I read the obituary – which I found online
“She was devoted, loving and wise beyond her years”
a wonderful stranger had died – not the woman I was –
separated from me by a letter and a few years,
typos of the hastily written in mourning.
I wanted the truth, shortcomings and flaws,
plainly spoken, not tinged with guilt or regret
but even in death, I would remain a caricature.
one entire hour of her insomnia
debating which time of day was best for exercising. Only to conclude in
her second hour of insomnia
that she really had no time for exercising. Which led her back to
her original sleep problem:
pants – and a budget – that were too tight.
Hence, exercise. She would need to be well rested of course – so she would wait
after the insomnia faded
And what – just suck in her gut until then?
The thought made her toss and turn.
you know how ‘all the world’s a stage’?
yes, well – she was not one of the players
no, she was more like a stagehand,
making the whole production run smoothly for everyone else –
namely, her children and the dog
and by proxy, therefore, also the babysitter
against whom she invariably developed harsh feelings
Whitney, outside looking down
Whitney, inside looking across
The babysitter sent me a photo of the dog for Valentine’s Day. And though photos of animals weren’t really my thing – it seemed harmless: cute, even.
Except when I looked more carefully, I realized that the babysitter had put my red cashmere sweater on the dog.
My stinky dog desperately in need of a bath.
The one who barfs every day and farts enough to run a small utility company.
Plus the dog was standing with her paw over the box of chocolates I had bought for my real children.
This was most decidedly not my idea of love. And yet, it was my current reality.
Sometimes I have to find happiness in the dark shadows of my day.