day 147: A makes a friend

A’s schedule is early. He wakes up at 0330 to workout at 0400, and then coaches at 0515 and 0600 before going into regular suit and tie work. He now has a regular morning crew, working out with him early and then doing the later classes too. He’s so happy and it’s so so great.

And the salt of the day: Fatal Distraction..

I can’t stop crying.

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day 85: CPR

A was away all day, learning how to preserve life when it slips from the liver’s grasp. As the sun prepared to set, he arrived home with a furrow in his brow. In each of those dummies he saw bean, and the vision shadowed his usual ready smile.

He taught me what to do and now we both know at least a little bit. We pray that if we ever have to use it, it will be enough.

I passed the day in a daze. It was not my best showing. Even while playing with bean it felt as though I was only going through the motions. That small effort to bundle us up against the return of the cold seemed exhausting, so we stayed inside instead.

Bean and boom weren’t so conflicted. They chased each other around the living room and then went on their separate ways, boom to keep watch at the window and bean to examine his most fascinating toothbrush.

bellyache

I’ve had the worst one today. But that didn’t stop us from having a wonderful day. We filled it with languid walks, family naps, m.e. swings, thanksgiving grocery shopping, and good old routine. I topped it off with two ginger ales (in an attempt to soothe my tummy) and two chocolate bars (because I’ve been having the blues.) As usual, the chocolate was no help.

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regrets

Sometimes, when I’m swiffing the floors or listening to music or lying in bed or breathing, my mind wanders to Austin. It’s 2012, the first day if classes. I’m sitting in the front left corner, closest to the door: my seat always and forever. First to enter, last to leave, there’s no reason for me to take that seat other than it was my place when my world was physics and the physics guys and the physics room. I rounded out an odd foursome of an endurance machine, a hockey player, and a guitarist who usually seemed high but rarely ever was. I am alone on this new adventure, but finally, after two long years of waiting, felt like myself again. Here is where I belonged.

I never made it to Austin, but that picture and its sentiment lingers golden in my mind. It was a logical choice and, according to the pros and cons list I drew up over two months, a good one. I was satisfied with the decision.

But when I let my guard down and that daydream arises, reality often stings.

My second regret: leaving Carderock so soon. What a stupid girl I was.

But then a little hand shakes me out of my meloncholies. I know all my decisions, however awful, led to him. And to my time with him. No amount of Texas sunshine can replace a single moment with him. I’d take a dirty diaper over hallowed halls any day.

I just wish my daydreams would wander into possible futures instead of possible pasts. The latter seems such a waste of time and saltwater.

day 287: waterworks

Well, I don’t think I’ve ever cried this much in my whole life. The big news I was going to share will have to wait another day: it’s happy and I’m not right now.

Sometimes I don’t really want to be me. I don’t want to be the person who graduated valedictorian in high school and was the best student in the physics department and smashed Oxford and got a great scholarship and produces quality work even though she cries half the day, wastes time on the Interwebs the other half of the day, and types away for maybe 15 minutes. Sometimes I don’t want to live up to the promise of that smart, unhappy girl.

Sometimes I wish I’d just kept on surfing. Maybe kept playing piano and became a piano teacher. I’m so happy with A and the boom so I’m glad I didn’t become a bum when I seriously considered it, a long eight years ago. But today I had set everything in line to leave that sad crybaby above and make the difference I actually wanted to make in my life.

I set myself up for the leap. I was ready to fly.

I get it, selling pants at lululemon does not quite have the same ring to it as bacterial classification at a federal medical research laboratory. It will be a gross anomaly on an otherwise spotless piece of paper called my resume. But crazy enough, that’s the girl I wanted to be. It was the first job which I smiled at for itself. Sure I was excited to get the scholarship and the job at the Rock, because that meant I could keep going to Notre Dame. Sure I was excited to get the job at the medical research center, because that meant I could leave the Rock and begin my path to doctoring. But the jobs themselves? No. Zero excitement. I can put a good face on for a little while, but at the end of the day all I want to do is get out. Get. Out.

Why would I want to sell pants? It was a first step with a company whose founder’s political and personal philosophies I share, whose entrepreneurial genius I admire. It was a job that would prepare me to work with a company where my role would grow with my education, my contributions would be commensurate with experience, and I could make beautiful functional pieces for beautiful functional movement. Most of all, it was job where I could be happy, now. I could be free. I could go without worry for a day. I could take a yoga class or lead a run club or organize a charity event and it would not only be fun and smile-inducing, it would be work: I’d get paid for it. The work-life balance would be easy because I’d like my work as well as I love my life.

And even though it would seem irresponsible, overall it would make sense because I was building from the ground up with a product I could one day be in the position to create. And it would be make sense because I was finally choosing to live the life I wanted to live, be the person I wanted to be.

But I guess I am the girl I am.

Hopefully I figure out how to stop this flood soon. I’m tired of treading water and I didn’t know I’d need an ark.

heartbrain

KT who did not leap

out

day 9: shots

I cry for the children, teachers, and families of those shot at Sandy Hook Elementary.  I desire the arms and the training to defend myself, my loved ones, and all innocents from such senseless death.

Boomer and I took our clockwise route yesterday: out the back door, past the dumpster, heading for the squirrel-tree by the playground.  This sidewalk hugs a road on which shiny BMWs zoom left and beat-down Hondas clunk right to their respective ends of the block.  The neon signs of the gas station and the dollar store across the street seem less menacing when the sun is out, and I walked with a swagger I can never muster at night.  The cover of darkness is a welcome cloak to thieves and rapists.

Ever since the incident at the gas station across the street, I carry a knife on my key chain.   Aby hooked it to my lanyard and I’ve clutched it on every walk since, practicing a quick release of the blade for when seconds separate life and death, or escape and rape.  But yesterday, I was arrested, stunned, helpless at the spontaneous conception of an unlikely play of events to which I would be defenseless.

The sidewalk was bathed in pale light of harsh intensity that only a winter sun can issue.  My gaze was down, looking to see if boomer avoided the cracks (a lumbar fracture would discommode my efforts to achieve physical greatness).   I glanced up and terror gripped my heart: there, ahead, a boy sauntered toward me.  He was tall, with skin as fair as his baggy white sweatshirt and white gangster jeans.  He wore his graffitied hat with a nonchalant tilt; our eyes locked, his slitted beneath his brim, mine wide and dilated.  In my mind I saw his hand emerge from his pocket with a glock 23.  Responding to my imagination, I veered to stride across the grass, but my mind could not escape the scene it began.

He pointed it at Boomer. I dropped atop her.  As my blood left my back I heard her crying. I screamed no, wordlessly begging him to spare her.  He explained “I don’t like dogs” and with two more shots, his was the only life left on that cold sidewalk lit by a January sun.