Sleep is eluding me this morning, due in no small part to the copious amounts of coffee I drank while working on my novel at Panera earlier, but also in large part because I cannot seem to get my mind to stop. If you called me a prolific rambler, I couldn’t deny that accusation, but I would like to believe that my thoughts are somewhat meaningful, at least to me. Listing some man candy didn’t help, its usually a good distraction, at least long enough to shut down for a little while, though, that doesn’t seem to apply at this point.
When I stated that this has been a pretty lousy week, I wasn’t referring to a bad day at the office. There aren’t any upsetting memorandum or snarky e-mail chains to obsess over, just the 50 mile wide crossroad of my life that I seem to be stuck in the middle of, surrounded by the debris of a carmageddon-esk pile-up. It would probably be easier to go backwards while explaining this.
This past afternoon, I received a phone call telling me that the mother of a friend of mine died very suddenly about 24 hours ago of a heart attack. Maida was one of my adoptive mothers. It’s probably a good thing that my family doesn’t read this because I’m not sure that the explanation of that statement would be clear in any way that I can give it, but I’ll try. While I was living in Miami, nearly a decade ago, there were three women who saved me from taking every wrong turn that felt good at the time. Mrs. Batty, La Boriqua, and Booger. I’m referring here to Booger’s mother. We first met on campus one day when Booger came to have lunch with Mrs. Batty and that started the initial questioning of whether or not I was some crazy northern lesbian (I wore a pair of very well broken in paratrooper boots frequently at the time). Many Friday nights of board games at Denny’s later, I was living in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment with Booger, her boyfriend, my dog, and her cat- a bit crowded. But during that year, they opened their home and hearts to me like I was their daughter. I was even fair game for a good old motherly lecture on occasion. At least by then I’d settled down and gotten my head a bit more screwed on. When I left that apartment it was to move to London to stay with my mother for a while. It was an opportunity to see Europe (though I mostly saw all of the cheesy tourist spots in London) and to find a way to reconnect with my mother after what had been an exceptionally tough 5 years for us both.
Just like then, I find myself back at this expansive crossroads, only the debris is more poinient. Monday, I drive up to see my father in the oncology ward that he’s been stuck in for the past 2 weeks as they have tried to figure out if he is strong enough to receive any further treatment for a tumor in his chest. This has been exacerbated by a pre-existing medical condition that has caused him to retain nearly 55 pounds worth of fluid in a 1 week time span. I had driven up for the night last week because my brother had flown in from San Diego to make sure that if the worst happened, he had at least been able to say good-bye.
And with all of this going on, I sit here, unable to sleep before my last day at work as I pack up my life into a 6 x 6 crate, which is admittedly better than the 2 door tercel that I usually need to be able to fit my life into, but a box all the same, and I prepare to relocate to Atlanta. I’ve always said that I want to do my best to deal with my problems and not to run away from them, but how do you not feel like you’re running away from a problem that you are incapable of doing anything about? When I get to Atlanta, I will do my best to find a job that will pay the bills. I will continue to work on my novel. I will wait by the phone, dreading one that is coming from my step-mom. There is also a huge element of regret that my brother and I really only started to get to know our father about 10 years ago, as we both turned 18 and were able to make the decision to go and see him, to get to know our younger siblings, to try and put the pieces together, and that might not continue. As the cherry on top of the sundae, all of this is reminding me that I haven’t had a date in over 2 years and that I would probably have pushed away any possible relationships had I bothered to attempt any and I feel like an utter and completely selfish, narcissistic fool for thinking about that.
I do understand that this is life. Life is unfair a large part of the time and all you can do is to hold on to those shining moments and make the best out of what you’ve been handed. The caveat to this is that in life, you have to fight like hell for what you want and if you don’t, then it’s only yours to lose. So I come back to the cross roads- what do I want? I took the road that made sense the last time and it turned out to be a clover leaf, but I’ve gotta say- the view is a bit tough through the 10 car pile-up.