Sometimes stuck is the main word that comes to mind. Brain all scrambled up and heart full of ice, fetal curl on the kitchen floor on the way to get some breakfast, smoking like it’s candy, like it’s food, like it’s life. Missing contact, arms around, and muscles moving under skin, some very sweet and tender moments now butted up against the agony of yet another major life change, coming so fast now.

Reluctant move to Ohio, home ownership, shitty office job, vitamin sales girl, marriage, debt, bankruptcy, unexpected pregnancy, homebirth living with the in-laws, small apartment on campus, pregnancy, water birth, death in the family, lead paint fiasco with the city, His big long battle with worker’s comp, cancer scare for me, country at war, major car accident, surgery, resentment and anger, yet another move, more anger, no stopping to breathe, the breaking point, the break up, divorce, custody issues (I lose, because I gave so much there is nothing left over, isn’t that cute?) The empty feeling, confusion, anger, anger, anger. Self lost, hibernating, wishing the damn bear would wake up because I could use the muscle.

Sometimes strong and confident, 14 feet tall with a smile like a lighthouse and a thousand or more sincere tee hee’s, Then suddenly “home” in this state I am not fond of, in a house I no longer have keys to, asleep on the floor behind a locked door, wondering if I could use the curtains to get out the second story window if I had to, Hating myself hard for being stupid enough to sign paperwork with out legal representation, Hating myself for being penniless, for giving over my entire financial life over to any man, and now left with no confidence, no job, no education, a handful of skills no one gives a shit about, some words I don’t believe in anymore, a bunch of stupid files, a box of journals, a deep sense of dread, a fuckton of pathetic, intermittent panic attacks debilitating head fucks, chewed fingers, this flabby body stretched out by motherhood and complete lack of interest in my own skin for WAY too long. Wondering where to go, how to feel, how to support myself when the last five years of my life have become invisible. All effort erased by his anger, his manipulation, this guilt because I stopped loving him. Sometimes forgetting it took both of us to arrive at this place, that I did what I needed to do, that we had been going nowhere for a long time, that I was suffocating and so was he but I had to admit it for both of us. How big of me, how fucking noble. And right now, how pointless. It would have been easier to pretend. I did it for years. I was getting good at it.

Trying to hit rewind to the last place where I was happy and why.

Here is what I remember, I was goddamn giddy walking gritty streets teeming with humanity, heads bobbing up and down like ducks on the water, each story, millions of them, a river of words. I occurred to me then that telling these stories is my main purpose here, reporter with forty eyes, ear to the ground. I rode silver bullets guided by electrified metal tracks, got my sea legs on the lurch, sometimes happy to bump into another body. See those eyes so green; one brow raised above a smirk, and out of the corner of his mouth this New York accent. Ate a hotdog while sauntering down the street, dripped bright yellow mustard on the toe of my big black boots, thick in the sole, supple leather that molds itself to the ankle, And I laughed that I was not a badass, but he said, “Yer such a badass you kicked da shit outta someone eatin’ a hotdawg.” We laughed when I swore I would never wash it off because now it was a memory. Later in the rain, I looked down and it was gone. Some things are like that. I remember the park lawn leaving crossed lines on the back of my arms, making my shirt damp, and how when I turned my head there were blades of grass between our noses and we kissed right through them.

Most importantly I felt gorgeous, witty and honest and full of light, not a thing anyone DID for me, just a place I discovered that I had almost snuffed out entirely. I aim to get back there. I kinda missed that woman; she is funny and good, strong and interesting. And she is full of love.

Inner mama says, “Girl, take your vitamins, use your words, get a job, learn to make it on your own, stop bitching around the issue, grieve but don’t fuck yourself with it. And drink some water, you are all kinds of dehydrated. You are not special enough to expect a life with no pain, but you are tough enough to take it, make something out of it, bend and refract it, shake it upside down, kick it in the ass, wash your hands and get your life on.