Monday, March 25, 2013

These Ten Things

I had anxiety the moment the invitation was extended because it's hard to be the odd man out.  It's hard to love yourself when you're exactly the opposite of all the rest of them.  And the last thing I want is for them to pity me because I'm really quite happy in this skin and wrapped up in these values that make me oh so boring in the light of their choices.  But I survived and I only did it for him because it meant something to him for me to spend a weekend with these friends from that part of his life that I really have nothing to do with.  And they're lovely people.  We're just different.

These are my truths:

1. Never before have I ever missed my best friend more.

2. Hotel packages are ridiculous scams riddled with coupons and extras that you'll never even use and you still get stuck in the murder room without a view, tucked around a dark corner at the end of the hall by the stairwell for the quick removal of bodies (thank you C.S.I).

3. I really must invest in a little black dress - they all wore fancy black on our 'big night out', and there I was, the innocent little country girl in my little pink dress.  (One of these things is not like the other....)

4. I don't care if I ever own a pair of high heels.

5. Casinos make me feel heavy with sadness.

6. The Keg is worth every single penny - once a year.

7. Getting carded at a nightclub makes me feel precious.

8. Being in a nightclub makes me want to throw up and disappear and curl up under a quilt and die and NO, I didn't give a rat's patootie that Vanilla Ice was behind the bar serving free shots - I just wanted to get the **** out of there!

9. I refuse to be anything other that who I am.

10. The very best part of the whole weekend was the end - after we'd said goodbye to everyone - and he and I walked together in the chilly air, holding hands and Starbucks, along the Falls, among the tourists and their cameras and their babies sleeping in strollers and he said, "Do you think our tree's still here?" And we went to find it.  And it was.  Right there where we'd left it.  That was my favorite.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Goodnight Paige

Poor thing's been shuffled around for so long now, waiting-waiting-waiting for her baby sister to get out of the hospital so she can be home with Mommy again.

"Auntie Alanna, I'm thirsty.  Auntie Alanna, why can't I sleep in Noa's bed? Auntie Alanna, is it night time if I'm not tired? Auntie Alanna, I need six songs to fall to sleep.  Auntie Alanna, why did you put this bed here? Auntie Alanna, can I have a cookie?"

She's tucked down low in the sleeping bag on Noa's bedroom floor, a dragon and turtle in one arm and her baby doll, Flower, in the other.  "Auntie Alanna...?" she calls one more time, voice high and heavy with near sleep.  "Auntie Alanna, I'm not even tired a little tiny bit."

I lay down beside her on the sleepover mattress and touch my finger to her nose. "Yes, you are," I tell her and I could probably fall asleep right there because I might love her to the ends of the earth but she exhausts me to the edge of it with her undulating energy.

"But then I need another song.  I want another song, Auntie Alanna."

"What kind of song, Paige?"

"Um, like a song about Pippin and the sink and cowboys."

I make one up and it's pure gold.  "Do you want dream angels?" I ask her.

"What's dream angels?"

"They're tickles I put on your head to make you have good dreams. Do you want some?"

"Can I have dreams about my baby coming home? My Elsie Rose needs to come home real soon. Mommy said she was playing tricks on the doctor so he said she couldn't come home. Mommy said she has to stop playing tricks."

"We all hope she's home really soon," I tell her and tickle her head with Elsie Rose angels.

"Auntie Alanna...?"

"Yes, Paige?"

"Auntie Alanna, are dream angels just straight lines?"

"I'm not sure.  Do you think they're straight lines?"

She shrugs and holds her fingers up high above her face, wiggling them.  "They're like this, right?"

"Maybe." I kiss her forehead and pull myself up from the floor.  "Goodnight, Paige," I say as I flip  the light switch and begin to close the door.

"Auntie Alanna? They're like rainbows, right?"

"Yes, Paige, they're just like rainbows."

Friday, March 15, 2013


I was lost.  Mired deep and tucked backwards and jarred by the platonic shift of being.  Just being.  Sometimes it's impossible.  And I faked my way through it.  Faked it til I broke.  Faked it until one word let loose a torrent of feeling that burned down my face like acid and I sat in it, ugly.  I do not like to cry for truth.  Truth stings and scars and leaves me breathless.  I like to cry for fiction.  I like to cry for movies for books, for country music.  Not truth.  Never truth.  And when you fight it you only make the fire that much hotter.

So here we go, let loose this flood and be the fool and apologize for stupidity but OWN THAT PAIN and spew it out and mop the floor and.....

........come out the other side.

We've gone through the ringer.

We've built a village on this garbage.

Pieces return.  Those pieces of me set aside to grind this thing out.  Pieces not quite the same because now I'm wearing stress-fat and chocolate acne - pasty-face starved for sunshine - but pieces that are still mine, non the less.

I haven't had it in me for words.  For the spun tale.  For fiction to make me cry.  For creation.

But now that I can breathe again, can I not take up my pen? Can I not find words because with words I feel whole again...that work left untouched since January...?  This forum to spill the goodies of a life I've forgotten to live...?

Last night, the car pushed boldly against the waning hour and I was singing Miranda Lambert loud like an idiot and lightness bloomed out of darkness as I watched a star shoot across the sky to the south and when I got into my driveway I had to just stand there for a moment, head bent back to grasp the panoramic expanse of heavens, dotted with a million blinking lights and I breathed it in, getting drunk on all that beauty - the idiot in her driveway - swallowing peace like a parched desert nomad - drinking peace like a river.

Virginia Woolf said, 'You cannot find peace by avoiding life.'  Well, boy howdy, Virginia, thanks for showing up to the party!  But where were you when this whole thing started???

So we plow forward and we reap hope and we have faith and we overcome.  We shall persevere. 

This post was meant as a sigh of relief - NOT to stir questions, cause concern and such.  Upon reading it, my best friend called me, frantic, thinking my marriage was falling apart.  It is not.  Actually, it's quite good.  In trying to be cryptic and protective I left too much room for speculation. My marriage is good. My family is good. Believe it or not, I've got stuff going on beyond these four walls I call home. That is all. My heart is free of burden - not this guy: