My back is killing me from the airplane seats, or from the weight of the air tanks, don’t care. My gouged knee is still oozing, don’t care. My left leg is covered in red, sea lice bites, don’t care. I’m reset, recharged, thank you Mexico, thank you sea turtles, thank you cenote, thank you friend willing to travel with me. Just in case you were wildly curious about sea lice...we were entirely unaware of their presence, or them biting us until later. The bites don’t hurt, barely itch and show themselves latently. I’ve been sprouting new red bumps since last week and they aren’t fading one bit, mysterious little things. They must travel in clumps, or schools, or teeny, tiny herds becaue both my friend and I got clusters of bites in just one place, for me, it’s my right thigh, curious, indeed.
I’m slammed with work, I have the kids nonstop, quid pro quo, to make up for my trip which is making my schedule crazy, don’t care. I have newfound calm, focus, patience and determination. Ha, determination to get back in the water, and of course, to make some money, so I can do that.
I did something quite frightening before I left, it’s been my little secret, I’m terrible at keeping secrets, I read the beginning of a book first, then the end, then the middle, I love spoilers, especially if they’re pronounced as if by River Song “spoilers, darling”, sorry, that’s a Doctor Who reference, my child has corrupted me, I’m quoting Doctor Who. Anyway, I’ve kept this secret for quite a few weeks now, I did something scary and I did it because I was asked to, and I think it’s necessary to do the things that scare us. I hesitated, I thought “me?” why would they want to do that with “me”? That self-esteem thing, that’s from childhood, many, many years of what I shall not describe, as that would be a book in itself, but those feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, I have battled them since I recognized them, and well, maybe I’m finally winning (and please don’t say that like Charlie Sheen), because someone asked to interview me for a story about my blog. Someone from a glossy magazine who found me all on her own and emailed me out of the clear blue sky. So I did it. I met with a woman, a writer and yakked and gabbed for an hour, doubt I said anything profound, but she said it was great and she had tons to use and my heart beat double fast for a few hours afterwards, but I survived. Came home to an email, yesterday, however, requesting a photo shoot. Whaaaaaa? Of course I said fine, I’m not turning back now, but yikes, I haven’t worn makeup in years. I can’t imagine putting on mascara, it seems absurd and so I won’t, especially because I have few eyelashes, or brows for that matter. Some hair grows back, some doesn’t. My pubic hair is rather in the shape of a donut which is far preferable to looking pre-pubescent, in my humble opinion. I don’t get that fully-waxed thing, I think it’s kind of gross. I’m all for good grooming, but do we really want to look like little girls?
I digress, photo shoot... likely just a quick shot, head shot... maybe buy some blush at CVS? Hope my hair is long enough to pull back without barrettes? I don’t like having my picture taken and I’m not photogenic, but I’m doing it because it’s scary and I’m 50 and fuck it. I wear the same baggy skirt and sweater every day... what should I wear and do I wear my own jewelry? I never wear my own jewelry, but maybe I should, maybe someone will see it and want to buy it and then I can make lots of money and go live underwater. I like my friend's jewelry better, I wear that. I love my AG Ambroult, Erica Walker, DA Metals. And what if someone does want to buy my jewelry, my website is years out of date. I'll worry about that later.
The tall one is laughing about having “gotten away” with his party. “Bullshit”, I say, “you got away with nothing, I let you get away with it because I have a sense of humor”. I have to remind him that he ran into his father at the grocery store while picking up supplies, for crying out loud, giving himself away before he even got going. His father, ultimately, stopped by twice to make sure they were under control, so that’s not exactly pulling a fast one. I let him know that I would have noticed things were out of place, and surely the condition of the toilets were a dead give away. Even the bath mats showed how many people came through, they are in the washing machine this very minute. I’m gullible, but I’m not stupid. He’s determined to gloat, I don’t know why, and I’m determined that he not gloat, and did I mention the fridge full of Red Bull? I’d never had a Red Bull so I tried one and it’s got to be one of the vilest things I’ve ever tasted. I guess the point is to counteract the alcohol induced grogginess with the buzz of caffeine, but I wonder, doesn’t that just cancel the whole thing out?
Little dude was happy to see me, although, he appears, finally, to have bonded with his father’s apartment and enjoyed his long stretch there. I know this is a good thing, I know this is the best thing, I’ve been doing my best to facilitate this thing, I know this is in his best interest, everyone’s best interest and I know this enables me to travel more, but it still stings a little bit, because I’ve been his one and only for so long and I’ve probably never been anyone’s one and only before. Little critter is turning 13 at the end of the month, I can hardly believe it. I’ll need to stop calling him, the small one.
I’m learning how to play this frequent flier/airline credit card game and I’ve racked up quite a few pints this way. I’m trying to figure out how to use the credits for hotels and cars as well as air travel, because I want to do a four day trip down to the Florida keys in April or May. I’m an addict, I need a fix. I'm going with a friend of mine I've pestered sufficiently. She's an outstanding illustrator who draws many undersea creatures and critters and I think it's going to blow her mind to look some of her subjects right in the eye. I'm a little obsessed with watching her have that experience, so I've coerced her into getting certified and coming to Florida where I can corrupt her sufficiently.
I’m befuddled over standardized testing. I got little one’s NECAP test scores, that’s our version of the beast. He did fine, but when I was looking at the numbers I realized that you had to get very, very few correct answers to be “proficient”. Only slightly more than outright guessing would get you, because the scores are scaled. That seems both crazy and disturbing, If they’re going to scale them, then really, what is the point? You can be “highly proficient” by getting half the answers wrong as long as everyone else did too. I hang my head, I’m past ranting and raving, I’ve been dealing with crappy public schools for so long. I guess they wear us down with so many absurdities until we don’t know in which direction to point our ire and we just go along. So I’m just going along, I have too many other things to do, I know, that’s how they win, but you can only bitch and fight so much. Maybe it's best not to look in the backpacks after all.