He had sent those emails, one after the other, building up his anger in each one. I had tried to defuse it by saying we could talk in the morning.
I had trouble sleeping that night.
During the long drive, I tried to keep my heart and mind soft and open. I told myself that there was no point in resisting and if I could just give in, it would be easier for me. If I could separate myself from him and hide inside of myself, it would hurt less.
Except I didn’t want to keep hiding anymore.
When I arrived, he didn’t let me get much more than a sentence out before he launched in. His anger grew quickly, he pounded on the table and jabbed his fingers at me. My own cheeks flushed hot. Instead of being soft and open, I met every one of his jabs with my own stammered resistance, even when what I said made no sense. I just resisted blindly, fiercely, those moments disassociated from my body. He told me to leave and I did. I gathered my things and started to walk out.
I thought maybe I would never come back. I thought maybe where I was going, I wouldn’t even need these things in my hand.
Only then did his temper break.
He called me back. And I came back. We both apologized, me for nothing except for my very existence it seemed. And I felt weak and fatigued by it all. He mistook my tears as those of remorse but I knew inside that I was crying because I came back. I had wanted to keep walking away. I had wanted to leave him and this world and everything it was. Because staying was death.
I was dying and I didn’t have the courage to save myself.
I bake a cake for Easter – one of my favorites, even though it never flips out of the bundt pan correctly. My daughters tell me it still looks good enough to cuddle and we eat warm, soft chunks of it with our fingers.
I see this little thing on our perfectly manicured corporate lawn and I stop to say, “don’t let them tell you you’re just a weed.” Because that’s the sort of day I had.
I imagine gruff men daydreaming about the bauhaus movement in their spare time
Sometimes I feel that I am not heard
He sometimes lost his words
but not the notes, not the keys
so when he couldn’t speak,
he just played instead :
soulful music poured out
happy light, and defiant too
the feeling of song so deep
it could not be stolen by time
I visit our offices in another town. I am there to make sure it’s all in top shape for our upcoming meetings. Barry is part of the local team who greets me for the visit.
Barry reminds me of someone I know. Someone friendly and warm. All day, I puzzle over this.
Then I realize that Barry is dressed in the same colors Barney the dinosaur wore–purple and green — and that Barry looks just like that friendly creature. Barry is tall and wide and when I shake his hand, half my arm is swallowed by his enormous mitt-like grip. A warmth and humility radiates from his face, even though he’s wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap, pretty unapologetically, as his indoor office gear. Every challenge I raise makes him smile more.
Near the end of my walk through, I have to ask him whether he owns a suit – because management wants him to wear a suit. Without skipping a beat, he asks me what color suit he should wear for the meetings. I have a funny vision of him in a sky blue tux with a pink-hued ruffle shirt for a minute.
And I also have to ask why he’s wearing sunglasses inside. After-effects of a concussion, he says, and it’s either that or vomit. I pick the sunglasses and I don’t even ask about the hat because I’m not sure I want to know what’s happening under it.
Moments later, he tells me he’s been protecting the countertops with yoga mats to prevent scratching. And that he’s been personally watering the newly installed ‘living wall’ with an elaborate plastic straw installation so no plants die during our meetings.
I have this overwhelming urge to be his friend.
But I remind myself that Barney’s song, “I love you” was played to torment prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Scratch that. Barry and I cannot be friends.
And the day moves on from there.
and the world seemed to tilt for a moment from the loss she felt
I honestly had no idea that one day I would be ABSOLUTELY THRILLED by the notion that my child would be using my recipe to bake her favorite pie for friends.
The mommy who didn’t do mommy things. Who burned toast. Who didn’t speak in a squeaky cutesy voice to her babies.
Who, after a divorce, planned out meals 3 months in advance to avoid some of the mental drudgery of cooking. Who made up 354 variations on pancake recipes because she managed never to have all the necessary ingredients on Sunday mornings. And who still feels blessed by the grace of prepared foods.
Yeah. Me. I’m really deeply pleased by this entire turn of events. Go figure.
her expression is often cold,
no matter how warm her heart –
self taught to go beyond emotion, the
sublimation of natural impulses
transmitted to the audience, an
undercurrent of suppressed feeling :
projection of desires she does not act upon.
Stoically she suffers a loss so quiet & vast
it spills out of her mouth, a gift she gives
to draw them closer to the dangerous
undertow of her distance, her demise.