Letting Life Lead
The glossy magazine photo taped to the open refrigerator door mocks me in the predawn. “Are you just going to stand there at the sink eating maraschino cherries?” she scoffs, while her perfectness points to the Five Steps to Rock Abs and Tight Ends floating on the page.
Our calico decides to lay on my foot and lick stray juice from the floor and my toes. I stick two red hued fingers in the jar and pop two cherries in my mouth while kicking the door closed with my other flip-flopped foot. The vampire green glow of appliances soften the dark. I drink the syrup, belch fruit punch, and toss the jar into the recycle bin.
I open the screen door and breath in the first scents of spring. It’ll be warm today and the last of the snow banks will wash away the remaining bits of a lingering winter.
The inspiration photo bores into the back of my head. “You can’t even button your fat pants.”
I hang my head. The undone button waves at me with every breath and I pull my t-shirt down. I swallow back the exhaustion and the desire to sit on the back stoop and obsess over the mountain of laundry, the undone dishes, the dust webs in corners, and the month-old, sticky spot on the floor.
The door slams behind me. I shuffle down the walkway, out of the gate, take a left, and amble down the middle of the street. What would it be like to be another someone? I imagine moving ever forward, changing my name, and never coming back.
A few lights are on and silhouettes move past windows. Dogs yip, a pair of cats rumble, and downwind a skunk scurries away from its own stink. Melt water runs fast into the storm drains, pattering like rain.
I find myself back at my open gate, out of turns, and out of tears.
“Mommy! Where’d you go!” My barefoot, four-year-old son runs from the middle of the yard in monkey pajama bottoms and his sister’s My Little Pony hoodie he’s claimed as his own. His hair sticks straight-up in a heat miser coiffure and matches the burn of his sour breath.
“Just for a walk. Daddy was with you.”
He lifts his arms, pulls on my pants, and I pick him up. He clings to me, buries his cold nose in my neck, and his warm breaths tickle as we enter the house.
“You smell sweet,” he says barely pronouncing the s sounds and plants a soppy, cold kiss on my cheek.
I rip the magazine woman from its place, crush it to a compact ball, and throw it with the cherry jar. I replace it with a note for my husband:
Walking to anywhere with minion #3.
I sign it with a doodle heart in the style of a Shopkin. The strokes feel foreign, but my hand remembers.
“Let’s go for a walk.” I shift my son to my back and grab my mei tai carrier from the hook by the door. This would be the last year he would fit.
“Wait, Mommy! My cwoze.” He points to the faded pajama pants.
“Nope. We go as is.”
I consider the fact that I am leaving the house for the second time with no bra on and stained jeans that don’t fit, but he accepts this crazy notion without hesitation, and we stroll from the house just as the sun begins to turn the sky orange and purple.
I stroke my son’s dirty feet. “I bet if you listen carefully, you’ll hear it raining underground.”
Musings through the journey of writing my first novel
It is what it is and it too shall pass.
Unfolding From the Fog (or What I Think About When I Walk My Dog)
When life hands you lemons, go find some gin and tonic.
"Smile with your teeth." -my Mother
Don't die before your death
Ein Tagebuch unserer Alltagsküche-Leicht nachkochbar
Failures in Adulting
Wrote hard and put up wet - a fiction writer from parts unknown