Friday, May 3, 2013

Conservatives, Camelot and Coping

The feelings stirred up inside me. Like dust blown from....I dunno, something dusty - anything living in Lubbock. Use your imagination.

It was settled. Dormant. Then like an explosion, the ache swelled up inside me....

I'd spent the evening at my parents', doing laundry and catching up. Navigating through the confusing, conservative forest my parents dwell in over Bill O'Reilly. They engage in a level of politics that I've yet to achieve. They went pro years ago, and I'm little league at best. Nevertheless, my mom and I had a good chuckle like we always do. I was waiting for the last load to dry when she mentioned she'd read the chapter in 'Killing Kennedy' (written by, ahem, Bill O'Reilly. Are we sensing a theme?) about what Jackie'd said the day Jack was shot. I asked her to read a few sentences to me, a request she's obliged a hundred times before. Nan, the Librarian that she is, always has a book at the ready. Whether it be Dr. Seuss, or Stephen King - she's always primed. One hand, outreached to pull me into the proverbial wardrobe. There was a particular passage about Jackie holding JFK's head in her hands after he was shot, crying over her dead husband....

...and it happened. His face flashed into my mind. His face in my hands, and the devastation of losing someone you love. It swooped out of my mind as quickly as it had entered; like a spark it was gone, but the stirring remained. The feelings were swirling through my mind.  

What the fuck was that?

Where did that come from? I wasn't sure why, after lying still for so long, the tears bubbled up in my eyes...a death rattle.

I'd lived in the throws of death for longer than I'd like to admit. I'd paid for her sins, and the her before that. All the hers that had done him wrong haunted me on a daily basis. I tried to drown them out, but the echoes of the preacher's daughter, eye-fucking the camera with her crooked teeth and chola eyebrows were too noisy. Her stain was everywhere. All over him, all over the house. All over us. How many life sentences was I willing to serve? As many as it took. As many as it took to make things right. Right with us. An us I fought for tooth and nail. Although my nails are pretty tragic, so maybe that's how it all went sour. Have you seen my cuticles? Appalling. But in the end we were a big ol' Humpty Dumpty. And all the hours at the gym, and all the whiskey and cokes couldn't put us back together again.

So when those feeling stirred, I was more alarmed than anyone. For a second I lost my breath, and stared blankly at the curio cabinet. Shiny things. Mirrors. Get it together, Sarah. Those tears aren't your truth now. They're a lie. An allergy. An untimely bout of PMS.

What. The fuck. Was that.

That was love.
That was then, and this is now.
And now is pretty great, despite my ugly nails.

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Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss