the drift


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

home again ...

i'm here. i'm here. i just visited my backyard for the first time in what seems like eons. i'm here.
we have the best little birdies back there. stripey-headed finches, cardinals bright cocky red and warm motherly rust, even a damn woodpecker pecking away on the forgotten pines hanging over our depressed garage. so lovely with the patches of snow on the ground.
so here i am. the children in school a couple of days a week. pondering the future and where it might take us.
i've quit that god-awful job with the wonderful money. well, let's call it passable money. too much money for us, honestly. we don't need upper middle class. solidly middle class works for our value system well enough. we've done a lot on our house in a year. it's eventual decay and memory is now shored up for a good few years. god willing.
so i find myself sort of at the nexus of everything i ever thought i wanted. and it's amazing and hard to believe. my wonderful husband, my beautiful, bright children. my freelance strong. my heart stronger. a man i can depend on.
a man i can depend on.
rarer than a unicorn.
but there he stands.
telling me to take my time.
to draw and create. be the artist I am.
and goddamn it, i think he means it.
so i quit my job.
thankfully, never a girl without a plan b, i'd kept my best freelance customers and they will continue to be the padding to the nest egg but the real reason i'm here is to follow the path of my art. whatever that really is. wherever it actually leads.
i think perceptive did me a big favor. it killed whatever attachment to technical writing i'd ever had. the truth is, when i made that career choice, i never imagined a day when i wouldn't be the person i depended on. to pay my own way was the only option. i never dared to think there would be a person i would rely on to the degree that i wouldn't need to toil at a job i only minorly hated.
so me staying home is a dual pledge. him to me and our children to be the person we depend on to provide our financial and emotional base. me to him to be able to rely on him with everything i have. in some ways, my insistence on continuing my career was my last reservation in this marriage. the last roped off area of the life from before I knew him. And I'm scared but I believe in him. And he believes in me. And I'm walking through the door he opened.
Wish us luck, little ducks.
p.s. thanks for being my diary today.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Nobody's Gay With Me!

lol - thank god i broke up with my best gay years ago. look at these dissociative freaky women.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Said your name in an empty room

A few nights ago I had a nightmare. Ive never had the kind that blend with waking life. well once but that had to do with an unwise visit to a gay psychic named garylee lee. I remember I went to his shop in particular because of the rainbow wind sock outside his door. Anyway beyond a visit from a dream traveling psychic arkansasan, I've never woken from a dream wondering, 'What the fuck is going on in my room?' Until last night. Granted I woke up and proceeded to empty the contents of my stomach into a trash can so I clearly had something going on that my mind was trying to wake me up for, but I remain creeped out nonetheless.
I woke up hearing moaning, wailing really, and it's the sound of a man. I feel myself wake up and I see a tiny red glow like laser pointer but surrounded with a glow like brake lights and I can still hear the man for a couple of beats as i'm waking up. Immediately I think something terrible has happened to my dad for some reason. I debate for a half second on calling him and then I think, 'Was that doug?' Our friend Doug died a year ago today in a helicopter accident. In life, he was very simply, but most accurately, a delight. I don't know that he enjoyed me as much as I enjoyed him but I certainly enjoyed the man -- his easy laugh and his bear hugs.
The day it happened, I got the call from his wife and I remember her saying it. There was no discussion other than me saying clear as day, ' No he didn't Jes.' Which by the way is the absolute worst response to someone who is still in shock herself. Then I started hyperventilating and I told her to talk to Jay. I didn't have it in me to tell him his best friend had died. I felt like he wouldn't believe me if I told him. I don't think I quite believed it at that time either.
So here it is. A year later. His son's second birthday just last weekend. His wife's birthday yesterday. His 5th wedding anniversary just around the corner. I see them going through these milestones without him but there is this expectancy under the surface -- like maybe just maybe he will show up anyway. I feel it myself on some level. I can only imagine it more so for them.
So, tonight, Doug, just like a year ago, I'll say a rosary for you. And maybe cry a bit for every time I held your son or your wife this year when you couldn't. And I'll drink a few. I'm Catholic; it's what we do. I hope I get the same feeling I got that night -- of you in the corner of the room with a feeling of gratitude and indulgence. "Sarah, thanks hon but I'm not really religious you know?"
I know, hon. God rest your sweet sweet soul. Your families -- all of them you made, found, found you or were born from -- miss you.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

daddies don't let your babies grow up to be princesses

well, recently, i had a surprising (to me anyway) reaction to the news that a friend is expecting his 5th child. He has just the one daughter now and they have yet to find out the sex of the baby on the way. i mention this really just to set the scenario -- i want this post to be more about me than him because his life is unique from the situation i grew up in. that said, my conclusive nature led me down some paths upon hearing the news. frankly, i was surprised that anyone with a respectable but average annual income for a family would do this on purpose. there was never enough of anything material or likewise in my childhood home. split 5, 6 or 7 ways, mattresses, little debbies, hugs or the attention of two parents sometimes both working two jobs only goes so far. which may have been fine were there a sense of shared struggle. but instead there was a distinct gender divide drawn. i had my own room while the 4 boys shared two rooms. the line divided my chores from theirs, my rules from theirs, and my activities from theirs. from their end, because they had no firsthand knowledge, all of those distinctions made my life easier. and they resented me, understandably. as my father built these castle walls around my identity, i grew in alienation. in fairness, i think he didn't know what else to do with me. He had no sisters. his mother was controlling and a bit bizarre. he really thought this is what every little girl wants: to be the princess. he couldn't have been more wrong. princesses aren't loved -- they're indulged, they're tolerated, they're dismissed and feared even, but they're never loved. my mom attempted to offset this by making me into a mini-mom and dumping her problems on me under the guise of being close to me. but that was no more authentic a relationship with me than the other. by overdetermining my role in the family, the animosity from my brothers just grew.

ultimately, they were parenting with their needs first. with their preconceptions and baggage riding shotgun. their ideologies, while admirably clearly defined, put them on auto-pilot all too often and allowed them to plow over the emotional needs of the little individuals they were raising. and, while maybe we all do this on some level, it's inexcusable to me to sacrifice the uniqueness of a child at the altar of our own parental ideologies -- or at the very least to be so oblivious, we can't even accept our limitations in this area.

maybe this is why i can only handle two kids. because i know firsthand that quality is never in proportion to quantity where the raising of children is concerned. and why i search for the distinctions in my kids and try to listen for the signals of their little blossoming personalities. because i was never just me -- i was a symbol of femininity, an emblem of the struggle with the feminine other, a carrier of their mother baggage, but i was never just their daughter or sister.

i pray to god this little gal gets a sis.