So it’s handed to me again, wrapped in crinkly paper, tied with twine. A brand new twelve months. Supposedly full of excitement, possibilities, renewed hope and energy, waiting to pop like a bottle of champagne. Waiting on that little nudge, so it can bubble over effervescently. But will it really be a happy year anew?
Panic, so you can begin to mend your fallen-apart world a little. Rush, so you can fix it while the pieces are still lying around. Cry, so you can wash away the doubt, the hurt and the worry. But not so much that it washes away the hope. Breathe, so you can begin again.
It’s heaving underneath a facade of normalcy. Growing to gargantuan proportions, I’m trying to hide. It threatens to trickle, like a leaky tap refusing to be shut tight. I lock it up inside, yet it bubbles over. Always ready to dribble over the rim. I look away, poker-faced. I can’t keep this secret anymore.
Slice up some squidgy pink figs. Dice a box of pulpy ripe strawberries. Toss with flour, honey and cinnamon. Line a tart tin with pastry. Pile it up with the lovely fruity goodness. Weave a lovely lattice over it. Paint it shiny. Stick it in a hot oven. And that’s how you celebrate a milestone.
Today, I watched them in twos. Romping about without a care in the world. I noticed how one of them is always at the heels of the other. How they’re watching each others’ backs. And I realized they will always have one another for company.
And I made a mental note: two doggies, not one.
Read part one here.
I see them waddle on the beach, frolicking in the waves, and I think I want one. I see them romping around, their mothers not far behind, and I think “Aww!”
But what kills me most is the puppy-dog eyes, adorable ears, fat bellies and chubby legs.
I think I’m ready to adopt a dog.
She drew the curtains and let the sunlight stream in. Bright and chirpy, was how she always welcomed the day. Next, she had to get him out of bed. Ignore his desperate pleas to sleep a while longer. And she did. But not without collapsing inside his blanket first.
“Just five minutes more,” he said.
I could tell you about how my stomach does a backflip when you stealthily take me in your arms, completely by surprise. Or about the intangible: how I know exactly what you’re thinking even when you haven’t uttered a word. Or I could write you a love song. But it would just fall so short.
The balance continues to choose sides. This way today, that way tomorrow. Changing equations weighing down. Duties piling on. The smaller things easily forgotten. Knocked off.
When the week winds down, suddenly the complexity catches up. I remember to decompress. To re-prioritize. To focus. On the simple things.
So I subtract. And breathe easy again.
To be outstanding, you’ve got to start at the very beginning and work your way up to excellence, he said.
So, I’m going back to the basics. The foundations. Before my mighty castles in the air come crashing down. And so, today, six years since I last did anything of this sort, I’m studying again.
The words tumble out of my brain, slide over my tongue, and slip out from my mouth. Faster than I can think. Quicker than I can hold them back. Sometimes they’re substitutions, sometimes generic multi-purpose words, sometimes they’re full of meaning, sometimes mindless. It’s almost like second nature now.
This cussing. It’s got to stop.
And she emerged, stronger than before. Or at least that’s what she hopes. What doesn’t kill you, can only make you stronger, right? So we trudge along the same old path, once more. After all, when you’ve fought the same fight seven times before, you hope that at least you’re getting better all the time.
The day has come. What normally takes six months to arrive, has taken me nearly 12. Mostly because I got screwed over. It comes with a letter. And a backpack, branded in corporate colors. After all the hard work and sweat and tears, all I can say is, it’s about time!
I’ve just been confirmed.
“she’s so sexy”, he said, “with all the right curves, shes just so smooth. and i dont have to do much to get her going. just turn her on and she’s takes off like a beauty. iv never felt so satisfied in my life.”
and he smiled as he stroked his brand new sports car.
“in the lap of luxury”
“im so pooped. iv been working all morning. i need a break.”
“a break? from what?”
“the usual..laundry, dusting, hoovering the carpets, mowing the lawn, planning lunch and dinner..”
“you have house help to do that for you!”
“well someones got to order them around..work doesnt just get done!”
she groped around the darkness of the steam room, looking for her regular spot. two steps forward, turn right, five steps forward — there it was.
but today it felt warm and fuzzy. like a comfortable seat that perfectly held her butt in place.
surprised, he wondered why someone had placed their backside on his lap.
the anniversary was in 3 days. procrastination left him with just enough time. he began to wonder about the perfect present. jewelry? cookware? clothes? shoes? accessories? suddenly he had it! imaginative, personalized and the just perfect.
she opened the envelope. inside, was a voucher that could be redeemed for “A Lifetime Supply” of her husband.
ok so you say you need help. you have “stuff to do”. but so do i. yet, im willing to pitch in. we divide the assignment. neatly in half. or so i thought. not only was my “half” larger than yours, but that “stuff” you mentioned, involved not work, but weed, rolling paper and matches.
barren. like wanting a child and not having one. like craving to be something you’re not. like dying to fill a role thats expected of you, and failing miserably.
doom lingers around. like right before an exam. or dental appointment.
the deadline draws closer. i have no ideas for the film fest.
(except this isn’t fictitious. its for real)
she opened her arms out and felt the openness envelop her. she sucked in the warm, salty air. she felt the breeze tangle her wild hair. she dug her toes deeper into the sand. she felt the spray lace her face and tingle. the sea smelt warm and inviting. she smiled. it felt like home.