Mothers who love their children take them along.—Maxine Hong Kingston, Woman Warrior
When my mother goes away
she visits men in cages;
she has always known
are synonymous depending
on who locks the gate.
When my mother goes away
she takes me with her
sometimes and we walk
along the causeway,
looking for gates.
Me: You sleep well, love.
Mr. J: You too, get plenty of rest.
Mr. J: Actually do it, get rest.
Me: (silence…I was actually thinking about fixing a plot point and not really paying attention.)
Mr. J: Actually do it. And don’t use your rebellious voice.
Me: (laughs) I don’t have a rebellious voice.
Mr. J: You have three.
Me: (laughs) Really?
Mr. J: Yep.
Me: Tell me about ’em.
Mr. J: No.
So back in August 2014 I met my best friend. February 13, 2015 (Friday the 13th and the day before Valentine’s Day) we got married.
Shortly after my divorce and before I met Mr. J I made this list. I decided that if I was going to ever try to date again I needed to learn from my mistakes and do all the things better. And I wanted to find the exact opposite of my ex.
Funny thing: somehow we both forgot to ask each other what our political affiliations were until after we got married. Boy was that a surprise. I was all like: how did we go this long without having one political discussion? But it’s okay. Even though we disagree about some things, we still love each other, accept each other, and work together to make both of our lives better. That’s how respect works.
Henna for the civil ceremony.
It was a lovely, crisp, clear night when we got married.
In the morning it looked like this:
It’s was an awesome day! Today is awesome too! Here’s to this life and the next! Together forever! I love you Mr. J!
Do you have one?
Did you have one?
If you’re a writer, are your characters your imaginary friends?
Today I binge watched all of Sci Fi’s Happy on Netflix and it made me think a lot about the distinct lack of imaginary friends in my life.
I never made up a taking animal or another human that only I could see and interact with. I’ve always felt slightly less human because of that. I feel like everyone who’s truly creative had an imaginary friend somewhere in their childhood, which cuts me out of the True Creative category.
I did have a stuffed rabbit named Fuzzy in elementary school and later a stuffed frog named Filbert that I had all through high school and college. Filbert was more of an emotional support plushie, a therapeutic tool, while Fuzzy was my BFF.
Somewhere in first grade Fuzzy disappeared. I don’t know if I lost him at school or if my father threw him away because I was too old to be so attached to a stuffed animal or whatever. But with Fuzzy gone I was devastated.
At this point you may be wondering if I had any real friends growing up. The answer is not really. There were a few people but we only interacted at school or through school related activities, I never kept up with them and they never kept up with me once we changed schools.
So in a sense I made my own friends but I used inanimate objects to build my stories and characters upon. I never invented a creature out of thin air, from scratch until I started seriously writing fiction. But I don’t see my characters walking around helping me kill bad guys or cheat at poker. And even though my characters do talk to me it’s only in the context of their stories, they don’t exist in this world with me.
I kinda wish they did, it might make writing easier.
To anyone reading this: what’s your experience with imaginary friends? I’d love to know your thoughts on the subject. And if you’ve seen Happy and if you liked it. I personally thought it was amazing.
More thoughts on long distance relationships:
Mr. J. and I have been living apart (work reasons, we’re still married) since December 4 and I’ve surprised myself because I can’t mark his absence from my life in a tally of days. I’ve tried, thinking that will make things more bearable.
Instead I putter along, going with the flow of the day, until something happens, some stupid little thing that makes me realize I haven’t seen my husband/best friend in FOREVER.
The first occurrence was when I had to do laundry for the first time since moving. And I thought to myself: seriously? I’ve already run out of clothes? And this is my first time doing laundry away from Mr. J? And then I thought about how many loads of laundry I will be doing in the 3 years we will be apart. That’s a lot of fucking laundry.
The second occurrence was when I cut my fingernails (I cut them the day before I said “goodbye”). Sorry if fingernails gross you out. But as I was cutting them I thought: seriously? I have to cut my nails already? Surely it hasn’t been that long. But it was.
And then today I realized my new (purchased the week before my move) bottle of Vitamin C is almost empty. I don’t take vitamins regularly even though I should. You could hold a gun to my head and say, “If you don’t take your vitamins every day for a week I will kill you and your cats,” I still wouldn’t be able to do it. And now that fucking bottle is almost empty. I can see the bottom of the fucking bottle.
It’s like hitting the pan on your favorite eye shadow and going: WTF I just bought this!
I can still talk to him almost every day, thank the gods, but whenever I have one of these moments where something little jumps out at me and screams: BEHOLD THE UNYIELDING PASSAGE OF TIME HAHA! And I realize it really hasn’t been that long and I have thousands and thousands of other little moments waiting in the wings to jump out at me.
I’m going to turn 33 next month and I’ll be 35 or 36 when we get to a place where we can live together again. That in itself gives me pause.
And, like an ostrich with head in the sand (is that even a real thing?) or a cat that’s just fallen off of something and doesn’t want to admit there was a moment when it wasn’t graceful and in control of everything around it, I pretend I’m not upset, that that little thing/monster didn’t happen, and I move on with my day.
I don’t know if that’s the most healthy thing to do or that it will keep working but it’s working for me so far and that’s really all I can ask for right now.
Having a creative outlet also helps. Working with characters that I love helps.
What helps you?
(ALERT: this blog post contains extreme gushing and objectification of my significant other. Because I’m obsessed. With my significant other. As is normal (if you’re not obsessed with your significant other, what is wrong with you?) It gets really cheesy and lovey-dovey here. You have been warned.)