Caught in the Undertoad




Perspective is a rather extraordinary thing. Yesterday, I felt lost and adrift as the monthly tsunami of emotional overload overtook me.

I really felt as thought this guy was slighting me and it reminded me of past times, past frustrations, past sorrows to the point of physical pain.

Today, cramped and coiled up like crushed velvet, the loss I feel can’t be categorized as loss.  It’s not a missed opportunity.  It’s not anything.  It is absolutely nothing at all.  A conversation that continues, that fluctuates, that ebbs and flows, that is curious to me even if the person at the other end has zero emotional regard for me at all.

And, as it wends and waves its way through my phone and through my mind,  the world takes back another beauty.  Debbie Reynolds, so ravaged by loss and pain and missed opportunities and love and sorrow and grief and shock and whatever unknowable elements exist at the loss of a daughter, left us all.  Left as going was the only available path.  I believe that was the reason, and the medical issues only the method.  I believe there are bonds that require it.  Bodies that can’t find equilibrium.  Minds that can’t rationalize it.  Spirits that are drawn together too tightly to bear parting.

I used to be unshakably certain that my own mother and I were so knitted.  Now, having come to several of these giant abysses and been saved by fate or science or dumb luck, I wonder if the only gift we can give to one another is the best use of our lives.  The only fair expression of love is trundling forward as my grandfather did when his wife and son died a few months apart, but even he capitulated but a year later. Yet, who knows what happens in the face of unexpected loss?  What promises are made and undone.

So, we eat our tacos and watch Unsinkable Molly Brown and think of “I’m Not Down Yet” a song that featured Debbie/Molly growling and rolling in the dirt, sneering under a boot, asserting her indomitable will to survive and thrive.  It’s both the incredible will and the incredible impact of change.  Immovable objects, unstoppable forces.  All life comes down to is a game of War between them.

It’s the middle of this vacation.  If it was over tomorrow, I’d hardly know what to do with myself.  But I have a few more days, both of work at the shop and breathable quiet days at home, so I am going to work hard at shifting my head.  I’ll keep talking to him even if my bold statements are ignored, even if all we talk is turkey.  Because, today, this feels important to mention, but not so important to suffer over it.

Let him chase after me, keen for me, sigh and bite his fist, clutch his pearls.  Let him do none of the above and let me sit here and think up some new world and beautify this one and improve my life.




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