Archive for June, 2011

until it stops

I step outside of the hot kitchen and sit on the first step, my bare feet at once touching the hot, dry concrete and the cool, squishy, newly dropped pollen berries from the walnut tree that are strewn everywhere. But I can’t sit still. My mind is flashing from one point to the next like lightening in the sky. The air is heavy, sticky; oppressive is too nice a word for it.

I walk to the back of the yard and turn toward the house. It’s somehow painful to look at and there is a tightness in my chest that is more than just the heat and humidity keeping my lungs from filling.

I can’t stop moving, I can’t stop the surfacing of the feeling that this isn’t mine. It doesn’t belong to me. Any of it. The house, the garden, the beast of a truck staring at me with its great square eyes in the driveway. It’s not mine. None of it’s mine.

I glance at the edge of the back walk and see the pulled weeds in a heap where someone has tossed them for me to later pick up. I haven’t done my job. I’ve been derelict on my duties. I am lazy. I am unworthy. I have not met the expectations of those around me. These words fling themselves at me from somewhere inside and while my face changes not a bit, inside I am scratching at the sides of my face, down my jaw until all the skin is gone and the pain overwhelmes me while the blood runs through my fingers.

I turn again and walk to the garden, up and down each row of tiny plants. I look out over the fields with their tall grass waving in the evening summer breeze. There are no horses. This too isn’t mine. As I turn once again toward the house I catch a glimpse of his tall, lanky form in the haze next to the house. He doesn’t see me and steps back inside. If I close my eyes I can smell his skin and feel how it makes me a little bit drunk. The many nights of lovemaking last week are gone. Vanished. As if it never happened and I don’t know where he is again. Did they count for nothing or do they just not compare to what he finds himself desiring somewhere else in his soul? I have not met his expectations. For how long now? I don’t know. I turn to the new garden and my movements are smooth, unfaltering, but inside I am kneeling behind a bush, raking my fingers down the back of my throat. Again. again. again. again. again. again. again. again. again.     again. until there is nothing left to come out but blood and bile and the tears are running freely down my face and mixing with little bits of stringy, sticky food and snot and I am curled into a ball next to my puke.

The sand tire stands in the middle of all this. Somehow it is a little bit mine. I can see my son’s little blonde head sitting there with his trucks so vividly. The silver maple next to it is somehow a little bit mine, too. It grows where I cannot.

I pass by the swingset and see a pair of sandals of a sparkling, suntanned little girl who needs my love, my acceptance, my unfaltering support. Beside those is a hat from a little boy, smart as a whip, and a bandaid from a curly topped little sweetheart. Inside I hear faintly the fussing of a baby and I know I must go back in soon. All they need is love, really. At best I give them unpredictable fluff and at worst inconsistent discipline. I am failing them. I am wasting their days and robbing them of what should be their childhood. I am neither good nor desirable as a mother. I am unworthy of their respect and undeserving of their love. Looking around at the unfamiliar view from the new garden plot as my feet sink into the soft dirt, I step softly toward the house without making a sound, without tears, without grimacing but inside I take my hands, and I grasp the opposite wrists, and rub and turn the skin back and forth until it is gone and my fingers hurt from gripping so tight and the skin peels off in my hands.

He is lying still in our bed, breathing evenly. We have not touched or spoken of more than offhanded topics today save the goodbye kiss in the haze of dawn as he left. I slip out of my shorts and take up the fussing baby and lay her next to my sweaty body and nurse her calmly and quietly and wait for the darkness to creep in and fill my brain until it stops.

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Supposed to Be

Well, this post should be Day 3 of the 100 day challenge, but it’s not.

I got derailed by a third bout of mastitis in 2 months. They say the biggest factor in recurrence is being run-down, not taking care of yourself, having a lowered immunity, and stress. Huh. That couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this in MY life.

Not with a 9 month old clingy baby, a 4 year old clingy girl who has suddenly taken to peeing on the floor of her bedroom and pooping directly under the swingset in the yard, a 5 year old who…. well, we know what she does, and a 7 year old lawyer who is constantly negotiating for a better deal. Plus the heat that makes me want to scream, renders me useless for entire days, a pile of laundry, dishes, washing, scrubbing, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, and cleaning it all again. And the husband…. who comes home after a day like this, sits his ass down, picks up nothing, asks me nothing about how I’m coping with the mastitis and all this, waits two hours, and then comes and asks me to finally fix him dinner. My god, seriously?!?! You can’t fix your own damn haystack?!