Archive for October, 2011


I have been in a pressure cooker. These past several weeks I have felt like cracking. I have many trials looming.  My work load is incredible.  My free time is consumed with helping my girls with their homework; running them to their jobs; taking them to their activities; and keeping milk in our fridge. I have been overly tired. 

Don’t ask about the cleanliness of the house, the existence of home-made cooking, or why the laundry is hip high. 

I am barely keeping anything domestic together.

I have trouble sleeping with all of my work stress and worries.

Added to my turmoil:  I have a new love interest. This is just what I was searching for right? 
Isn’t this why I have injected myself into the petri-dish of the internet dating world?
I discuss all of this with Amy.  I confess to her on our much needed road trip that I find myself looking forward to his e-mails, text messages and our dinners. I am finding that I am not afraid of him.  I find him too agreeable and accommodating.  I find he can take any side of an argument and flip it and then land full circle.  I find he makes me laugh.  I find that he makes me think about things in a different context.  I find I am truly attracted. 

(I secretly wonder if I give him anything back.)

I find it endearing this man stocks his fridge with milk— for me.  I do not feel a guilt or a want to reject any of this man’s presents.  I find that I really want to spend time with him. I know how often I use time as my escape and my excuse. 

I find extra time like I find extra money stuck in the pockets of my well worn jeans.

I am closing my eyes trying to feel this out.  I do not know if I am projecting my doubts.  Amy says I have to say something or nothing is going to change.  I am not sure if I want to know the answers to my many questions.  I don’t want to talk out loud.  

If this was an E.K. or a Porsche Man my response would be:  So what, who cares, big deal.  I have work to do. 

Now I am bordering on a real caring.  I am not so sure footed.  I seem to be paralyzed.

Today I am poking at this thing with a stick.  I am wondering if it will suddenly jump up and bite me.     

We all know I boarded that plane to Cabo alone.

We all know I had to hail a cab.


I can let the reminders of disappointments tarnish anything. 

But this is the point:  I still don’t trust myself.  Are my doubts self-made?  Or are these doubts evident by their very existence?

I wonder if I am like a John Knowles’ Gene. 

These dried leaves; this tired dirt.  My dirty imagination.

It would be so easy for me to wreck it before it starts.  A child kicking over a younger sibling’s sand castle.  He, of course, can do the same.

We can just call someone else.  He will call his bond girls.  I can go up the street to Grill 111.  He will be sitting at the edge of the bar and he will ask me where I have been.  He will want to know if I am ready to date him.  If he has changed his mind I can send a text to a Mr. V.P. I can let him know that I have changed my mind.

For me there is no joy in any of these potential conquests.  I cannot speak for him. 
I am afraid to ask where he finds his joy.

I can only disclose that I don’t want this season to change.  It’s me on the swings with Trent seeing how far we can put our feet into that 5th grade sky.  It’s me and my four year high school crush is asking me to homecoming. It’s me and I am at the drive-in with my college sweetheart and our heat streaks car windows.  These relationships broken and interrupted by youth and time. 
Not out of a weariness, a worn rejection, or a relationship flaw.  

I keep these thoughts to myself.  I am not ready to talk out loud.  I don’t want to face another  moment where I am at that ticket gate or hailing a cab.   

Instead of asking him questions I take that road trip.  Its wine on the edge of a dock in Cedar Point, North Carolina.  I spread my work all over in my upstairs suite. They cook my dinner and feed me breakfast.  We learn new words playing scrabble.  We fall asleep together on that big comfy couch watching late night movies.   I shoot pool with a guy named Shane and I scratch on our eight ball.  I eat oysters with horseradish, jalapeño, and saltines.  I want Jeff to explain how I need to top this rooster creation with cocktail and hot sauce.  I drink blue moon and suck on that sticky orange.

I listen to Cher, Train, Mumford & Sons, Pink and all sorts of Amy’s pre-selected mixed music.  I visit my sister and she takes us to lunch.  I tease my niece Janis—I threaten to pop her balloon.  I dress up like bat woman, wear leather pants and go to that school carnival.

I drive most of the way back in silence.  We limit ourselves to a simple sharing.

I don’t want to know the future.  I don’t want the telling of any fortune.





I wonder about getting old.  I want to have my mind and body about.  During this time (I tell myself) I will be able to focus on slowing my pace perhaps.  I will have more time for books, my writing, my garden, photography, learning languages and travel.  The children will be grown and gone. I find myself thinking about age when I never use to.  This occurs when I find a stray grey hair mixed in my red.  I see the wrinkles around my eyes. I wonder how they got there.

I know what I don’t want to be.  I don’t want to grow moldy and cancerous.  I don’t want to get sick or to be bed ridden. I don’t want my home to smell of medicines or urine.  I believe I have a say in all that.  If the Divine has other plans I can fight those pre-written scrolls like a Hemingway.  I don’t care what those men wrote or if the translations were accurate in that Holy book.  I can shake my fist at any sky and curse any sickly fate.  I have this faith that the Divine will forgive me of my pride and moxie.  Maybe I am too vain and conceited.  But somewhere I have this sense that the Divine will not be able to help itself because it knows my heart and my thoughts. 

I am too adorable for it not too.

I don’t want to become sour or smell like cigarettes mixed with baby powder.  I don’t want any rotten teeth or for my cuticles to grow over my fingernails.

When I get feeble I will want to revisit days that I have experienced in my mind.  I want to focus on the great days.  I will be a Walter Mitty in my own secret right.  I will re-call the day of the dolphins.

I am on a teeter totter of being financially broke.  My parents gave us a week in Florida at spring break.  My girls are so excited.  I am sitting at my desk rubbing my eyes.  Stacks of bills are surrounding me.  It is so damn bleak and cold outside.  This Michigan grey sucks me until I just want to curl up and go to sleep.  I need new brakes on my car.  I am formulating a budget to drive us down.  Food, gas, activities.  I know I am so fucked over if the car doesn’t make it down.  Worry grows like the vines that cover my back porch in summer time.  The girls incessantly talk of swimming with the dolphins.  I know it is a near impossibility.  The cost of this activity borders on the insane.  I keep our options open.  I don’t want to disappoint them.  It is so hard for me to say no.  I know enough not to promise.  If it is meant to happen it will.  I give them my best, “We will see.”

We have room in my car for one more.  I believe it a waste not to allow others that can fit in our little car to cop a ride.  The girls fight for each of their friends.  I let Katie, my oldest, invite a friend.  My decision is based on logic.  To the two younger ones it is arbitrary and unfair. 

They soon get over it and start packing their bags.  I put a padlock on my money worries. 
We leave late after my work day on Friday.  In this 24 hour drive I get us to Kentucky and I need to pull over to sleep at a gas station.  Chubi, the friend, is perplexed.  Why aren’t we getting a hotel? 

My simple response: “That isn’t how we rock and roll.  We unload when we get there.”  I do not mention the real reason: this luxury is a waste of activity money.

The cramped space and hours in the car make us irritable and cranky.  I am downing 5 hour energy like vodka shots.  My tiredness evaporates when we hit the Sunshine state.  Warm weather, blue sky and sun is my second wind.  Their moods burst. Everyone seems to forget about the long hours and our unwashed bodies.  The colors are bright blues, linen whites, yellows and oranges.  Palms and wet land grasses.  We are looking for alligators and all the windows are down.  I love the wind on my face and hair. 

We forget we are tired and smell bad.

The timeshare stay is routine.  We have done this our entire lives.  We check in, unpack, and I am always off to the grocery store.  I let them stay and swim.  There are other children and good looking teenaged boys.  They scatter.  I take a dreaded trip to the grocery store.  Another three hours of work for me.  I love them so I don’t care. 

These days lounging at the pool spoil me.  During the late evening the parents all get in the community hot tub.  They all introduce themselves.  All are couples.  We define ourselves by where we come from and what we do:  Canada, Wisconsin, New York; Housewife, Doctor, Teacher, Mechanic.  Topics of conversation that are safe prevail. Where to go, what to see, what restaurants to frequent, and the sharing of any really good vacation deals.  I can do this banter and talk for a day or too and then I am spent.  It’s trivial and I am not really good at it for very long. 

Two days of nothing and my restlessness prevails.  I cook, make them snacks, we do day trips and my girls love to shop.  I love Key West and want some adventure.  I propose a drive to the Keys.

They grunt and groan.  It’s another five hours one way in the car.  We leave early at 4:00 a.m. and my closing argument is if they sleep they won’t know they are in the car.

The drive on the interstate is a stretch of an amazing green and blue.  We stop at the dolphin aquarium.  No openings for a swim (and if there was I couldn’t afford it).  I feel their disappointment.  I mentally exchange thoughts with a natural unknown.  It borders on self-pity, anger, and a whine.  “Really, you need to help me out here.”  My logic is based on my good heart and all this shit I have had to dig though.  Throw me a bone.  I am sick of all of this life’s problematic shit.

The girls are too good for this.  O.K. Divine I am right down here and it would be nice if you would just really listen to me. 
I imagine for a minute—-for your aches and worries you spoiled little brat—-and like a parent giving a wailing toddler a toy.

It comes in the form of a beautiful bikini clad blonde. 

She is holding a road side, card board, sign: Ski Doos.   

We are just past Marathon Key.  I hit the brake and veer off.  I am facing a plywood, road side, biker bar.  My questions are numerous.  How much? How does this work? Where are we allowed to go? 

I book two wave runners and we are off to subway to eat a $5.00 lunch.  The kids moods are more up beat.  I am looking forward to this open sea.  We have one rented hour.  We have never driven or ridden such a machine.

The three teenaged girls are on their own ski.  I am paired with my youngest.  We hop on and slowly pull past the dock and an island of southern key grass and shrubs.  Just waiting on the skirts of the open ocean are a team of dolphins.  They head at us and are within inches of our reach. They bob and squirt.  They duck in and out.  There is a baby.  It is a afternoon of ocean play with these wild creatures.  We are under that mile high bridge.  The colors are aqua blue.  This color is so bright I am convinced it can’t be real.  The ocean water covers us until we are sticky with salt.  The air is so warm.  Our freckles pop and three of us look like we are blotched with splattered paint.  Their screams of delight, the roar of the jet skis, the dolphin play, the air, the warm water, and that Florida sun bathe and tan the other two.  We are snaking in and out from under that movie making bridge.  We have that high speed adrenalin rush.  My hair is wet and wild. 
I feel more than free.

Our hour is up.  The girls conspire.  Chubi says she’ll gladly pay.  I fear they are booked.  What continued luck.  Cash changes hands.  We hit the sea and that salt.  The dolphins are there waiting for our continued race and play. 

It’s like they knew we were coming right back.

This feeling.  This day.  This two hour slice of sunshine. It’s after our night time excursion into Sloppy Joe’s.  It’s after we view men dressed like women, the 90 mile Cuba marker and that Hemingway house.  It’s not until the girls are fed, tired and sun worn until they pile into the back seat creating a mixture of arms and legs all folded together.  I don’t know where one child starts and the other one ends. 

The road back goes dark on our trip east and north.  I am left with my random thoughts.  I am amazed how this night black hides the day of whites, greens, greys, and aqua blues.

It wasn’t until our drive back that I could melt, digest, contemplate and realize. This string, this cosmic being, this existence is no coincidence. 

Today it heard me. 

Giving us two perfect hours on it’s sea.


I am a work in progress.  I always try.  I know I fail.  I know I succeed.  I have this vision of the person I want to be.  I am my harshest critic.  I often find myself asking others what they think about a this or a that.   I have a lot of questions of myself and others around me.  I don’t know why I think I deserve the answers to my questions—-but I want to know and I believe I deserve the answers.

I don’t know why people are afraid to give me truthful answers even if they are ugly ones.  I try not to judge.  I try to hold myself accountable.  I have ugly thoughts too. 

I like to share my thinking with my friends.  I don’t understand people who are not into explaining their behaviors.  I don’t understand those who do not self-reflect. 

My motivations, I think, are genuine and pure.  I really just want to understand things and how they work.  How do I fit here?  My thoughts are constantly flowing and changing.  Why am I here?  What is it am I really supposed to do?  Who am I to be?  How am I to get there?  Where do I find all the answers to these questions?  What am I to you?  Why do you want pieces of my time?  What is it I love about you?  What is it you love about me? 

Let’s discuss vices…………..

I want to live in this world and enjoy it.  I believe that others forget to enjoy what is before them.  They spend too much of this life thinking about living in the next one.

I don’t want the opinion of others to worry or define me.  I hate strings attached to presents.  I value freedom of expression and choice.  I don’t like cruel words but I understand there are times we must use them.  I try to be good and kind.  I work hard because I feel I must and I enjoy it.  I like the feel of an accomplishment.  I love the feel of a well earned vacation even more. I try and bite my tongue and not talk ill of someone.  I fail horribly.  I don’t want to disappoint those I love and hold dear.  I know, at times, I disappoint.

I have pride that comes from independent self-reflection.  I have been told I have too much.  I suppose, if we were living in caves, it would be more acceptable if a man’s pride overshadowed my own.  I am looking around.  I don’t see any more caves. 

I am content with the phrase that one must have pride to rise above it.  I want to ask that man why he can have more of it and I cannot.

I don’t get a response to my question.

I crave knowledge.  I wish for wisdom.  I want my beauty and humor to add to this world.  I love laughter.  I know it can be hard to do the right thing.  I love and crave creativity.

I look to others for inspiration and hope when my thoughts get dark. 

What kind of person am I meant to be?   I want to add light to other’s lives as well.

I don’t like racism or stereotypes.  I find myself putting people into categories.  I want to love like crazy. 

I try to remember this simple fact: everyday when I awake, I am given another page.