i forsake you over and over again. with every minute of every day. your solitude weighs heavily on my mind. it is the number one sorrow in my brain and it produces a constant, frequently subconscious hum of neglect and ineptitude, painting every moment with grey cast. "there's something i should be doing there's something i should be doing."
there are one million other things i never get around to doing, but the fact that i can no longer manage to capture the moments i do accomplish makes me eternally sad. if i don't write it, it didn't happen. my memory cortex is made of soft cheese and it cannot hold on to these things on its own. it needs crackers. you're a cracker, livejournal. i've taken to photographing EVERY LAST THING EVER as a second line of defense. and then, i have so many photos, i can't bear the thought of processing them to add to the journal entry i never write.
for christ's sake, I NEVER WROTE LAST YEAR'S XMAS LETTER.
i can't even remember what santa brought my children last year. i have nothing to refer back to. i watched some videos a took a month or two ago and thought, god, i barely remember that happening. without the video, it might as well have never happened. my memory is a mostly empty vessel. what remains is a serpentine path tracing phantom lines of confusion. i can never figure out if the story someone is telling me or the movie i am watching is making a new impression on my memory or if i have heard it three times before. my brain is dying. mark my words.
i blame facebook. for everything. it is the lazy man's journal. it is the CliffsNotes of life.
i became more of an old lady saturday morning around 10:30am.
we bolted out of bed at 9:18 after realizing the home depot kids' workshop was from 9a-12p. i had automatically assumed they wouldn't do that to a parent and would instead hold it during a respectable timeframe, like 1p-4p. we had been meaning to take oliver for years, but the times we actually thought about it were always days when something else was already happening, which is how it goes with children in one's life. and now, violet was already old enough to participate. so this was it. catie and maya are total home depot workshop veterans and they had firmly planted the idea in his head over thanksgiving break and he was not going to let us forget.
we were hosting jameson, due to the inclement ice weather, and since i'm the only one who thinks to take care of him, i was siphoning crudites into his carrot-shaped bowl. (you see, perhaps, why i'm the only one in the family who feels strongly averse to acquiring a new life form for the house.) so i had this piece of celery, it wasn't even a fully stalk, just this piece of celery, and i was bending about far enough to make one side on an equilateral triangle with a horizontal base, so that i could set it in the cage, which was elevated by our coffee table. elevated, not levitated. but wouldn't that be cool.
and then, as my head met the vertex, i had this sensation of one million tiny, hot explosions erupting straight across my lower back. like, where it tends to hurt when i stand for a long time and then finally sit down. the base of my swayback. i screamed. out loud. and then, i was kind of frozen in place, surrounded on every side by the promise of more pain. i was like jack tripper the day after he worked out too much to impress a chick in a french cut leotard. and the kids were maybe partially aware of my predicament, as kids tend to be. tears were coming out and i didn't know what to do with myself, other than continue squatting. i couldn't hardly breathe. i finally managed to lower myself the few remaining inches to the couch and continued gritting and crying. violet offered a hug and, remembering jack tripper, i declined, saying, "PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME."
after getting no response from my screams of, "BRIAN," i begged oliver to encourage brian to get the fuck out of the shower already and oliver went to the door and hollered, "DADDY, HURRY UP!" and brian was like, "yeah, yeah. we'll home depot it out soon enough." in so many words.
somewhere in there, i managed to lean my torso to the left side. i kept crying.
sometimes, i think that maybe i no longer will cry if i get hurt, like a grown up. and then the kids wind up oskar on my lap until he takes off, shredding my twelve inches of my leg the whole way, and i learn: yes, as an adult, i will still cry. and scream.
brian finally came out of the bathroom and just streaked right on past me. i guess i always look like that when i'm sitting on the couch. bent in half the wrong way and with tears streaming down my face. so i pointed out to him that my back had just blown out. he probably helped me stand up. and then i made these ridiculouse tiny hobblesteps across the sitting area room place and down the two stairs into the kitchen, while holding on to the wall and counter. i eventually consumed an ibuprofen and continued to cry due to the pain and the ridiculousness and my immediate and brutal disqualification from the day's events and a deep down fear of becoming an old lady who felt this way at all times.
toward the end of my 30s, i began to appreciate them for what they had been. a time of greater emotional stability and a time to learn just a whole lot about myself and the world around me. i decided to try and appreciate my 40s from the beginning. because it was either that, or cry wildly into my soup. gross.
in the past six months, i have developed a very deep, visceral understanding that, with any luck, i will become old AND DIE. i mean, we all know that. but it's kind of this wispy, fluttering fact. way off in the distance. it doesn't seem real. well, one night (these things always come under the cover of darkness), i just became very aware of it. it wasn't outside anymore. it was coming from inside me. my fate. inescapable. one of those moments where you feel like you can't breathe right and were sliding down a slope. into a pit. and you have to try really hard to shed just the right brand of light on the situation to try and turn things around. lemons into lemonade. accepting the things you cannot change.
so here was this back explosion. just staring me in the face. taunting me. showing how easily it can lift a finger a debilitate me. i hadn't been doing anything strenuous. something where i could say, "oh ho... let's not do that again!" oh no. it just chose a completely random, seemingly innocuous moment to flick its wrist and knock me down.
since everyone was running late, i had to pretty quickly admit a solid defeat and i retreated to the bed. i spent the better part of saturday and sunday there. fortunately, we had figured out that the simple act of shutting the door transforms our bedroom from a meat locker into an oven, so at least i was cozy. but every movement shot pain through my back. i began feeling like i had growing pains in my right leg, which was also the side that gave me problems when taking baby steps. getting up, getting down, adjusting my body, staying in one position for too many minutes... it all hurt.
my physical therapist friend said it sounds like a classic case of a bulged disc. and that just makes me want to throw up. i dared to google it and she seems to be making a good call. i made the mistake of reading about bulging discs where they are likened to rings of onion with jelly in the middle. barf barf barf.
aaron brought aidan over for a few minutes that afternoon. oliver had left his hat at their house during a brief playdate the afternoon prior while i spent time making childfree chili. they returned it and then accidentally introduced oliver to angry birds on our roku. his first gaming experience and he was hooked verily. we're going to have to channel that to something more constructive and restrained timewise.
after a brief nap, i poked my head out a bit to say hello and aaron sprinted home to bring me their heat up-able rice pack. our neighbors are really super nice.
i managed to stand long enough to make tofu ramen for children while brian battled the roads to bring me some of the best pad kee mow ever to grease up my mouth. that sounds gross.
i neglected to mention we were iced in for days. kind of. we technically only stayed in one day. but kids were out of school fri AND mon.
sunday, i finally left the house for the first time in three days to go see santa at violet's school. upon our arrival, violet was completely horrified by the prospect of being in the same general area as santa and she spent a lot of time standing behind me and pulling my arm, despite being a good distance away. oliver went with brian to listen to the story and then both children acted like they could not be more ready to go. brian was suffering with diarrhea and my back was aching so we said, fuck this, let's go. and oliver immediately decided he did want to get a photo taken. we stood in line, got a shot of him looking like shaun cassidy, procured his complimentary candy cane and magical jingle bell (it rings when santa breaks into your house!) and then drove way over to freebirds to pick up dinner. by the time we were driving back, i was about ready to cry again. it felt like my back was squeezing its own self.
ps: that is not our house there. it belongs to the guy aubrey, who periodically maintains his yard. note the ivy growing up through the blinds. there's been a bit of controversy over whether the plant is rooted on the inside or the outside of the house. i am curious to see how long it takes for him to clear out the fallen branches. a big one is currently dangling over his roof.
i thought i was feeling better and then monday morning happened and i was back to square 1.5. brian phoned in for a refill on his reflexerall, or whatever it's called, and by that evening, i finally convinced myself to take one. i was worried i'd get woozy. or nauseous. or have an aneurysm. or a heart attack. none of those things happened, so i took another the next morning and evening. etc. i guess it helped, because i'm not quite as handicapped now, though it still aches and i look ridiculous trying to get things that are down low.
i managed to assemble our xmas tree last night and will put the lights on it tonight if it kills me. i'm so far behind on some things. it is stressing me out.
charlotte, violet's teacher, is getting married on the 23rd and i do not have a single thing to wear. i have tried on a few things only to realize i really am the fattest i have ever been without having another person living inside my waistline. i've been trying to walk it off, but keep missing days due to weather or illness or children home from school. i was ready to crack way the fuck down to at least kill off some of this lumpiness and then THE BACK. i can't even suck in my gut properly. my back bulge is exacerbating all my other bulges. i am going to have to go to this wedding dressed like a hobo. it is an evening wedding and charlotte is an impeccable dresser. she always looks COMPLETELY perfect. one afternoon at pick up, i heard her apologizing to a parent for her appearance because she had changed to go jogging, but SHE STILL LOOKED GOOD. charlotte's worst day looks better than my best day. oh, the pressure.
we were capable of doing things that didn't feel like death and detrioration, like cranking up some cranberry loaves and reading xmas books and watching videos of turtles eating raspberries.
snuggles with rodents and things on our bed. he kept mousing around and when then drop the tiny vertical distance his legs allowed him and rest his head on his little cheek. just a guinea pig snuggling down.