this is not going to be a good post.
or a happy one. i've been dreading its creation all night.
with my 2nd glass of shiraz in front of me, i'm pulling out the big guns to self-bribe. i have had no desire to write. in weeks. even diary, the unpolished home of stream-of-ANNAness languishes. the flog gasps potentially final breaths. where did she go? and will she ever post anything more substantial than an internet quiz about books or cities?
i don't know.
that's the honest to G-d truth. i'm in so much pain right now, i can't bear to do anything, much less create. just typing "pain" in that last sentence filled my eyes with saltwater recrimination. this was supposed to be a good year. Ha. i was mindless when i believed that. Naïve. You see, i didn't pay attention to dates…
st. patrick's day to the rest of you, but not me. kiss me, i'm here b/c of this holiday. (note to self: wear emerald green knickers. oh, whom are you kidding. no one shall pinch you on this bleak day). bleak? yes. you read right. it's bleak.
decades ago, on this exact day, a nervous man in a new suit and a shy woman in an ecru sari walked in to the Greek Orthodox church in San Bernardino, CA. when they walked out, they were bound to each other, under G-d's watchful eye. when they walked out, they were my parents.
when i was a little girl, i thought it odd that my parents got married on this irish holiday. "couldn't they pick a normal day???" i took it as proof-positive that i was weird, that my family was odd, that my parents were...well, my parents. luxuries, anna. if only you knew, all those years that you scorned it, that one day you'd be grateful for what was seemingly strange, if only you knew that this day would come...march 17, 2004.
30 surrounds me. this is my last year on the "good side" of it. my main blog just achieved the mile-stone of 30,000 hits. 30 grand is the compensation for a certain campaign job. 30.
do you think that i'm cognizant of any of that? if you do, you are new to H.~.E.~.R.~.S.~.T.~.O.~.R.~.Y. all i can think about right now is sadness. a parallel sort of morose wistfulness to what I felt five years ago: two-and-a-half months after daddy died, i watched my mother walk down our stairs, eyes so bloodshot that i could see the spiderweb of red from yards away ("don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes..." but are the eyes of soldiers white? i don't think so. i think they are flat and ruddy, like mummy's were that day). i had no words for her. finally, after an hour, she gazed blankly out of our window. "we didn't even make it to our 25th anniversary."
what do you say to someone on a day such as this? "happy...anniversary?" "happy almost anniversary?" "i'm sorry?" i have never known what to say when it really matters. i just awkwardly fumble about the day, shame replacing my need for blush, unsure of what words are apposite. words are my life. when i am not sure of them, i am not sure of myself.
when my mother murmured her tragic "we never hit 25" proclamation, as numb as i was, i utilised the power of every useless cell in my body to not weep in her presence. i put my plate in the sink and tried not to run upstairs. i was there soon enough, rushing in to my bathroom, my sanctuary, door closing carefully, back flush against it, sliding down, down, down to the floor until my wooden body made a 90 degree angle w/the help of the tiled floor my father had ordered, just months before.
(i'm almost out of shiraz. what to do?)
there is this weird, USELESS little wall that juts out slightly where the bathtub begins, a few feet from the door. i call it the "funny-bone molester", b/c i bang my elbow in to it EVERY time i try and curl or dry my hair. it's the most inefficient sort of design ever. except for moments when i want to hide. when i was a long-legged little girl, and i was running away from spankings, i quickly figured out that if i had my back to the door, and my little payal'd feet flush against this wall, no one could open the door, not with my “L”-shaped will keeping them at bay. safe. they could use the key to pick the lock, but my palms would be bracing me against the cold floor, my back married to the strong door, my feet pushing against the shitty wall that does not allow me to rhyme another word with "-oor". (see? i TOLD you it was useless)...and they wouldn't be able to get in.
on march 17, 1999, no one was chasing me. i was merely running away from truth and sadness. my legs were long enough that they bent at the knees when i assumed my familiar, stubborn position. my palms were too busy to needlessly push against the floor; they were pressed to my slick, heaving cheeks. weep, anna. they were married 24 years. G-d didn't let them reach 25, just like he didn't let your daddy see his twin dreams of your marriage and your graduation from law school. weep. b/c your mother is a widow. and you, well, despite appearances, in your heart you feel that you are an orphan.
my parents did not have a fantastic marriage. but now, now that i'm an elderly spinster, i know that even the uncles and aunties that i revered, the couples that i wished would adopt me, the parents that created eagle scouts and humanitarians...even they don't know perfection. my parents fought often. my father would rail at his haste in marrying my mother. cursing his fate until he saw the stricken look on my downcast face. once, he roughly placed his fingers under a chin which threatened to gouge out my clavicle, yanking it up. "why are YOU upset? you're the only good that came from any of this." his eyes flashed at me. no one ever noticed this, except for me, but my dad had the lightest eyes in my family. his bifocals were tinted, so it was impossible to tell. but as a toddler, i remember taking off his glasses, and staring at his eyes, fascinated by their colour. have you ever seen black eyes? i have. several of my uncles have them, eyes so dark, i wonder how their doctors can tell if their pupils are dilating...
daddy's eyes were lighter than mine (chestnut), but not quite honey-coloured. they were flat. that alone always made the faultline on my heart grow a little longer, splinter a little more. defeated daddy. so much angst, so much regret. when i was a little girl, and i was still good, sometimes your eyes shined. as i got older, they got duller. i told myself that it was b/c of your vision and finally the glaucoma...but i know the truth; your disappointment in me wore down those powerful rosetta stones until they looked like common rocks.
march, 17, 2004. this day should've been a milestone. thirty years of marriage, thirty years of family. why aren't you here, daddy? why did he have to take you away from me? from us? days like today make your absence real, they scrape my insides raw, they spill tears in to my shiraz. why do these arbitrary numbers assume such powers? why am i weeping at 30? was 28 any less significant?
who cares about numbers like 28? no one. two years ago, i was running my first congressional campaign. i was in dallas, living at mockingbird station, using the degree that everyone naysayed about...i was 27 and i was fierce. well, professionally at least...
personally...i was EXACTLY where i am right now. ready to give up and give in.