I remember living like that many times throughout my life. Worries and fears stood tall and proud at forefront of my mind and tongue. Chronic anxiety resulted, evidence of the illness was seen in my entire physical and emotional state that I allowed to be hijacked by worry that was born out of fear. Xanax helped quell it, but it didn’t stop it.
The movie disturbed me for days after. It was chilling. I felt that grief and anger watching Three Billboards yesterday with Bridget, and without saying it out loud, the thought “My God I pray that I die before you” was omnipresent. I touched her knee, physically connecting myself to her, looking at her, reminding her that she is a part of me.
And writing through this, I realize that it’s not the moon that really frustrated me, it’s the hour and twenty minutes that I spent listening to the President last night. I watched him use American heroes, victims of crimes, ambitious and loyal Americans to prop up his own agenda.
Every day Bridget and make at least one comment about the stench or frequency of their farts. I imagine an intestinal version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory churning away emitting poisonous gases. Speaking of it now, I think that the Department of Defense should jar their farts and use them in combat. If you could intensify the odor, you’d likely knock down a whole country.
Melancholy. Numb. Ambivalent. Nothing good in those words. On most days I can flip those words inside out and find a bright side or silver lining, but today it’s just not there. Last Tuesday my friend had a bad day. She woke up angry. She could not put her finger on it. She thought maybe she was letting too many people manager her time. She went to read her usual pick me ups. She tried to journal. Nothing worked. I told her she was having an “I’m so bitchy I can’t stand myself” kind of day.
We need gray, rainy Mondays for without them we’d never appreciate the brilliant, sunny days. Yesterday, a winter thaw set in, the melted snow uncovered a shit ton of landmines in my backyard. Rose-colored glasses would neither camouflage dozens of newly revealed dog poops or mask their smell.
I told her I don’t want her to live in a world where her vagina is a liability. How can a person who is essential to bringing life into the world be treated so poorly? This is a country where her gender means she makes 28-cents less than her male equivalent. A country where “equality” is a hollow word filled with adjectives like homophobic, racist, misogynistic, supremacist, narcissistic, ugly, evil, and wrong.
Fridays signal the end of the work week, and it’s always in the same place sandwiched between Thursday and Saturday right near the end of the calendar week. Friday’s arrival comes with a sense of relief, accomplishment, and anticipation. There is a reason why we say TGIF, because Fridays are a great reminder of new beginnings.
Just like in Improv, it’s not always easy to roll with the line, though. But it’s better than killing the scene. In life, when we accept what’s put in front of us, the outcome, at least in my experience is healthier. Acceptance sure works better than Pepcid, TUMS, and Zantac. It’s cheaper, too. Denial had me drinking alongside the alcoholic, ignoring the problems, and in a constant state of resentment. It sucks to be perpetually disappointed. Saying goodbye to denial is a great relief to the mind and liver, too.
On this last day of the year, I could focus on the worst parts of 2017, but that’s foolhardy. Who wants to look at life half empty, when it is so full of promise? Not I. For that reason, I’m going to say goodbye to this year with love and admiration for the friends and family who brought me so much joy, so that I could return it. As I look ahead to 2018, I know in my heart and mind there is nowhere to go but up.
I’ve always wondered without journalism where we would be? What if no one photographed Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, or September 11, no one documented the Civil Rights Movement or Women’s March, nothing to intricately connect our shared experiences like fine Irish lace? Outside of our those shared experiences, each family needs its own history keeper. Each family should know its own truths. Who knew that when my mother gave me a Christmas ornament 24-years ago that its meaning was not so much about the trajectory of my career, but more about my role in this family, its history keeper?
I picked out a nicely wrapped gift. Once unwrapped my eyes welled up with tears as I discovered the contents. The gift made no sense to me. Just like Bridget and the cream cheese, I didn’t understand why someone would give a second grader an ADULT nail clipper set. Really? A nail clipper set? It’s been nearly four decades and I’m still befuddled and bewildered at the thought of that gift.
Remembering my Grandma’s smile
Remembering my Dad chasing us around the house tickling us as kids
Remembering my Dad’s beard in the morning when he came home from a shift at the firehouse
Remembering my Dad rubbing his scratchy beard and cold face on our cheeks as we ate our breakfast
“The nation doesn’t seek nor expect perfect presidents, and some have certainly been deeply flawed. But a president who shows such disrespect for the truth, for ethics, for the basic duties of the job and for decency toward others fails at the very essence of what has always made America great.”
USA Today Editorial, Will Trump’s lows ever hit rock bottom?, December 12, 2017
My mother nor I had finished reading the collection. That afternoon we read poetry aloud to one another. It was intoxicating. Short of her sharing in my daughter’s birth, that afternoon will stand as one of the best, most intimate, loveliest moments with my mom. Later that evening, she did it again, reading the poetry to a group of women, who were strangers not an hour before. I was reminded of the first time she took the pulpit and read from the Old Testament at St. Thomas More. Her grace, presence, and ability to project every nuance of those readings had me wanting to tell the whole church. “Hey, that’s my mom.” I felt the same way that night. And like many experiences this past year, I believed that book, and every poem bathed in Gluck’s own pain derived from her own divorce, was meant for me to read and to listen to.