It doesn't matter that we knew this would be hard. I get sick of saying all the time, "This is the way things go." I want to throw a fit. I want to break in after midnight and bash up all the glass. I want to run wild.
I used to surround myself with sickness, or maybe it's just that all young people are sick. Maybe the condition of youth in itself is an ailment.
I lived with a shitty photograph of a person, once. That really happened, it wasn't just a made up story in head even though it seems that way. I woke up drunk in a freezing bathtub. My arms and legs were numb.
I walked in on him, standing naked in an open doorway. He didn't know I was there and I didn't clear my throat or toss my keys onto the counter top. I just stood there looking at how ugly he was and thinking about how much I hated him. It went on that way for years. I know what I saw and no amount of table flipping could scare me out of it. I didn't just find him to be boring or stupid or worthless. I hated him with such clarity and purpose that I ended up clinging to that hate and needing it. It was real when the way I hated my personal history was scratched and dented all over with love.
It isn't hard to do this, to wake up every morning a part of the world's most perfect and beautiful family. It isn't hard to love my kids. It's not even hard to shop for groceries with those songs on the pa system. To conduct business and say Thank you very much. It's not even hard to wake up at night and fumble around in the dark for a pacifier. It's not hard because my children have breath and they think and believe things. They ask me questions like, "Why is rock and roll the best thing ever?" Their little faces are shaped like hearts. They have these big dark eyes and you can see forever inside of them.
But it is hard, too.
It's way harder than hating everything and everybody.
It's way harder than giving up every morning.
Sometimes people act like they have a reputation for trouble and I don't believe them. I don't believe that I couldn't out-trouble them if I needed to. It's just that, I'd rather have the grass tall all around me and my one year old passed out against me, sticky with sweat. I'd rather kiss her head and taste the salt, hold her fat little foot in my palm and exhale. I'd rather be calmed down by my husband, a baby on his hip and a little redhead skipping around us yelling, "Daddy, daddy, daddy."
I want to fall apart and drive our old car much too fast. I want live on the highway between the town and the city, like we used to, my bare feet on the dash, fingering a tiny rubber band in my pocket. Instead, I wipe the dust from the floorboards with my finger. I pick cereal and peas from the soles of my feet. So, I'm a scrappy little underdog with a chance at happiness and not a big shot at fucking up and making everybody turn their head.
I forget what I was saying. Is it easier this way or harder? Maybe it's both and mostly it doesn't matter. I have everything people want. My life is brimming with love. Sometimes I'm even brave. Sometimes I understand that the reason you get through all the rejection letters is because what else are you going to do? Just not try and pay off your house and die someday?