REPORT A PROBLEM
Thirteen years old, very quiet and reserved, never more than a couple of words to say at a time. I am jumping to conclusions when I first meet her but as the week has passed I see much more. Underneath this quiet exterior is a very informed little girl with parents that think she is quite naïve. She isn't. She knows the meaning of sexual things I never heard of until grown, married and then divorced. I know things are different now but come on. You would never dare speak to the parents of this child. They would never believe.
The month is taking off with a whirlwind of activity. Two boys in the local All Stars baseball teams. Practice every evening and games all weekend. As you can imagine I have nothing else in my head. I will not find an interesting topic for my words nor will I notice anything out of the ordinary as I pass by it. This is a short time only and for the sake of one thing we often have to give up what swirls around us. Maybe I could stop a smell one flower on the way and feel somewhat less detached.
The cursor sits blinking, blinking as if waiting for me to come over to it. I need to stop the blinking; blinking but I have not the words for its demand. It wants life; it wants stories and what it really wants is part of me. I don't always have a piece of me left to share. I don't have enough left to give to myself on some days. You get tired and more to the point you become weary. Weary is not a word I want pertaining to me. Weary feels depressing and lonely. I do not want those.
I have long declared to all that want to get on my computer that the initials PC actually stand for something. I have not found one person who does not have to change a setting, fine tune the task bar or in someway improve my set up. Personal computer. Which part is not crystal clear? I let someone use it yesterday and today, the new and improved look is once again apparent. There are little x's where there should be a picture, I see two things on the task bar that never lived there before today. PERSONAL COMPUTER…. GET IT?
He has called and invited me to lunch and a movie. No kids he said. Kids are great he says but sometimes you need to have adult time. I thought that was very thoughtful. We have been friends for nineteen years and a couple of times thought it should be more. Funny how a relationship changes back and forth over the span of time. We've discussed our relationship very frankly and decided friends is what we are meant to be, but every once in awhile we test the waters and again see if this is the right place for us.
There is a growing problem with my relationship with my children, as I get older. I can't quite put my finger on it and it worries me. I think they feel an obligation for my social life and that is not right. In hindsight I have stayed to close to them. It may not be as natural as I thought. I never re-married and I think it has put an undue burden on them. It is all about kids and grandkids and helping to raise them. The irony of it is that they don't need help. This is my fault.
Now the problem becomes how to start a new life in the mist of the family that I have kept so tight. I don't feel the need to entertain myself because there is always family in and out and they always have something going on. Here is the key. Because I am always here I am always available. I need to have my own life, my own plans. I need to not always be here and to them seem so available. I will have to be not so available. I think it will help unburden them of those unwelcome feelings.
I do have some friends of my own and more I could cultivate. I just come in from work and I am tired dammit. So I think this will take a bigger plan that I first realized. I need to concentrate on the weekends. I will do less housework or at least organize myself better so there will be for free time. I always keep something that needs to be done. I wonder if I am afraid I will have nothing to do? The more I get into this the more problems I see with the whole picture of me.
Dammit I do this all the time. In just a few short days I have decided that I need to take a new position in the family. I need to start a whole new life. The last thing I ever intended was to have them with these underlying feelings that I am a burden of sorts. What starts as a twinge of unrest soon turns into a full blown disaster. I will avoid that at all cost because to hurt them in any way is never what I want. I can fix this. After all, "I am the mom."
Sad Sarah, sad, sad Sarah. Young, pretty, quiet and mysterious. What is she so sad about? Or is she so young and so angry? I can't tell and I have watched her for six months being sure to always be kind to her, speak to her and when I am lucky I get a grunt in return. In me lies a need to reach out to her and ease her pain. Like all do gooders I have decided she needs help. She may be fine as she is and I may be delusional in my thinking of what she needs.
So we go to the mall and there is lots of action for a Wednesday evening. I was curious because this is about a dead mall to start with. We start following the crowd and soon forget about any shopping we were going to do. There seemed to be another purpose entirely for our even going there. Drawn like moths to a flame compelled to move in that direction. It was the strangest feeling. As if you were not doing your own will. It must be an instinct that lies within us all. We had no choice in this matter.
I took a quiz the other day, centered on whether your glass is half full or half empty. It was an interesting five minutes. I have heard the theory before and I think it is older than I am by a long stretch. I filled in the dots and hit enter to get the results. So I am thinking, I know how this will come out and because I know who I am. Well it turns out I don't know who I am. My glass was definitely on the full side as I figured but it seems, to a fault.
Our guests are still here but their visit is coming to an end. It has been three weeks with lots to do in the. I am tired but have enjoyed all of it. This guest is somewhat unusual in one sense to many. It is the infamous X. There are all the old memories and the old pain each time we meet but that passes and we fall into the comfortable friendship we now have. It wasn't easy getting here but it's a good place now. I realize as he prepares to leave that I will be lonely without him.
I have a pet peeve and state it when I can. I have never found the parent that wants to hear me and I should probably just shut up about it. It may be true in some cases that it is not the fault of the parent but I believe in most cases it is. My peeve is obese children. It is not the overweight child I have the problem with it is the parent, I myself, have seen load up their plates as if they were a grown man. What the hell is with that? Social and emotional death.
She wants to know personal things and doesn't mind asking but any information you get from her is of a non-personal nature. I have tried to find ways to not answer and keep the relationship balanced but it hasn't worked so far. She has changed so much in the last two years, since her divorce, that you wouldn't know it was the same person. She used to be so very private and as I write this I realize that she did the same thing then just on a much milder basis. Pushing for more of you, giving none of herself.
I have heard death knock at my door. It comes as a cold that settles on you in a way unlike any other, covering your entirety in what feels like one movement. Fear leaves you as you drown in the experience, not knowing what will be next. Will I wake up in another place, know I am there, or will all thought and feeling go, to never return? Will our families be waiting as it is told? Who knows? To tell you more would create a conundrum. Dead people do not talk and can never share the final resting place.
As the years pass I am gaining a new respect for life. I never liked death, never went out of my way to kill things. I just didn't think much of it either way. It never touched me as it had so many others. It never touched me until I was someone's mother and lost my mother. Then I knew. I knew what I had so callously not felt in the past. I said I felt very bad and I did, but I had no idea of their pain, their suffering and loss. Now I know. Now it touches me.
From the time I was very young I have a memory that is somewhat faded with time but the lesson from that has lasted a lifetime. This is how the story goes: I thought I hated my sister. She was forever getting me in trouble; lying about me to save herself and all the other things kids do to each other. The story has been told in the family for years, especially when my mother was alive and always to my humiliation. I wonder now why it was told at each year's gatherings. To make sure newcomers knew.
The newcomers would have that kind of insight of me? It was none of their business: but you know how families can be. I need to move on because I am telling you a story and the dynamics of my family are unimportant.
One day I was playing with my toy guns and cowgirl outfit – then we were thrilled to have that- but I had no cowboy boots. This was very important to me as you could not truly be any kind of western girl without the boots. My sister had a pair of boots, I had the guns.
To make the imaginary event complete I finally asked her if I could borrow her boots. I hated to do this because we had just quit another game and fought over some other stupid thing. She was not a sharing person and I think I was. I remember still that she offended me with who she was. Well finally she concedes to loan me the boots: after much begging and promises, so I was a happy child with a complete wardrobe to compliment my fantasy. It was not very long before I hear my mother calling me into her kitchen.
I was immersed in my fantasy and hated to stop but when she called you, you came or paid a serious price for your insolence. When I got to the kitchen she asked me if those were my sister's boots. In my innocence I said yes, of course. Then it begins. "Don't lie to me." I didn't, I wasn't, what is going on? My sister, of course. She was such a shit that she had loaned me the boots and the whole time she was setting me up and knew what she was going to do. I couldn't believe it.
I have never been like that and never became like that. To this day I cannot believe she did that, that is how offensive it was to me then and still is. To plan such revenge on me because she had not gotten her way in a game. Well to make this story shorter I will tell you that I cried and begged my mother to believe me and she didn't. I got a bad switching for lying as we always did. I had to make the march to the tree and pick my switch and take the blows.
Now you will begin to see what is in me that compared to all the things my sister did and all her deceit, lies and brattyness, I took it to the full extent. I went over the line. I was more full of hate than she ever was with deceit. I don't remember how my mother finally found out the truth about the boots but I remember she felt terrible, having spanked me unjustly. Now my sister was in trouble. How much I don't remember but it should have been twice what I got. It seems I was to decide.
Maybe that is how I got a hold of her little turtle. I think I was allowed a personal prize of something that belonged to her, something she would not normally allow me to have. I chose her little box turtle. I took him for a walk because, how else can you play with a turtle. I was crying and I hated my sister for what she had done to me. I had the boots on to wear as long as I wished for a reward to my plight. She was in the house with mother as she often was.
I've been going to these classes for five weeks. Classes to help you quit smoking and not get fat and not stress out and never go back. I know all they are saying and I know it is all true, but saying it is much easier than doing it. Tomorrow I quit for the third time. I must have some part of me that is masochistic because after you've gone through that hell why would you ever go back. You do, and you do it because you get tired of the fight and tired of the wanting. A terrible thing.
They have returned home and not a word. Not a word of thanks, not great fun, nor sorry for running your ass off for three weeks. I guess I will always be over sensitive when it comes to him. He was very nice and very grateful when he was here and I should be happy with one thank you for all you did. I am, but I guess I hoped for just that little extra that you give someone you have a special connection to. We don't and I know it, but once in a great while I forget it.
I just couldn't get over what had happened. And I resented her being in there with mom and those two being pals and mom not believing me. I can't explain it all to you now because I could never go there again. I never have and I never will. I KILLED THAT LITTLE TURTLE. I stomped him with my sister's boots. God forgive me , I smashed him with vengeance, hate, pride and a temper unknown to me even then and I did it until he was nothing. A puddle of blood and guts and broken green and yellow shell.
Never to this day have I forgotten what I am capable of and never have I gone that far again. It is a place, even for an animal, that we should never go. If you have never been there you cannot say. Neither can you say it was not such a big deal; it was just a stupid turtle. It was a life, a life I took, and it was what happened "IN" me. It was a brutal act of revenge and it tells you what you've got. And if you are lucky it lets you hide it forever. Forever.
If you ever read these 100 Words you may wonder if I am going to drag everyone through the misery I am in not smoking. At first I thought I would dump it all here and be open at work and let it run it's course. I have changed my mind after four days of this. One day good and the next awful and then good. I am not up to making light of this thing and that is what you have to do at times. This is a battle for my life and I have to fight it alone.
I'm out of words for the month and I have told you about what lies deep within, covered in heavy dust and webs as in a crypt. It has not the spark or the furry it once had. It has no life left in it, but it is still there, under lock and key and it's there it will stay until I die. The story will die with my sisters and I, and my grand children will never know. How could they? They would have to feel it to know it. They don't need to know or ever feel this.
While writing this, which I never contemplated doing, I have made a decision. It is the things of our youth that teach us for the rest of our lives. It is those passions, events, environment, family and settings that make us who we are. It is the lessons of our youth that stay in us. Those are the lessons well learned. A life is a life, a soul a soul. I believe this and with that knowledge I have a soul to pay back. I am in debt to the creator and I will pay when it is my turn.
The Tip Jar