Each year that passes, I like to think that I’ve grown at least an opening moment or two. I ask myself if I’ve expanded or constricted. Have I stepped out into the world or stayed, cocooned, in my cozy atmosphere of safety. If I could I would stay in the same place, content. But I know that the thing that will turn the trick has to do with me getting out into the messy, wild environment far beyond my comfort zone, far beyond my familiar. I’ve always struggled with stretching myself. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with what I dream myself to be and who I really am. All I know is that, when I push myself—out into the world—although it may feel fucked up for many moments, in the end I see myself as larger and more open. I reflect on a version of me that is who I think I really am. Beyond the fear and the anxiety and the trepidation, if I remember that the way to get there is to go through, I’m good. And each year that I grow twelve months older I can look back and say I did the best I can and that, more than anything else, is enough.
Here’s To Another Glorious Year,
The Birthday Girl
Sometimes on Saturday, after a leisurely, cuddly morning spent whispering sweet Happy Birthdays into our mother’s ear, we like to think upon the wonder of her. The way she surprises us with our beloved Greenies after our 6:30 AM morning poopie walks. The way she says “Hey Sweet Pea!” every time we turn a corner and see her standing there. The way she rubs our tummy and massages our back and fiddles with our ears in a way that makes us turn to puddy. The way she breaks up little pieces of roasted turkey into our evening meal, knowing that if we had one thing to survive on, it would be roasted turkey. The way she pets us and whispers loveliness into our ears. The way she takes us on endless walks, all the while telling us we are her good boy and that she likes the way we prance along. There are all these ways that she shows us that she loves us but what she doesn’t know is that we wake up in the morning eager to see her face and we fall asleep in the night time remembering the way she gently told us how special we are as she tucks us in for sweet dreams.
Life Can Be So Good,
Greg of the Most Grateful
848. When the person in front of you holding the door is fifty million miles away and just stands there waiting for you to sprint in all your sweaty glory and take the door handle while you say, breathlessly, Thanks.
849. Hospital socks
850. 4:40 AM urinations
In this scene, the petite actress prepares to strap her nine hundred pound cooler onto her back, before embarking on her nine thousand mile journey along the Pacific Coast, wearing hiking boots that are nine million sizes too small.
Not that I’d ever share this with anyone but I get a sort of vervey thrill from The Aftermath. It’s like I am Chuck Yeager and it is the sound barrier and I am going to break that mother fucker, with ease.
I go about things in a diabolically organized and mindful way. Overseeing the damage with a calm heart and then deciding where I need to start chipping away, because that is where all the rest of it will follow—digging each dessert plate our from under giant platters.
The layers of dishes and napkins and water pitchers and silverware and plates are simply remnants and reminders that my guests had fun. So, as I dive in with my serious cleaning face on, I dismember each and every pile that has been created, remembering that NO MATTER HOW MUCH LAST MINUTE MARTHA STEWART STEPHEN HAWKING PLANNING YOU DO everything goes to hell in a hand basket in the last four minutes before the feast is served. There is no way around this.
And so, as I gird my loins for the battle that I am about to fight, I like to whisper in my ear that it’s all done for a good cause and as the warm water flows over my shriveled up hands I say a little prayer that the mountain of The Aftermath just represents the amount of fun all the players had.
Keep On Scrubbin’
Deidre the Dishwasher