Correction notice: On 3/14/10, I implied that I controlled the events of my life. I regret this error. Correction — I do not control the events of my life.
Even at all. I don’t control them and I absolutely cannot predict them.
Things are going badly for the o.g.b.d. with his split, and I think it is taking its toll because he said some unusual things to me that came from left field for me. But this is a terribly difficult time for him and I understand that everything must be examined through that filter, because it is just simply one of the most difficult times of your life to be newly separated from your spouse. I went through the same things.
I am not going to let him struggle alone. I have this opportunity to be there for him, and I am just going to be as understanding as I can be and take as much time as is needed to help him through this. He’s my kiddo’s father and we’re a team.
I had a good time with him at the movie yesterday, but I think he has a lot going on right now and it’s difficult for him to work through. Some financial stuff, too, the end result of some ugly back-and-forth with his wife which was really terrible to be present for his finding out about because there was literally nothing I could do to help; ditto his sorrow at seeing less of his son, which has to be horrible. He calls him “Mr. Cheeks.” I really pray that he and his wife can work things out because I can tell it’s killing him not to get to spend as much time with his son as he was accustomed to.
I still think his wife will come around, I don’t believe people can sustain bad feelings forever, especially not someone who seems as essentially nice as her. I think she may have deleted me as an imaginary friend on the myspace, but if I worried what happened on social networking sites, I’d never have any peace. Those aren’t real gestures, not with any deep meaning or permanence. I still can’t see this going so badly forever. I mean, it is almost impossible, isn’t it? Look what happened between me and him, for example. We did hurtful things to one another, said unspeakable things to each other (I finally got to apologize for calling him “human garbage,” which has literally haunted my heart for years, and I’m so happy about that) but in the end we have made it up and now things are great.
Well, pretty great, that is. Some weirdness. There are some things I don’t understand, but I will figure them out. All that all is almost as an aside. Yesterday’s news and mainly things I’m filing away to think about so I can give them their proper due consideration at a better time and with an open mind and untroubled heart.
What’s bad today is that my grandmother is having a Bad Day. It started at 3:00 a.m. when I startled awake to find her bent over me, shaking me by the shoulder while she clenched and unclenched her other hand. “E—,” she said urgently, “I’m flat broke. I can’t think where my checkbook’s got to but I don’t know how to get home! Am I going to fly? You have to call them. I don’t want them to know I don’t have any money. [never did figure out if ‘them’ was the airline or her bank or what] You’ll arrange it, won’t you?” I calmed her down and told her of course, got water for her and lead her back to her room.
Then it just repeated about two to three times an hour ’til I finally woke my mother and said, “Your turn.” I was feeling drained and uneasy about some of the events of the day before and I just needed to rest. I feel selfish, looking back on it, but I was at a breaking point. It had repeated itself, the conversation, to the point of exhaustion. Both of us were near tears and I figured the perspective of someone better-rested (ie: my mother) might put a fresh and more positive spin on things.
But the whole thing just set the stage for the day. It’s a pacey and fearful kind of day. Things are preying on her mind today, over and over. She can’t relax, and she keeps cyclically freaking out and confiding the same fears again and again. There’s nothing I can say or do that comforts her for more than twenty minutes at a time. It’s heartbreaking. I think the trigger was that fuckall hellpit altar of commerce the mall, which if I had been around, I might’ve tried to intervene, but I wasn’t, I was out with the o.g.b.d. My mother reported to me that yesterday while I was gone, they’d taken my grandmother to the mall to pose for pictures with my kidlet (I’d approved this mission), but then afterward they actually drug my grandmother around that godawful anthill of capitalism, and not surprisingly she hated it.
She did not like the number of people in weekend crowds one bit: it understandably scared and confused her to have that much crap coursing all around her. Mom said she also didn’t like how large the stores were and kept asking why they were so big.
I’ve taken Dorothy to the mall several times and we’ve been just fine walking around just after it opens of a weekday morning, stopping and getting lemonade, and mainly using it as a very large indoor track with window displays, but in all honesty I’m not fond of visiting the mall for its intended purpose with my mother anymore than my grandmother was. My mother likes to shop, which I hate. She has to look at every single thing, the minutiae of which bores and vaguely frightens me. I skim at best, if I even enter a shop at all rather than simply scan their storefront as I walk past. The marathon philosophy with which my mother takes herself to the mall is some kind of crazy, gritty, kamikaze combination of let’s-pretend-we’re-so-girly phony ego trip and a chillingly toneless, flinty determination to get a bargain no matter what the physical or emotional price.
Natalie Wood in what I believe is a still from the underrated noir Daddy Issues extravaganza A Cry In the Night (Tuttle, 1956), in which very young Natalie plays Elizabeth, the daughter of an overprotective and repressive police captain who is kidnapped from her makeout session with her boyfriend by dangerous young voyeur Raymond Burr. Out of the frying pan, in to the fire, kiddo.
Both of those qualities freak me out to no end, like actually boggle my mind and scare me. It becomes a nightmare, with me feeling more and more hemmed in by the crowds and infuriated by the abundance of meaningless shit all around to buy, buy, buy — all the advertisements, the people dressed identically so you start to feel like you cannot even tell which are the mannequins. Ugh. It starts making me want to burn the whole place down. That’s not hyperbole: I literally want to watch it all burn.
Gar. Positive straw at which I’m grasping: I guess I may not control the events of my life but I can at least control my reactions. Staying as positive and peaceful as possible so that I don’t get overemotional and fuck things up. That’s what I’ll focus on for today.
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