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There’s an optic wall of graffiti behind my eyes when I let my eyelids fall closed. I press my palms against and see the sparks of fireworks shooting from each optic nerve. I envision the fluid around my brain and see it flow out of my head and transfer to a heart shaped stone rock But is it true? I need a second opinion. Medical won’t cover it. This spiraled out of control after a visit to Lens Crafters. I’d almost rather just forget the whole thing and wait to see what happens. I'll see what happens. It will be okay anyway.
Abby will be born this month. It’s 9:00 am on a Thursday and all I want is for this baby to be born unto this world. I’ll take her on her first photographic trip! Niagara Falls! She will be the most loved baby on Earth – don’t we all think that? We all think our babies are the cutest babies. This one really will be. I’ll photograph her as though she is a beautiful white calla lily on a black background, all crisp lines and soft petals. Will she love me as much as I already love her? I know it.
Somehow I still think of you. Years later. It does not speak to my happiness but it speaks to me nonetheless. A song or a smell makes me think of the scarf you sent me, the faxes, the e-mails. A toffee latte makes me think of you – nonfat! Carribou Coffee and hotels with balconies. I thought it would be something so much greater than what it became. It’s been so long, there’s not enough energy to be angry with you about your decisions. I’m nothing about the decisions, nothing about the loss. I’m just me - minus you – no more.
The manilla three-tab file folders are filled with stacks and stacks of NCRs. Endless numbers into endless spreadsheets. Endless rubber bands and paper clips, markers, highlighters, episodes of The Office. The folders stack higher and higher until they take over the area. Two lonely photographs on the cube wall – no other personal effects. There’s no willingness to bring my soul into these three walls, on display for strangers. A girl who likes Jay-Z and another who’s Polish and too fucking proud of it, and someone who is all zen and whatnot. They are definitely not my family as they think.
I drank for the first time at work. I took a Smirnoff out of the office fridge, in a paper bag, and walked it and my pink breast cancer water bottle to the bathroom. I poured the drink into the water bottle and drank it at my desk while I worked. I couldn’t make it from 2:30 to 5:00. I really didn’t think I’d make it! I felt crazy. I don’t even drink at home, but I HAD TO HAVE IT that day so I had it. The evidence smell is still existent in the water bottle to this day.
my hand hurts. it hurts so badly. there's too much work here! too much work for any human to do alone. each individual member of this "family" is struggling, stressed and unhappy. i'm a controlling personality. i dont want some temp in here touching my data! messing it up! my supervisor gave me the name of a recommended chiropracter for my hand... i said i'll just add that to the list of specialists im currently seeing. sarah palin is a lunatic. 40 hours a week paid. so many people working so many additional hours. i want to go to sleep.
I am 90% effaced and 1 centimeter dilated. They look for 5 sacks of fluid around the baby and they found 8 1/2. The stress test took a long time because it's a weaker machine than the ultra sound so they were having a hard time finding the heart beat. But once it was set up the baby did cooperate and she moved around a lot and they said the stress test looks good and the baby's heart beat is responsive. If I haven't gone into labor by Thursday, they are going to want to induce. I cannot wait anymore!!
You know. A fence post from the roof of a fort, overlooking a worn dirt path. A red door with a black latch. The water in the distance, the trees on fire. The attacks that took place here unknown specifically to me. Cannons line every wall. We can walk around this place, held up by enormous pieces of wood at angles laying against one another. The tunnels are blocked off. They could fall at any moment. Couldn’t they drop all of the people above them as well? A huge pair of black boots, ship parts, uncovered items (coca cola bottle?).
It has been over 8 months since we began. She doesn’t mind when I complain. She doesn’t mind when I’m afraid of a bug, because she’s afraid of spiders too. She’s a beautiful, tolerant person who complains just as much as I do! We go away together and smile, laugh and road trip. And it’s lovely and wonderful. And confusing. She’s 100 percent sure of everything and I’m only 88 percent sure. I see a future with her. I used to see a baby and now I do not. It isn’t because of her that I no longer see that.
It is something that changed inside myself. Some selfish part of me came out and decided that if I had another life to care for, I’d have less time for myself. Sounds selfish. I like silence. I like moments alone. Plus, I’ll have a niece in a matter of days! Isn’t that enough? But maybe my mind will change once again. Confusing situation. To keep her and have no child makes her miserable. To have a child may not be the right thing for me. And I dislike this part of myself. I love her and I love my silence.
A small variety of thoughts actually occupy my brain on a daily basis. The girl I’m with and I love; the girl I loved and I lost; the baby that will arrive soon; the amount of work I have to do in order to keep up to speed on my workload. What do you write about when the only things you think about are things you have already written about? Go on and on about the same stuff? Boring. I’m not a writer. I don’t make things up. I’m not a word crafter. I’m a practical person. Not a writer.
A worn leather suitcase – hard and brown. The edges are somewhat frayed and overused. Traveling tag from years ago in Vermont. The presence of a man. I will use this hard suitcase as an antique travel diary, stickers of everywhere I’ve been. Every state I’ve ventured to. Overseas: not likely. I searched antique shops and yard sales to no avail until the Big Barn sale. Smile, sale, save. Minty sneaker balls rolling around with a tag that appeared from nowhere. I checked all the pockets for artifacts, pieces of life. There were none until I closed it and reopened it.
In the month of the death of your father my sister will bring into this world a life. A small human life. Before or on the 23rd. As I type, I watch my hands fly over the keys, hovering slightly above each before pouncing and creating. Small hands will be learning by touch, by sight about all of the things we take for granted every day. Eventually, she will type and create and learn. And this amazes me. I look forward to accompanying you on the 28th. I look forward to always accompanying you when it is in my control.
Sail Away by David Gray – the melody and lyrics calm me. Like a Dave Matthews song or a beautiful sunrise. Like a walk over crunching leaves, a snowfall when I don’t have to drive – a perfect photograph, a perfect set up, a perfect tear down. The vibration of my phone when a text comes through from a friend, a hug during work hours when I’m on the verge of tears. A song which rolls into another song into another and another until it’s a CD full of perfect harmonies, melodies and ideas put to music by someone other than me.
Failure is not a four letter word. Failure is a given. It’s inevitable. It’s commonplace. A four letter word is fear. If you are afraid to give of yourself, afraid to commit your thoughts to paper, afraid of what others will think or how much better someone is at something than you are – if you are scared to walk, scared to run, scared to cycle or cry – if you are worried about everything down to the paranoid feelings that people dislike you – you will be miserable. Is everyone afraid of something, really? Perhaps. Are they as afraid as I am?
“Potato cannon, rock on, smell ya later, good lord woman, I’m editing my book during my lunch break…” You’re the most difficult person to talk to on the face of the Earth. Could you stop attempting to one-up everyone in every conversation? Could you just sit in your stupid cubical and do your stupid work and stop being so “on” all the time? Stop expecting us to be “on” all the time! We are so burnt out. We can’t possibly take the time to form stupid comebacks to your stupid comebacks. You’re annoying. That feels good. Thanks for the cookies.
Sometimes I check your myspace but you never update it; sometimes I check your old journal but you have made it private since I knew you. Sometimes I wonder how your daughter is and how you are and how she is and how everything is. Do you still get along as well as you did before? Is she still working? Do you both still smoke? Can you afford all of your bills? Do you make valentine cards for her schoolmates? Do you go on hayrides? How is Rochester? How much do you work and where? Would you be proud, angel?
Two to take the edge off. Three puts you to bed. Smoking used to put me to sleep until I took a giant hit of some old shit and freaked out. I chopped up a kielbasa dog and fried it with a can of green beans and a tomato. And then I sat down and shoveled it down my throat like I had never eaten before – then I tried to watch an old Lost episode and realized that there was no feasible way to follow even what they were saying. I tried folding kids clothes - sizes up to 12.
Tiny little eyelashes, fingernails, toes and lips. This baby has absolutely no idea how many people are waiting for her here in this world. In the world of the womb, it’s dark and warm and comfortable – why would she want to leave? Is she someone we used to know, re-incarnated? Is this a family member from so many generations ago who wants to rejoin the family? Or is this a brand new soul... either way, we’re going to cherish her. I hope we can retain our COOLNESS while becoming stupid and mushy about her. Abigail Joy – hurry up, little face.
Let me eyes fall out of focus so I can see the future – a yard with no light pollution, a view of the stars and the constellations. Laying flat on my back on a fuzzy blanket, gazing so far away – somewhere I will never travel. Jack Johnson playing on the cd player on the deck, a great meal in my stomach and my niece laying next to me. She’s learning about astronomy. I would make hot chocolate and we’d bake cookies together – wrap them up with bows and I’d have her give them to the family. I love her already.
I went to lunch today at Twisted Pizza and got a chicken salad – spent time with my friends during our work break. And I realized that the lunch break is only enough time to come to terms with the day and with myself…and start to feel at least somewhat happy about everything… happy that it’s crisp and cool out, that the baby is almost here, that Halloween is around the bend – then we return to the Establishment, where we’re supposed to be a team and it all comes crashing down. A team of hot messes. Hot ass messes. The injustice!
seven pounds, 14 ounces born oct 25 around 1:30 a.m. c-section after 2 hours of pushing. i left around 8 because visiting hours and a non-visitor floor indicates that we wouldn't be able to go see the baby anyway, but then my aunt got to see the baby because she waited there and i am jealous. she took a couple of pictures. i'm really jealous of that. i haven't slept since 1:30. i'm watching t.v. i can't see the baby until noon. it seems like an eternity. i'm happy she's finally born. I’m going to see a picture right now.
She’s so fucking beautiful! It has been less than 48 hours since she was born, but I love her like she was my own daughter! When she cries, she’s cute – when she’s sleeping she’s cute – when she’s breastfeeding she’s ridiculously cute! On one hand, I can’t wait until she grows up and on the other hand I want her to stay a tiny biscuit for a long time. Will she be smart? Artistic? Maybe she’ll want to play catch in the yard – maybe she’ll want to read every day like her mother and I did – I can’t wait to see.
I love that in old movies, the men always wear suits and always look put together. I love that they say things like “darling” and “my dear” and make them not sound condescending. Charming. I wish I could wear a suit and look great all the time. Things aren’t about sex in these movies – they are about wooing and courting females. I actually hate the state of the world today in so many ways – every advertisement has something sexual in it – bare bodies selling perfume, lipstick, makeup, cars, hamburgers, everything! The promise of sex is what drives our society now.
I want that kind of love where you actually can’t wait to die to be with your deceased loved one – the kind that takes over your entire life. If your partner is gone, you never love another person again. I don’t think that kind of love exists anymore. If it were possible to see no one else because of the presence of one person, I would want to experience that. Am I faithful? Yes. Do I see other people? Yes. I don’t have blinders on to the world – I’m not literally blinded by the love I have in my heart.
The day after Abby was born – Sunday the 26th – time has no meaning – “real life” is just an idea – “Don’t you have to work tomorrow – return to your normal life”? That’s what my sister asked me. I had to agree, unfortunately, that I couldn’t just continue to live my life for seeing Abby and her parents, although at this point I just want to move into their house and take care of them all. Her father has been amazing to my sister and I thank him. She needs it and he really has come through and shown his true colours.
I want to run away from my own life – pack a bag and get in the car and drive past every exit on 95 in Rhode Island. I want to go somewhere where the economy is magically not bad and bills are just less and candy grows on trees and I can eat all the ice cream I want and not add any fat to my body. I want to sit in a house that I own, drinking coffee from a single cup Keurig and BBQ on Memorial Day. I just want to be calm and happy. Calm and happy.
Credit is not only maxed but overused – overlimit – used up. There isn’t enough money to live on, let alone pay debts. I wish we hadn’t gone to Vermont, because maybe we’d be able to make a dent in the overlimit charges on either or both cards. I wish I could go away whenever I wanted and not have to worry about whether I can afford groceries. I’m sick of making enough money to pay all the bills and still worrying about every little quarter spent. I don’t want a McDonalds hamburger and sundae for lunch. I want T’s restaurant, damnit.
I have held her little tiny peanut body, swaddled and comfortable. I have watched her stretch and kick her feet out of the bottom and then cry because she’s cold. I have felt her struggle against me and my god, is she strong! I have called her little face, and little adebissi and tiny one and nugget and peanut. I have swayed her back and forth. I have patted her back and butt. I have watched her get changed, breastfeed, sleep and cry. I’ve seen her calm and not calm. I can’t wait to see everything! She’s a magical child.
I have a brain MRI today. Carpel tunnel appointment on the 10th. Podiatrist on the 5th. I have to remember to call my doctor and tell them the address of my old doctor. I have to figure out how to pay the debt on the Discover card by the 15th. I have to figure out how to balance getting enough groceries for a week on $50 bucks or less. I have to submit a PTO request form for the Friday I took off for Abby’s birth. Remember to remind Heather to submit her TDI claim. Remember the Reiki party. Remember.
I’m so tired. I’m tired of working, tired of looking for a second job, tired of being worried about money and about bills and overdue and overlimit credit cards. I’m tired of thinking and tired of being awake and aware. I just want to sleep. I want to go to sleep on Friday night and sleep so long that I don’t know where I am briefly when I awake. I just want to feel rested and calm and peaceful. Where is that sense of bliss in my mind? I find it when eating a sundae from McDonalds or on “vacation”.
The Tip Jar