During this process of purging and sorting I found myself getting sad as I would cart handfuls of clothing and random equipment I had forgotten about to the living room of our house. And for a few days I could not figure out what was wrong with me. Why was I so sad. Purging is great. Everyone should purge. It's rejuvenating. But this was different. I would feel fine, then I would sort through the huge pile of stuff that has almost taken over our living room and I would feel horrible.
Tonight chardonnay and I (I already told you I am not an alcoholic....but chard is a great friend. Usually comes out on Friday's, but it was a busy day) were sorting through a huge, huge mound of clothing. I felt my body begin to tense, my lip quiver and a tear run down my face. I sat down and I cried. I realized that the horrible feeling was sadness. A lot of sadness. While I love a good purge, this purge is different. It's the baby stuff from MY babies. It's not old tupperwear, or old clothes, or towels. It's MY babies stuff. Each piece has a memory attached....well, maybe not each piece but it sure feels that way. My babies don't wear those little tiny socks any more. Or the dress with the adorable hat. Or the little red shoes - so tiny. And my twins (my who the ___ would have thought we would end up with twins) no longer wear those little sleepers or hats or matching jeans stamped with "my first denim" on the pocket. They are too big for that stuff. They are not babies. They are toddlers. The purge is a good bye to babyhood. I have never been much of a fan of letting go and saying good bye. This is a hard process.
And as I cried all I could remember is the cute little, cuddly babies. MY cute, cuddly babies. The memories of sleepless nights with a screaming child who seems to be completely inconsolable, which then makes mommy inconsolable, and then he has to deal with two (or three) bumbling idiots in the middle of the night....you get where I am going with this. But at the moment of purging I can only remember the ups of MY babies. The lows....well, I guess I purged those too. The lows are probably at the bottom of the box with the newborn onesies. Folded, priced and ready to be sold to the highest bidder.
This morning she asks "Mommy is that your medicine?" pointing to my morning ritual of drinking a liquid shake and fibbing because I don't really want to share.
"Yes, that is my medicine."
"Oh," she replies "you sure like your medicine."
She skipped away, and then came back about seven seconds later. "Papa likes his medicine too."
"Which medicine does Papa like?" I replied.
"I show you." She went to the pantry, opened the door and pointed. "Papa likes those medicines."
She had pointed to the Red Vine licorice.
Clearly he is a liar too.
Our names are mommy and papa and we are liars.
The voice in the back of my head is making me feel guilty. Telling me I should be a better house keeper and tend to the chores in more timely manner. Well, Mr. Back of My Head (it is a mister because a woman would not throw this kind of guilt trip) let me tell you something......and the conversation goes on.
I did no better cleaning my house when I wasn't working at home. But the fact that I do frolic into the kitchen periodically through the day and walk past the piles of unfolded laundry at least 11 times a day seems to hit a bit of a nerve....although it seems to be my issue. No one else (my wonderful husband included) seem to notice. I hate, hate, hate a dirty house. It actually stresses me out. But some days (and past weeks) I just don't have the time. These days, I have no time. Although the irony is that instead of writing this blog, I could be cleaning...nah.
I decided to make time. I made a list (my favorite past time) and gave myself one chore for each day. Today is Friday. I did one of the chores.....Shit. It's sunny today and who wants to spend it cleaning toilets and folding laundry? If you do, let me know. I'll leave the cleaner on the counter. Your welcome. I'll be at lunch with a friend having an adult beverage.
So the balancing act continues. Maybe I should quit my job and go apply at the circus.....
This is another "creation" from my fiction writing class. I thought long and hard about even posting this for the world to see. And while that may sound a bit, well, pompous, I was/am concerned about the reaction of those who read it.
I learned a lot from this writing class. A lot, lot, lot. And surprising (to me)a lot on many different levels. The most shocking was that while writing fiction your mind, emotions and subconscious will take you to places you never thought were inside. Places you never thought existed inside you.
Wake up call. Those places do exist. Clearly.
This story is completely fiction. Mom, dad…I am not an alcoholic. Promise.
She stared at the bottle with disgust. That damn bottle ruined her life. Now all she had was that bottle. Everything else. Gone.
She knew going in that it might be dangerous. She knew the risks. She knew herself well enough. But she did it anyway. That first day seemed so long ago. After four long years she was gonna try again. Sober. What a horrible word. But she had to give it a whirl. Give it a go.
She sat there aching. Her insides eating themselves. Her brain churning. Someone make it stop. Staring at the bottle made it worse, but nothing else made it better. On this day, this hour, this minute what choice did she have? Was her pain worse than the pain she had caused? Would one more sip really make it worse?
Without thinking her left hand lifted from her lap. Fingers pointing outward. An unknown force drew her hand towards the warmth of the bottle. Square in shape, her hand could only wrap around part way. With the first touch she instantly recalled the smooth glass. Her knuckles turned white as her hold increased. Her bicep flexed and the bottom of the bottle lifted from the ottoman.
The glass touched her lips, she tipped the body of the bottle upwards. The brown liquid trickled into her mouth. The whisky burned when it hit her throat. The sensation was replaced by the orgasmic wave of warmth flowing through her body.
She tipped the bottle back down but only long enough for her thoughts to wander and as they did she quickly turned the bottle back up to the heavens and allowed her throat to swallow and swallow; to swallow all the liquid warmth, to swallow the pain, the discontent, the grief, the sorrow, the hatred. She swallowed. The more she swallowed the more she forgot. The more she forgot the more she swallowed.
Finally replacing the bottle, now empty, back to its original position, she absorbed the love from that bottle. But the bottle was empty and now the bottle was talking. The bottle was judging. The bottle would tattle. The bottle would expose their little secret. The empty bottle no longer loved her.
"Such is life and I am a royal fuck up. Well, better to be a royal fuck up than just a fuck up. Being a royal makes it better right?" she rambled to the bottle.
"Say something you son of a bitch! Go ahead judge. Judge me. But you don't know. You don't know where I have been. What I have dealt with. Your life has been so simple and now you have the audacity to judge me. Bastard." She paced back and forth.
The stomping around rattled the empty bottle. It now sat precariously on the edge of the leather ottoman. The ottoman only inches from the sliding glass door of her apartment. Her words turned to sobs, but she continued to pace. Back and forth, back and forth. And so rocked the empty bottle back and forth, back and forth.
I recently started a short term fiction writing class. This is one of the pieces I wrote that received great feedback from the class.
Let me know what you think....
We liked our coffee strong. Hers with a splash of creamer but just enough to transform the dark silk into a light mocha. However on the weekends she added a knife full of home harvested honey. Mine, just black. No matter the day. Always black.
We always sat face to face looking up from our laptops only long enough to periodically wink at each other. She browsed the web while I researched. She caught up with friends on Facebook while I read the latest on healthcare reform.
It was cold that morning. Snowing actually. The first snow of the season. I could hear the snow plows in the background. They certainly wouldn't make it down this way for a day or so. Just as long as the power and cable were on, we'd be fine.
The knock at the door startled us as no one ventured down this far. Only us locals took the journey. The knock was sharp. Intense. I'd been glancing outside periodically that morning and I hadn't seen anyone come up the drive. We both looked up at the third knock. The usual suspects would have come in after the first.
Without words she decided that I should be the one to fetch the door. Begrudgingly I slowly unfolded myself from the breakfast nook and lumbered towards the front of the house. My knees crackling with each step. They had never been the same since the accident.
As I grabbed for the door handle another knock raddled the stained glass. She hollered from the kitchen. Her words inaudible. Ya, ya. I thought to myself knowing what she said without hearing her words.
I turned the knob and made a mental note that I needed to replace the threshold on the back door. The damn draft was getting worse.
I tilted my head up just slightly. Only enough to see the shoes. Right off, I knew something was amiss.
I was 21 when I left home. My mother had raised my older brother and I after that guy left us two days after my fifth birthday. She was never the same. The shame kept her in the house 23 hours a day. She would venture outside, no matter the weather, everyday at 3am. We joked that she was like the US postal service. Neither wind, rain or snow would keep her. It wasn't funny. It was sad. Really sad. If we'd had more family, I am sure someone would have committed her, but no other family existed. Just my brother and I. What did we know? My brother, only three years my senior was just entering the girl obsession stage. To him, my mother was a burden, already. For me, I did my best to make sure that she stayed clean, fed and smiled. Getting my mother to smile was a daily chore. Just like cooking, cleaning, folding laundry. It was just part of my day. We all existed in that house, full of memories until the day my brother turned 16 and he got his license. We never saw him again.
The smell of strong coffee in the background brought me back to present day. Standing on our front stoop he looked old. Really old. It might have been the overcoat and cap, but the years had not treated him well. The creases in his forehead and corners of his eyes were deep. His eyes seemed grayer than I remember and his teeth matched the snowy background.
"Hi." He tentatively uttered.