15 years ago, i lived the alternate universe i referenced in my last post (“requiem for a dream”). i was on a tv series, engaged to the love of my life and, surpassing every other blessing, i was strong, fit and healthy. unchained. health was a gift i blissfully took for granted. yup. although i have taken medication, every day, twice a day, for nearly 28 years, there was a period when it became as rote as pouring a daily cup of java.
there was no wrong side of the bed for me. go. go. go.
feet up on desk, phone cord twirled between fingers, i glanced down and giggled with my friend, m. it was 3 pm, and i was still wearing my pajamas. a rare “off” day; breezy, lazy. delicious. “oh, i love pajama days!”, m exclaimed.
[“ah, the times, how they are a changin’ ”]
yesterday, i racked up another notch in a seemingly, unending parade of pajama days.
[f “the pajama game”; the only musical i can relate to is “les miserables”]
it’s a good day now when i’m up, dressed, have made the bed with potential for more. i know it and k knows it. “oh, you’re still in your pajamas”, poking his head in between shoots. his voice dropped. and so did my heart.
can getting dressed be perceived as an accomplishment? my inability to achieve it felt like a wet blanket thrown over a smoldering fire. sizzling embers smothered; wafting away into thin tufts of smoke…
irritatingly swollen, dragging a leaden heart, i picked a fight and we went our separate ways; albeit not exactly across town. more like across the house.
and then i saw it. a pile of folded laundry.
yesterday, the academy award nominations were announced. unsurprisingly, mo’nique was nominated for her astounding performance in “precious”. strange delight. for not only has k taken her headshots, but shot her wedding a few years back. then, surprisingly, there’s jeremy renner. nominated for best actor, he continually impressed me in my acting class. always solid. big on risks and truth.
and both, genuine, lovely souls.
so in a bizarre twist, the academy awards were personalized. and due to my uninvited, early pseudo-retirement from the biz, my mind flittered to that “wow” place. “why not me?”.
what is that saying? “how do you make god laugh? make a plan?”. whatever you believe in, if you are fortunate enough to have lived to age 41, it’s a safe bet you’ve had a couple of dreams turned nightmare; the odd hope or two, dashed.
there’s a reason I never learned to drive standard. because shifting gears is hard. and because I never had to learn. but when you, not so suddenly, find yourself in a place, endless miles away from where you set out to be, you look for the cliff notes.
but this crash course in “how to deal”, does not come cheap. or easy. or quick.
fits and starts.
[“it stalled in fourth!”]
yeah, this achy-breaky heart cracked open. and fell water droplets as notes. my off-key wailings surely comedic, as I threw myself into k’s arms. but soon, this foot- stomping, blubbery lass was a puddle of giggles and sighs. and like the flick of a dying zippo, my hot envy was gone. puft.
for that pile of folded laundry was surely something more.
the deterioration of my kidney seems to parallel the erosion of my capabilities. and one of the final places from whence I drag some self-esteem is domesticity. the shopping and the cleaning and the cooking.
and the laundry.
so when k folded the laundry in 2 seconds flat, it stirred in me those voices we repel. “god, you can’t even do THAT?”… “loser”…”pull yourself together”…
but he was only trying to help. knowing it was pajama day 236, the last thing he was trying to do, was downsize my currently abbreviated skill set. he was trying to help. to give me relief, aid, understanding.
prized gifts, these treasures of the heart.
and like a golden mirage, that pile of folded laundry shimmered into a little, gold man.
my very own academy award.