Getting my shit together

The apartment is finally, slowly making its way to its new iteration. Some of the old stuff where it was, some stuff is gone, bye bye. A lot of stuff, I’m not sure if I’m putting it back on the walls or not. I’m still finding things that were lost in the shuffle. But the Tivo is working once again, the cord situation is much more straightened out behind the computer, the printer has new ink, and I’ve proactively put all the linen clothes away already since Labor Day is this weekend and it’s doubtful I’m going to be strolling seaside in my foam green linen pants and matching top.

No, the weekend’s plans are already taking shape. A play date tomorrow evening for my son, which should be loads of fun for him. The next morning we have to run a couple of errands but after that, I’m hoping to take him to the Geauga county fair since we missed going to a couple of others I wanted to take him to – the fairs did not fall on my custody week. I couldn’t bring myself to go alone and wander around the fairgrounds by myself, missing my kid, so I skipped them. Sunday he’s getting picked up early, and I’m hoping my leg feels good enough for a run, though that feels doubtful right at this point. Sunday afternoon, a housewarming party, and then Sunday night the first of my week of rehearsals and tech prior to a performance Saturday night. Which should be very fun, weather permitting. I got to buy a corset for it. It’s gorgeous and makes me feel half my age and very mischievous wearing it, which is exactly what this character calls for. And there will be fishnets. Yes, a good time.

D ate like half a watermelon last night and of course peed the bed in the night, waking me up at 4:30 this morning very, very angry, as though I went in dumped a bucket on his bed. He SHRIEKS at me when he’s angry. It’s like getting in a time machine and watching myself as a kid. I got everything cleaned up as best I could and he went to my bed while I did it. He is a terrible bed partner. I feel sorry for his future mates. Sniffing repeatedly, antsy and kicking. I finally got up at 5 and went to the couch for the last half hour or so until it was time for me to get up and get ready. I had an interview this morning down at an industrial yard and going with a cloudy head was not great, but oh well. Lots of coffee, rushing and rushing D to please get ready and stop playing, packing breakfast and lunch and then we were arguing about his shoes for 10 minutes. I finally angrily told him I didn’t care if he went to school barefoot but I was leaving, and he said I was mean and we rode to school in silence. We were both tired and it was exasperating. I took away TV for the forthcoming evening, and that didn’t help matters. Goodbye kisses were perfunctory, and then I felt guilty all day.

The interview actually went great. The guy was nervous and had never been the subject of any interview before. I have a way of making people feel instantly at ease. And once I dropped a couple of swear words and shared a couple of anecdotes about how my people were also his kind of people, he loosened right up and we talked for almost an hour and a half. I could get used to this. As I got quotes about the guy (who is the subject of this article) from some of his co-workers, the whole thing came together and my fingers flew all day, putting the thing in order, telling the story. Hopefully a compelling and interesting one.

I vowed to do better tonight with the kid, and after the initial struggle of him being so tired and hungry all at the same time immediately when I pick him, up, we both did better. I made him a kid-type dinner that I knew he would like, and showed him a funny and borderline inappropriate Youtube video I knew he would find hilarious, which he did. I quickly did the dishes and when he asked if I would play with him, I made him promise not to get mad if he lost at the board games he wanted to play, and he swore up and down he would do better. And he did. I let him win a couple, and then I won a few and he did about as good as one could expect a tired 6-year-old to do about losing. Then we were mugging and making gestures and faces at each other as we took turns and advanced in the game, and several times we were both rolling on our backs laughing. The kid is a natural comedian, he really is. He will repeat something over and over again for the laugh, expanding on it just a little to try to make it funnier, bigger. Christ, he’s a performer. Too bad it’s only for me. Or not, depending on the day and my goals for him.

I’m about halfway done with the magazine articles I need to write, and they all need to be done tomorrow. I finished one of the big features tonight and was pleased with how it came out, but I can never tell what the others I write for will think of these drafts. Things I slave over, love and caress are sometimes instantly rejected. Sometimes not. The other big feature was done earlier this week, but I have a hunch it’s going to need extensive revision. I’ve gotten some of the smaller articles done but there are three more I need to write and they all basically need to be done tomorrow. It’s exhausting. But a “first world problem” to have, to be sure.

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in a car or shop window and think, Jesus, who is that fat, old broad with the dark circles under her eyes, and how did I get to looking so bad? Then a half hour later, a guy next to me in traffic slams on his brakes and causes a minor fender bender behind him because he was craning his neck so hard to check me out that he almost hit the person in front of him. This really happened. And I laughed and laughed out loud when I looked over and realized what he had done. He looked sheepish and stupid and grinned and threw up his hands like, “whaddya gonna do?” And I think, well, I must not look as ghastly as I feel I do, if shit like that goes on.

But what does it matter, really. My pants fit one day, the next day they don’t fit. I don’t have the time and energy to lift as much as I want. I’ve had to almost completely quit running. And some days I do get the PT exercises done, and then some, and I dance with my son in the living room and chase him and make him squeal and beg for me to do it more, and that’s more important than my bus driver arm sag, isn’t it?

I felt a mix of luck, joy and anguish playing with him all night, his laughter so loud, his little toes darting here and there, his little tan body and overly comical expressions. The sound of his very loud voice, which he gets from me. I kept thinking of that poor three-year-old face down in the sand, his little red shirt and blue shorts. His parents got him dressed for a journey that day, as I would taking my son to the zoo. And so what does all of it really matter, tight or loose pants, my internet working or not, the lines on my face. I have my boy, and he is tucked in safe and sound in a clean room with freshly painted walls and new carpet.

It’s ok. And I’m trying to just be. I’m here, doing the best that I can, and it’s coming together.

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