Wednesday, February 15, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 13: bargaining

Bargaining


If bargaining is a stage of grief, I have been stuck there for 30+ years.  Like bargaining in relation to the finality of death, mine involves impossibilities.  I'll accept my growing blindness if my eyes are a prettier color--say the shade of green my siblings got.  Or:  Okay, I'm carrying a few extra pounds.  I just want them to be there instead of here.  There's always a balance in these mental machinations, as in a carefully calibrated mobile.  But it's preposterous!  What am I grieving?  Being born in this body?  As opposed to what?  Get to acceptance already!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 12: a light mood

A Light Mood

When the boys were newborns, Keith asked a friend, a renowned child development specialist, if she could distil her years of research and observation into one piece of advice for us.  She said the most important thing is "a light mood in the home."

When the boys leave the dinner table because they are doubled over with laughter, or say things like, "in this family, we get strong abs from laughing," I feel like I am winning as a parent.  When I think of the mood in the home where I grew up, I feel like a fucking miracle.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 11: dead bodies

Dead Bodies


I have carried two beloved pets to burial, wind-fluttered fur causing irrational hope which the dirt quashed.

My friend Greg wasn't embalmed or officially 'prepared.'  His mouth sat slightly ajar as if he were about to speak.  I spent hours in the room with his body and his people, until I knew in my body that he was no longer in his.

I saw my brother in a casket after he had been 'prepared' for viewing  His mouth was sewn shut, eyes glued down.  I rumpled his hair.  He wouldn't be roused.  I couldn't believe it.  Still can't.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 10: spanking

Spanking

It only happened one time and it was because I walked around the block.  I had not broken the rule ("Don't cross the street"), but had apparently broken the spirit of the law by getting so far away and, even worse, I took my little sister with me.

I remember looking at the floor, blood rushing to my head, and thinking the four-year-old version of:  What the fuck are you doing?, while little sister looked on, sucking her thumb, big eyes, probably horrified but also likely feeling schadenfreude since she entered the world convinced that I always got preferential treatment.

Monday, January 9, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 9: Carolyn's grandma

Carolyn's Grandma

Carolyn's grandma played aggressive Yahtzee and she played for money.  She gave me and Carolyn a dixie cup of starter change.  She would re-roll all 5 dice, sometimes twice, and still win almost every time.  She got large straights right out of the cup and Yahtzees on the second roll.  How, in this game of chance?  Carolyn's grandma believed that she would get what she needed and she got it.  While I was counting my 2s and fretting over my upper-level bonus, she seemed to direct the dice as she wanted.  Carolyn's grandma took all my change that summer and it was worth it.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 8: anxiety

Anxiety

Not worry about a test, nervousness regarding social situations, tension related to a busy task list, or anything else related to actual real-world events.  

It is untethered.  There is no referent.

Suddenly, tension washes over of my whole body like rolling heat lightning so that I want to jump out of my skin, heart first.  I thrash my limbs, I scream quietly.  I know that it will pass.

I also know that it will return, sometimes preceded by the thought that it hasn't happened in a while, or that this would be a bad time for it.  There is no problem to trace back to and solve.  It is a fact of my life.

Monday, January 2, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 7: perfect moment

Perfect Moment


After a day of being not girlfriend, student, daughter, or sister, but just a girl in cut-offs and boots clearing camp pathways with a chainsaw, now tucked into a sleeping bag, blistered, battered, exhausted--but strong--on the top bunk, face turned to a window covered only with a thin screen to keep out bugs; chatter below and behind me, but me just watching tree limbs thrashed by occasional gusts which also blew the hair off my face and seeing the moon rise, it seemed, right out of the crook of a tree and thinking:  this is enough.