I am the happiest woman on the face of the earth.
Before you start to think I'm one of those promotional video characters, you should get to know me. Rather, you should listen to the events of my life, because there's a big difference. I am not what has happened to me. But I digress...
I've never been able to do things the "normal" way. My parents divorced when I and my siblings were young, and we were raised by our Dad. For being a weirdo himself, he sure spent a lot of time trying to tell me how to be normal. "Go back upstairs and change, you're dressed like a bag lady." "That fantasy stuff's gonna rot your brain." "As long as you're under my roof, you'll eat meat like the rest of us." "Go put on a shorter skirt, we're not Pentecostal in this house." So, of course, being the obedient (ha!) daughter I was, I changed my clothes, ate meat, parted my hair in the middle, and counted the days until I was 18 and out on my own. And, once I turned 18... I became a teenager!
I took to wearing all black, I shaved my head, and became a vegetarian. Of course, my Dad's fear that I would become Pentecostal never came to fruition... I took up Wicca instead. I did everything except for drugs, even started dating girls. I finally started to learn about life.
When I met the man I would eventually marry, it was because my friend had told him I was a lesbian vampire (which I wasn't... a vampire, anyway, and as it would turn out, lesbian, either). We had an open relationship (he could sleep with whoever he wanted as long as I could join in or hold the camera). And slowly, eventually, I began to "normal" out, but this time not because I was told to, but because I began to learn what I liked. Turns out, I enjoy cooking, and sewing, and even though I'm still a weirdo and write fantasy and listen to ICP, I have hair and had a wonderful husband who I made feel like Emperor of the world every day.
I had tried the desk job thing, and learned that I hated it beyond all rational hatred, and missed the comeraderie and hard work I felt in a simple, minimum wage fast food job. You know, the kind of job everyone tells you you have to get out of, or it will suck your soul. Believe me... the desk job is worse. At least when you're sweating like a pig in the middle of a rush period with five other people who are also sweating like pigs, and your adrenaline is high and you're perfectly in sync with one another, and of course you aren't really accomplishing anything except for feeding greedy, lazy people who feel so guilty they're taking time out of their important lives to do something as unimportant as eat that they feel they have to take it out on you because they've waited a whole ten minutes for their order, but still, you're sweating together and working together, you're a team, and when it's all said and done, you may have been yelling at eachother for the last 8 hours, but those doors get locked and everyone cheers and sighs and takes a drink of soda, and the world stops spinning and you spend the next hour getting the grime off of everything... I'm sorry, look down on me if you must, but THAT is a job. Not sitting behind a desk for hours sorting papers that will never be looked at and listening to your coworker prattle on for hours about the new sweater she bought for her chihuahua or how she's going to get her stomach stapled.
I loved my husband more than my own life. I never let him forget it. I worshipped him. Every moment I was with him, he knew how much I loved him. My worst fear was being separated from him. This fear caused me to treat every day like it was our last together. Just in case.
My husband and I had compromised: we would have one child, as long as it was just one. I wanted children, he had three already (he wasn't raising them). So, one. And I stopped taking the birth control. And years went by. And still no child. I went to a circle, and we were supposed to put our worst fear into the cauldron to be burned. My little piece of paper with the word "infertility" written on it went up in smoke, curled up into lazy black ashes. And someone suggested a book, which suggested a tea, which I bought but never drank, and I made myself leave that fear behind. One month later, we had conceived my son.
I can never do anything normal. I had a home birth. Oh, I'm one of those know-it-all moms who has read all the books and researched all the websites and has do to everything all natural. Except for the cloth diapers. Try it for a day, and you'll agree. But where was I? Oh, yes, giving birth on my living room couch, with my midwife and her assistant holding my legs, and my husband pressing the small of my back with his hand, his deep blue eyes staring straight into mine as I did the one thing I had always wanted to do before I died. And one burning moment later, and there he was, on my chest, umbilical cord attached, blue fuzz (from the towels) and gunk all over him, feeling so strange to me at first, like a christmas present I had just opened. And then he was mine, all mine. And I was no longer afraid of my own death. But I became terrified of his.
One week later, my husband was taken from me. Someone had accused him of a crime he didn't commit... I don't care how hungry or pathetic children look, never allow them into your home. Yes, it has come to that. Three months later, he was found guilty and given five life sentences. Because children are easily frightened, and the state's got bills to pay. My worst fear. But... strangely, I'm not afraid.
It could be the little guy lying on my lap, suckling. I'm pretty sure he's a big part of it. It could also be all that time I spent letting my husband know he meant the world to me, all those wonderful years when I knew it would all end one day, and I'd better make the most of it. It could be that movie I used to watch, over and over, when I was a teenager, the one where those guys made soap out of lyposuction fat and that man blew up the apartment that contained all the stuff he had collected over the years.
The house in which we were going to be a family now lies vacant, looted, I'm sure, somewhere north of here. From that place I have only my beautiful son, his car seat, and as many of his clothes as I could fit into a diaper bag. I live in my Mom's spare room, suckling my child as I type this, waiting for those welfare people to call me back, so I can take him in to get the last of his booster shots, and so I can maybe get some help buying groceries. I make ten dollars a night babysitting another woman's kids, less than minimum wage. Am I poor? Am I alone? Have I hit the bottom?
HA!!! I've never been better! I'm safe, I have my son, I'm fed and clothed, and, best of all... I'm happy! Yes, yes, there are still worries in life, still stuff I have to deal with, still grime to clean up. But I feel free. I feel good, I feel closer to my husband (who I write daily) than I've ever been before, and I'm doing two of my favorite things in the whole world: suckling my son, and talking about him. As long as he sleeps in my lap, I'm the richest woman in the world. I can wear hand-me-down clothes and never really own a thing in my life until my funeral, for all I care.
If I died right now, what would I wish I had done? Exactly what I'm doing now.
I am the happiest woman on the face of the earth.