Friday, May 21, 2010

Joy and Daisies

Wednesday was a slow-cooker kind of day. Meaning, I put all my ingredients in the pot: coffee, shower, to-do list, desire, and deadline--but it took about four hours for things to heat up in there, so much so that it was about 1:00 pm before I really got anything done. It didn't feel good to fritter that many child-free hours away on so little, but I was feeling a teeny bit blue, and when this sort of thing comes over me I have just a few options, tools I find can help bridge the gap between Hope and No-Man's Land.

One of my tricks is to go outside, sit with the sun on my face and peruse the day's mail- but since we've moved so much, and basically stopped receiving correspondence, all I had was this really random catalog called Body Central, a mail-order boutique featuring an impressive selection of come-hither tops and Daisy Duke shorts, all for dirt-cheap. It's pretty fascinating the kind of profile one can put together, just from reading someone else's deliveries. For instance, the former occupant of this house liked synthetic fabrics, permanent wedgies...and the number $19.99.

So-what do you think? Could I find work based on my ability to see into the minds of individuals committing style crimes? Who knows, though-maybe the homeowner was just as perplexed as I was by that offering. Maybe she, too, kept her fingers crossed for a Garnet Hill circular, a wayward New Yorker from next door, perhaps even an overdue birthday card with scratch-off lotto ticket tucked inside? I don't mind belated wishes, if you don't. And, to that end, I'll go on record to say that, in my opinion, it's perfectly acceptable to read your neighbor's magazines if they're delivered to you, as long as you put them in the right box eventually. Once, I got a People, Us Weekly, and OK! by mistake; it took me two days to get through them, but better late than never, I say.

Another thing that sometime works is this: call my husband and fish for compliments, and then pretend I don't hear his response. So he has to repeat the sweet nothing, and I get to feel twice as pretty/witty/that I'm a good dancer.  Except-lately, he's getting more hip to my jive in this department and is far less apt to take the bait.  Also of note: his i-phone Sudoku addiction, which, who am I kidding, is basically like competing with another woman, only she's good at math. One way I work this angle is to say, innocently, "Oh there you go, playing Bejeweled Blitz again", because everyone knows B-Squared is a game for the ladies! So far, this hasn't worked in causing him to question his manliness like I thought it would.

So yesterday I was striking out on lots of fronts, when I just decided to nap for twenty minutes in hopes I'd wake up a different person. Or- that I would wake up, and this strange period in our lives would have passed. And, forgive me if this is all getting rather old, my stories of tribulation and woe. It's just...some days are harder than others. Some days I feel sick with not knowing where we're going or what's next on the radar. Some days I could write about it for hours, and some days I don't even want to give it a moment's thought. I want to pretend that everything is as it was, that we don't have to move, or look for a new job, or make a decision about the business. That I could just be a normal person instead of someone cursed to a life of passing through. My heart doesn't feel like it's passing through. There are people I really love here. And my children love their school..oh, man.

So. I sat on the edge of my bed, and cried kind of pitifully. Then I slept, but only halfway, with the music on. And now I'll pause for a moment to say that some artists are flat-out NOT HELPFUL in moving a person through the grief process. For instance, this song by Maria Taylor. Or,  this little number from The Cinematic Orchestra, aptly titled, To Build a Home. Whenever I find Joshua in his office, logged on to the custom-made Pandora Station on which both of these artists can be found, I have to get out right away because, man, that place is a tomb. 

And yet, somewhere in the mix of despair and questions...amid my rest and wakefulness yesterday, there was joy, in the purest sense. Not happiness, but something deeper...which abides. In between the depressing music and my mix-tape of anxiety was an emerging thought: The remedy, when it all becomes too much, is not always distraction. When I allow myself to wallow for a little while, to just swim around in the big old mud puddle of it all, I find I come out of the mess with more than a healthy mineral glow. I lose some of the pressure of having to hold it all together, and I remember that even though everything is completely whacked out right now, there's a subterranean layer in me that is untouchable. This is true: I have a lovely life. Even though I might not always see it, I know it.

***Look what I found? Evidence of some Daisy Days Gone By. I guess I was a fan of the Dukes once, too, as was my bestestestest friend in the world, Jami. I'd like everyone to note the sensible sun hat she's toting on our way to the beach, whereas I've donned movie star shades and some chandelier ear-bobs for the occasion, along with inexplicably curly hair. It's pretty safe to say that as far as rear-views are concerned, this was the top of our game.


michael moebes, esq. said...

Hey, D told me y'all's news...I'm really sorry. I don't know if the cliched analogy of closing and opening doors would help here, but because I'm not a fan of cliches (and assume a gifted writer like you is not, either), I'll just reference it vaguely. See how I selflessly I give?

Hope to see y'all this weekend and maybe say or do something just ridiculous enough to provide a chuckle or two.

Deborah said...

I'd like to point out that in the early-to-mid-90s, those shorts were not considered particularly short. So.

Other People's Chicken said...

Michael-Thank you for your heartfelt cliche. It really does help.

And Deb, there IS a shorter pair in my sartorial skeleton closet, but they were never (phew!)caught on film.