My friend Nat told me the other night “the thing about your writing is that you say things that I think everyone wants to say but doesn’t”. Aside from this being a huge compliment as I have worried that my blogging is merely self-indulgent, I felt compelled to say “Then…F- you!” Not to Nat, of course, but to every other person I ever wanted to say “F- you” to, but didn’t. And now, since I sort of feel like she gave me permission to say a few things that maybe other people wanted to say, I think F- you is very apropos. So there, I said it. Now, I take it back. I am even sorry.
That she also mentioned, in passing, a person whom had actually used the phrase “he has the dementia” simply made me happy. Not because someone has dementia – that is sad – but because someone called it “the dementia”. In doing so, he gave a secret squirrel insight more into himself perhaps than the person of subject. I imagine he has an old closet full of neatly folded doilies and handkerchiefs from 1939, and a trunk full of someone else’s old photos. I imagine he opens the closet only on the first Sunday of the month, at precisely 7:12 PM. He wears vintage white gloves that have never been washed but still appear pressed. He is lonely.
Hearts are broken all the time. Some breaks are more like surface cracks that hurt in the instant but seem to regenerate and even close after a modest kindness from time. Others occur more like tremendous re-enactments of the Grand Canyon – an act so ineffable and deep cutting that neither time nor any forthcoming kindness could propose to offer solace. These are the ones that stop time. The swollen heart syndrome that destroys a day a month a year a life…in an instant…that seems to last forever. They are the great global tragedies, the abuses done to the innocent, the day someone tells you they no longer love you. “F- you” doesn’t do it here, words fall apart in your throat, muteness only speaks to the surface. If I had a color for every bottomless moan and wounded yelp that cannot be uttered, I’d paint a crimson umber blood orange sky that wrapped the entire universe in forgiveness. I’d sing so sweetly, so quietly, so right.
People want to be acknowledged where it hurts but not dragged into the mire. I am supposed to say something funny that wipes all the badness away. “The dementia” helps with this. My own, and yours too. If I told you that my seven year old flipped me off the other day, you’d think I have some good fer nuthin’ punk ass kid with a bad attitude and a whole helluva lot of trouble headed his way. These are not the facts. My son is funny and sweet and kind. He makes me laugh everyday, from the bottom of the barrel of my gut. He is precious and he cares about the hearts of others. And, he gave me the middle finger. The funny thing was, he didn’t mean to . But it happened, at just the perfect time while he was saying just the perfect thing. Quite by chance, it was the middle finger that pointed at me, while he made some playful delivery and we both laughed until we cried. So inappropriate, so awesome. If, in the same breath, I mention that he also called a “mean kid at school” a “ball sack” you might think differently of him again. But I tell you, he is an angel. An angel who has a way with words way beyond his age.
Being married is a whole lot like a carnival. Caramel apples, merry-go-rounds, and the House of Horror. A crazy tooth-less Carni super-imposed by a lovely plump lady in a polka-dotted dress. Sun shining “this is the best day of my life” while a midget is stealing your wallet.