May 2, 1998 (I was on a diet, what a surprise)
Weight: 143 Pounds lost: 44
Breakfast: Oatmeal, Mocha
Lunch: 1/2 Tuna Sandwich
Dinner: Chicken Parmesan, Broccoli
Exercise: 60 minutes Step-circuit
I don’t know where to begin today. With moments I’m thinking. Those tiny windows in time that change everything forever. Last night sitting in a crowded restaurant, everyone and everything completely out of kilter. The food not coming, an obese waitress trying to maneuver around the tray she just sat down directly in her path, an older woman calling me ma’am, the kids going berserk . . . .
Three or four tables were pulled together next to us. A large party of young people, men and women in their late twenties, laughed and flirted and drank excessively. Tiny shot glasses were handed out once, twice, three times. A handsome brunette man, clean shaven with shoulder length hair circled the table, squeezing the shoulders of the men and leaning down to nuzzle the women. Whispering in their ears; each of their expressions changing as he pecked their cheeks and seemingly shared some intimate, not so nice secret.
I stared openly as he held his glass up to the pitcher being passed around the table, refilling his mug every other squeeze and nuzzle. I looked at the faces framing the table; each one vaguely familiar.
A last supper for the shallow. It hit me hard. Total despair.
Right there in the middle of Chevy’s, I hung my head and cried, overcome by an intensity of emotion I had only felt once before in the middle of the night six months after my father died. “Don’t worry, it will be okay,” he smiled at me through the passenger window, smiling his, “Don’t be so ridiculously paranoid” smile.
This time the tears were not for what I knew would happen.
These tears falling on to the stained napkin Tony had tossed in front of me as I held my head in my hands were for that continuum of emotion that exists that is too painful to feel.
I woke up a few years ago after a dream that ended like a novel. A voiceover in my dream solemnly told the end of the story, “And with that he scraped a naked rake across the cold ashes of our lives.” I took it to mean we were shallow, unfeeling people; numb to the true meaning of our existence, perhaps, existing without meaning at all.
I cannot begin to describe the intensity of despair I felt last night for a single moment as Kip held his breath in protest over his quesadilla, as the next generation drank themselves into oblivion, as I recalled the last words my father said, tired of my constant, blathering criticism. “We’ll talk about it later,” he said exhausted, put down, doing the best he could.
It was so painful the way it jumped into my head, taking me by surprise, out of nowhere, hitting me like a ton of bricks.
How will this tiny piece of time, this split second, change my life?
New Year’s Day 2012
Yesterday, on the way to the grocery store I was trying to share a sentence with Tony I read in this blog . I was simply trying to say this sentence: “I miss teacher conferences and doctor visits, because those were the times when other adults praised me for the great job I was doing as your mom.”
I couldn’t do it; I was shocked by how painful it was just to utter those words.
It was not as intense as the Chevy’s moment 14 years ago, but it reminded me that I have once again buried my feelings. They are just below the surface bubbling up at the most inopportune times; sitting on a bench on a busy city sidewalk, looking up at our old house, driving on 101 north as a large truck merges onto the freeway next to us.
Very gently urging me to “feel this.”
I think I will lest I find myself getting hit upside the head with a ton of bricks or buried in cold ashes being scraped by a naked rake.
And voiceover man in my dream, what is a naked rake?