Wednesday, June 10, 2015
500 Words, Day 21 - Kitchen Work
Crashing wave of fatigue. Good thing it’s time to get in bed, anyway. She yearns for her bed, almost as soon as she gets home, she wants to set the groceries down and climb under the covers. Just cook this chicken, this rice, then you can go lie down. Just put the clean dishes away. Just cut up this fruit for snacks tomorrow. She consoles herself. Then you can go lie down. Then you can curl up with a season of something. Just write this piece. Then you can.
As she moves around the kitchen, she feels the inevitable tears welling, and she stops to consider this, to pay attention. What is happening right now that is prompting this sad, familiar overwhelm? Everything in general, nothing in particular. But no, stand still, notice. What is this really about, this time?
As she moves around the kitchen, she stops occasionally to take a deep breath. There is something keeping her from fully expanding her lungs, she stops short of a complete inhale. It’s like the breath is stuck. The almost frustrated sigh that escapes her is what’s triggering this wave of sadness. It’s a sound that she grew up with, a sound that shades her memories of her mother, who moved around the kitchen after work, trying to breathe, and sighing instead. It wasn’t disappointment or irritation or a passive-aggressive request for help, she had always thought. She realizes this now as that same sound escapes her lips, and she steeps in the feeling that provoked it.
“Just like your mother, just like your sister, destroying what makes you happy, and ending up alone.” Her husband’s voice intones in her mind, confirming what she already suspected, that the her family history and the patterns of dysfunction inform her decisions like DNA, dictate her choices. Her life is merely a vehicle for perpetuating the misery that infuses her emotional genes.
She nods ruefully to herself, yep, he’s right you know. Ending a marriage, moving out on her own, single lady at 52. The last kid will graduate high school, move out, and she’ll be alone. “Just like your mother, just like your sister, you’ll be all alone, and wish you hadn’t pushed everyone away.” He knows exactly what to say to completely wreck her.
She tries to shake it off. It was the right thing to do, leaving, starting over. That’s what going over those old blogs is for. Reminding herself that she’s not crazy, this disaster is not her fault. Some very sick and painful stuff happened because of NOT HER, and this was the only healthy response. As her therapist keeps reminding her, being the polaris in that constellation for twenty years was the sickness, propping everyone up and smoothing everything over for a generation, that was the madness, that was the crazy thing.
But standing at the kitchen sink rinsing dishes and hearing her mother’s sigh whistle through her mind, looking at a solitary life so parallel to those that came before her, it’s hard to remember. She dries her hands on a dishtowel and heads to bed.
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 6:47 AM