Monthly Archives: December 2017

Twas the Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, except for my mouse,

Not a real one, of course, but the one by my hand

The kind that helps navigate throughout cyberland.

Frankie’s out really early, a coffee he’ll share

With a potential employer, no sugar plums there.

And me in my shorts, in my oversized shirt,

Being alone in my loft, I’ll tell you, it doesn’t hurt…

**

It’s been six months Frank’s out of work. His final paycheck went into the bank last week. Thank goodness we had the severance, but now that safety net is gone. 2018 looms, both scary and so full of potential. New job, new home, the release of The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers in June, the German translation release in the fall (or winter) season. Part of me says, “Everything’s going to work out just fine.” Then there’s the other part that whispers mean things I hear, but won’t give the time of day to.

I miss him way more than I ever imagined when he does go out, like he did today. Of course, I want him to find a job. One that will fulfill him personally and professionally. I can’t help wishing he could retire, even though he’s bored silly now that there’s no yard work to do. I don’t get as much writing done. There are far fewer lunches with friends. The noise level is way outside my preferred silence. But egads, I love the man. I love how much he digs grocery shopping (there are few days we don’t end up in Aldi, Stew’s, or Shop Rite), and that he calls me down for lunch when I’d have worked through it. I love that he comes with me when I babysit the grands, and puts the laundry in the dryer before I get to it. I love it when he talks to the cats rather than interrupt me, even though I’m pretty certain he’s not really expecting Gyro and Toulouse to know if mommy would be interested in going to Five Guys for a diet cherry Coke. (The answer to which is always, “yes!”)

Whatever 2018 brings, we’ll work with it. We’ve weathered the worst of things without breaking. This certainly isn’t going to break us.

***

He hopped into his car, to potential employer gave a wave,

And homeward he flew, like Batman to his cave.

He called twice on the phone, ere he drove into sight,

“Should I stop for proscuitto? Or do you want Jersey Mike’s?”

hats

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Homecoming

*

I just watched a “soldiers coming home” meme on Facebook, meant to draw a few tears, a sad smile, a thank goodness. I cried, not over those soldiers and their families, but because I felt what they felt, once. In a dream. I was sitting at my kitchen counter, and I felt him walk in. I turned, and there he was, standing in the doorway. There he smiled. There he held out his arms for me to launch myself into. Watching that stupid meme, I remembered the mindbending joy of those people in it. And I remembered how empty my arms remained as I launched.

**

It’s been hard to post in here, lately, ever since my weighted house and bear dream. My days are full of so much happiness, so much happening. It’s not all fucking rays of sunshine, but who can let the heaviness devour when your son and his lovely girlfriend come home to visit, when you see your family more than usual, when your grandkids are adorable, and your oldest daughter makes you tea, and your youngest one has a new puppy and a one-eyed cat? When all your literary aspirations are, daily, happening and happening and happening? And so I don’t leave any of myself here, because there’s just too much to contain, or set loose.

***

The weight of this house still presses on my shoulders, but I’m better at bearing it now. Deciding I’m okay leaving has built up some sort of muscle, or muscle memory, that keeps me from going down on my knees. Bear is gone north, without even a glance over his shoulder. He can’t. I know he couldn’t. But still it skewers me, a kebab on the fire roasting low and slow and inexorable. Maybe he’ll be back. Maybe he won’t. I never did like kebabs all that much.

****

I want to be done here, to be in the new, to leave behind (only a safe distance) this dream of life I’ve led all these years. Turn the corner, the page, the bend in the road, the wheel of the year. I’ll be patient, faithful that things will work out in a way I’ll be able to work with. It’s what Tiggers do best, after all–roll with the punches, make lemonade out of lemons, always look on the bright side of life.

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