Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Illegible Manifesto

She found the letters while cleaning out the garage the other day and they had to make her smile. She remembered writing every one! They had gotten her through those long nights of hysteria and insomnia and wanting and hoping and wishing for him to come back. She had given him some~she couldn't talk to him then, so when he came to pick up the kids she would just hand one to him, watch him ignore it, toss it on the seat beside him. She would then go in and cry~both for the kids leaving and his tossing aside both her and the letter.
As she opened the first one, it hit her like a wave. They were obviously the diatribes of a lost soul~someone she didn't know and didn't remember being. They were long and rambling~rants, mostly, against him, his mistress, herself. They would be crazy with threats and blame and cussing, then turn to misty thoughts of past love and begging for a future if only he would come back to her then back to how glad she was he was gone. There was one written to her mother, her grandmother about putting up with the men in their lives and how she now totally understood. And the handwriting~she didn't recognize it~it seemed illegible to her. It couldn't be hers, could it? When the writing was sane, it was neat and tidy, angry was scrawled, love was loopy and girlish~little hearts even dotted the "i". She didn't even have to read the words to know the emotion behind them. As she slid to the floor with them in her hand, she began to understand how she survived those first few months after the betrayal. She had become schizophrenic. By day, she was together and a mom and a survivor. By night~and sometimes all night~ she would let out the angry bitch and the scared little girl and the woman who wanted to be loved and each would write in their own journal~in their own voice, their own handwriting. An illegible manifesto, written to her, from her. A guidebook about how to overcome and move on~but to never forget. None of those women could have survived on their own, on the surface. But each had a voice that needed and deserved to be heard.
She smiled through the tears as she put the letters back. When she needed them, they would be there~still illegible, still a manifesto to herself, from her old friends. The hysterical laughter of the schizophrenic didn't start until she remembered the ones she gave to him. He had told her he read them and kept them in case he ever had to use them against her. No wonder he afraid of her back then. No wonder he was still a little cautious around her to this day~he never knew when those crazy bitches in the illegible letters would come back! And that was just how she liked it!


It was a long day, in the middle of a long week. She needed something~anything~to see her through. She decided she needed romancing. Knowing this wouldn't happen without a little nudging, a little direction, she set the stage. Candles in her favorite tropical scents, lit and placed strategically around the bathroom. Big fluffy towels, deliciously soft bathrobes hung on the hook. As she ran the womb-warm water in the tub built for two, she poured in a generous measure of the bath oils her darling had bought her last Valentine's Day~his favorite scent for her, both in and out of the tub. Quietly, so no one would wake up and burst her self-indulgent bubble, she slid in to the arms of the silky, scented water and sighed...Heavenly. She closed her eyes and gave into the multitude of sensations~all of her senses relaxed but alive. The smells, the lighting, the touch of warm water, bubbles, oil on her skin..she began to feel the anticipation build. She slid a rough loofah over her arms, legs, shoulders, then finally over her breasts, shivered. As the water cooled and the bubbles burst, she prepared for her partner in romance to join her. This was the moment she had waited for~the moment she really needed. She stood up, the bathwater running off her body and reaching for the shower massager, washed away both the glimmer of the oil and her need. As she stepped out of the bath, she dried off with the luxe towel, slid on a satin nighty and slipped into the embrace of the robe. She had been romanced and she was happy. In a cloud of the balmy scent of the oil, she padded into the bedroom and slid under the covers, knowing the aroma of his favorite scent would wake her husband and he would give her what she really needed to get through~love.

Monday, January 21, 2008

13 turns 14

Today, 13 became 14. He had a friend over today and they played 9000 hours of video games. I didn't even get the usual basketball breaks~14 blew his knee out on Saturday and we have to make a visit to the pediatric orthopedic surgeon tomorrow~so I couldn't even send them out of the house! 14 straight days of Call of Duty 79 and NBA 2K pain in my ass and Madden will it never end. Mix in listening to them call each other "Gay" and "Faggot" all day with a generous helping of punching, nipple twisting and ball kicking, eating, talking about boobs and it was a boy's dream day! They were driving me right around the bend, so I decided to annoy them as much as they annoyed me. I broke out a bunch of old country music a friend gave me and played it really loud and sang! It didn't work~they wouldn't even move to14's room, they HAD to have the big screen TV to play X Box on~but I felt a little better when they begged me to stop! The best part of the whole day was letting 15 drive drive the friend home. I was laughing so hard ...The boys really thought they were going to die! They were screaming like little girls! 15 is not a confident driver, so there was lots of slamming on the brakes and when she turned on the windshield wipers with the turn signal, I really lost it. God, I love my kids and their friends. It is going to be really quiet in a couple of years when they don't need me to drive everywhere~I may have to pay for HBO cause my major source of entertainment will be gone!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The puzzle...

I know it is a stupid cliche, but my life is a giant puzzle. Not a jigsaw~not all cut out and flat so the pieces make a picture so everything can be seen. Not a crossword~too linear~I am the least concrete sequential person on the planet! Word Search? Hmmm~at least some of the stuff is jumbled up, some the right way, some backwards... Maybe a Rubik's cube?? I , too, have 6 areas that demand attention~Me, the Kids, Work, Friends, God, Life (house, dog, car, dating...what's dating again??). While the Universe would seem to demand order~that everything gets put all in its proper place~all the blues with blues, greens with greens~reality is that the sides are all mixed together. The Kids are in with the Job, God is in everything, Friends get all tangled up in My side. No matter how I spin it, turn it, mix it up, stare at it, get frustrated by it, it's always jumbled together. And oddly, I like it! Life is found in the mixing together of all the sides. People get too involved in the lining up of their lives to actually enjoy living! I have feeling that the day that all the colors are on the right sides, everything clean and nice and put together the way it should be, I will be done living and will have moved on to the next puzzle...

Wallowing In It & Digging Out of It

I spent today wallowing . I didn't get dressed, I ate crap~and lots of it~all day. My mom came by and all I could think was "I wish she would just go away". I actually set out like an alcoholic to eat myself into a stupor last night. I went to the store, picked out what I wanted and methodically set out to eat. Why? Things have been going so well so long that I guess there had to be downside. This is the downside. A wasted, useless, calorie filled day~I sort of saw it coming. I have been feeling the vague discontent coming on for a while. Looking at real estate websites, checking for jobs on Monster, surfing dating sites, the hard bitch sneaking back out. But none of it means anything. I cannot leave here yet, I love my job, I am trying not to be a rag~what's going on? I guess what my grandma used to say is true~people do change just before your birthday. Mine is a month away and perhaps my self reflection is bubbling to the surface. Maybe the fact that I ate my way through a small African nation's food supply and I actually feel bad about it is a good sign. The fact that I recognize a wasted day is a positive step. And best of all, I have this place to write it down. A friend called to ask me to go out, and of course, I said no. She said she could tell I was not going to go out when she asked earlier in the day and wanted to know what was wrong. I told her I am wallowing and she asked why. When I couldn't tell her, she asked if I had written . That's when it dawned on me~I hadn't and not for several days. I need to write now. The idea that I can get it all out~and not for $125 for a 45 minute hour~ may be the thing that saves me from myself. So I am going to write more~mix a little fiction into my observational stuff, a little humor into my self reflection. With the help of my words, maybe next time I won't sink as low and the trip back to the surface will be shorter...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm an Idiot Savant

Well, maybe just an idiot! Here's the deal...I go through life with people thinking I am smart. I have good vocabulary, I am well read. I have what I call "my superpower" People ask me to come help with a problem~the computer doesn't work, they need to find something~I stand next to them as they work it out, and then I look good. I have a small capacity for remembering weird trivia~like song lyrics, historical events, movie/book plots. Some people mistake it for intelligence. I live in fear someone will find out it is all a charade. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" ~~
The jig might be up with my kids tonite. Despite the fact that I have an AA and BS (how appropriate!) degrees in Business Admin and have started work on my Master's degree in Library Science, I was stymied by Algebra I tonight!! 15 comes and shows me this problem: [-(-7)] +1=......I dunno! Now, in the deepest darkest recess of my overcrowded mind, I know work from the inside out, 2 negatives make a positive...but all I can think of is "NOOOOOOOO!! Not Math!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" In high school I made it through Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, charmed my way to a D in Trig and Analytical Geometry and then walked away~I thought ! In college, it took 3 tries to pass Calculus I-then only because we had to work in a "group". I was in charge of sharpening the pencils! Now I have a freshman and 8th grader both taking Algebra I Honors and all my leverage as a parent is tossed out the door by [-(-7)] +1= Oh, the inhumanity!
Give me words over numbers any day! My new favorite thing is free You play a vocabulary game and for each word you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated to feed hungry people~win-win! 50 is the highest score, I have gotten as high as 47...but I keep trying! I love words. They are at the heart of who I am~part of my identity. Nothing moves, excites, thrills like words . Words can cheer you up, push you down, make you love or hate a person~now that's power! So I will keep using big words and if that fools people into thinking I am smart, great! And as for Algebra...there is always the Internet !

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

Well, it is the beginning of another year. I spent a rollickin' New Year's Eve~the kids went to dad's, I ate Key Lime pie and McD's, played computer games, listened to my fav tunes, took a snooze, woke up at 11:50 and rang in the New Year! The crazies in my `hood were shooting off fireworks and God knows what else (I stay away from windows during holidays around here) so with the nap I will now be awake for hours!!! I might as well compose my list of resolutions:
1. Well...
2. I suppose...
3. I could always...
4. But maybe...
5. No...
So, there ya go! The thing is, I am remarkably content in my life. I have moments of both great happiness and insane melancholy~but it all evens out~actually tips more to great joy than crippling depression . My life is very 75/25. Yes, I could lose 100 pounds or so, exercise more, stop being a bitch to my kids, listen to my mother, pay better attention to my money, keep my house, car and office cleaner and more organized, change the oil in my car on schedule, walk the dog, write my grandma, call my brothers and sister, send birthday~Christmas~anniversary cards, stop cussing and gossiping, write more often, read the newspaper everyday, meditate, less time on Youtube and more time reading Scripture everyday, color my hair, moisturize, send the pictures of my kids I pay to have taken every year to the relatives, tithe, volunteer...but why depress myself during the first hours of the New Year!! instead, I have decided this will be my focus in 2008:
1. God
2. Myself
3. My Kids & dog
4. My Family/Friends
5. My Job
Nothing specific, just a general focus on the good, and a general dismissal of the bad. So if I end up closer to God, no matter how I get there~good for me! If my general mental and physical health get better~All Right! If my kids are wearing clean clothes this time next year~# 3 accomplished! My friends and family know me~even if I never send a card, picture or e-mail, I am ALWAYS there when they need me~and vice versa. If I am gainfully employed in the CCPS School System this time next year, I will have done good.
I have a plan...I have a good devotional a friend gave me, I am starting 2008 with Belly dancing classes , my kids, dog, family, friends and job will be dealt with as the need arises. All is well!
I wish you joy in 2008...find it, embrace it, live it :)