I scrub mercilessly at the dishes that I've waited way too long to clean. I was finally gaining headway on getting the crud off when I hear a small voice.
I turn and see the little man. His blond hair misshapen and his bear in his arms. He walked closer to me with his arm extended. I rinsed my hands off and dried them. I bent down to pick him up.
"What is it, dear? You know it's bedtime. It's not time to be awake."
He started to cry. But as soon as a tear came out, his little hand was quick to wipe it away. He did not like to cry, especially in front of me. Or anyone else for that matter. Similar to his father.
"Momma, I think there are monsters in my room."
I laughed and messed with his hair.
"Well, we will have to check, won't we?"
He was hesitant.
"What is it, darling?"
"Momma, what if we find them? What will we do?"
So inquisitive, so much preparation. Just like his father.
But he was right; I had no real plan if we did find a monster.
"I guess you and me will have to fight them till they behave. How does that sound?"
He lit up a bit.
"Can I use my sword?"
I laughed once more.
"If not for this, what else? Of course you can use your sword."
He nearly jumped out of my arms. Vigorously he ran to his play room. He was so ambitious. Only his father could rival his passion.
"Let's fight the monsters, Momma!"
We walked slowly to his bed room. It was dark and I could see why he was scared. We gave a count of three and I flipped the lights on. We ran in beating at the closet, the bed, and his stuffed animals. Finally, after about 5 minutes and 3 yawns, I said to him, "I think they will be good. What do you think?"
Sleepily, he nodded.
He crawled back into bed. I walked over and sang to him till he fell asleep. I kissed his forehead and looked at his beautiful face. I walked out and turned out the lights.
It was a short time to play, and short time to see the passion, the questioning, and brave parts of our son. It was sweet and it made me miss you even more.
You’re caving again. And you wish the emptiness inside you wasn’t so comforting at times, because now every time you find a reason to look forward to life, that voice inside you says something is wrong. You feel like the more sadder you get, the more you forget what happiness feels like and the more alien the feeling becomes when it arrives.
You’re tired of fighting for clarity between what’s present and what’s yet to come as if the two are just an illusion you keep forcing yourself to believe until your emptiness gives up and moves away. But, you don’t realise that emptiness has room for everyone. It’s you who chooses to stay and you’re chasing after the feeling like it’s all you’ve ever felt. I’m sorry I’m not there to comfort you and tell you, “You don’t have to hide away. It’s okay to feel that way but it’s not okay to want to keep feeling that way.”
So, I hope this letter does that for you.
Just a pencil
I always broke pencils when I was younger, there were plenty there and I used the broken halves all the time, or taped them back together, it never seemed like a big deal to me.
Then two days ago, in the midst of sleep deprivation and stress, my fingers smoothed over the cheap mechanical pencil rolling on my desk. It started with my hands slowly bending it in half, then the plastic beginning to crack. Releasing the pressure, it returned to normal, white lines spidering like webs over the once flawless blue barrel.
As quick as I could, I snapped it in half, the lead broke with the rest of the plastic casing that was supposed to act as a guard and handle for its user. Now on my desk sat the broken pencil, something that I just couldn’t put back together. First aid was required, masking tape replaced bandages, wound and wound around the broken body. The plastic was stuck feasibly together, crooked but staying together. I slotted new lead into the pencil, but it wouldn’t fit. Once something is broken, it never really works the same way again.
The plastic fell apart, the pressure too much. So it was with black ink and a heavy sigh that wrote out the words upon paper, instead of grey, friendly and familiar lead.
A quote that inspires me.
“Everybody is a genius. but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”. - Albert Einstein
You eat blueberries on the strip of balcony they listed as a “terrace” and watch the cars pulse through the railings. Car--railing--car--railing. You are entranced by cars, but I worry that you think they are alive. You pet the bumper of each car affectionately when we move down neat parking lot rows. You tuck your plastic miniatures beneath blankets and murmur “shh, shh, shh” to them before bed. I worry that this means you are antisocial, or that he has broken your sense of reality, of affection, but the social workers tell me that I am ‘projecting’. This is the thing that mothers do when they are fearful of cars--of gravel beneath tires, the rhythmic and ponderous crunch before the door opens, and shuts, and the footsteps begin.
You get blueberries stuck in your tiny baby teeth; a swath of blue skin covers one and you are a pirate. I grin at your pirate tooth until it is a drug addict tooth, a rotting body tooth, and I duck behind you to slide my index finger into your mouth.
“I’m just getting it off,” I say, but you’re already crying. I lift you in my arms, and am amazed at your tiny hands clenched in my sweater, your chubby legs warm and strong against my waist, all instinct, like a clinging primate. I marvel at myself; the cause and the comfort. “You had blueberry stuck in your teeth,” I say into your hair and inhale, deep, the sour-sweet smell of your scalp. ‘They could lead me blindfolded down a line of kids and I could sniff your hair, and I would know it was you,’ my mother used to tell me, and it drives me to memorize you now.
I ask the social workers if you’ll remember him, how much, how long, and they say you won’t, not at all, but there’s always projection. I should be careful not to project. And when I ask them whether he’ll stay in, whether they’ll let him out, and when, the social workers smile with their big, big grown up teeth.
“It’s just blueberry skin,” I say, very softly, to your hair, but you hear a fire truck scream by and you use me as a fulcrum to crane your entire body toward the sound. Close, and close, and CLOSE and away, away, away it goes--shh, shh, shh. You love cars. I once watched the lights of a police car flicker red, and blue, and red, and blue and it made me think of you.
@Morrigan wants me to tell you guys what my name stands for. I don’t. So, here’s the deal. For every five likes this post gets, I will say what one letter stands for. For every ten, I will tell the story behind them. I hope you’re happy Mor.
G- Grandma. I crochet, do crosswords, and generally look out for everybody.
M- Mifa. Two years ago, a sub butchered my name. To this day, I am still haunted by it.
G- Grasasay. It was found out that my middle name was the same as one of our friend’s first name. Thus, I was assigned her nickname.
T-Taco. Someone butched my last name, and here I am today.
Can’t make it drink
You can lead the horse to water--you can even shove its nose in the water--but sometimes, the horse just drowns.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree but they are still two separate plants.
Here it goes: The person in front of you is also the person farthest behind you.