Monday, June 22, 2020

compartmentalizing

I am nothing if not a supreme organizer, from my unending list-making to an unnatural love for bullet points. I like to think it's a simple sign of intelligence & efficiency but if I'm being honest, I'm pretty sure it comes from my desperate need to [pretend to] Control Things. At first glance over my life, it doesn't look like much was out of control - I only have 1 point for ACEs - but I've come to realize that even a single event in childhood can color the world going forward, and I have long had a stay-in-the-lines attitude that ended up being a hindrance, frankly; when getting hung up on How Things Look and How Things Should Be more than What Things Could Be, we miss a lot of exquisite little details. I still get hung up sometimes but I work harder at looking around corners and in the cracks, too. I'm working on crying out loud more, too, but in a controlled cute Rachel McAdams way as much as possible (it's never possible)

On that note, here's a thing I wrote from a series of observations I was making when trying not to directly look an uncontrollable thing in the eyes. 
_________________________________________________________

I Practice Believing My Son Has Cancer


I sit in the hospital room on a dumbly comfortable recliner,

consolation gift for the parent who finds herself

in a foul game of fighting

disease by picking poisons that might or might not make him sicker today or later, really

nobody knows.


Don’t worry.


I’m offered a discounted lunch delivered with his free meal,
cheer the salad with salmon and blackberries, as if I’ve won a significant award.

My boy pores over his two-page paper menu with excited eyes vowing to try everything by the time he is done

in the fall, as if
that will be the bigger prize than
life past 19.


Don’t worry.


There is so much sun streaming onto my exposed neck, 

wrapping itself first around idiot yellow flowers staring over my shoulder at the magazine I took from the absurdly welcoming waiting room.

Everything a flavorless joke
reminding us that life goes fucking on outside of here.


Don’t worry.


I brought a book I will neglect in a bag full of other website-suggested things,

because mothering instincts say that if I have 

everything we need we will not need anything:

Not the extra soft socks or the unscented lotions or powerful sunscreens 

or ginger-infused organic candies meant to quell
toxic nausea. We are 

prepared and prepared and prepared
and...


Don’t worry.


2 comments:

KL Crab said...

now my eyes are watering... darn you anyway.
Karolyn

Bethany said...

💔❤💕 and so so well done. Oh do I get control and cracks and beauty and oops was that control again? Xo

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