Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nursing the Primes

I've followed many seemingly runaway trains of thought since my husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a couple years ago.  When something like that happens, you tend to have a regrouping of sorts.  A reevaluation of life and the purpose of it, or at least of yours.  You get back to the basics.  You strip away all of those silly human masks you wear, the masks of socially accepted definitions of happiness and success and motivations.  Yes.  You get back to the basics.

Approximately 3.4 billion years ago, something happened.  Scientists don't universally agree on the intricacies, but in layman's terms, some amino acids and other organic compounds got tossed around in the proverbial "primordial soup" and suddenly things like protein synthesis and phospholipids and cell membranes were shaking their shit all over town and WOWZA!  Life. 

Why did life happen?

Because it could.  That's why.  The chemicals were there.  The reactions happened.  And then there was life.  Because it could.

And it seems so ridiculous and silly that humanity has created all of these "rules" and coping mechanisms and artificial behaviors of society.  Considering our only purpose for existing is propagation of the species.  We are here because the chemicals were right and the reaction happened.  We are given this time, and only this time, one shot, that's it.  To do it right.  And we worry about whether our houses are nice enough?  About the words on the tags of our clothes?  About the numbers on our paychecks?  About other humans' ideas and opinions of us?


But you're doing it wrong.

Chris and I have one chance.  Somehow, in all of this randomness, he and I were allowed to have one of these here bodies.  We were given the chance to play in it and live in it and wear it slam out until it falls apart.

Life is not fair.  Because it was never meant to be.  Life is wild and harsh and blazing.  Those who are afraid of it will slink off into a corner and hide until it's over.  They will crawl into the shadows of others and beg for protection.  They will waste their bodies and find their brains become atrophied and empty.  They will cry to be carried and sing sadly when they are not.

But those who are not afraid will live.  They will take what they require and leave what they do not.  They will find what they want and leave no room for uselessness.  The desires they have are their own.  The dreams they follow are without caution.  The rules they make and the rules they break will leave no room for ambiguity.

One of many things I have learned about myself is that I have little room for relationships.  There is only so much of me.  Only so much room to make.  I can only be spread so far until holes begin tearing through the thinness.   It truly boggles my mind how some people are able to have such a huge social circle.  Friends, acquaintances, coworkers, family.   My brain is just not wired that way.   I start to feel chained and overwhelmed.  I find my mind constantly taking roll of who I haven't talked to lately.  I make myself feel guilty.  I make priorities based on social expectations.  I feel stretched.  So stretched.  Or, I used to.  It was one of the many things I have since reevaluated.

I have had to let people go.  And I have stopped feeling guilty about it.  I have prioritized based on who needs me most, who I need most, and who I want most.  Blood means little.  Love means everything.  I only have a finite amount of tinder to light fires in the hearts of those who matter to me.  There are no plus-ones.  There are no empty beds.  There are no vacancies.  My heart was full a long time ago, but I let the hanger-oners hang, the suckers feed, and the beggars stick their hands in my pockets.

I don't do that anymore.

I am here because I am.  Because I can be.  And I will be here until I am not anymore.  To some people, what I do in the time between matters.  It matters in big and small ways.  In sparkling coalescing ways.  Those are the people I've left room for. 

My son and I had a chat yesterday.  One of those conversations over a hot stove.  He told me that he never wanted to be that guy who stood alone in his overpriced house with a closet full of overpriced suits at 3 in the morning while wondering where the hell his race car bed went and who the hell that woman is sleeping in his bed who bore him children he never wanted.

If I had not already been standing, I would have, and then clapped, maybe a fist pump, and a "fuck yeah, that's MY kid!"

And then he said a few more things.  He said he wanted to be like his dad.  Who married someone like me.  Who works hard and plays hard.  Is able to buy the things he wants.  With a wife who loves him for the boy he used to be and for the man he grew to be.  To sit here and try to explain how this made me feel would require words I don't have. 

And he said that any woman who tries to make him get rid of his race car bed will be sent packing.  Without mercy.

A little while later, he asked me a question.  "Mom, is there anything you wish you'd have done but now it's too late?"  Not too long ago, I would have answered yes.  A million times, yes.

Interestingly, and before I could really analyze it, I said no.  I didn't say no because it was my child and I didn't want to show him that side of me.  I didn't lie.  The answer is no.

Many people think it's too late.  Many people look around themselves and find that their situation isn't conducive to following their dreams.  Many people answer that question with a "yes" because the sacrifices they would have to make to follow those dreams are bigger than the happiness they'd find in the dream.   Maybe that's true.  Maybe they assume it's true but have never tried.

For me, right now, this minute, today.  My answer is no.  It's never too late.  As long as I breathe, it isn't too late.  As long as Chris is willing to prop me up, as long as he is willing to let me prop him up, as long as the fire is there and stoked and billowed and fed.  It's never too late.

Okay, whatever, that's a lie.  It's way too late for me to be a stripper.  That ship has sailed.  But race car beds? They are fair game!

I'm not sure if he even realizes or remembers.  But my son referred to me as "brilliant" yesterday.   He isn't just a little boy who loves his momma.  He is almost 17 years old.  He has opinions and standards and principals all his own.  And he is brilliant in his own right.  There is no way he could possibly know what that meant to me.  I didn't tell him.  I didn't make a big deal of it.  But knowing that my child, THIS child, feels that way.  Well.  It was as though every single thing that has ever mattered to me was standing right there, talking to his mother in the kitchen. 

I am here because I am.  Because I can be.  And I will be here until I am not anymore, the way life is wont to do.   Why life happened is a non-question.  What I do with it matters.  To me.  To people who love me.

Watching my son read my novel and hearing his comments is a pleasure that transcends anything I'd have been able to predict.  The ideas he tosses at me.  The look on his face while he is reading.  The reciprocation of him sharing his own work with me.  That matters.

Making plans with Chris, driving through the town we're planning to retire in, going to open houses and looking at neighborhoods.  Scoping out the local bar scene and finding all the secret places tourists don't know about.  With my husband.  With the radio turned up.  In our mid thirties, planning our tacky pink flamingos and Carolina rooms and where the hot tub is going to go, and finding the gym where we will play tennis.  It's an experience, a happiness, a calm satisfaction that I wouldn't trade for gold.

Waking up to the terminal sun, in our terminal world, in my terminal body.  Breathing the air that feeds me.  Using the legs that were given to me to cut a path through the perfectly constructed atmosphere for my perfectly constructed machine.  Running the way bipedal hominids should.  Moving the way land mammals must.  With a purpose only predators know.  It's a natural high that makes every hair on my body scream at a frequency heard only by the gorging monsters munching in my veins.  

One day.

You are not going to be here anymore.

What are you going to do while you wait?

I think I'm going to get purple highlights in my hair.  



  1. You don't shy away from the big picture. This is one of the most thought provoking posts I've read in a while. I put up a similar post recently called Don't Fear the Reaper but it wasn't as well written as this one. As for fretting about not contacting people enough, don't forget they can also contact you. It's a two way street.

  2. While it's intentions were born elsewhere, it was exactly what I needed, right now, in this moment. Exactly.

  3. That was one of the greatest thingd I have read in a very long time.