try on clothes in search of something that will change my outlook, bring me confidence. I pick up a few sale items and head back to the hotel. I have cramps and stop at their bodega for overpriced ibuprofen. They only carry sample sizes so I buy several.
The hotel is flooded. Our room has a balcony so we stand and look down at the river that's replaced the driveway. A lone security guard directs cars away. I take a few photos but even with a flash they don't turn out. The sky's gone dark with the storm.
I am not feeling great. I think I'm ready to go home though I really wanted to be here. I feel bad because we are celebrating his birthday. I am, once again, not up to snuff. We take a nap together and face each other. We lock our fingers together.
There's a tickle in my throat this morning when we head to breakfast. Maybe I'm getting a cold. I took a bath in the middle of the night to ease my cramps and lay down in bed afterwards with a damp head of hair. My mom used to warn me about doing that.
We check out and grab coffee for the road. Driving back slowly we listen to books on tape from the 99 cent store. Today it's the Kato Kaelin True Life Story. We make it home in time to pick up the dogs. I'm glad to see them.
I hate being sick. The tickle turned into a cough turned into a sore throat turned into me feeling hopeless. Too much to do today. Instead I find myself falling in and out of sleep, in and out of coughing fits. I should go to the doctor, but I won't.
Not yet. I hate going.
He goes to work while I fall into patterns of laziness that can't be helped today. Between naps I stare at the computer and google the names of old friends and enemies. Enemies. I've earned a few.
I wish I could change that.
I went to my college alumni site tonight. I don't quite know how I lost touch with so many people I cared about, but I know I've repeated that mistake throughout my life. I've lived a lot of places in the years I've had so far, redefining myself but always ending up dissatisfied. I suppose that's why I've distanced myself from places and people, hoping I can forget myself, not them. It makes for a pretty lonely existence.
He is my opposite. He has the same friends he's had all his life. I admire it and try to understand it.
He took me to the doctor today. I got a strep test and some antibiotics. We bought juice and some easy things for me to eat. Those little applesauce cups, some cream of wheat, some slices of turkey and cheese, and a few frozen dinners should make things easier. I have no energy to prepare anything.
I get home and pour a glass of orange juice and grab two applesauce cups with my medicine. The applesauce feels cool on my throat and goes down easy. I take my first two pills and lie down after half a glass of juice.
I wake up early to move the car. It's Friday so I walk the dogs downstairs, put them in the car after they have a quick pee and drive them to the Wednesday side. I can't talk. I have canceled plans for this weekend, despite the holiday, and am feeling rather sorry for myself. I have had a lifetime of being sick already and am tired of it.
When I was a little girl I would catch just about everything that was going around: strep (constantly, which let up a little after a tonsillectomy), walking pneumonia, chronic bronchitis and nosebleeds.
The dog show is on television for the second time today. I have it on mute.
I am waiting for inspiration to knock on my door, call my number, chant in my head. What am I to do with myself?
I am at a major crossroads in my life, considering a career change. I do little these days to keep the one successful career I have had going, and I see this self-sabotage (how will I pay the bills?) as a clear indication that it's time for a change.
I am tired of doing things
I don't want to do.
I look around and see little I'm dissatisfied with in my apartment. This might be a miracle. No, I tell myself, there's really nothing else I could want for right now. If I had a job to go to every day, would this be a good place to leave from? I suppose so. If I moved to a smaller place I might save $200 a month. But then what? The problem is that I don't have any money. I need a job. I don't know what to do because I see nothing that screams "Aha!" to me. Maybe I'm spoiled.
I am still sick. My throat hurts and
my lungs have given up. I have acute bronchitis. I think about my grandfather who died of emphysema. I think about my aunt who died of emphysema. I think about my uncle who died of emphysema.
I will never touch a cigarette again. This is what I get for ever touching them at all.
Right now, all I want is to breathe deep and clear. I am going stir crazy at home, missing people and conversation.
I finished my antibiotics this morning. The rest of my recovery is now a
This is embarrassing. It's cool out tonight so I throw on my jean jacket and get ready to walk the dogs. I have been mulling this over all day. What have I become? How did I get here? I have no job. No future. No identity. I am still sick. I am running out of money. I am lost. I look at the classifieds. Nothing there I would even consider. I look at grad schools. Too aimless. I keep telling myself things will change. I will change. Get an idea. Some ambition. The stuff from my 20's. Today is crap.
I sip ginger ale and consider my future. Within me there is an optimist who's afraid to come out. "Everything happens for a reason." The line screams pageant girls and reality television. I believe it though.
Maybe the reason the well's run dry is that I wanted it to. Maybe it's because it's time already. I meet with my teacher next week for some private counsel. I do not know if, but hope, she believes in me. The books would tell me it's more important that I believe in myself, but right now I need to see someone else believe.
"You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you've collected a lot of
empty yesterdays." -Harrold Hill
I'm reading a book he picked up for me after a fight last week. He didn't know I'd been looking at it just days before. I look for clues in everything. Is this my next chapter? I went out today and wandered for a while. Stopped at the bookstore and picked up the workbook in case I decide to take the teaching exam. I could lose myself in bookstores sometimes, the promise of the right words crossing my path always lures me in.
A friend emailed me about some job openings at her company. I'd told her I'd been thinking about working for the man again, dragging my butt back to an office. I checked out the company's links and sent my résumé. Ten minutes later I got a call from their h.r. person. Just like that. I am meeting them Monday. Life could be changing pretty drastically if something comes of this.
I'm so predictable. I start weighing all the bad things about taking a full time job only about thirty minutes after the phone call. I am a pessimist after all.
I suppose it's like finding out how many days you have left to live. What didn't you get done? Did you take every trip? See your loved ones as much as you should have? Laughed often? Cleaned your closet? Taken care of all of those little details that you never have time for when you're busy? Do you wish you'd taken that class? Been less fearful and more fearless? Stuck your neck out just a bit more? Run that marathon or at least made it to the gym every day? You remind yourself everything you live now is a luxury.
I just found out my last boyfriend recently got married. So did the one before that. I should leave a note behind next time for the new girl: "He's all ready. I did my best. Congratulations, you should be marrying him in no time…"
I guess that implies that I'll be leaving this relationship sometime. Like I've said before, I guess I'm a pessimist at heart. I would love it if I were the one who made him happy, fulfilled something in him, but I don't think I do. I'm pretty sure in fact. I don't seem to know how.
Woke up early and threw the dogs in the car. I picked up my slacks from the dry cleaners and filled the car with expensive gas. My interview is a few hours from now. I drive and contemplate the commute I would have. I am afraid. I want to do well but I am also scared of returning to the daily grind. Will this be it for me? Will I give up my dreams altogether for the sake of a paycheck and benefits? The thing is, I have been lost. I know what I should be doing but I'm not.
Tonight I had Thai soup for dinner followed by a nice bath in which I finished reading Po's book, "What Should I Do With My Life?" Seems fitting. It's occurred to me, quite suddenly, I can do more than one thing. I can build up skills in all the things that interest me and hopefully one day they will intersect. No one forces you to choose when you're an adult. We seem to force that need on ourselves.
I feel more positive tonight. Hopeful. I don't know what to expect in the days ahead, but I've always liked an adventure.
What's in store? I wonder if the path I'm approaching is the right one. There's a school of thought that says there is no wrong path. I'd like to believe that. I guess no matter how difficult things are sometimes there eventually is an upside or at least a lesson to be learned. My black and white mind has always told me if I go back to work, that's the end of my dreams. But it isn't. Everything is temporary. If I'm offered this job, I have to trust that it's because it will lead me in the right direction.
Summer is almost here. I feel it on my skin this morning as I walk the dogs. My clothes feel a bit tight and I tell myself I need to get back to the gym. If I get this job, I think, I will work out everyday. And go to bed early. And eat better. And pay off my debts. I will be happy. I will be more social. I will have interesting stories to tell, finally. I will exercise my brain and talents and become the put-together woman my parents dreamed of.
Guess I had better get this job.
A friend died today. I've only met her a handful of times but it was enough that I considered her a friend and someone I thought I'd see again. Life is like that. It took a while to sink in, and now I find myself crying and thinking about her and how fleeting our time here is.
If you had less than a year to live, what would you do? I would write more than a 100 words. I would see the world with my ma. Hold her close and laugh a lot. Give away my things. Be fearless. Love.
Where the hell did April go? I am struggling to keep up and yet I've got more than enough time to my days. The less structure I have the more I float through the calendar and find myself lost. My friend's death has rattled me. I cried last night and again today and I don't know if I'm crying for her life being cut short or for the reality that mine continues. I am a lost old sock.
There has to be some way past all of this. It can't continue. I can't continue. I feel selfish and somewhat foolish.
I am exceptionally good with responsibility.
Am I though?
I fill out an online career quiz
And try to identify my strengths.
I walk my dogs daily
(though I don't like to)
I try to exercise regularly
(though I don't like to)
I can meet deadlines
(though always just in time)
I have a bad attitude. I'll admit it.
I resent filling out these types of questionnaires.
I resent needing to look for a job.
I resent finding myself at
this stage in my life
With little hope,
And little direction.
But I'm still pretty responsible.
You grow tired. You struggle with the little things. You drag your feet across the hardwood floor and make your way to the kitchen. The coffee carafe is dull with the buildup of grounds. You will wash it later. You scoop the Dunkin Donuts and measure the tap water and throw it all together; hit on. Open the Tupperware and scoop out two bowls of dog kibble. More tap water. You shuffle back to the other room. Sit in front of your computer. Nudge the mouse. Your screen wakes up and Word is open. The cursor flashes. Time to start.
He knows pain but won't reveal it. He lost her and then him and then him. And his exuberance for life is a little duller. There is evidence of this on film. The old him leaps off the screen with laughter and life. And then, suddenly, there is a different man. He has decided he won't love as deeply. He will open up at first and then shut down. There is a limit. He will build a life for himself with open doors that allow people to come and go, and he will expect nothing. Things are good that way.
I'm hungry. I poke through the fridge in search of something that will sound good. I'm having little luck. I want sweet. I want comfort. I want escape. Instead I pull a few strands of the thin sliced turkey and drop them into my mouth. What else? A cup of yogurt. That's always good. I could eat two. Then a banana. I find a piece of chocolate hidden in the freezer. I feel guilty but enjoy it just the same. He walks in and catches me and I feel my face flush. He thinks I'm weak. He is probably right.
I called for a doctor and no one called back. I called a friend and no one answered. I drove to my storage space and dug through boxes searching for some answers in the things I've hung onto. There seems little rhyme or reason, yet I know there are explanations. Somehow I will need to know in order to move on.
The month is almost over. I keep telling myself. It's time. Wake me up. I need to be there. I've got to make it. It's all I can hope for at this point. My dreams are full these days.
We were planning to go for late night hamburgers at the coffee shop. I was not even sure I was hungry but I wanted to walk together and talk a bit. As these things tend to go, his work took over and even though I met him at his place, ready to go, he canceled, barely looking up from his keyboard. It's dark out and cool tonight and much too late to for a meal anyway. Tomorrow starts something new for me. I just don't know what that is. I am hopeful, as ever. I'm the most hopeful pessimist ever.
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