Yesterday, I reminded myself of all the things I could do to make my weekend of night shifts feel less like torture. Then I mentioned that I would probably forget them all by today. Prophesy: fulfilled.
This morning started off promisingly enough. Doug and I woke up around ten; he made coffee while I made breakfast. (It was just toast, people. I’m not getting ahead of myself on the housewife project here.) Then it started raining, and he got to work on the bike rack he’s been building for the back of his truck, while I picked up a book a friend had recommended and lent me: Cunt: a declaration of independence by Inga Muscio.
I got about 40 pages into the book, not including the three introductions, and it is pretty frickin’ weird. (In fairness, my friend did warn me there would be parts I might not jive with, and that I should stick those out to get to the good stuff.) For example, there’s a chapter about periods. Now, I’ve been pretty into my period ever since I went off the pill, almost five years ago, so when the author suggested I buy a lunar calendar and pay attention to the moon and how it aligns with not only my cycles, but also my mood and energy, I was totally on board. Then she started talking about switching from tampons to reusable sea sponges, and about fingerpainting with menstrual blood on her kitchen floor, and… What the fuck?! Sure, I’ll keep reading, because I am persistent, and because I kind of want to see where else this book will go, but it was hardly the sort of delicious warm-beverage-lost-in-a-book moment I should have created for myself today.
As the last step in the creation of his bike rack, on which he’d painted various symbols and logos of importance to our respective cycling hobbies (the Trek logo for himself, a coffee cup for me), Doug needed to cover the whole thing with an acrylic sealant. Which he did. Inside the closed apartment. With me sitting three feet away. So now I’m a little dizzy and nauseous and headachy, and my mouth/tongue/throat feel like they themselves have been shellacked, and I just want to grab Doug and shake him for being such an idiot.
But I won’t, because I don’t need to add an argument to the things destroying me today, and because he’s already said sorry about a dozen times, and keeps smiling at me with those pretty new teeth, trying to get me to smile back. And because he’s picking up the living room now, trying to find something we can have for a snack, and my guess is that any minute, he’ll suggest a game of Scrabble, knowing that I feel like we’ve wasted the day already and that I’m dreading going to work later.
I’m also a little sad because when I was looking through my poetry collection yesterday, it suddenly occurred to me that I have more poems for/about/requested by Monica than I do for any given man in my life. Which is forcing me to put into words what I’ve kind of always known on an ethereal level: as my best friend and roommate, Monica was the love of my life all throughout college.
I always thought that, at some point during the course of this project, she and I would reconcile. And I did hand-write out that letter, adding even more inside jokes and memories, and mailed it to her mom’s house about six weeks ago. I’ve gotten no response and can only assume that her silence is my answer: either she’s too busy to work me back into her life, or she doesn’t care to.
This period of malaise has lasted too long – especially after I seemed to be doing so well. I’m on the verge of doing that girl thing and changing my outward appearance to spite my emotions and hopefully kick myself back into another gear. Cranberry-red hair, like in college, maybe. A girl with that color hair can’t be sad, right? She can be a bitch, but she can’t be sad.
You can see us growing up now
despite the color of our hair –
I just wish you’d realize
you’re not the only one who’s scared.
But you cling to your moment,
to your here and your now;
while I cling to my memories.
I’d convinced myself somehow
that we’d be friends forever
and it hurts me to think
that you can wash it away
like red dye in the sink.
(for Monica, spring 2004)