Some people went on vacation and relaxed, perhaps treated themselves to some alcoholic beverages …. Beer at lunch, maybe good wine with dinner.
Her? She just ordered really good coffee. Lots of it. Sometimes she even splurged and had a double latte.
She was a wooden stir stick among brightly colored paper cocktail umbrellas. Yep, she really only knew how to settle in to her own skin – to live large and on the edge for her meant going without a nap.
If I could tie a note
to the spindly leg of a
I would write how
my heart soars when
we are together and
you still wouldn’t
fly to me
When I was young and not yet a full blown awkward teenager, there was a brief period when I thought it was very cool to write in invisible ink and talk pig latin with my friends in front of adults. And it seems that the modern day equivalent among my children is to talk in hashtags and slur all the words together into one long jumble. So I am trying my best to be patient and hope that the trend fades. But really – I can barely understand my daughters and most of the time, am operating on intuition and vague understanding. Couple the fondness for hashtags with their persistent overuse of the word “like” and my children really could be speaking a different language to me. Last night, for example, one daughter requested dessert in a way that I can hardly re-create … but it went a little bit like this: “Mom, like can you hashtag buildafire so we can like have hashtag gooeys’mores after hashtag yummypastadinner? We want to like hashtag lightourmarshmallowsonfire and take like hashtag selfieswiths’mores. Hashtag imbeggingyoumom. Please?”
I wanted to tell her to eat some skinny half naked popcorn and watch a movie while I lingered in a corner by myself quietly drinking another cup of coffee and longing for a nap. But instead, I built a small fire and we ate s’mores. I also took photos of the entire event so they could share pictures of themselves stuffing their mouths with chocolatey strands of melted marshmallow. During which time they found it impossible to speak at all, let alone in hashtags. It was lovely.
It had been one thing when she started talking to the dog. But now she was also providing the dog’s imagined response. In a special dog voice.
She finally had to admit that she was basically talking – out loud and in cartoonish voices – to herself. And she vaguely remembered that this might be a sign of schizophrenia in certain circles….
She was already mildly fascinated by the idea that she was going on a snack run for her teenage daughter. Seriously?
Then her daughter asked for a trendy designer snack, some sort of “healthy” popcorn. Her fascination only grew when she arrived at the store and found multiple varieties of so-called healthy popcorn. There was fit popcorn, lean popcorn and skinny popcorn – there was even naked and half naked popcorn. She had only been expecting one kind and now she couldn’t even remember what brand her daughter requested. She felt, however, she should at least select the clothed popcorn. It was a snack for her young daughter, after all.
She has no idea that being a mother would require medical skill. As if it weren’t hard enough being responsible for the emotional and moral development of another human… GEESH. She was also expected to triage every intestinal ache, physical pain and slight scrap and treat all manner of ear, eye, nose and throat problems ?
It was sometimes just too much for her brain to handle. Especially when her lifelong reaction to her own body was to ignore it and hope for the best.
Suffice it to say her parental bedside manner might be slightly lacking.
She was getting really bored at home – a fact that hit her when her spam emails started to seem exciting. She even acknowledged that she wasn’t necessarily seeking face to face conversation with smart people anymore. Too many uncomfortable questions about her employment status …. Now, she would be happy settling for implied human connections, those made solely through technological devices like her smart phone. Actually, now that she thought about it, she had often been more comfortable with indirect personal relationships, where the phone was a shield from genuine unfiltered human contact and texting and emailing could serve as the throttle to the sometimes erratic velocity of her emotions. She wondered right then and there whether she should reconsider her attempt to make friends with real people and just download a bunch of apps instead. After all, she only had about three apps on her phone.
Or maybe she should be contemplating the state of her relationship to humanity at a more reasonable hour – 3 am was probably never a good time to be mulling over these types of important things.
She would start again in daylight when her worries seemed more or less ordinary.
I recently challenged myself to read some of the “classics” I never read during school. There are so many ….
But lately, I find myself looking longingly at children’s books – some that don’t even have words, just beautiful illustrations that speak boldly. I am drawn in by the silent magic of whimsy and delight crinkling among the pages. By that urge to believe in all the possible explanations for the mysteries and wonders of the everyday. By that wish to understand the world in broad innocent terms not deterred or distorted by nuance or experience. Plus: a gander through a children’s book beats a romp through Proust any day.
So now my challenge has changed: I plan to let my bedside table – and thus possibly my dreams? – be filled with all the giddy and bright imaginings of youth.
Marcel can wait.
She felt a real kinship with the postman.
After all, like him, “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night” kept her from walking the dog. For a very brief moment, it occurred to her that maybe the US postal service could make more money by offering a dog walking service to local residents. And then she laughed at the idea of her dog being walked by the very man at whose heels she nipped ferociously.
Yeah, sooooo maybe that wasn’t a feasible business proposition.
Here was the drama of her current every day reality: Gauging when and where the dog would poo – and then making an art of scooping it up so that there was some modicum of pleasure in the ordeal for her.
She had only recently started to feel she was a pretty fine pooper scooper.
Not just for the dog but in life, too.