Two days till Christmas, and the gifts I can’t give are the ones I wish I had. Cancer laces the path of my family, it’s left it’s scars on me and my mother, it’s taken my aunt and my grandfather, now it crawls it’s way through my grandmother’s body and there is nothing we can do to stop it.
Outside the night grows darker, on occasion I hear the crack of wood as the ax connects. It’s an old rhythm, one that’s tangled within the song of the mourning doves roosting in the old oaks and the singing of the floorboards as I pace the home I grew up in. I remember the place as it was; the organ in the kitchen, the delicate glass lamps, an old record player below the TV stand. I remember Lawrence Welk and Sesame Street and being loved. Ghosts and memories, nostalgia is an old wound that never heals…
Our options; a series of fluids and foods that would give us a little more time with the friend we had spent nearly all of our marriage with. How much time? A week, maybe less, probably not more. Behind door number two lay the heavy burden, the inevitable, the thing we would just be staving off.
The doctor left us in that room to speak of it, our Lulu finding some strength in the nervous agitation a veterinarian’s office brings. Her tail, which had become stationary over the long weekend where we waited for the vet’s office to open, now hit an irregular rhythm out on the yellow-tinged linoleum. Occasionally she would give us a long, forlorn meow, so different from the chirps and squeaks she would harass us with while we went about our daily routine.
Beyond the doors I hear laughter and talk, the excited barking of a small dog, the shifting of crates and papers. Time moves agonizingly slow, yet it’s drawing to a close for our little lady, too soon, too soon, it’s always too soon.
Just a little essay I whipped up while trying to resist the urge to light everything on fire. I am almost thirty and I think I’m failing at adulthood. Also I am afraid- of everything. I get more time to write and suddenly the “publish” button becomes a creature of nightmares. Here is an analogy about writing, looked at through the lens of baking- two things I usually love but on occasion make me want to die. Or at least get melodramatic. Or get tequila even though I don’t drink, but sometimes I feel like iiiiit. More on that later.
Writing your first novel is sort of like baking a cake from scratch.
And you’ve never even set foot in the kitchen. You’ve seen it from a distance, possible touched things within, but the inner workings are as complicated as your friends home- brewed D&D/Dune crossover campaign that’s lasted five years.
So, you start with the idea- you know you want cake, but you aren’t even one hundred percent sure what sort of cake you want. This leads to research, books read, blogs scrutinized, Chuck Windig cornered, kidnapped, questioned, then Neuralized by Agent J and released, and three weeks of making a Pinterest board; slowly, you narrow it down. You eliminate the sort of cakes you don’t like, which, if you’re like me, is not many, and you are left a with a bunch you do. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that funfetti box mix and frosting combo though- that stuff’s legit. Read more
Why does it feel as though the light is dimming, when it should have flared it’s brightest?
Why does it feel as though we’ve been betrayed? We step out into a world unchanged, and yet… I feel as though we’re on the edge of a precipice. The apathy of an older generation will kill us all, the apathy of our parents generation, their ignorance, their mistrust. They never used to have to care about what lay beyond the edge of their narrow sight, it seems they were raised on backyard baseball games and shooting tin cans, riding their ten-speed to a corner market that is kinder to them in their memories then it ever really was.
Like standing on the edge of forever, taking that deep breath before the plunge, I can see the worlds end, I can see the galaxies unfurling, feel them in my blood, the slow shift of dark matter, holding us together, tearing us apart. Every ounce of my being vibrating with potential, with lessons learned, absorbed, drawn in like a cloak around me.
Summer brings with it the weight of memory, no other season carries burdens such as these. A tumult of too long days and nights too hot for rest. This county is haunted by summer, in every dizzy drive through the blazing canyons, in the drowned bodies in the flooded rivers, athirst by autumn. In the siren song of fire trucks and patrol cars, and the dry dance of star thistle and burr.