I wrapped up a project this week that involved working with a person who was the ‘other woman’ in a volatile relationship I had thirty-five years ago. I knew about her and she knew about me but I don’t know if she knew that I knew about her. We didn’t discuss it. Now I realize that maybe I was the ‘other woman.’
We are both, obviously thirty-five years older, but in my mind’s eye, we are still young, in jeans and boots, standing on opposite sides of a rock stage at a local festival not knowing who the other one was but wondering, and not wanting to know any more. There was nothing from the past that I wanted to confirm or discuss with her now. That can of worms still had very robust night crawlers, even after all so many years.
A blog post that I wrote about that relationship was selected to be featured by BlogHer. The editor wisely gave the piece a new title, “I Haven’t Been Afraid of Anyone in 32 Years.” It made me happy to see that essay about given a little bigger audience. If you haven’t published on BlogHer, check it out. I was also happy to see Dan Jones, the famous editor of Modern Love, single out my daughter, Elizabeth Fitzsimons’ compelling essay about the adoption of her daughter as one of the most memorable of his editing career. I’d like to say that she got her beautiful writing skill from me but I don’t think that’s how it works.
Our tree whose pending demise I lamented here is now gone. Left is the stump, a hole in the center created by carpenter ants, confirming our neighbor’s belief that the tree was sick and dangerous, but only, the city officials noted, for us, not for him. He said he was unable to sleep for years for fear that our tree would fall on his house; the arborists said it would have had to become completely uprooted and take flight but he never wavered in his belief that the danger was immediate and aimed at him. Toward the end of the tree debate, that became somewhat more true.
Tomorrow is Halloween and I am remembering the many years of kids’ costume angst, how what to be for Halloween become the centerpiece discussion for days. They never believed me that when I was a kid I was a ghost or a hobo, usually the latter, smearing ash from the fireplace on my face, wearing a plaid flannel shirt with one of my dad’s fedoras. I grew up near Detroit where Devil’s Night and Halloween were mad, crazy, window-soaping, ashcan-turning, rope-stringing across the road propositions that involved no parents in any component. And it was really, really dark out. And scary as shit.
Sunday is November 1st and you know what that means – all that NaBloPoMo business at BlogHer, posting every day for the month of November. Yeah Write which is a wonderful, invigorating writing challenge group, is running its own November challenge called No Mo. I’m going to do them both, meaning I’m going to write a blog post every day in November and link to both sites. Why the heck not? Both say some folks will win prizes. Like a cup. I’ll write for a cup.
I had breakfast with my son this morning. We have a hard time communicating a lot of the time because of the tenor of his voice and my hearing disability. So he shouts and it makes it worse. But, magically, when we sit across from each other in a booth at the local diner, I can hear him loud and clear. I told him that my whole life is thinking about what’s next. It makes me always hopeful and optimistic. I feel like I am always looking forward to something, usually small things, the end of the day, talking in the kitchen with my husband, being outside, taking trips we’ve taken a dozen times before, feeling whole and fine.
And that was pretty much my week. Appreciating the passage of time, feeling whole and fine and thinking about what’s next.