Everyone is there, but me.
I’m going in circles.
I’m seeing the same things over and over: the same roadblocks and sharp turns. Each passing minute breeds stress.
I used to know the way.
Lately, sleep has become a place that every night everybody goes to, but I can never find my way there, at least not on time.
Warm milk is a myth.
I opt for five large gulps of Jack Daniels Black Label straight from the bottle and turn on the t.v. I watch almost 10 minutes of a Scandal rerun. Olivia Pope can’t even help herself these days. Lord knows that I can relate.
I can’t even handle the basics anymore since he left.
Trying to figure out what went wrong, seems like trying to find the broken light in a string of Christmas lights: going over each one to find out where the problem started. If I could just figure that out, if I could just switch-out that one, everything else would start working again.
Was it when I went back to work? Was it the weight I gained? Was it the strain of our baby boy’s health issues?
A few more gulps of Jack Daniels. Hell, this is the only warm, brown thing I’ve had in me a long time. Wooo Lawd, I crack myself up sometimes.
I stumble over to the full-length mirror on my back wall, take off my favorite pink, silk pajamas, leaving on nothing but my leopard-print doo-rag. How could I possibly look the same when I feel completely transformed? I went from a butterfly to being a caterpillar—a reverse metamorphosis.
First time he met me at the Piggly Wiggly SuperMart he said I was the more beautiful than sunshine after 40 days and nights of rain.
He wasn’t shy. He didn’t seem even slightly uncomfortable walking up to a stranger in aisle 7, between the pasta and canned tomatoes. I remember taking a quick assessment: his cart was filled with frozen burritos and Hungry Man t.v. dinners, so he was most certainly single; he had on shoes that screamed middle management (conservative and bought at Nordstom or someplace similar); and a fresh haircut that spoke of East Coast roots. He also had perfect white teeth housed behind full, brown lips that she already imagined kissing.
I still imagine kissing him sometimes. Asshole…
I crawl the 10 feet to my closet, still naked. I need to be in a smaller space—a cocoon. Plus, the bedroom had been theirs; the closet had always been mine. It was perfectly organized; my mild OCD ensured that.
I start to rock—a habit I’ve had since I was a little girl. My mom said that when I was upset about something I would get in my bedroom chair and almost rock a hole in the carpet. When I got to big for the rocker, I didn’t stop rocking. Dear God, help me. I’m just so tired of crying, of rocking, of hurting.
I’m not going to be the only one suffering. I’m over here miserable everyday, while those two are living the dream. That bitch just walked in and took over my life, as if I never existed. I even have to share my kids with that tramp? She didn’t have the labor pains, she doesn’t have the stretch marks that accessorize my stomach and thighs; she didn’t have the up-all-night sick sessions; and now some judge says that my babies must go to their home every other week? I don’t even know this heifer! All I know about her is that she is a man-stealer. I’m supposed to want my kids around her? Hell no! They, those three precious babies, are all I have left.
I grab my periwinkle, long silk robe, tie it tightly around my naked self and go get in the car.
KISS96 is playing some slow old Teddy Pendagrass song, but I sure as hell ain’t in no loving mood; so I switch to that station that Junior likes. For once, that loud rap music sounds good.
She said Ye can we get married at the mall?
I said look you need to crawl ‘fore you ball
Come and meet me in the bathroom stall
And show me why you deserve to have it all
Ball so hard
That shit cray (that shit cray), ain’t it Jay?
All this shit is cray.
She couldn’t understand why their dumb-asses bought a house so close to her; but tonight, it was mighty convenient. Welcome to neighborhood. I’m you greeting committee.
The cement felt so cold on her bare feet. “Ding Dong”. Ding Dong. I know that they are home. Wake the fuck up! I start banging on the door. Give me my kids! Give me my life back! Bang! Bang! Bang! Hello00000000000!