The Life of Bon: 2020

Friday, September 04, 2020

Sugar cookie

 Sometimes I feel so nostalgic for my marriage.  A marriage that was unhealthy and trying and often lonely.  But still.  I miss it sometimes.  

The pang of missing comes unexpectedly and at inopportune times.  I'm getting ready for a date.  Suddenly I remember.  Something lovely about our marriage.  I don't want to go on the date anymore. 

Anyone who has gotten divorced would tell you that the marriage was hard.  That there was suffering involved.  That there was pain.  But anyone who stayed in a marriage for seven years will also tell you that there was joy.  Connection.  Inside jokes.  Glances that communicate volumes.  I don't suspect people stay married if there isn't also immense love.  And even when the reasons to leave outweigh the reasons to stay, the reasons to stay are still there.  The reasons to stay are still there.

Everything we shared.  Where does all that sharing go?  Everything we loved together.  Where does that love go?  The experiences, the memories- only he understands.  Only he remembers.

Today I was working on my jewelry business.  Making projections for how much earring inventory I will need to see the business through 2020.  It was not especially fascinating work, but it required all my focus.  One hundred percent of my brain power.  Or so I thought.  I guess it required 99% of my brain power because out of nowhere I remembered.

One Friday afternoon he picked me up from my teaching gig at the high school.  The kids were in the backseat.  We were going to his parents' home for the weekend- a place that was always a total oasis for him.  I ran out to the car and got in the front seat.  Work is done for the week hallelujah lets gooooooooo!  Grabbed the hand of my husband.   Looked back at my two babies making noises in the back.  These were my people.  My family.  My ride or die.  He was smiling a sneaky smile.  June was also excited.  They were up to something.

"We got you a surprise!" finally he burst.  He pulled out from the middle console a huge, fluffy cookie.  My favorite sugar cookie from my favorite out of the way cookie place.  And a pint of milk.  He had left early to go get the cookie for me, he knew how much I loved it, knew how delighted I would be to receive a surprise treat after a long day of work.

"You don't have to share it with us" he said, "It's all for you."  He was so proud of the way he had surprised me with this treat.  I felt loved, adored, cherished.  Of course I shared the cookie.  Breaking off and feeding sugary frosting pieces to my husband and my children.  A unit.  A family.  The four of us.

Where did this memory go the past two years?  I haven't thought of it since.  It's been hiding in my brain waiting to reemerge.  No one else knows of this experience.  Only he would remember.  

Who do I share it with now?  

And when the marriage ends where does that sharing a sugar cookie and milk in the car love go?

Sunday, August 30, 2020

I am dating a boy.

 A boy. I am dating a boy.

He's been here for a minute.  We're working on five months now.  I tried to ask him to leave a few times.  Broke up with him seven days in.  He said ok.  I said actually wait a minute.  I like you.  But my heart doesn't know how to feel safe.  He said that's ok.  I understand.  I'll be patient.  I said ok.  No wait.  You should go.  No please stay.

Somehow he's still here.

We move slow.  Little tortoises making our way along an uncertain path.  We can't see where the path goes, don't know how it ends.  He inches alongside next to me and when I need to retreat back into my shell he patiently waits.  You ok in there? he asks me.  I don't know I answer.  Take your time he tells me.  I'm still here I hear him say.

How does a heart heal?  Perform the gigantic work of repairing itself only to put its fragile, vulnerable, barely stitched back together self back out there again?  

I never knew this about divorce. About new relationships.  About remarriage.  When I used to hear of a woman finding love after heartbreak I would think oh good for her.  That's so great.  What happy news.

Now I think,

"Wow.  She is so brave."

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Voices

It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything. What does it take to start writing again? To find my way back to this blog?

 

A global pandemic. A polarizing president. A tense election year. So many many opinions, thoughts, voices screaming at me that suddenly my own voice is so small. So quiet. I can’t hear it. Do I like anything our president is doing? Should I go to the lake with my five best friends or is that selfish and reckless in the face of such a global disease? Is it ok for Black people to riot, to destroy property, to resort to violence after decades and centuries of being ignored? What do I think about people who won’t wear masks? Are children being sold and trafficked in safes on Wayfair? 


The global issues affect my ability to assess even my personal life. How much do I like the boy I’m dating? Am I running my business responsibly? Am I accepting accountability and doing my part for a healthy coparent relationship? And on a deeper level my spirit is looking for answers, for connection. Does my God see me? Is He listening? Does He care? 


So many voices telling me so many things. Where is my own?



So I turned off the voices. For a month at least. Maybe more. No more social media, very limited news sources. No more watching from my phone another person’s child playing when my own are playing right in front of me. No more divisive political Facebook posts, no more Instagram pictures of big clean homes I can neither afford nor maintain, no more 22 year olds in belly shirts dancing for me on tik tok. This month is just me and my children and my friends and my books and my running. The rest can be quiet.


17 days in to this fast- this fast from politics, from social media, from covid, from 800 anxieties being thrust upon me- anxieties that are not mine, problems I can not solve, worries that worrying can not fix- and what emerges? A stilllness in my mind. My brain coming up for air. It’s so quiet now it says. Is it safe to emerge?


Yes, I think so. I answer. You can come out now. No one will chase you back in.


And when the brain is out what quickly follows surprises me. A desire to write. A desire to process. A desire to understand. 


So here I am. 

Back on this blog. 

See you tomorrow ?


 

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Last night I was remembering

The boy I dated around Christmas.

This was Round Two for us.  We dated ten years ago.  I was 23 and full of life and energy and convinced I was invincible against the world.  He was goofy and smelled good and tried to kiss me on our first date.  I demanded we wait until the second date at which point we kissed all night.

And then here we were again.  Ten years later and worser for the wear.

A decade of pain and heartache for us both.  Him working through the trauma of unexpected job loss, crippling debt, his mother’s quick sickness and death, his father's death by suicide.  Me working through the trauma of my own dad's sudden death, years of a troubled marriage, a quick divorce, single motherhood, slow healing.

He looked like a Danish soccer player.  Stupid tall and with a slight gap in between his front teeth.  Handsome and fit and strong and with a full head of blonde hair.

On Christmas night we walked in a silent world, in quiet neighborhoods.  It wasn't cold for Christmas.  My kids were with their dad.  It was a lonely and sad day for us both, in our own unique ways.  He spent the day alone, reading 1984 in the small basement apartment his uncle let him live in while he looked for a new job.  I spent the afternoon at my ex's, trying to manage dinner with his family, pushing through discomfort and sorrow and grief to see my kids on a special day.

We walked slowly, looking at the lights and the big houses and daydreaming about our own somedays.  Somedays with pretty homes and trampolines in the backyard and heated driveways.  Somedays with jobs that are secure, that don't leave you while your back is turned, marriages that stay healthy, kids who you don't have to say goodbye to every other Christmas, parents who live long enough to see their children into adulthood.

He was so shy with me during Round Two.  Round One he was confident, goofy, assertive.  Round Two he hardly touched me.  Slow to take my hand, hours and nights would go by without him initiating any physical contact.  Years of suffering and loss took a toll on his confidence and we slipped into largely platonic habits.

We walked slowly around the neighborhood.  Finally, I shyly slipped my hand into his and he did not let go.  No one else in the world for us to see on Christmas night.  No one knew where we were.  Everyone with their own families.  I suppose we were each other's family that night, looking for comfort, looking for company, looking for someone to make us believe we had someone.  That we weren't so damn alone.

After our walk we drove through more twinkling  neighborhoods, listening to 24 hours of Beatles on the radio.  I hesitantly put my hand on his knee.  We made our way to IHOP, the only place open late on Christmas night.  Two girls talked loudly and excitedly at the booth next to us.  We ate mostly in silence and left a generous tip.

Three weeks later and Round Two was over.  He received the news that he didn't get a much hoped for job.  We quickly fizzled from there- him not able to show up for the relationship, me not willing to be in another relationship where I show up alone.

But Christmas Night remains a really beautiful memory to me.
Two very hurt people.
Wandering slowly.
Half lost.
Half found.
Paul McCartney soothing us softly in the background, nah nah nah nah life goes on.