I have marsupial instincts.
My half-filled purse contains an umbrealla, two novels, a Camille Paglia book, bottled water, five parking tickets from Cincinnati, a large tub of petroleum jelly, eleven inkpens, seven teabags, hair wax (for blondes... it was cheaper), a package of cashews, mace, and my journal... always my journal.
Four hours ago there was an empty bottle of white wine hiding at the bottom, but it has been properly disposed of.
Today I woke up, took a proper bubble bath (this involved a 1927 Kohler claw-foot tub, multiple candles, Gershwin, and two hours of perfect bliss), and sat down to chat with Shawn before drying my hair. When I came back to the computer, I found that my father had taken it over. I opened my mouth, drew a breath... and thought better of it. He turned around, burning me with his eyes.
I feel a little sorry for the man, living with four women.
I knew that disturbing him would cause much more trouble than it was worth. And I needed to dispose of the bottle.
I flipped through the tapes in my car. Tilt... oh, yes. Very fitting. Windows rolled down... February chill and long hair be damned!
"Here I am, still intact. And I should give myself credit for that... But I have cast a stone deep into my throat."
To Kroger... One pound of pesticide-y strawberries. To Mapco... One pound of freshly-washed strawberries. To the cemetery.
I don't consider myself to be a morbid person, and cemeteries don't get me off like that. Still, they are wooded and full of delicious silence. And this cemetery is special. It's 200 years old, very well-hidden, and it overlooks a lovely pond. Besides, the living frighten me more than the dead do.
I lean against a crypt, sucking strawberries and studying the pond. A perfect birch is wavily reflected on its murky surface. It makes me think of fractals. I imagine myself as a fragment of something living and breathing and infinite. The water, the quiet, my familiar cardigan, the strawberry juice on my tongue... these things pacify me. I lay back, head on my purse. The sky is so huge. I feel it sucking the cynicism from my gaping mouth. My eyes are full of everything and nothing and a palpable sliver of now. I laugh...
With a sudden burst of childlike enthusiasm, I tear a page from my journal and draw... Soon the page is an unconvincing treasure map.
Happiness lies HERE.
To my great surprise, when I threw the bottle, it made a perfect arc and KER-SPLASHED exactly where I wanted it. The birch's image shattered and danced and came back together, proving that it was as resiliant as I am.
So I disposed of the wine bottle. And I think I disposed of my reasons for drinking alone at home on a Saturday night...