Listen on Anchor
“Beginnings.” It was the new theme for a new year. A new theme for a renewal and a night of writing. It was the concept that I just wasn’t quite ready for, even though I wanted to be ready for a new beginning. All day, all weekend, all year, These last five days and the year before it, all 365 of those.
A new beginning that’s what I really yearn for.
And Here I was stuck on anything but a beginning, all day. The Last Day of this particular week with my children, I was full up with their time. I was full up with their need for attention. And yet I already regretted they would depart soon for another week.
A new beginning would mean that I would have time to restart, through the week. When they weren’t here and the minute they left, a new beginning of loneliness, loss, regrets and self-indulgent sorrow.
That’s what I would experience.
That’s what I experienced every other week when they left.
A few years back, I lost half of the rest of their childhood. My time with them that is.
They still have their childhood. I have my children seven days on and seven days off.
I only have half of the remainder, and I don’t really know how to live with that, the other half gone. I simply try to work on myself, move forward, create momentum, build a better life, build a new beginning.
This evening, the first of their departure like many others like it, is always a tug at my heart, A challenge, A depression. I ate too much, I snacked too much.
I watched Lethal Weapon 3 the one that ends in vengeance. Lethal Weapon with a vengeance?… No, it is not lethal weapon at all. It’s Die Hard with a Vengeance. I’m getting my series confused as I try to think of a new beginning.
Watching Detective McClain and the Good Samaritan defeat the bad guy… It did lift my spirits. That and too many chips ahoy cookies dipped in Almond Milk with vanilla flavoring.
And then I finally felt some sort of equilibrium. I Went to bed on time. It wasn’t quite comfortable in bed. So I got a heat pad out and reminded myself of an old trick from a few years back, a heat pad relaxes my shoulders just a little and lets the tension, loosen up.
As I lie there, the muscles in my shoulders quivered in a way that if I’d been lying on a skateboard I would have ollied up a couple of inches or two with the movement. It felt goooood, just to let go that tension that anxiety and all that stress.
A new beginning as my new cat walked into the bedroom. And climbed up on a footstool near the window. And proceeded to bat, at the string of the venetian blinds, and bat at the wooden blinds themselves, BANGing them over and over and over again.
What does she need? Does she need attention?
This is her new thing some new kind of signal. What in the world does this signal mean?
It’s loud. I’m tired. I’m zoned out. I’m relaxed. I’m ready for sleep. I’m listening to meditation music with earbuds, and the cat is banging, RAT-A-TAT-TAT, TATTING on the venetian blinds. I reach for my cell phone, I turn on the flash light. I make noises. I tell the cat to stop. The Marvelous Mrs Mrph Mrph continues.
Fred sits next to the footstool. Fred is a reedy plant of about four feet tall. Fred sits in a pot of dirt. Probably holds four or five gallons of dirt. I’m thinking four after watching Detective McClain fight off the terrorists, when he had to defeat the elephant-fountain, mind bender. The one where he had to figure out how to get four gallons of water with a three gallon and a five gallon jug.
And he just about does it. And even then I had to pause the movie and recalculate it in my head. I have figured out this trick before but it’s a new beginning and who knows, someday I might need to know how to get four gallons out of a three gallon and five gallon jug too.
And Fred sits in a four gallon pot full of dirt, and suddenly!, I realize that the cat too is sitting in Fred’s four gallons of dirt And The cat is digging and the cat is squatting and all of a sudden there a new beginning in the air.
It’s a stench. It’s a cat’s stench. And I hear the flatulence sounds of a cat and
I think, “Oh shit”.
Deep sigh I get up. It’s not the cat’s fault. It’s a new cat. I haven’t figured out how to train the cat to go in the litter box, sitting pristinely in the other room.
It’s a new beginning, and this cat doesn’t know what a litter box is, but I keep trying but not tonight.
Tonight I have a stinky plant named Fred sitting in four gallons of dirt with something on top.
I turn on the light and I let the cat outside. It’s ALL too obvious what the rat-a-tat-tatting on the venetian blinds was all about.
The room smells like a cat can only make it smell, when there’s no kitty litter to defuse the odor. I don’t have a pooper scooper for such things so I get a plastic hanger from Old Navy hanging in the laundry room.
I scrape at the dirt because the cat had managed to clean or cover or dust off or dust over something. I think.
It smells like there should be a substantial amount of something there. But as I dust around with plastic hanger I’m not really finding any clumps of anything to pull out. I sort of find clumps, what it is. I don’t know if it’s dried up dirt or what.
And I think to myself a new beginning is what I needed when I added plant sticks to my shopping list for Walmart earlier in the day, nitrogen food for the plant.
And now the plants got something else. Maybe it’s better. Maybe it’s toxic, maybe it’s worse, but it sure does smell. And I’m not going to be able to sleep in this room if this continues. So I step into the bathroom and I grab the vestiges of the chips of sage left from my ex-girlfriend’s smudging bundle that she would burn on a regular basis.
And I light it up and it’s smoldering and I’m smudging essentially around the bedroom trying to get the smell to die away.
And it’s not quite working so I grab the Lysol and think,
“Well you know, The room will smell like Lysol. What the hell. I was in high school once and I learned how to huff Glade. I don’t really want to do that now in my mid 40s but it sure beats huffing Mrs. Mrph Mrph’s Flatulence.
This isn’t quite the Zenned out new beginning, I thought would start my week when I was relaxing on the heat pad.
But it IS the new week I hope I get now, as I relax on the heat pad again now and as I recite this into a voice recorder so I can transcribe my new beginning, tomorrow.