Stand me up

I waited for you all day. You didn't show. I cried. 

I looked out the living room window towards the street in the direction you would've been coming from. The first hundred times I looked it was light out. Now it's dark and I've given up.

I tried calling you. You didn't answer. I'm not sure if I'm more scared to have you answer and say something happened or for you to say nothing happened at all.  

I was excited to see you. I'm wearing something I feel pretty in. I did my hair.

I'm furious at you but I'm sure if more at you or myself.

Why do you do this to me? Why do I keep letting you?

I know I deserve better than you. I know you'd disagree. I think that's why you take advantage of me. But I know there's someone out there who would never stand me up like you do.

Look up

The ceiling needs attention just like I did. 

Now that I have the ritual of bathing each night after the boys are in bed, and writing while I soak, I suppose it’s time to share the love and repair our ceiling.  

I can see a crack that’s opened like a wound with brittle edges and a mysterious core.  

Freckles of mold. I should turn the fan on every time I shower, but I don’t. The loud humming disrupts the small pleasure of a shower. 

I should’ve painted the ceiling years ago when we painted the bathroom just before Noah was born. But I didn’t. The idea of painting it felt completely unnecessary at the time. 

In a way, the ceiling is a reflection of my carelessness. That same carelessness that had me in survival mode without any self-care rituals. With a loss of self. I was neglected and falling part.

I’ve cut corners and I’ve lacked discipline. Both of which I’m trying to get better at.  

I wonder what it would feel like to have the bathroom completely finished—tiles framed, ceiling painted, cupboards organized, everything always in a state of clean?  

The first time I almost drowned

I almost drowned, twice.  

The first time I was under 10 years old. I wagered with myself how deep I could swim in the cloudy lake. I had to know if I could make it to the bottom. 

My siblings surrounded me yet we’re focused on their own swimming quest.  

My parents watched from the boat—the one we washed and waxed in preparation for the weekend lake-getaways.  

I began my journey to the depths of the lake with each inch of water getting increasingly colder the deeper I reached. 

By the time my fingers brushed the sandy bottom of the earth (I did it!) I had a rush of panic fill my body like a balloon because my body had run out of air. I rushed to the top of the water feeling like I could explode into a white light at any moment. 

Then I found air.  

I gasped, filling every corner of my lungs with plump, cool, fresh, life-giving air.  

I can’t remember if anyone noticed that I almost drowned. I was too freaked out to make a scene. I was also the kind of kid that kept things easy for my parents. 

 

The story of the second time I drowned will have to wait another day. Right now, it’s time for me to go to bed and get some rest for my 5K run.  

Bedroom door

I was there when you had your second miscarriage. I was a sunny day. Nick was running errands. But you weren't alone. I was there and I witnessed how painful it was. 

Since that day euclyptus hangs from me. The same euclyptus from your mother's funeral bouquet. 

I remember when you first moved in and set up a tripod in the bedroom. You and Nick held each other and smiled while the camera captured a few moments. That was before the miscarraige and the births of Noah and Elijah. 

Now I hold silence for the baby to sleep while you and Nick unwind from the day or when Noah runs from room to room. 

I'm kept closed most of the day but when I'm open I enjoy the human touch and watching each of you walk back and forth past me. 

I know there are several versions of me throughout the home but I feel I protect the bext room in the house. 

I wrote the above as a writing exercise from a workbook I’m using to help me write my book. The workbook is by Beth Kephart, titled “Tell the Truth. Make it Matter.”. It’s funny, like Beth mentions in the workbook, how writing in the voice of something that is not me actually forces me from the shadows. More exercises and writing to come...