My clothing is my babies.
"This whole world is wild at heart, and weird on top."
The things you pick up as you go.
A few days after I moved home, I got the rather sad news that the boyfriend (in a few seconds you’ll understand how old saying that makes me feel,) of one of the first girls I ever routinely babysat for died suddenly. In my mind, Caro will always be 8, so it’s quite a shocker for me that she’s A.) On Facebook, B.) My “Facebook Friend” in fact, and C.) She’s nearly 15 and DATING now! Furthermore, she was an active participant in a memory I fondly like to recall as “The First Time My Maternal Instinct Kicked In And I Definitely Knew That If A Stranger Ever Called I Would Beat The Holy Hell Out Of Him To Keep Her Safe” when she snuggled into me as she and I and her older sister sat on her parent’s living room sofa and watched “Mrs. Doubtfire.”
If you didn’t even get that fantastic scary move reference up there, you’re far too young to be reading this, and now I feel really, REALLY freaking old.
So it’s safe to say that as far as I’m concerned, my sweet Caro will always be 8 years old for all eternity, and I am ALWAYS going to want to kick the ass of whatever makes her feel scared, even if it IS Life-with-a-Capital-L or even worse, Robin Williams with a stuffed bra. So it hurts me that she’s hurting so much. I will openly admit I cried as I wrote to her, because, and now here’s the big, very un-humorous reveal— when I was a sophomore in college, one of my dearest friends and ex-love interests also suddenly died at an unfairly young age, and living through the aftermath of life without someone you always assumed would be there for you was NOT fun.
I know there are people out there who are thinking things like, “My childhood bestie and I had a HUUUuuuUUUUuuuUUUUge falling-out after she lost her baby-fat in 9th grade and I didn’t and she started hanging out with the popular girls and I wasn’t included, so I know what that’s lyke and I FEEL YOU, GURRRRLLL!!!” but let me tell you— that’s not the same. At all. And I just wish for you, desperately, that you do not and will never experience the sensation of dialing someone’s phone number automatically because you need them, and then listening to their voice on their answering machine in shock because they didn’t pick up for nearly the first time ever since you’ve known them, and that’s when you realized that you would never hear their particular tone of voice anywhere else again other than trapped for antiquity on a phone line that their parents hadn’t disconnected yet. Because the morning that I got the phone call, that’s what I did— I couldn’t think of anything else to do but call Mike’s number and ask him himself if he was dead or not. But he didn’t answer. And he never did answer again, not then, or the handful of times I called after that, just to hear him.
So I wrote to an innocent, precious little girl, and told her that I know a little of what she feels like, and that if she ever needed to NOT talk about it and go get a smoothie, or to know what life afterwards without them is like, she could contact me. And then I went on wrote on Mike’s still-active FB wall about how he’s taught me so much— both while he was alive as well as after his death— about love and loss and strength and living, and how wonderful it feels, even in such horrible circumstances, to be able to be there for someone else whom I deeply care about, because of what I learned from him.
…Now I am bawling openly.
I feel old. I feel sad. I feel strangely blessed to have loved so deeply that I can feel this way about those things.
It’s true what they say— you can see the moment of death in someone’s eyes. Today, I watched as her pupils went wide. I watched the moment of realization dawn. I watched the light dim from behind, as the essence of everything about her left her body. I watched the gray film settle in its place. As I felt my tears dripping off the end of my nose where I crouched in front of her, I felt her leave, as the last shine of her eyes was hidden forever, as they closed.
I was the last thing she saw.
My heart feels sick.
This is beyond tears.
I want to be back there, helping clear the wreckage. They gave so much to me. I want to be able to give them back their livelihoods.
Currently force-snuggling my cat while cooing in a baby-talk voice at him, “Awwww, are you mad because now you have mommy-cooties on you? MOMMY-COOTIES, MOMMY-COOTIES!”
I am going to die alone, with 62 cats.
I found myself at one of my favorite greasy spoon diner-dives this morning, sitting across the Formica table from The Dude on a puffy booth cushion, looking from him to a plate full of messy, messy wings and back to him again.
He was making a massive hangover look fashionable. I had wing sauce smeared across my cheek, which he so kindly pointed out to me.
They were some of the best wings I’d ever had, but after the third eaten painfully slowly by picking them apart piece by slowly excruciating piece, I put down the wing bone, and was forced to admit the defeat that they may not exactly be just-out-of-the-first-month-of-a-relationship food.
Later, in the privacy of the dingy back employee break room, I did nasty, nasty things to those wings and bleu-cheese dip the likes of which my coworkers looked horrified to stumble in upon and find, me gnawing on a bone, sauce and white dip up to my eyeballs and a slightly feral glint in my eye. It was like the ultimate torture for a closet fat kid in a size 4 dress that’s cut up to my clavicle, knowing they were back there, so close, so tortuously waited for.
For the first time in my life, I chose demureness and a man over my food. Oh shit. Baby’s growing up.
I was washing the silverware for dinner when I heard my dad making noise about this bottle of wine he pulled out from the wine cupboard, about how it was a vineyard he’d never tried before; about how good it was; how it was an ‘09 vintage, dont’cha know?; and had any of us ever had Pennywise wine?
With a slowly sinking feeling, I turned away from the sink and saw my mom holding up the (now) half-empty bottle of petite syrah that the S.O had gotten me for my birthday as part of our wine collection that I had gotten in the divorce and had been since saving for a special occasion, not, as ended up happening, a random Tuesday night pasta dinner with my parents in my pajamas.
Crushed. Crushed, crushed, a million girly, sentimental, emotional times crushed.
Excuse me. I must go sob into my glass of wine over my old bridal magazines and chocolate fudge over the state of my treasures and possessions. Parents: Why I can’t have nice things.
Because I am a Trojan Loyal Customer (don’t laugh), I get frequent emails with coupon offers for $5 off a 12-pack of condoms, $10 off vibrators, all that good stuff. It being Valentine’s Day shortly, Trojan is obviously in marketing over-load.
…Hehehe, Trojan. Load. Hehehehehehehe— yes, I am still a child.
Received yet ANOTHER $5 off coupon. (Now, I don’t know when the last time you bought condoms was, but that’s a CONSIDERABLE savings. That’s like, you-can-get-a-Starbucks-peppermint-mocha-AND-a-box-of-condoms saving. That makes a $12 box of condoms $7. Like, WOAH.)
Sat there. Stared at my computer screen. Haven’t had sex in 6 months. Still have a full box of condoms. No need to buy more.
I have issues with letting good values like that go to waste. THAT concept was more upsetting to me than the fact I haven’t engaged in the horizontal no-pants-dance since the end of July.
I was just chased down across the first floor of the house by my cat with a mouse in his mouth that he obviously wanted to present to me as a “present,” then had to beat the poor thing to death (REPEATEDLY) with a flyswatter while blinded by tears and alternately sobbing and laughing at the absurdity of the situation because Nicco had only (horribly) maimed it.
The perfect end to the tragi-comedy? It took two tries to flush the poor little corpse down the toilet.
I am horribly distraught. All I can think of is Bianca and Bernard in The Rescuers.