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I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind.
Losing it. Nutso. Crazy. Cray cray. Off my rocker. Loony. Nuts. Bats. Bonkers. Buggy. Unhinged. Wing nut. Crackpot. Dippy. Flipped Out. Wig out. Nutjob. Disturbed. Mental. Freak. Spaz. Nutcase. Nutter. Halfwit. Strange. Bonkers. Oddball. Out of it. Headcase. Crackers. Idiot. Troubled. Twisted. Demented. Deranged. Irriational. Unstable. Dizzy. Wacky. Weird. Screw loose. Weirdo. Fruit cake. Fuck Knuckle. Daft. Insane. Lunatic. Maniac. Off. Unbalanced. Unsound. Wrong. Cracked. Gaga. Bananas. Cuckoo. Fruity. Loco. Crackers. Eccentric. Ding-a-ling. Kook. Screwball. Wack job. Touched. Bat shit crazy. Brittney Spears. Goober. Quack. Not all there. Off my head. Off my trolley. Ape shit. Goofy. = Me
I have this friend I met online. We're both a part of a mommy board that a group of us started in 2006. We've never met, but I feel like I know her. What do I know about her? She's bossy and opinionated and snarky, and I've learned to never, EVER post about a problem on the board because if I do, I WILL get a not-so-nice (dare I say
) response. I know; I've posted stuff before. (She made me cry.) You know, come to think of it, I don't like her much at all.
Why do I even care so much? Why do I let myself continue to think about you? It's been so many years: Why do I remember? I can't answer that except to say that I do. I
remember. I remember good times and bad. I remember my regrets. (Of course I do.) I remember how for years I wanted to go back and try to change things. (Maybe I still do.) But you know what? Even if I could go back—even if I could change things—wouldn't I be left with just something else to regret?
So I was stupid. I guess I was just another girl to you. When it was over, you said you were attracted to me physically, but that's where it ended. Naïve me was flattered: You think I'm hot! Older me— smarter me—knows that you were just trying to let me down easy. You were attempting to throw me a bone. I guess I should feel something—happy? grateful? (No!)—that you cared enough about me to try to be that kind. But my question is, why didn't you leave it at that? Why did you keep coming back?
I don't think I ever really loved you. I think I loved the
of you. You were different from anyone I'd ever known. You had a big-city vibe that this small-town girl found attractive, and I was drawn to you. I didn't think you'd feel the same way about me—I certainly wasn't very sophisticated—but you asked me out, and of course I dropped everything (including the small-town boy I'd been dating for years) to be with you. You made me feel more attractive, more
, than I'd ever felt before.
If we're being honest, I guess I can tell you that I've looked back on the time we were together and realized how naïve—how stupid—I was. You told me that I could no longer stay with you at your apartment because your landlord had noticed the increase in water usage and had threatened to evict you. I believed you; I didn't think I had a reason not to trust you. It was all a lie, of course—a way of easing me out of your life because you didn't have the balls to tell me the truth.
This computer's acting up today, so if something weird happens and I lose everything I write here, I'll be more than pissed.
So, things I'm thinking about right now:
1. My feet are cold.
2. I want to make something. I
to have a paintbrush in my hand right now.
3. I have so many things I want to do, yet I spend so much time worrying about not having enough time to do them all that I get none of them done. (That's a constant worry.)
4. chocolate chips
I found myself in a whole new world when I met my second (and current) husband. I was just a small-town girl: I'd dated the same boy through high school and college, and to me, the "big" city was a town of about 20,000. His world was different: a large city, fancy restaurants, lots of wine, frequent trips to New York City... I hadn't realized that deep down I longed to be a part of a world like that. I think I'm still a small-town girl at heart, but the city is where I need to be.
I returned to my apartment after a weekend at home, and the first thing I did (as always) was call you. I didn't pee (not even after my long drive); I didn't check my machine or unpack my stuff (no time). No, you came first (as always). You.
"What time will you be over?" I said.
"Soon," you replied, and I hurriedly bathed, dressed in clothes I knew you liked, made myself smell nice. Who knew what possibilities lay ahead?
But when you walked in the door, the same but different, I knew it was the end.
I've missed posting here, and today seemed like the appropriate day to come back. Why? I'm a mom again! My daughter was born on April 3, and her father, siblings, and I couldn't be happier!
I've heard people say that going from one to two kids is the hardest transition, but I think going from two to three is harder—or maybe it's just the fact that I'm five years older now (and an older mom to begin with) that makes these late nights and early mornings so difficult. Regardless, I wouldn't change a thing! Happy Mother's Day!
I despise forced happiness, yet I'm as guilty of it as anyone. Life sucks sometimes, and there have been instances throughout the years I've been posting here when my words were a mask, a cover, a one-act play: little flowers to disguise a life that isn't as pretty or happy or simple as I'd like people to believe. On the other hand, there have been times when life has disappointed, leaving me unhappy or disgusted or angry, and I've let the venom drip from the proverbial pen, exposing it all for what it is. Maybe it's a mood thing?
I used to dream. I don't dream anymore, or if I do, I do so mainly in fragments, in pieces, in snippets: nothing coherent, nothing I can think back on with an owl-wise nod and an Oh-so-that's-what-it-means. And when clear pictures do form behind my closed eyelids, I'm suspicious.
Where did that come from?
Why? Is it truth? A lie?
You came to me in a dream once. You were alive (though dead) and healthy and strong. I want to believe that was you...and true.
He lies; you lie. We all lie. I lie. I lie down. So do you. So do they, he and she. That kid does, and that woman smoking outside Whole Foods. That man over there with the bald head and the beer belly hanging over his blue shorts: he lies, and lies down. Your Sunday school teacher? The preacher laying down the law—His law—from that pulpit above? The same, they are, as you and me. Liars and lie-downers, all of them. All of us. We all tell lies, and then we all lie down in our beds.
Today I saw a house with sad eyes, and in front of it a For Sale sign, one corner sagging, defeated; words unreadable; the hopeful real estate agent's face faded and splotched with mud. It had been there a long time, that sign, and so had the house, which squatted on its lot, shoulders hunched like an old man stooped against a freezing wind, his bald pate pelted by rain. But it was the depth of the house's sadness that hit me, made me stop and look beyond the broken shades to the love that (hopefully) used to live there.
That girl over there, the one in the too tight tank top and the too short shorts... She's looking at you. Dude, can't you feel her staring? Aren't you getting that weird feeling at the back of your neck, the one people get when they're scared or feel like someone (or something) is behind them, ready to attack? That's what she looks like, man. She looks like she's hungry, and I'm thinking you're the prey. Much luck to you, pal; she's heading this way. I'd run, but that's just me. Don't look now. She's right behind you. (Damn. Too late.)
I have this list, a list of things I want to do. They aren't little, mundane life things—like "do laundry" or "wash dishes." No, this is a list of the big things I want to accomplish this week, this month, this year. This
. The thing is, I have this list, and I think about it often. (It makes me smile.) I even add to it from time to time. However, it's occurred to me that my list, wonderful though it is, is just a list if I'm not working to accomplish the goals on it. Huh.
This art journaling I've been doing: I love it. It's an outlet, a way to relax. When I'm creating something, I don't think about anything else. I don't worry. I don't dwell on the work I didn't finish during the day or the things I said (or didn't say) to someone. I don't think about the fight I had with my husband or the kitchen floor I didn't mop. My mind is blank except for colors and words and turning stark pages into art that mirrors who I am on the inside. That act of creating makes me feel alive.
I can't remember much of what your house looked liked. Not really. I can picture the layout, how the door opened into the kitchen, which led to the living room. I can picture the stairs down to the basement where your room used to be. I remember the floor heaped with clothes, "boy" things scattered around, the musty, damp-basement smell. We spent so much time there. Sometimes we'd sit on the couch in the living room and watch TV with your dad. I smile every time I think of the Spanish fly your parents kept in the kitchen cupboard.
Your dad used to call me "love" and rub my cheek, which he said was the English way of telling someone you love her. He'd also say that no matter what happened between the two of us, I would always be part of his family. It didn't really end up that way, of course. When I left you, I never spoke to him again. I know he would have welcomed me had I seen him, though. He was that kind of man: a good man, sweet and kind. I was sorry to hear of his death this year. He's missed.
Go down to the stream and fill this pan with water. I see the look on your face. Don't ask questions. Just do it. Bring the pan back here once it's filled. And be careful not to spill a drop on the walk back. Go!
Ah, you're back. Let's see the pan. There's nothing in it! Didn't you listen to me? Where's the water? It fell out, you say? Go get it! Pick up every drop. Don't look at me like that. Figure it out. You caused the problem, now you fix it. Go now. I'll be waiting.
Grandma's house was old, and her bathtub was deep, the outside lined by beautiful magenta tiles. Veined with streaks of white, they resembled marble, and I loved looking at them. I could see patterns in them if I looked hard enough, people and objects. My mind made those tiles more than what they seemed. And isn't it the same with people? We, also, are more than what we appear to be, what people see at a first glance and then either accept or dismiss without further exploration. I want to teach my children to see beyond surfaces, beyond the facades.
The sign said to keep out, but we never paid it any attention. It was meant to keep out-of-towners from falling to their deaths, but we had grown up in the area and, like all the other teenagers, considered ourselves exempt (and invincible). You must have known the best times to go there to ensure that we'd always have the place to ourselves, all the rocks and sand and warm water. It was like we were the only two people on earth. I wonder if our parents knew we went there, lured by the innocence of first love.
I haven't spoken to you in years, and this may sound spiteful (not that I care), but I'm happy that I was the one to have the last word. Remember the last time we talked? It was on Myspace. You found me, wrote, I answered, and then you said you were surprised that I did. When I asked why (of course I knew), you said "Well, because I left you. Told you I didn't love you." My response? "Huh. I'd forgotten all about that." You wrote, "Oh," and I could almost see your disappointment. I admit that felt really good.
In the thick of it, I thought you were the love of my life. I look back now and see that you weren't; I can see that I was young and stupid and away from my small town and dating an older, exciting man with a past (and a child). Being with you made me feel older—more grown up—and I liked that feeling. I liked that your daughter looked up to me. I liked that you
a daughter. You became more sophisticated in my eyes when you told me about her. I was so young...
Remember that time when we went out to your dad's makeshift deer camp and found his stack of porn magazines? They were old (mostly from the seventies, I think), and I couldn't decide if your dad was being disloyal to your mom by keeping them around or if maybe they went out to the camp to get away from you and your siblings and enjoyed looking at them together. (They weren't prudes, after all. They did keep Spanish fly in their cabinet.) That was my first look at porn, and I can say I wasn't impressed—but you corrupted me.
I lay down in bed last night with the news that you had released your hold on this world and gone on to the next, Cousin, and time seemed to stand still as I thought about all the life you always seemed to have inside you, that life quieted at such a young age (only forty), and I thought of your children and husband and all those who love you, and I thought, too, about my own age (only a year older than you) and my own life and how quickly everything could be gone. I cry for us all.
I asked you what to buy your daughter for Christmas that year. You looked uncomfortable. "Nothing," you said. "You don't need to buy her anything." I kept insisting, and finally you pointed to a plastic bowling set and said, "How about that? She'd like it." I bought it, wrapped it, gave it to you to give to her. A couple of days later, you came over for dinner, told me she loved the present, thanked me again. You were uncomfortable, but I didn't see that then. My backward-looking eyes see it now. It wasn't long before you left me.
You made me want to break the rules. You made me want to climb out of myself and be...not someone else...but a different Me, a better Me, a more me Me. I had played the game for so long: I'd always colored within the lines; I'd always done what I was told. But when I met you, that all changed. I found freedom; I evolved. Some people were sad, disappointed, even angry that I was no longer the girl they thought they knew. But I was free. I
free. And I have you to thank.
My daughter loves to swim. She's in a preschool program that includes a half-hour of swimming a week, and she's been enjoying the water so much. Today was Parent Swim day, and my husband swam with her while I watched and recorded them. I'm glad I did. I don't think I've ever seen such a look of joy on my daughter's face: absolute peace and love and contentment. Seeing how much she was enjoying the moment—how much she was
the moment—made me realize again how important it is to seize happiness whenever we can.
•coffee with Almond Joy creamer
•a quiet house (except for the hum of this laptop and the sound of snoring from the bedroom)
•sunshine casting its rays upon my art journal
•my reflected self (hair uncombed but face happy) in the stainless steel pan on the stove
•kiwis and pears, apples and strawberries
•a stack of books
•mind that races with the possibilities of the blank page
•a need to create
•a new day
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