Archive | Sabboytical

A Lonely Otherwise (The 10-Year Breakup)

ghost

I felt anger rise when you’d regale me with endless stories of your family—the spats, foibles, boasts masked as kvelling. I would have loved to have loved to listen but you never even learned my parents’ names. It took a decade for you to learn my full name.

I felt anger rise when you said I was deluging you with my life. You never asked questions but rattled on about yours, deleting only the parts that would cast you in an unseemly light.

Such as: the other ladies.

Such as: who really paid your bills.

Ten years before, the last time I saw my parents, I told them I had recently ended it with someone. It was the first of our many breakups, and the wound was fresh. Continue Reading →

Grasshoppers in the Refracted Green Light

Does anyone remember a 1983 film called Independence Day? It costars an impossibly lanky and fresh-faced Diane Wiest as an abused wife in a dinky New Mexican town, and I’ve been trying to find it online for days. Scenes from it have been surfacing in my mind’s eye like a half-buried trauma, and I keep thinking if I could rewatch the whole film maybe I’d better understand why. All I remember is that I saw it when divorce had just been finalized for C, my mother’s best friend–a tall brassy woman with big plastic glasses and an unflattering short permanent. In an effort to cheer her up, my mom had taken her, her daughter K, and me out for a night on the town–first sundaes and lime rickeys at Brigham’s, then the West Newton Cinema for this very aptly named film. Only the plot grew darker and darker until its ending, resulted–I think?–in murder and suicide. The credits rolled, and K and I sat shocked, my mother gnawed at her thumb, and C, who usually radiated this aggressive, weirdly hostile cheer, remained motionless in her seat, huge tears shining in the refracted light of the screen.

Boy o boy do I wish I could see that movie again, because something in that moment sealed my pubescent self’s determination to never become a wife; no never, thank you very much. I was 12, so it took another 30 years for people to believe me, maybe five more for me to believe myself. But why am I remembering that moment now, o why? There’s something about grasshopper cocktails and burning houses that just keeps flashing fast. I think I’m digging into this mostly to better understand the 12-year-old girl who saw it, but if you have any memory of the film itself I’d be grateful. Even the online reviews are scant.

Venus in a Wading Pool

Last night I had such an endearing dream that I wanted to download it here–likely for the same reason that it occurred it all.

In it, I bought a small wading pool for my office. (I’m not sure why, though bringing mermaid energy into my intuitive practice is always well-advised.) Before filling the pool up, something made me bend down and peel off one of the decals plastered across its bottom surface. The decal was a kind of sea creature–royal blue, with a spiky spine, four legs and very long tail. Absent-mindedly, I began petting the bit of plastic–cradling it in my palm, really–and without any conscious invocation, it swelled into the third-dimension and then animated entirely. At which point it leapt out of my hand and began scrambling all over the room–nervously, wildly, not unlike a wild bird trapped in an indoor space.

I felt equal parts fascinated and terrified. It was adorable, yes, but also dangerous? A dybbuk of some sort? Finally the blue creature began squirming under my front door, and after a great deal of squeezing and squeaking, managed its escape. I watched with no small relief. But by then Grace had rushed into the room and was clocking the goings-on like they were Game 7 of the Permakitten NBA finals.

“Ma!” she shouted. (In my dreams she can speak, though she rarely deigns to do so.) “I can’t believe you weren’t nicer. I’ve been asking for a decal buddy forever.” At which point decal buddy scrambled back in, and he and Grace began cavorting all over the apartment–the tails of one tiny seasprite and one tiny permakitten joyfully entwined in a barely visible blur.

My big takeaway: The residents of Gracie Rosmansion may be lonelier than I’ve allowed. No doubt there is a tertiary revelation–that my unacknowledged (and thus dangerous) desire for connection can will anything into existence. But there’s something else that has stayed with me all the way through my morning coffee and snuggles with Grace: The unexpected is not always unwelcome. That’s a challenging lesson to absorb. But if I’m to truly find love again–and a love unburdened by the defalcations of yore–I must leave room for what I can’t yet imagine.

A Venus Retrograde dream if ever there were one. Who said the goddess doesn’t have a sense of humor?

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy