Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Little dude has dragged himself across the finish line of sixth grade, barely. From the last day of school on Friday, and the first day of camp on yesterday, a whole new person has been born, J is a boy of extremes. We’ve gone from misery, to unadulterated joy, silliness, happiness and plain old one with the world in a matter of hours. The wattage in his eyes is turned up a notch and it’s all good in Jonah’s world, and that means all is right in mine. Additionally, it’s been five days since I’ve heard from the sockless wonder or the camp nurse, so things must be going well there as well.

I have been trapped in a vortex of paper work, and paper work is my nemesis. I can never keep pages and information straight and I always find even the most direct questions ambiguous when they’re written down, expecting a concrete answer sans windy explanation is near impossible for me. I have papers to fill out for the divorce attorney, the bank refinance folks and the tax man which are all somewhat dependent upon each other, it’s a game of which came first, the chicken or the egg. I just don’t know what I spend each month on “toiletries and cosmetics”, “hair care”, or “entertainment and recreation”. Hell, I don’t even know what I spend on gas each month, let alone clothes... for me and then the kids, haven’t a clue. I pretty much had a rough estimate for groceries, but then I got to “toiletries and cosmetics” and realized I’d have to separate out toilet paper, Q-tips and shampoo. Are paper towels groceries or toiletries? What about the one time recent expenditure on clippers so I can save money by buzzing Griffin’s hair, which I’ve only done once, by the way, and it was really fun! Two months ago, my cosmetics expenditure would have been $0 but now I’ve got this nail polish thing. So you figure one bottle at $8 lasts two months, so that’s $4 a month on cosmetics. But what if I want a vast color selection? Is that a reasonable expenditure, or do I list just one sad utilitarian bottle? Oh shoot, I forgot about a top coat, need a bottle of that. Actually, I bought three bottles of the same color and I was at a party last week and someone saw my toes and said “bikini so teeny?” YES! Hot damn, I met someone with an obsession for the same color, small damned world! Seriously, that happened, it was a moment. There’s a section for pet care, so I deducted $10 per month for cat food, I’ve stopped taking the twins to the vet because they don’t go outside and I see no signs of pre-existing rabies. There’s a section for tobacco and alcohol and mine’s a six-pack every 4 months or so, so maybe I’ll leave that out and add on some more nail polish. “Entertainment and Recreation?” I mean how about if they look at the income and then just tell each of us how much we should be spending on tobacco, alcohol, entertainment, recreation and toiletries. And then, of course, there's all the spray paint I bought last week, what category does that go in?

I saw my oncologist today, for my 3 1/2 month visit. As if the insurance companies deem 3 months to often and 4 months too infrequent, I am told to go every 3 1/2 months. I am really quite thrilled to say that this was the first appointment where nothing new cropped up, nothing, gorgeous, beautiful nothing. Yes, my liver function tests are still to high, but they’re no higher than they were and I still have too much iron in my bloodstream, but no more than before and my cancer markers are steady, so I’m considering this a very successful visit. My oncologist confirmed to me that my current plan is a good one and trust me, he’s not a touchy, feely guy. My job right now is to raise my children and take care of my health. That taking the time to make green smoothies and go to the gym is far more important than anything else. And unfortunately, my feet aren’t going to get any better and my job is to learn to live with this disability and not pretend I can do more than I can. As in, no, I’m not getting a job stocking shelves at stop and shop or as infamous opposing attorney #1 suggested, getting a job at McDonald’s. I plan on getting my paperwork done. Word to the wise, let sleeping dogs lie, now that I’ve been kicked a few times, I’m seeing things a bit more clearly and am feeling much more motivated to advocate for myself. But as I am quite incompetent at that, being the most gullable pushover ever, who caves in before even being asked for something, and because my brain is also still in recovery, I am filling out my forms and simply handing them off to an attorney instructing her to be human, but to do the very best for me she can and I want no part of any negotiating. Hell, I have to pay her the same amount whether I’m a part of the negotiations or not, why be a part of that yuckiness? If we wind up in court, I’ll show up then and answer anything I’m asked. And then, so long secondary insurance... and vision and dental too.

I’ve realized that the mythology of my marriage was that I was in control... I was in control of nothing... I wasn’t the one getting my way, because my way would have been to have been in a lively, loving, mutual relationship that was growing, changing, deepening, evolving. My way would have been to have a life moving forward, not the static and then regressing mess I wound up with. Sure I had a role to play, but no, I wasn't in control, that was a deception. No, that was an urban legend, I wasn’t getting my way, and I didn’t get my way in several important areas of our pre-canciferous agreement, but I think I’d like to start... getting my way that is.

I’m stepping off the gerbil wheel. Deep breathe in, deep breathe out. I have a hot date tonight with a fez-wearing sweetie pie, for chinese food and Doctor Who {Tom Baker era} where of course, we gasp and laugh at the same split second, guaranteed. Life is good, even with stacks of partially filled out forms and co-pay bills everywhere I look.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Critter Meets Dope, Socks Pay The Price

I almost deleted the last piece, thought maybe it was a citable case of TMI, but then I had the hugest realization and so I can’t stop now, gotta finish what I started.

I realized the link. That due to the reactions of others, the rules, and my own insecurity, feelings of guilt and being told from such an early age that I “imagined” things {no I didn’t, people were doing things they shouldn’t have been doing and it took me years to realize I’d imagined nothing, in fact I’d downplayed and still do, but I am trained to question reality}... Claudia has been just another deep, dark, secret, something so important, and something that is so much a part of who I am, but something I always regret talking about, because I wind up feeling somehow diminished, or ashamed or that I’ve done something inappropriate, or that I imagined the whole thing... I’ve gotten the message that there are some things we’re not supposed to talk about. Maybe I feel weak for my inability to let it go. It was a long time, many years before I realized that it would never go away, but would only recede to the point of being manageable, and it is, but it is the reason I have been so open and upfront and in your face about having cancer, which I hadn't realized. I think I was simply unwilling to have another dirty, little, secret and a lot of people treat cancer that way. We want cancer to be pretty pink ribbons and delude ourselves there’s a cure for every one and every thing, so we can feel safe and comfortable. Enough is enough I suppose, and we all reach our limit of going along quietly, so I wasn’t going to be embarrassed or ashamed about having cancer, so I didn’t wear a wig, I didn’t get reconstruction, I didn’t feel sorry for myself, and sorry, but I did'nt worry about the discomfort of others {too much anyway}. This is the first time I’ve realized there’s a link between the two experiences and how I’ve dealt with them other than being prepared for a cancer diagnosis because I’m used to bad things happening.

Anyway, enough of that, back to important things like raccoons eating my son’s socks. Except here’s something else, that I can’t help but ponder. I’m not joking when I talk about my eldest boy being the luckiest person I’ve ever met and anyone who has intersected with him, knows I’m not exaggerating, it’s simply a natural phenomena. And while I don’t believe in god or fairies directing the show, there is definitely some linkage between my bad luck and his good... it’s the universal strand that runs through us all, the equalizer, it’s the powers that be, whatever the heck they may be, balancing the pendulum... we cancel each other out, we are, ying and yang. I have had some serious bad luck and what I’ve written about is really the tip of the iceberg, it’s almost comical when I go through it in my mind, it’s a black comedy, but yeah, I guess that’s why I’m relentless because all I’ve ever wanted is to be happy, to have a simple happy life and one time after another, since I was a little kid, pianos keep landing on my head... in a really disproportionate way, my goals are small and simple, but crazy things are always bonking me upside the head {and heart}. Which brings me back to Griffin, and when it’s your own kid being charmed, it really is a beautiful thing to behold, so I guess that’s my karmic payback although like everything else, it has it’s good and bad sides, because it can’t last forever and he’s totally unprepared for any kind of failure or turning of tides. I just need it to last through the college application process, because this has turned into my quest too, I guess it always was, and is for us all. I need to see him wind up in the right place and with a great, big, giant, obscene financial aid package, and I’m greedy in my desires and I’m convinced it’s gonna happen, so yes, I need the luck to hold in that regard even though at times, I’ve started to root against him, which will bring us back to the raccoons, I swear. But yeah, beyond all else, I've got to get my kid the best possible position on the starting line of life, that's my job, and to me, the starting line is the first day of college, the best possible college for him, that will do the most for him. Help him become the best, most amazing person he can be, help him figure out how the world works {cause I haven't got a clue}, and he's got some serious potential for a really beautiful life. Once I get him to the gate, it's out of my hands, I'm not a helicopter parent, I'll be there for him, of course, as long as I can, but things change, there's a seismic shift when he gets to the starting line.

Griffin is gorgeous, charming {when not at home}, popular, effortlessly smart, confident as all get out, comfortable in his own skin, good at every single thing he’s ever had interest in trying. He has been obsessed with balls {puleeze, keep your mind out of the gutter} since he was born and is above averagely good at every sport he’s tried and despite having no height on either side of his family he has busted all bell curves and grown to near 6'4" to further his football throwing prospects and abilities {and dazzle the girls and look good in a suit}. Each spring the school baseball and tennis teams fight over him, baseball always wins, but he’s quite a good lefty pitcher and loves being part of a team. He goes to prom with the prom queen, he’s dating the senior valedictorian, his teachers love him, he’s confident, he can carry a freaking tune. If he buys a raffle ticket he wins and the only thing I’ve ever won is a baseball bat, so who really won there? He gets his first pick of teachers, of teams, he wins and wins and wins and he does so pretty darned effortlessly.

The result of this besides utterances of “you know... life is good when you’re me” is a lack of empathy for those for which things don’t come so easily, a bit of cockiness, which coaches apparently love, and will probably take him far in life, even if it's maddening from my perspective, and well, sheer laziness. And, um, he’s got a mom that’s soft and gullible and has spoiled him, but without, he will not watch game of thrones, because he is loyal too.

I truly enjoy this kid's company, I love him to death, I will eternally miss having him around when he goes next year, but that doesn't mean he doesn't drive me up the wall and back down again and we always start spatting at the end of the school year because I feel like he’s not studying for finals, which he’s not, but then he gets A’s and he gets the last laugh, and because he’s spending too much time staring zombie-like at screens {always his achilles heel along with a bit of bad sportsmanship}, when he should be packing for camp, or mowing the lawn, or so many other things. Same as always this year and I get the usual “I know what I’m doing” and then he leaves for camp and the S.O.S. calls, and texts begin. This year he is a counselor, yay, they pay him instead of I pay them. Naturally, he wants to be assigned to Senior Hill where the oldest campers, 14/15-year-olds dwell, and is also the best real estate in the place, a clearing right on the lake, divine, the girls get stuck in the woods with all the bugs. I want him assigned to the younger-the-better kids because I want him to learn some responsibility, I want him to work, I want him to realize that his younger brother is really, really not a bratty pest. I’m feeling pretty good about getting what I want here “you’re a first year counselor, you're only 17, get real, they’re not giving you senior hill.” “So and so really likes me, I’m getting senior hill,” “we’ll see.” And I am soooooo rooting against my own son. Yeah, you can see the punchline coming a mile away, he’s on senior hill.

The first day he texts and asks me to send a flashlight and some washcloths. Two days later he calls and wants a padded cover or some such thing for his thin bunk mattress, they’ve been fine all these years, but now it’s too uncomfortable and then he texts and asks me to send socks. “Socks? are you kidding me? you didn’t even remember to pack socks? see, I kept telling you, less facebook, more focusing on the task at hand, and you’d have what you need and I wouldn’t have to spend my week running around doing errands for you.” “It’s not what you think, it’s not my fault, raccoons ate my socks.” “Yeah, right!” “Really, it wasn’t my fault, my trunk was open {not I left my trunk open}, there were cheetos in there and the raccoons got in and went crazy and the camp had to set a lot of raccoon traps, it’s not my fault.” “dude... open trunk + open cheetos = what the heck did you think was gonna happen?” And what is he doing with cheetos? and he’s a counselor and omg please don’t let anyone drown on his watch.

Senior hill, puleeze, he’s going to have those poor 15-year-olds waiting on him hand and foot. Yep, that is one lucky kid!

But he’s my lucky knucklehead, so ha-ha, I swear on my life, he’s going to Colby College with a gigantic financial aid package! And, I have a great new rule for when he comes home, inspired by the fact that I’m still cleaning out the toxic, wheezing, drowning, tornado victim that is his room -- he can only borrow my car if I can see his floor {oh baby!}, and that includes under the bed and closet too. I can’t wait! Last year while he was gone, I took his xbox and hid it for 6-months, that’s how mad I got at him and now that he has it back, he hardly ever plays, it’s beautiful, but facebook, that damned temptress facebook. I'm a pushover, but by the end of the school year, he's pushed me to my limit with his bottomless pit of need and refusal to help in ways that he should be helping. He can only charm me so far and for so long and believe me... it goes pretty darned far.

I’ve also decided that while he’s gone, I want to play lots and lots of ping pong. I need a ping pong master to guide me because once, just once, I want to beat that kid at ping pong. This is the guy who can roll two Yahtzees in a row, and can catch a ball from behind and with his eyes closed and can do freaking calculus. I’m pinning my unlikely hopes on ping pong, so if you want to practice with me, let me know. Honestly, all I want for my impending 50th birthday is to beat my son at ping pong, demand that he be a good sport and then gloat for the rest of my life... once, just once, that's all I want.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Best Laid Plans

I stayed in bed until 1p.m. today, it’s Saturday. I’d say I slept until one, but Public Works started digging on the street right outside my window at 8a.m. and the phone rang shortly after, and then the doorbell with my “husband” picking up some things that Jonah needed for the day. When the bell rang again it was the tree service here to spray my sickly elm tree and I finally got up. It’s warm, I love getting up when it’s warm and just throwing on a loose cotton t-shirt dress.

Last night I went to a friends annual summer solstice party. J could only stay until 8, when I needed to drop him at his dad’s and I was sorry for the rest of the night that he couldn’t run around in the dark and the dirt making mischief with the other little wild things. But I stayed, I stayed until two a.m. and I drank to my hearts content having just had my monthly bloodwork, knowing I’d have time to recover before getting tested again and well, every now and then you just gotta let loose. I had fun, I drank, I ate, I talked to people I’d never met before which is something that is hard for me, but I’m determined to get better at, and I played ping pong for the first time in two years and just wasn’t worried about embarrassing myself. And fuck yeah, I won a game against a guy with a killer serve. I came back from a 10 point deficit, and damned if it didn’t feel great. I didn’t care that my feet hurt and I was out of breath, I hung in there. I’m hoping to start going to the Y three times a week instead of two. My free Livestrong membership ends soon, but I feel myself making progress, I accept that my feet won’t get better, but I can certainly improve my stamina, strength, flexibility and range of motion. I was aware that I was pretty much the only one there that wasn't part of a couple, but that's just the way it is, that's just the way it goes, the way it went.

I didn’t go to the studio at all this week, I took a hiatus. I never do that, I’m used to a maddening pace, an almost 18 year long streak of thinking I have to work all the time while being a full time parent. When Griffin was born, I was a stay-at-home mom also billing 30-50 hours a week of graphic design work. That’s insane. It was mindless, catalogue production work usually, so I could do it half asleep, but it helped pay the bills and I got used to working nights and weekends and when he was sleeping and I never really gave up that mentality. I’ve forgotten what leisure is. Since I’m self employed, I couldn’t collect disability while I was sick, so while I didn’t work a lot, it was always on my mind and any spare minute I could get up, I was going to the studio, or doing billing and trying to keep up, keep the business alive and worrying, worrying about the bills.

Usually when the shop closes, I kick into doing shows on the road most weekends, or going to the studio to fill wholesale orders or stock up my consignment accounts. But the last couple of weekends where I didn’t have the kids, I took a break, I kicked back or focused on projects at home, and it felt great. Makes me aware of how distorted my perspective has been on How To Live Life 101. Less worrying, more living is surely a good goal. So last night I went out and didn’t care that I’d be useless today. While eating breakfast I listened to the beginning of the Moth Radio Hour, a {true} storytelling show I love, but rarely get to hear. I was sorry when I was done eating because I wanted to listen to the rest of it, but figured I should go start the laundry and get to my next chair painting project, or back to detoxifying the tall one’s room, and then it occurred to me, I could, in fact, just plain old sit there for 45 more minutes drinking my tea and listening to the radio and so I did. It’s crazy that this is something I just don’t do, don’t allow myself, feel guilty about.

Maybe there was a little divine guidance going on in the background because one of the stories was about a man’s experience with having children, and his life changing devastation and guilt after his second child was stillborn at nine months. He described the silence all around them at the hospital, how nurses wouldn’t look at them, how it had never occurred to him that such a thing could happen and his guilt that it was his fault because, he in fact, had not wanted the child and he surmised that had killed her. Too, too familiar {although I wanted my child, very, very much}, but there is solace and revelation in hearing similar accounts from others. I was taken with how this loss guided his life, was preeminent and was something that was openly talked about among family, and with his older daughter only one year old at the time. How they all referred to the baby by her name, Lauren, how he went to her grave, how she existed in their lives, even though she had died, the consensus was, that she was real. The consensus of the people in my life seems to be that my baby was not real which tangles my emotions further. In the story the older child asked questions about her sister for years which he couldn’t bear to answer and finally when she was about five, she told her father that she had a dream about Lauren and that she said to tell him that “it’s o.k.” and that ended his torment, and he could finally really honor her and move forward in his life.

This affects me so, because my daughter’s birthday is coming around the bend and I feel guilty if I even refer to her by name. I feel like I’m being a drama queen, a burden and that's reinforced by the blank, uncomfortable stares I receive, or the silence on the other end of the phone. She has always seemed real only to me, I suppose because I’m the only one who knew her, I knew her as she gestated, her rhythms, her behaviors and I gave birth to her and held her, and I had so many dreams for her, for us, but in my dysfunctional family it's been frowned upon to mention. I wasn’t allowed to talk about her with her father, he would walk away uncomfortably, or just not respond, he wouldn’t acknowledge her birthday accept to maybe say, I know this is a hard day for you... But what about him? was it a hard day for him? I don’t know, he doesn’t talk about things like that, I was the only one who cried. I just know that when I mention her people get very uncomfortable and then I feel guilty for being self indulgent. It annoys my mother to no end if I mention her, she says “omg aren’t you over that yet, it was a lifetime ago.” And I only mention her near her birthday, because I start to unravel around that time and it took me years to figure out why. I literally didn’t realize that dates and anniversaries are powerful even if they're just another day, that on an unconscious level, it's just not another day. You can try not to think about something, you can pretend to not think about something, but you’re thinking about it without even knowing it. It’s a powerful thing to grow a baby. It’s a terrible thing to hold a dead one in your arms. In the Moth story, the speaker expounded on how is dead daughter was the spitting image of her sister, it was the same with mine. I don’t know why I feel so guilty and selfish acknowledging something that is just plain true. I had a daughter, her name was Claudia Hope Clark, she was born and died on July 3, 1999, she was healthy, fully formed and perfect in every way, except for the fact that her heart had stopped beating sometime during labor, as I slept. Her older brother loved her and just didn’t, couldn’t understand why he never got to see her, he measured my belly and talked to her and came to the doctor with me, just like they say to do, when you’re preparing someone to be a big brother. He begged and cried to go to the hospital and see her, sure that they must have made a mistake. She would be 14 years old in a couple of weeks and she’d be starting high school in the fall. So she and her brother would be in the same school next year and he would look out for her. Everyone would know, don’t mess with Claudia Clark, Griffin is her older brother! Yeah, I think about her every day and I always will. G and I have both always had a special fondness for the girl next door who was a few months old when Claudia died. G has no tolerance for his much younger brother, he had always wanted to be a "big brother" but the window of opportunity slammed shut for him, but he’s always thought of Katie like a little sister, she’s starting high school next year, would have been Claudia’s classmate and no doubt friend, and G and I laughed the other day about how no one better mess with her “damn straight he said, you tell her to come to me.”

I’m not destroyed, I don’t cry myself to sleep, I don’t feel sorry for myself, I’m not the only one who has experienced loss or sadness, but I am really fucked up and freaky in my belief that I’m not allowed to acknowledge her, that I have to pretend she wasn’t real because no one else met her and because no one else remembers her and I don’t want to burden people, but in doing so, I harbor so much guilt for not honoring her. I wasn’t planning on talking or writing about her, but then I heard that story today and how can I not? She existed, yes, she was a real, unique, human being who due to freak circumstances, didn’t get to live out her life, she was loved, she had a stockpile of pink clothing waiting for her in her room. And yeah, this time of year is hard for me, so anyone with an issue with me, should squelch it between mid June and July 5 or so because this warrior, turns fragile glass. I gut it out every 4th of July because I remember what it was like to come home from the hospital, lactating and with empty arms, having just given birth with everyone around me pretending that I hadn’t just given birth and with fireworks and the sounds of celebrating in the background, I remember it like it was yesterday. Every year it’s one giant agony and my heart is just melting as people start asking, innocuously what are you doing for the 4th? I have kids, I can’t hide, I have to take them to a BBQ or celebration of some sort and pretend I’m having a good time, that everything’s normal, it’s just another day, while focusing my whole body and soul on not bursting into tears. There are details that would make you sob, that would stun you, that I can still hardly believe, unspeakable details because the devil is in the details and people are capable of great love and great callousness, but I keep those to myself. And I finally learned that we all have different limitations, some things are too painful for people to be around, or just paralyzing and we don’t know what to do. Sorry, but all bets are off right now, in the hope that it helps me in some way, I had a daughter, her name was Claudia Hope {seriously, Hope, her name was already picked out} she was beautiful, she looked just like her older brother, but with my dark hair, the happiest day of my life was when I found out I was having a girl. I’m sad we can’t go dress shopping for the prom, or someday her wedding, or do mother/daughter things. While I am overjoyed at watching other people do those things, it comes with great pain as well, it’s not jealousy, or envy, it just is what it is. I wouldn’t trade my boys for all the tea in china, but oh, how I wanted to transcend my relationship with my mother by having a daughter of my own, I think we would have had great fun together. I also know that if she’d lived, there would likely be no Jonah Clark and that would be it’s own travesty. So don’t feel sorry for me, loss makes you appreciate what you have so, so much more, and I got my happy ending, but just so you know, I had a daughter, her name was Claudia, I can think about her without crying except for this one time of year. I had three children, not two, three. I had three pregnancies and three births and not a minute of a day goes by that I don’t think of all three. She was real, I sat in a chapel with her body in a wood box until she was returned to me a bag of ashes. Some are in the ground and some are in a box I never take out in the back of my closet. I had a daughter, her name was Claudia, she is much loved and much remembered even if only by one, because if one person loves you quite that much, it’s enough.

People tell me I'm brave because of how I've dealt with cancer and well, that's a lot of bullshit, I'm not any braver than the next person, I've just heard worse news. "Your baby is dead", is a galaxy worse than "you have cancer." Once you've survived the first, you know you can survive anything. They told me I have cancer, and then I did what I was told to do. I showed up for my appointments, I sucked it up and dealt with it cause I had kids at home to worry about. There is no time for self indulgence or feeling sorry for yourself, when you've got them as your priority. I cried when I first heard the "cancer" word, even though deep down, I already knew, but only that one time, and then I just did what I had to do, I have children to raise, end of story, and it really paled in comparison to the other thing which was a pain so deep, so searing and unrelenting I really do not have the words to describe it. I remember those words like I heard them yesterday, the cancer thing is just a blur, just a utilitarian thing. I used to refer to Claudia dying as "the bad thing" I couldn't even say it and then I thought I wasn't allowed to say it. Well, my sweet baby girl died and cancer can just go fuck itself, I'm a little fed up with bad shit. Just hoping not to hear "you're cancer's back and of course the T word... terminal." That's a bridge I'm hoping not to cross. Hiatus, yes, I need a hiatus from bad shit. I've been writing this for so long it's almost 5:00, I'm a little stunned by that. Not even gonna reread it... hitting "publish"now and then I'm back on hiatus.

Monday, June 3, 2013


I had an epiphany at Stop & Shop today. A true epiphany, the kind you only have a handful of times in your life, unless you’re particularly epiphany-prone, or lack them all together. In a single moment my pernicious combination of anger and fear turned into steely resolve. I have clarity. I am unfraid. I realized that I’ve been living in fear of so many things, and in doing so, if anything, have been selling myself short. My fear of things changing for the worse has prevented me from seeing that they can and should change for the better and if they don’t, so be it, but it’s time to find out, time to take a risk, time to stop trying to control what I can’t control, time to throw the dice. Time to let go of the status quo.

I took a respite from my speed shopping to go down the “beauty” isle to hold my bare nails {oh the horror} up to different bottles of color. I didn’t, ultimately buy any, but it was a purely peaceful moment, an indulgence, a flicker of time without anxiety. Yes, I was definitely due an epiphany, can’t remember the last one, it’s been a good long while.

Lovely afternoon with my boys. Trauma free homework completion, but as there’s never a dull moment I got one of those special freeze-in-time phone calls from the tall one’s baseball coach telling me he’d been hit in the head with a ball. He’s fine, it turned out not to be a pitch, but a freak fielding throw that hit him in the ear. He has a big ear now, I called him Dumbo when he came home and after eating I lent him my car to go to you-know-who’s house. He’s fine, I’m fine, we’re fine.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blind Side

I got blindsided this week, kicked in the teeth. I felt someone treated me unfairly and with a profound lack of empathy. I got upset, I got a fiery stress ball in my stomach, my heart started racing and my muscles clenched. I felt like someone had snapped the rope I teeter on like a rubber band, increasing the tenuousness of my grip, my balance. I ranted to a few close friends, made a possibly ill-advised facebook post, paced back and forth, mind spinning, and then realized that this is not how to live. Realized that I was letting someone else affect the quality of my precious day and so I’ve decided to employ the power-rant as a life rule. When something really, really upsets me, I will rant with reckless abandon for no more than 48 hours and then it ceases completely and I will step back into my happy pod and move on.

I have to deal with the situation of course, and I’ll be lawyer shopping over the next few weeks which was not my plan for the next few weeks, but I’ve considered how to make this situation most bearable for me and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to wrestle endlessly with what to do, or if this is fair or that is fair, or what has the best chances for success, I’m simply going to do what I think will cause me the least ongoing stress. I’m gonna let go and roll the dice and accept there are things I can’t control. What will be, will be, no point worrying about the future. If I have a future, that’s a win right there and I'll worry about how to survive then. Stress is canciferous, fireballs in stomach are canciferous, clenched muscles are canciferous and I need to be an inconducive environment for cancer and I mustn't waste precious days and precious energy.

So after brief derailment, I’m back in my pod, although sweating terribly which is bearable only because the weather report predicts quick end to heat. I drove the tall one to a baseball game today and just seeing his thick, polyester baseball pants made me suffer, I don’t know how they play in the blazing sun on days like this. The whole ride down to the field, we both agreed that the car smelled like urine. We smelled each other, and both passed the sniff test. G thought it might be his t-shirt, same one he wore in bio when they were dissecting pregnant pigs. Thought it might be remnants of the pig preserving chemicals involved. I can’t stop thinking about the pregnant pigs... where do they come from, and I can’t even pretend they died naturally in childbirth. Are pregnant pigs harvested for high school science classes? Where? How? What is the name of the business? What on earth would you name that business? Who starts a business like that? Is it really necessary to dissect a pregnant pig in class? High school multiplied by each town, each state, that’s a lot of pigs. Poor little pigs, says this hypocritical bacon eater.

When he got out, the car still smelled, I don’t get it, I need Click and Clack. I thought my adventures with unexpected bodily secretions was confined to the barf-a-day club, one of my cats has forced me to join. It’s so exciting -- where will the cat barf be today? Will I step in it barefoot when I’m getting out of bed? Will it be among the folds of a skirt I left on the floor? Oh so many places it could be, and rarely the same place twice, maybe I should appreciate that feat, my cat’s unwillingness to be redundant in barfing locales, but I don’t, I just don’t.

I bought non-toxic nail polish today, but it smells almost as bad as the toxic stuff I’ve been using. Nail polish is rated by how many toxic chemicals they chose to leave out. There’s regular, which I guess everyone admits is just plain poison. 3-free, which is sans the three most toxic chemicals and 5-free, sans the five most toxic. I’ve been using 3-free which stinks to high heaven and seems as toxic as anything can be even through the mask I wear. Can’t help it though, it comes in the clear blue sky color I love which for some bizarre reason is called Teeny Weeny Bikini, I assure you, there is not one of those in my possession to match so you may go to the beach without fear. Today, I’m painting lego pieces with white nail polish for a movie the young one is plotting. He needs a white lego body, and some white accessories. I pondered white tape cut meticulously to size and then white spray paint and then it hit me, white nail polish, genius. It’s working great so far and I successfully used my fine work for leverage. Sorry, I’m not doing any more until you take a shower. Boy is clean and I’m back to work.

I’m doing an outdoor show in Worcester tomorrow. Last minute decision, to mooch half a tent space from a friend. It’s quite uncool to do this, but I’ve done this show before, it’s huge, it’s not really juried and I know they like my work. In fact, years past when I check in, the woman with the clipboard is wearing a pair of my double-drop atomica earrings, so I figured on the outside chance we get caught they’ll be cool. The organizers of this show, really are great. Needed some quick cash and we’ve arranged to be next to another friend, the weather is going to be nice and I think it will be a lot of fun. The bad part is, my favorite jeweler is going to be there, I don’t often run into her which is good, because there’s so much temptation. My 48 hours are up, so there will be no bitching and moaning from me, and hopefully no jewelry buying, but that I can’t guarantee.