I empty drawers of other summers, Where my shadows used to be
Last night, as I was contemplating what word to play in a Scrabble game on Facebook, an instant message popped up from an old friend.
"How's your summer?" he asked.
After a moment I typed back, "It's been...weird. How about you?"
He told me about a summer trip and I chatted with him, amicably, about the Ozarks.
I did not mention that grief had run over my soul and my summer like a freight train.
Facebook is nice, in that it can connect with old friends from your past.
But in my head, this old friend is still a boy who took me to a dance in a silly purple dress, and who stayed up all night, once, helping me study for a test.
And in his head, I am certain, I am still that girl in that purple dress, who had nothing more to worry about than what grade she was going to get on her World Geography exam.
Maybe the girl in the purple dress is still in here, somewhere. If she is, she is buried under a mountain of black fabric.
I should have taken some time off after J~ died. It wasn't practical, or possible, really.
When your boss dies, even if he happens to be family, it's not really feasible to walk away from work.
Last night, at the dinner table, my husband made me laugh. Actually, it was a combination of my husband and my cat, but the laughter poured out of me like water.
It felt good to laugh like that - to laugh at something real.
I've been watching a lot of funny television (a friend recommend Hot in Cleveland, which is hilarious.) And a few weeks ago, Husband and I went to a comedy club in Cleveland to see a very funny guy.
So, I won't say I haven't been laughing, because I have been. I have been actively seeking out things that will make me laugh.
But the spontaneous laughter, at the antics of Husband and our small auxiliary cat, it's been a while since I laughed like that.
It felt good. I wish I could say that it washed the grief from my soul. Maybe it did, a little bit.
But the truth is that I am still not okay.
I became furious with my sister the other day. The thing my sister did was, probably, infuriating, but my reaction to the thing that she did was out of proportion to her action.
I've yelled at Husband for things that are not his fault.
I said something to a defendant in court the other day that was...cruel. The thing that I said was true, but I was cruel, deliberately cruel. As it came out of my mouth, I knew that the thing I said would have made J~ upset with me. It was not something he would have ever done. I had to excuse myself and I walked into the ladies' room for a few minutes. When I returned, I apologized, to the defendant, to the judge, to the judge's clerk. The settlement conference continued. As I was leaving the courtroom, the judge touched my arm. "We all know what you've lost," she said. She was kind to me when I had just been wretched in front of her. Her kindness in that moment was invaluable.
All of these instances, taken together, and it dawns on me that I am angry.
Angry at the universe and the circumstances and the cancer and the doctors. Angry, maybe a little, with J~ himself. Is it wrong to be angry with him for leaving us?
I don't know. I don't have any answers. All I know is the only way to go from here is up. Because what is down a crater of anger and despair and I don't think that is good place to spend what's left of the summer.
*Counting Crows, Hard Candy