Friday, December 12, 2014

writing work in progress...

I turned on Pandora as I was getting dressed. Desperado came on. It was like she was bursting to get through to me after I unceremoniously severed our connection two nights earlier.
"It's so beautiful" was one of the last sentences I ever heard out of her mouth. There was no beautiful goodbye like you see in the movies. Everything had seemed sudden and rushed, then dragged out to an agonizing slowness where nothing was happening, but nothing was being accomplished either. And then it was over. Even with my grandfather I had been brought in to say goodbye. He had looked me in the eyes and told me how proud he was of me and how much he loved me. It was heartbreaking, but it was perfect closure. We said goodbye and it was over. Shortly after he was gone.
This didn't end that way. One day she wasn't feeling well enough for Thanksgiving and the next she was incoherent and being rushed into hospice. Not even with it enough to say goodbye to the house. Or the cat. Or anything that we built our lives around and cherished. Not even us.
There weren't many words. The entirety of our family taking over the hospice center brought in enough words for the whole building. But she stayed silent.
She lay sunken in bed, barely a person. A wisp of herself. She'd finally lost that weight. How pleased she'd be if she knew. Her hair was gone again too. She always insisted she looked like Gollum. Now that the sickness had destroyed her from the inside it was making it's way out. Just like the cancer had sucked up all her life force it was now taking her color, her air, her personhood.
I had been ordered by a relative to buy her those fancy noise cancelling headphones. You know the ones, they cost about the same as a car payment. I would have spent anything to make her feel an ounce of comfort at that point. The headphones engulfed her small head and took her away to some other dimension. The Eagles had released their final album just in time. Two discs. It was immediately added to her mix of Don Henley, Eagles, Don Henley, more Eagles. "It's so beautiful," she sighed. The first coherent sentence I had heard from her. It anchored her, for just a little longer, to our world.
The radio started to get static-y as I entered the tunnel. I switched to the CD player and Glenn Frey's voice filled my car. I was on the edge. Of what I was not sure, but something had changed in me and the seams that held me together had started bursting apart faster than I could stitch them back together. The music started to fill my head and all I could hear was "it's so beautiful."
I slammed my palm into the off switch and started convulsing with sobs. "It's so beautiful." I don't care. I hit eject. I fumbled around, pushing a new album in. Anything to fill the blank space. Pop music. Alt rock. Anything else.
The next day or so I built a hard shell around myself. It didn't fix the broken stitches, but it kept everything from falling out. Pandora was not used. The radio stayed on z-100, I listened to awful songs about Taylor Swift's ex-boyfriends. Safe music. White noise. Unconsciously I turned on Pandora while getting ready for work. Desperado filled the space around me. It sucked in all the air in the room. Everything else went quiet.
She slammed her palm on the button, you will hear me. I am here. I am here. You think I'm gone. But I am here.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Story of the Fuchsia Sole Mates

eBay listing: Fuchsia velvet Marc by Marc Jacobs heels with metallic trim and bow in front. Size 7 1/2.

Seeing these shoes shouldn't make me sad because I already bought the same style in a size that doesn't cut off the circulation in my toes. But the new shoes don't have as special as a story. 

Ten years ago (YIKES! that long ago?!) Mommy showed me these shoes on the Saks website. They cost over $300. Clearly, I could not afford them. In fell so deeply in love that I printed out a picture and hung it in a frame on my dorm room wall. I wanted- no needed- these shoes. We were sole-mates, pardon the cheesy pun. Mommy bought herself a pair, and I was insanely jealous, especially since she never wore her fabulous shoes out. My foot was too big to even try squeezing into them. 

Christmas 2003 came and Mommy somehow knew about a sale at Saks the day after Christmas (back then things went on sale <ins>AFTER</ins> the holidays). At 7am, the day after Christmas, the two of us stood outside Saks amongst a small crowd of equally crazy, thrifty shoe addicts waiting to be let in. 

The doors opened, and as if I was on a game show contestant I ran to the shelf to find my coveted pink heels in a size 7 1/2. Mommy flagged a salesperson she was friendly with. I purchased the shoes at a price over $100, but no more than $120. I don't remember what the two of us did with the rest of our day. Knowing us we shopped some more. 

My best outfit with the shoes was Nanny's birthday party.  Mommy styled me to perfection. I wore an adorable pink and orange brocade Nicole Miller party dress with a little off white cardigan. Mommy layered different pearl necklaces on me. I looked "very Chanel". I was sad she didn't join me at the party, but I took along the best part of her- her flawless style. 

Once I sell, giveaway, whatever the shoes, that is one less item she helped me add to my wardrobe. Yes, I have their <ins>exact</ins> replicas, but they are impostors. She didn't help me pick those out. She didn't put together fun outfits to match them. If I tell myself they are the same it is all just a lie.

As I replace my teenage/college clothes with newer items I have less and less with their own special stories. When all the stories are over what will be left?