Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The River in Reverse

The River in Reverse
Current mood: annoyed
Category: Life

When I was a kid, I had an obsession with audio tape recording my family and friends (usually without their knowledge). These candidly captured conversations sometimes resulted in utter hilarity; other times, a spark of wisdom that would have otherwise been forgotten.

One such spark was courtesy of my grandfather, Chuck. "Pap," as we called him, was generally pretty stoic and quiet, distant and stern, commanding respect. Underneath his persona, however, he was a total softie.

After dinner, the family sat gathered around my great aunt and uncle's dining room table in Mountain Home, Arkansas, on a steamy July evening. Life moved less chaotically in Arkansas, even though Aunt Bernice and Uncle Jim operated a large dairy farm and managed several thriving crops. Following a late evening repast of the farm's bounty, my grandfather sighed over his coffee and dessert and said simply this:

"Another day shot off to Hell, isn't it?"

And that was it. No prologue or epilogue, merely an astute observation, forever captured by my eavesdropping. Ping!

Reasons why today gets categorized in the "shot off to Hell" pile, and it's not even 10am:

1. I'm out of regular coffee and felt too lazy in yesterday's cold/rainy climate to drag myself out to procure more, thus I'm running on decaf today. [Shivers]

2. Luke was hopelessly incapable of rousing from slumber this morning, despite vocal warning bells from me every 2 minutes. Consequently, he was 5 minutes late for school and had to snarf his breakfast in the car. When, by his own undoing, he started to whine and cry about being tardy for school, I quickly remarked that I had no interest in his teary-eyed blubbering, which only served to make him cry more loudly. He's lucky I brought the car to a complete stop in the parking lot before I quite literally threw him out the door. I'm already giddy with anticipation of his next onslaught of hysterics when he realizes that after school, we're going directly to see The People Who Cut His Scraggly Mop of Hair.

3. My best platonic guy pal and I are trying to solidify some kind of plan to visit one another during the holidays. Logistics are difficult because he lives on the East Coast, but has family he's visiting in downstate Illinois; furthermore, we're trying to decide if a New Year's road trip to Oklahoma City (to see the Flaming Lips) is mutually do-able. Whereas his planning sees fit to leave things at a "we'll see," I generally prefer a bit more structure and finality. Indecision breeds anxiety, and Lord knows I have enough of that already going on.

4. Whereas God forgives me of my sins upon my repentance and erases them forever from my roster of transgressions, my on-again/off-again/on-again boyfriend felt the need this morning to remind me of mistakes I've made and already apologized for, with a delayed-reaction moment of hurt and anger. I'm cutting him some slack, since he does have a lot of emotional processing on his plate, but I fail to see how reckoning the ills of yesterday will serve to foster a positive tomorrow. What's worse is that he cringes at me airing our dirty relationship laundry on social networking sites, so I'm sure the salt will keep on pouring onto an already delicate wound! Yowsa! (*For the record, I haven't actually aired anything private on any social networking site; Blogspot is a blog-hosting platform and not a social networking site.)

4.5. Thus far, the only creature on Earth happy to see me today has been my parakeet, Nitwit, who is staying at my mom's, whom I visited when I dropped off some laundry this morning.

5. I re-posted one of my personal ads here in Chicago in an effort to try and meet some new people/make some new friends. One respondent, I thought, liked my writing style and what I said in my profile, so I answered his email with some brief introductory pleasantries, stated my name and said, "And you are?..." His reply? "A jerk." Well, great! Now that we've established that, how's about dinner?

6. I'm bracing myself for one of my ex-husband's famous "See Below..." emails where he dissects personal and custody scheduling topics bit-by-bit, offering his responses callously if not always constructively. But historically, his claws only surface after the noon hour, so I have a little time to prepare and seek shelter.

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