Monthly Archives: July 2011

Exhale

A friend offered to go to the memorial service with me.

But I’m not going.

The ex’s death has stirred up a lot of emotions.  Not all of them good.

And reading the comments on the web memorial page are describing someone I never knew.

And, though I cried when I got the news, and wish it wasn’t true, if I’m honest?  A part of me, the part that always knew where his house was, where his office was, the small part of me that still tensed up with the thought of ever bumping into him, the part that knew how ever much I hoped he would move out of the area that he never would, and I was going to spend the rest of my life risking bumping into him?

A part of me…relaxed.

Shock

 

A man I used to love is dead.

My best friend called me last night to let me know.

I was in San Francisco, at a work party in the De Young Museum, in the Picasso exhibition by myself (well, a room full of people, but with no one I knew) when she called. I was in a wheel chair (two broken feet don’t do well at an event based on walking) so once I answered the phone I was pretty much stuck, because you can’t run off to a quiet corner when you don’t have to hands to push).
It was shocking.  When my husband came up moments later I couldn’t even talk to tell him what had happened.

I haven’t talked with my ex in years.  It was an ugly break up, and frankly he was fairly awful to me the last year we were dating.  But when I heard he was dead, I didn’t remember that part.  I just remembered the parts of him that I loved.  There is some overlap of the good parts of the ex with some of the good parts of the husband, which I think made it so easy to feel the pain.  Don’t know if that makes any sense.

I have a problem with acid reflux, which (with drugs and diet) I have under control, but last night I kept waking up with stomach acid in my throat.  Which is a giant “I’m feeling very stressed” sign.
When I woke up this morning, it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember what he called me.  The first name I used in school or the one I used in my career.  How could I have dated someone for five years and not remember what they called me?  I finally figured it out, but only by calling up memories of what his friends called me at the time.  How weird to not really remember that, to have to do archeology on my memories to figure it out.

I found an article on line this morning with details on the accident.  Horrible.  And actually what my husband thought had happened when I told him I was shocked that the ex was killed in a car accident, since he was the best driver I’ve ever known (and also because he was an ass about letting anyone else drive, so I totally assume he was driving, not his wife).  The tanker truck crossed the road and jack knifed into his car.

The ex’s family used to have a station wagon, and their dad wondered how fast it could go.  So he loaded up the entire family in the car, and then found an empty straight stretch of road and got it up to 135 mph.  When I asked why his dad put the entire family at a certain amount of risk, the answer was, “Well, he thought the whole family should be together, in case there was an accident, so the whole family would go together.

Which is a sick way to live and treat your family.  But the ex grew up with this man’s logic and didn’t seem to feel it was a form of abuse to have his dad think his family was better off dead than without the all mighty father to lead them.  I wonder if the father is thinking it is good they all died together?
My best friend thought about how horrible it would be for the family, having to go and deal with the house – with everything this family owned.  And I thought about the roses – the roses his mother tended in pots for years in her garden.  That, after she died, he took and planted in his yard.  I saw them once when I drove by, still in their pots.  And later, when they had been transplanted to the ground and had begun to thrive.  Even though I no longer liked him, I thought – how lovely!  He has part of his mother with him. And it made me happy.  And now?  Who is going to love the roses?
I feel like the shock is beginning to wear off.  I mean, it is still shocking, but I can feel my brain beginning to function again.

But, really, what am I supposed to feel right now?

Why don’t I just rename this blog “Ouch, my foot hurts”

My crutches don't actually look like this. But then again I don't look like this. So at least it is consistent

I don’t feel old, but clearly my conversational skills have taken a chilling shift to lunch time at the retirement home, in that all I have to talk about is how crappy I feel.

To be fair to me, when you’re alone in the house all day catching up on Tivo and surfing the web, there is a limit to the question “what’s new with you.”  Because, really, what is new is what is also old, and that is pain.

So excuse me for not being fascinating.

But madfishmonger  reminded me of the only other time I’ve been on crutches, which was twenty years ago (hey, I said I didn’t feel old, not that I was young).

I’d sprained my ankle, and was hobbling around the grocery store, struggling to steer the cart while using crutches.  I noticed a guy who seemed to be checking me out in the produce aisle.  Then I noticed him again by the cereal, and yet again when I was picking up milk.

Then, when I get into line to check out, he stands behind me, and tries to start a flirty conversation with me.  And I turned to him and said “Really?  You watched me struggle through the store, don’t offer to help, and NOW you want to flirt with me?  You suck at this.” He turned red with embarrassment and skulked off.

(Hmm, I don’t have much of an ending for this.  Other than “Dude from the grocery store twenty years ago:  It’s been two decades, and I have to say that in the 38 years I was single, that was about the worst example of flirting I ever saw.”)

Feeling Regal

I'm thinking this is a good look for me.

So I was at a workshop yesterday, me and my broken foot perched on a stool, and I needed more supplies. I said to the women sitting next to me. “You know, I was going to ask where the extra pieces are, but I realized I don’t care where they are, I just want someone to hand it to me.”

And they were fabulous, fetching anything I needed all afternoon.

And this morning I was at church, and when it came time for communion, I realized there was no way my crutches and I were going to fit between the pews.  I go to the early service, which is more sparsely attended, so I had to lean into the aisle to get the attention of the closest woman.  “Um, I’m not going to be able to make it there.”  So she kindly sent the women with the bread and the ‘let’s call it they symbolic blood of Christ, because it certainly isn’t wine, and calling it grape juice loses a bit of the majesty of the ceremony‘.  I’ve never had pew service before.

Strangers at my beck and call, catering to my needs.  It’s like I’m queen.  But without the fancy hat.  Except for the broken foot and the pain and the ugly ‘shoe’ and the crutches, I could get used to this.

If you think about it , a scepter looks a lot like a magic wand. Except instead of being able to grant wishes, you can beat people who aren't doing what you want. So then they'll wish they'd just given you what you needed in the first place. So I guess it really is a magic wishing wand. Were original sceptres were just sticks kings and queens used to beat people until they got what they wanted?

UPDATE:

Ooh – never had an update before.  Feel so official.

Turns out sceptres were in fact used for hitting.

Okay, originally they were staffs or walking sticks.  But they were also used as “a weapon of defence and assault.”  And then evolved into a status symbol of royalty.

Defence and assault?  Totally wacking sticks. Jewel embellished wacking sticks, yes, but still wacking sticks.

This image? Because I couldn't find a non-copywrite image that expressed that I'm pretty sure everything is my fault, but if you imply that I'll probably scream at you.

So it occurred to me the other day that it is statistically unlikely that my beloved husband only does annoying or stupid things when I’m standing up.

I mean, when I’m lying or sitting down he is his usual charming, intelligent kind loving self.

Took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that he is acting the same.  It is just that I’m in lots of pain when standing, much less when sitting.  Which, unsurprisingly, impacts my perception of the world.

And apparently my intelligence.