It Bothers Me

It’s that damned Mrs. Maisel show on Netflix – I think. Amazon? I dunno. Anyway, she is all New York with excellent hats and a quick wit and I wish women still had the hat and gloves thing going on. Because accessories.

But I hate it because we started watching it together – it was one of the last things before The Thing that got between the Before and the Now. So I watch, I laugh (seriously – the slum girl agent playing a piano and tuning it? Priceless.), but not like I did. I decided hey, it’s the last night before the last night – why not drink one of those mini bottles of wine that you keep for cookery? Sure, it’s not fancy – it really isn’t very good for anything but cooking – and sadness. See, his bed – our bed – is now in some northern town with him in it. Maybe her. Doubt it. Doesn’t matter – cards played, kid. Anyway, he is there and I am here and he will never sleep here again. Our…cohabitation portion of The Thing is now over. And I am…half drunk.

Yes, it’s a small bottle – don’t judge. I had a bowl of damned squash soup today. Fuck you.

As I was saying…this is it – this chilly, echoing place is, essentially, all mine, now. And does it echo…it is as if all the life has been removed from it like a shell on the beach. Hold me to your ear and you’ll hear the ocean. And the wine making nice with old soup.

At one point in an episode a wife has run away to Paris to revisit her youth. Her child rushes there to fetch her home, telling her she missed her mother. “I missed me, too,” she says. Yes. I toasted the glowing truth emanating from some excited pixels. I miss me, too.

I miss the me of a couple decades ago. The one who had to rush to a Very Important Shindig that required attire more…how to make this palatable?…club-y. That one changed her blouse in rush hour traffic to the appreciative honks of fellow sufferers. That me didn’t care. A wave, some lipstick, changing shoes in the car before going in. (Never drive in heels, ladies – very dangerous.)

I didn’t worry about things as much as I do now. I strode about in my world with a kind of amazonian fearlessness. I thought I’d taken the most brutal blows a woman can take. How could I know it was merely the amuse bouche portion of the menu of my life? A tiny tidbit to caution me that the Main Course was coming and it was going to be en flambe, motherfucker. And here – this me – is wondering if motherfucker is too strong because maybe some really savvy prospective employer will discover me here and be shocked.

But will they be awed?

I was stunning, once. There was an absolute siren nature about me that was irresistible. I knew it. I wielded it with care, believe you me. After all, when word got out that I was…er…skilled AND made waffles…well, random invitations will come, you see. And I can remember one night when that God of a man was there and a knock came on my door. No one knocked. No one came. Ever. It was my haven, my fortress. I opened it to see a young, enchanted soul from the office. A knight errant I suppose he thought himself, come to save me. Until he realized I was not the damsel in distress. I was the witch in the woods or, my aptly, the mermaid in the sea. Come, drown! No? Oh, safe ashore with you then, boyo. And the door slammed shut. It was an interesting night.

What happened to her? Oh, sure – he had to up and die and remove any hope of that future. There was rather more wine, then. And a broken glass of great worth. And tears. And a curse. And like all faery tales that aren’t curated it had a darker tale to tell. A curse come to life with the most magnificent hands. Absolutely…what? like sculpture. But sometimes even the witch in the wood needs to suddenly take a vacation at the sea. There are beasts that roam there, too.

What happened to her, that me that once commanded so much in her life? It isn’t as though she isn’t a part of me still. But it as if she retreated to some far dark corner and is too tired to leave it, now. Oh, she showed her face briefly one day recently. Pressed too far the staid and predictable hausfrau was replaced with what once was. And a curse came to my lips but I strangled it, only letting out the hiss of it. Curses have blowback, you see. A price. I’ve nothing left with which to pay any price. And, in truth, he didn’t deserve what I might have wrought.

I do not say much ill of him here. What’s the point? His decision was about him. The impact on me was merely…referential. A kind of…acceptable civilian casualty. It isn’t that he is a bad person. More like one that is blinkered. A horse that refuses to see the full picture because the grass is quite green just over there. I know of many cases in which women utterly destroy their betrayer. Lies, using children against them. I feel badly for such men. I think it is a rather cowardly way for a woman to behave. One ought to be better than that – the fairer sex. But then men are not the honorable creatures they once were. No, the roles are all confused just like a nursery rhyme.

I miss me, too. 

But I am not sure I want to be who I was, then, either. Perhaps the mermaid can burn like a phoenix with enough fuel at her feet. Perhaps there can truly be a rising from the flame and a return to the land with legs instead of fins. But remember – she walked on knives every day. Remember: a price – not just for every curse but also for every wish come true.

I will have to choose the path with care, mince my way back to the woods, and light the lanterns again. It will be awfully dusty and dank. But, in time, it might glimmer again in the light that once was. And, this time, not burn.


Maybe This Year…

Something I’ve always considered but never done…go to an Overland event. Now, it isn’t as though I have a fancy bouldering vehicle or even desire. What I do have is a wish to know how to get a vehicle into back country without getting mired – or, if you do, how to get de-mired. Safely.

May 17-19, 2019 for Overland Expo WEST
at Ft. Tuthill County Park, Flagstaff, Arizona

Is this the year? I’m not sure. The months will fly by, after all. And it seems a frivolous consideration in the middle of my…desperation…but I have been trying to find things that I’d like to do as a way to keep myself motivated. Besides, maybe I’ll wind up in Wyoming one day, anyway. No, I didn’t get an interview for the job. I sort of left it to the fates on that one so I wasn’t terribly surprised. But I did send a nice thank you note because You Never Know.

The day was amazing – 72 degrees, breezy but…stunning. I cleaned the pool while the weather was mild. The wind is gusting, now, but that was expected. Still, I actually sat in my swing and let the sun bake my back. I haven’t had the heart to even look at it, recently. As time passes so does my clinging to this place. I have reminded myself that it was mine only for a small space of time – it can be someone else’s everything, now.

I bought the goods to do the maintenance on my vehicle – today would have been a nice day for it but gusting wind and oil changes are sometimes incompatible. Time for the fuel filters, too. And I bought front brakes just in case as I think the one side is starting to cling a bit. If not needed I can return them easily enough. I can do those myself, usually – it has been awhile but I bet I manage. He has said he will do the other things early Saturday before he leaves. Then the wheels get rotated and she is all set for the winter. I usually put new wiper blades on, too, but I think they’re still good.

It is strange to be moving back into my former self where I just noted what needed done and got it managed somehow. It isn’t rocket science. And I am reminded that if I had started my diesel mechanic degree way back when I retired that I could command one hell of a salary about now. So it goes…you think you have time, you know? Anyway, I also looked up the part for the mirror housing that got smashed by the gate. Need that replaced before the weather gets in the circuit boards and turns the fancy mirror into a manual set it and forget it one. Not the end of the world, no. But I like things to be the way they ought to be.

I’ve been waking at 4am almost every day and forcing myself to sleep again. I wonder if I ought to just start getting up. Once I start working it might be good to have that extra hour to just get my soul started instead of the mad rush. You see, even in this I am trying to be positive. I have been fighting very hard to remain in that way of thinking – the house will sell, I will have enough to start over, and a good job will be mine. The alternative was killing me, emotionally. It still has a siren song of defeat playing in the background but I try very hard to just get my rest, take care to keep the house in good shape, and try to check off all the last boxes before he saddles up and hits the trail.

If there is a bright side…the new residence has offered him a portion of a large building to store his things so perhaps all the goodness acquired over the years can be retained and not sold too cheap. And his motorcycle can go in there which will help a lot if I have to use the garage for a time to house things as I move them…wherever…

Having no home in mind is a harrowing thing. I try to meditate on it as they say to do – to think of the perfect place and fill it with my things. But I have no idea where or what I can afford. So I just…store little snippets of what might be nice and let it go at that. I look out my window at the view, the one that I enjoyed for so long, and wonder how many more days it will be mine. And will I remember it as it is or will it get gilded and lit with a kinder light later?

Now, I just want to watch the tall blonde grass wave like an ocean in the gale outside. Soon the setting sun will set it all on fire with its light. And a part of me turns the color to flame, letting it all burn behind me as one did with ships on a foreign shore. No return, mates. No return.

The Cold Inside and Out

The house is officially for sale, now, the torment of the photos done, and all the work that it took to manage that over. Now it is the waiting – for the call that says load you and the dogs and get out so strangers can wander around. None have called yet but then it was a torrential downpour so…maybe next week. I was surprised to have no call thus far today. I do think there are drive-by’s – people slow down and look. I wonder if it perturbs them to see me at the table…

So I sit with a constant anxiety about having to launch. Every bit of the house constantly kept in a semblance of order. Of course, the dog fur is a constant so I have to continually wipe it up. Imagine living in your home but having to keep it like a museum relic. No smells of cookery, no thing that says You left out. No dishes left in a sink, or spots on your counter. For someone like me this is a trial. I am very private – I don’t want anyone here. And I am not a good housekeeper – I manage but I am not meticulous. This demands that I am meticulous constantly. And everytime you think you have everything in hand you see something that isn’t right and have to fix it. Like going into the master bath that you thought was all clean and finding he left it less than spotless. Thank goodness I took a shower and noted it. That too, a matter of timing – you have to take care of all your ablutions early and then remove evidence of same. It is a wonder people manage it. And it goes a long way to explain how some home photos are full of stuff and things. I have more mercy on them, now.

Still not a single job call, even the retail ones. They know, of course, that you don’t intend to stay any longer than it takes to get a better job so why waste time on training you. It is a blow to my ego to have had not a single inquiry, though. A friend might be able to get me lined up for a very good role that would allow for more growth than my old one. It is the one that I hope comes through but that won’t be until February. What until then?! How to manage it all? And there is the job in Wyoming that a part of me yearns for – a complete do-over, leaving behind everything familiar. No safety net. But that is a terrifying prospect, too.

So I sit here hours a day, looking for roles, customizing submissions, waiting to hear anything when I know that not a damned thing happens in Nov/Dec. How he thought this was a great time to put me in this position I have no idea. He is oblivious to the regular working world and how it functions. If he’d told me in June I might be all set. Or if he’d been able to keep his shit together through March. But now he intends to leave entirely mid-month and what then? Who to help me move my things if the impossible happens and I actually am able to go? How do people do this?! How did I do it before? I wish I could remember – there was a big house in Georgia and I moved across Atlanta to a different house. Did I hire someone? I don’t remember at all. I must have – there must have been a truck and assistance. I cannot think of any other way I managed it. But I was, of course, in the same state of mind and that is probably why it is a mystery – blocked out as a kind of self-preservation. The mind will do whatever it has to in order to ensure survival. But that intelligence would be nice right about now.

I think a lot about taking most of the stuff from the pod and selling it, loading bed and dresser, chair and lamp, and just sending it away. I ought to have sold most of my yarn – it was a ridiculous thing to consider keeping. Bag after bag of it. Had I only known and had enough time…but this is all forced on me and I don’t know what I could have done.

Now the weather, oh so very cold these last few days, looks to be ready to take the partly cloudy day and turn it dark and damp again. Maybe it will hold…and add to all the travail a dog who managed to cut a paw pad. Bad enough for the vet? I don’t know yet. I think it will be okay but…I can’t afford for it to not be okay. So I will wait and see if it heals a bit.

Everything just seems to be against me and I wonder why I am being pushed so…is fate trying to shove me to a decision, to a destination? I cannot manage more. I hope it all just stops and lets me breathe for a time. I know it won’t – it is a fruitless wish. But I am so very tired, now. All I want is to rest and get my mind right again. To be able to use it properly instead of this scattered coherence bordered at odd angles with so many stripes of fear.

How could he not know how terrible this would be and at least be willing to be present until I was safely off? What kind of man does that? I know it happens and much worse to many women. Imagine having children…but I was so certain he was something different and now…this utter abandonment to fate with only a roof as a parting gift…insane. Just insane to consider I was so wrong. I might have expected betrayal – all men are subject to it – but abandonment? Never. I wouldn’t do it to my worst enemy. But then I have seen the terrible side of life – the hopeless aspect. I could never do that to someone. I guess that is why I never expected it would be done to me. A failure of imagination.