Saturday, March 12, 2011

the one where I can't seem to get to a point to save the cat

I'm over-thinking things today (I wish I were "over" as in "done" thinking, but that's not the case). I'm thinking too hard about the mess in my kitchen, the mound of clean clothes in the laundry basket that I can't seem to get folded and put away, the scrapings of mud on the kitchen floor, left over from the week's rain and snow.

Over-thinking my marriage, my past, the definition of grief, my own relevance, how the fuck I managed to raise such a powerful, compassionate, beautiful child while being this asshole of a nonentity (pardon me. That's my inner critic peeking out her ugly head. My (late) mother keeps trying to smack her back into the briefcase I've saved all these years that holds the family trust documents, which I may need to pull out so that I can find some statements I need to do some business that I've been trying to do for years with my financial adviser who hasn't exactly been on top of things for me, but then, I'm not exactly easy to reach when one wants to talk to me about money. The shame of money. Why? I've always wondered about myself and shame of money).

My Girl and her senior friend are at another friend's house for the night. I'm a little lost. I'm so used the sleepovers being here. They aren't very far, about a 10 minute walk, less if you speed walk or jog. The friend they're with is one of my girl's dearest and oldest friends from elementary school, though they haven't been as close since the beginning of high school. I think of A as a "motherless mongrel." I adore this kid. She's the girl whose mother died a few days after my Texas friend's funeral a couple of years ago.

A is having a terrible time this year, and my Girl and Senior Girl are, at A's request, staging a sort of rescue mission, teaching A that she does have friends, support, is beloved by more than just one person (another friend). Emotional work. Healing work.

When my Girl bounced in here (after struggling with the malicious and sentient wind, which was trying to wrap the screen door around her) to grab a couple of DVDs, she was positively shimmering and shivering with joy. "This is so good," she said. "We're having such a good time. We've talked and talked about so many important things...."

And I think, Maybe I should go to brunch tomorrow with my girlfriends, talk and talk about important things.

"You caught me sleeping," I said. "I"m sorry. I just seem to need to sleep a lot lately."

"You need a hug," she said. "Let me give you a hug, Mommy."

(God. Really. Have you EVER seen anything more beautiful than a 16-year-old girl insisting on hugging her mother? WHERE THE HELL DID SHE COME FROM?)

We need our girlfriends. We need to say things out loud to each other. I do, anyway. When I do, it clears up my muddles and helps me to know that I'm actually not crazy or a drama queen or even totally wrong.

I've been shining a harsh light on my own "difficult" week, viewing it through yet another kind of filter, one where I huff at myself and say, "Good God, you brat! What's wrong with you? Think about your friend whose mother died Thursday night! Think about Japan, Libya, Mexico, Yemen, Wisconsin, your art teacher friend who now has no job because of district reshuffling, your preschool teachers aid friend who now has no job because of district reshuffling. Your life is golden."

It is, it is.

I wanted to continue to think and process this conversation Julie Daily began on her blog, but "muddled" has turned today to "riddled," as in "riddled with cliché" or "riddled with confusion" or "riddled with grief." So I'm having a hard time connecting all the things glomping up in my brain with the conversation, with the life situation I am trying to process, with my grad school applications, my desire to write on my novel, to write poems, to connect, connect, connect.


I have no transition for this next part. In my mind it's connected with everything above, but when I read through what I've written, I don't see how anyone who isn't me would get that.


Last night, I ended up riding one of the buses as a chaperon for our high school Wind Ensemble, which headed to that District IX OMEA large-group adjudicated event I mentioned (our kids were robbed, but that's another story, though maybe not. Our school district is seen in the area as "ghetto" and not well respected, though the children who represent the school in sports, arts, music are stunning creatures). I have a "bus partner," a mother I've been getting to know better since the beginning of the school year.

We come from completely different worlds, R. and I. I suspect we hold different views of most things from God to parenting to marriage to politics. Yet we find each other comforting, and I tend to make her laugh so hard she finds that she needs to lean against a wall if we are waiting in a school hallway for events to begin.

I just do that to this group of band booster parents in general, drop these tiny, inoffensive one-liners.

R and I found a restroom on a different floor from where the kids were warming up. I slammed shut my stall door, and while I did my business, read the graffiti on the back of the door.

Yew you should shove a broom handle up your ass, read the first sentence, and the conversation on the door went downhill (pardon the pun. the words really did drift down the door) from there.

"Oh, my!" I said to the others. "There's real graffiti in here! I'm so excited! I haven't seen real graffiti in a long time."

"There's some in here, too," one of the girls who had accompanied the adults said. "It has something to do with God."

"Well, mine doesn't have anything to do with God," I said, and later told them it had something to do with someone sticking a broom handle in a place where broom handles shouldn't ever go.

This offended no one, and they all thought it was hilarious that I got excited about obscene graffiti.

I know they think I'm a bit eccentric, but they like me, which sometimes puzzles me since the truth is that we have nothing in common.

Later, much later, after we had just found out the score (not a superior rating. no trip to the state contest despite a performance that was so stunning the kids told me they could feel the audience responding to them), one of the other band moms looked at me and said, "Elizabeth, have you been to Florida or something? You look so tan!"

"Um. No. I've barely been outside, and there hasn't been any sun around here, as you know, for a while. This is just the color of my skin."

"Are you sure?"

"Yep. This me." I suddenly felt I needed to explain. "I'm half Greek. My mom was Greek."

"Oh! So that's where you get your olive skin!"

Understand, there was no malice in the band mom's comments. But it kind of startled me. I don't even know why.

Oh. I have worn out. I will never get to my point. I might if I stopped writing directly into the window, but then I'd never post anything at all.

This is very long. I won't worry about it too much. I should eat some dinner, but I find since I broke wide open on Wednesday that I don't have much of an appetite. I'll make myself a salad maybe, drink some cold, cold water.

Then I'll go back to bed until my Girl and her friends need to stop back by here for something else (though they probably won't at this point since it's after 8).

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