February 14, 2012

Hi Readers,

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of chaos, heartbreak and bad news. The rational side of me knows that this isn’t exactly a shocker, because fuckit, it’s February, which is always the cruelest month. Sorry T.S. Eliot, but you got that one wrong. Cruelest month? So not April. February owns April’s ass.

Some of the hardship is personal, swirling in the corners of my house and my heart, but other blows have come by surprise, over  phone lines and old connections–connections long neglected but still very much live wires, once you recognize a familiar voice, hear a story, feel the reaching out of a hand.

It’s hard to reach out hands. It’s even harder to say the words; words you never thought you’d be saying. Words that are thick and clumsy in the throat, and Jesus, there’s no way to say them gracefully.

How do you say such things?  Words don’t seem adequate at all.

But that’s pretty much all you’ve got, eh? Words.

“I’m afraid I’m a terrible mother. I just…lose it sometimes.”

“Today, at the pharmacy, I had to choose which of my children I would buy medication for, because I couldn’t afford both. I had to choose one child over the other. What does that make me?”

“We’re on our fourth stint of rehab, but let’s face it. Nothing will change.”

“So many of our friends are sick, or dying or in the hospital after falling over their slippers; crap, when did we get so old?”

“He suffered a head injury in combat and I’m not sure if I know him anymore. He turns and shouts in the night.”

“We haven’t been able to pay the mortgage for months. We’re basically squatting, waiting for the anvil to fall.”

“Her name is Jackie. I went through his phone. He’s texted her 233 times this month. And yeah, there are pictures of his dick.”

“We had to put Snickers down last week. I come home from work every day and still expect to see him there, waiting. How long is it going to be before I stop expecting  him, tail thrumming?”

“I miscarried. Again. This isn’t going to happen, is it?”

These are the hands reaching out and the voices over the wires, and I don’t know what to say or what to do. I have my own messes to clean up, messes that I don’t even know are cleanable, but this winter it has hit me, stark in the jaw: Everyone has something. Even that Stepford Wife, who lives in the beautiful house, who takes her impeccably groomed child to the bus stop in full makeup at 8 am–even that alien freak has something.

I’m not sure I can handle my own garbage, let alone anyone else’s, and yet I want to. I will. I do what humans do, if only to listen over a line.  Even if you cannot hold my hand, it is there. Extended. We will hunker in the trenches together. I’ll bring the hardtack.

If ever I/ should seem to take for granted
This lovely life/ that I’ve been handed
Darlin’ don’t just stand there/come knock me around

Cause I know/I can write my way out of this /black hole
Back to all the things that I miss
You stay/digging at your own little ditch

That’s just another thing on my wish list

If I should slide/over and under
You know I just might
Stay until I get it right.

*Lyrics courtesy of Jets to Brazil– Wish List

Just so you don’t think all is arctic gray over here, I’d like to share a few bright things with you.

~A conversation with Miss M:

M: Mama, I love you 100.

Me: I love you 1,000.

M: I love you a million!

Me: I love you to the  moon and back.

M: (haha) I won! I love you like Google.

~Pictionary night with the family

I am on a team with ASR, and Miss M. My artistic skills are terrible, to say the least. I draw a card that reads: high heels. I try to draw two legs with shoes with Gi-normous heels on them and the kids are stumped. Finally, ASR blurts out, “Pole dancer?”

~Medical conference

My husband is attending a medical conference (starting Friday) at a family-friendly resort. The Minxes and I are going, and yes, I will be complaining about the butt-damage induced by water slide marathons. And naturally, something will go amiss. But it’s going to feel so healing to play. Butt-chafing aside.

**I feel like I’m always apologizing for absences and not visiting as much as I’d like, and…actually, it seems like I do that a lot. It’s got to be annoying, I know. But I hope that you readers know how much I cherish you. Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.

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