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I haven’t seen him in a year, and there’s been a lot of water under the bridge, including, ahem. my marriage.

I think it’s safe to say I’m over him. Yeah. I was over him a long time ago..it was a process and it came to an end.

What I’m not over is IT, the pain and rejection and self-doubt and the helplessness. The abstraction that remains in my life crops up just when I need it least.

I can always feel a nightmare coming, like a migraine. I don’t want to go to sleep because I know it’s coming. I worried for a long time about it, maybe it meant I wasn’t over him and I’d made a mistake jumping into this lifelong committment, although I can’t imagine what there’d be to wait around for in that department of the past.

I finally told Cuyler and he told me that I always seem to have the bad dreams, the screaming shouting horrible dreams about my ex-boyfriend, when something else in my life is out of control.

It’s true: when work has me treading water and sinking, when I feel like marriage is overwhelming, like adulthood is overwhelming, that’s when my sleep is invaded and I wake up stumbling out of bed to shake off the swamp.

He has become an archetype of things I can’t control, things that will hurt me and make me feel like a failure.

I don’t know the real person anymore, even though we shared almost all our time for four years. It’s amazing how much can fit into four years, and even though it was the grand prize winner of the crappy-relationship contest, it mattered because someone who observed your life for a long time is gone. Some things that I did, said, experienced, only he was there for, and has probably already forgotten. It hurts to lose someone that was close to you and my brain is still working through that.

Eventually the nightmares will go away, I think. I know I made some really good decisions in life, and I know I’m taking for granted what an amazing man I share a room, a bed and a life with. I know perfectly well that sometimes I put off appreciating him fully because I have stress to be stressed, worries to worry, hissy fits to throw at the prospect of being grown up.

Lord, what fools these mortals be.

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I went to a training session today. Everyone knows how fun those are, and it lived up to my every expectation. However, for a corporate training session it wasn’t bad: there were only two moments of jaw-dropping obliviousness to what kids are really about.

1. “We believe that childhood is a precious time, and that children have a right to experience the relaxation and subtle rhythms of happiness of summertime. With careful planning, supervision and adherence to the summer program curriculum, this can be accomplished.”

I’m sorry? Are you sure that’s not how it can NOT be accomplished? Because what I remember about summer is that the subtle rhythms (very poetic for a corporate training manual, don’t you think?) of summer come primarily from not having to do anything, doing really random and pointless stuff because you want to, when you want to, and definitely not adhering to any curriculum. And supervision? The very word is the antithesis of summer vacation. If you don’t step on broken glass, eat nothing but Cheetos all day until dinner, and have permanently grass-stained joints, it’s not a real summer.

2. “What is the purpose of the summer reading program?” Answer: “To prepare children for school in the fall.”

The reading program in itself is pretty good, relying very little on sterile compilations of “literature” written for “reading comprehension” by drones who are probably doing penance with a whip every night (and if they’re not, ought to). The kids actually pick their own books and read at home, getting stickers and so on for accumulated time spent reading. It could be worse.

It’s just a very sad example of how reading for pleasure wasn’t mentioned at all, and is rarely mentioned with any belief behind it.

Anyway, thinking about summer and also about how my husband loved being a kid, I realized there was a lot of stuff I really loved too. So much of it was emotionally overpowering, though, especially my favorite game, Pioneers. In this game we all dressed in our most raggy clothes and collected plants and berries, probably poisonous, and stockpiled them for the winter. We probably rounded up wild horses and fought Indians, too. My memories are fuzzy now. I remember wearing my blue dress with ruffles, the soles of my feet black with weeks of no shoes, and running. Running so fast that my hair blew straight back.

I got so into it that I sometimes forgot I wasn’t really living in the Wild West, and fantasy started to take over…the game in my head got so good that when the neighbor kids broke character for whatever reason, murderous rage hung around me like a black fog.

Thinking about how my husband’s childhood was good because he had nothing to worry about, I don’t know if I specifically had any problems. I mean, there wasn’t a problem I was trying to solve. My house was full of tension, all the time. I’m not sure why. My parents fought, I know that, but I’m not sure what about. They had hot, angry, strained voices in the kitchen. I love the sound of the coffeemaker burbling because if they were making coffee, they weren’t that mad. I think. I tried to ignore it but it was hard to do. It strikes me that my husband was technically raised by a single parent, although his grandpa was there–his paraplegic grandpa. There were plenty of fights in his hearing, I’m sure. And his childhood was happy, spent pushing his toys around the carpet.

I wonder if it was my parent’s fault? Or am I less able than he is to just shrug off, focus on what’s good, not worry? Was his mom just a happier person than mine? Why wasn’t I happy?

One time a boy took a stick and killed a toad with it. A toad I’d been playing with, feeding bugs. Named. He drove the stick through it into the ground. If I could have killed him, I would have, but he was too strong and he got away from me. I used the only weapon I had and chased him, pretending to try to kiss him, thinking that it grossed boys out so much I might as well use it as revenge. How twisted. My heart was breaking and I was running after the murderer with my lips puckered.

I would get up in the early early morning and swing on my swing while the sun came up and the dew sparkled everywhere, and sing to myself. That’s what I thought Heaven looked like. I think I’d still be happy with it if it turns out to be that way.

So, I’m kind of new to this. Not new to blogs. If you know me, you’d know I’m not. At least I wasn’t. I mean I’m new to marriage. New to WordPress. New to having someone live in my bed and push me off of it.

I’m also new to this response writing. But I think it could be fun.

But I don’t think I’m supposed to tell you that. At least the line in between those other lines. So, I propose that you pretened (or pretend if you prefer) like you never read that, and just read this. Starting… now!

No…

Now!

Being a kid was great. I miss it. I wish I could go back. So much better than having to work and figure out your own finances and how I’m going to be fed and what I’m going to do with myself. All I had to worry about as a kid was… well, nothing. In reality, nothing. My biggest concern was avoiding the fireplace while sliding around on the top of my head on the carpet while pushing my Optimus Prime or my Ultra Magnus. Because when my head found the fireplace, which it always did; It was always way closer than I remembered, I couldn’t figure out exactly how to let it know just to what extent I hated it, which was a lot.

Kindergarten was a hoot. I remember on like the first or second day, when we were all still getting used to the fact that our parents were so far away from us every day, a girl got sick. She put her hands up to her face to sneeze, and a lot more than sneeze came out. By which, I mean she aliens style projectile vomited through the cracks in her finger across the table.

Holy crap!

I felt so bad for her. I don’t even remember her name, or really, if I even ever saw her after that day. I felt bad because I laughed, and gagged at the same time. It was surreal. I couldn’t help but do both. But, then I felt like a jerk and I still feel hot if I think about it too hard.

Coloring was the bane of my existence. Well, that phrase might not be entirely accurate, and it is completely overused, but if I was capable of phrases like, “Coloring is balls,” I would have used them. I just couldn’t seem to get the teacher to understand that I scribbled across the cats (who wanted me to add 1 and 1 and 2 and 1. The cats. Well, I guess the teacher, but the cats were asking more directly) not because I was lazy, or didn’t understand coloring, but because it was dumb, and math and coloring weren’t related.

Boy was I pissed when I was still having to color as a senior. And I still had a hard time trying to get the teacher to see that it wasn’t because I was dumb or lazy, but coloring sucks balls, and isn’t at all related to eastern Europe, its countries, or its capitals.

Then in college, I discovered programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, and found that I had the capacity for Picasso like color… just as long as it wasn’t crayons, it wasn’t math cats, and it wasn’t eastern Europe.

It’s funny that really, my only substantial memory of kindergarten is the thing I hated most. I shouldn’t say only memory. I remember the girl, and I remember watching Beauty and the Beast (the old Ron Pearlman one) during nap time, and I remember asking Adam if I could be his friend, and his answer, “I don’t know. I already have 4, and I don’t want too many.” I also remember hiding in a pile of coats because it felt so comfy, and the Revelation of Horror that someone had peed in their snowsuit. Gross.

So, now I’m married, and I’m blogging on WordPress, and I live with someone in my bed who tries to push me off every night. But I don’t have to color, and life is good.

Oh, and before I go, this won’t be my only vomit related story.

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