Sunday, November 16, 2008

Just out of reach

There's a reason I don't drink very often these days. Especially when I'm alone.

More often than not it ends up the way tonight did...with me sobbing on the bathroom floor and sitting here at my keyboard shaking.

It all started with a fucking cake.

A Winnie the Pooh cake. The last time I made a Pooh cake was for my boy's 3rd birthday. That was the last one his daddy was here for.

I guess it wasn't just the cake. Who knows, I've been dreaming of him I lot lately, nearly every night over the past few months. It makes it awfully hard to go about the business of living. And I must admit, the pint of whiskey I've consumed tonight makes it awfully hard to go about the business of typing.

It's been eight years. It shouldn't be so fresh, shouldn't still hurt so do damn much.

You would think that anyway.

Yet every time I close my eyes, I can see that trailer, feel myself standing at that stove cooking his dinner, putting my hair up for work in that bathroom — the bathroom he died in. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday, like I've just woken from a dream and have no real comprehension as to how I got here...other times it feels like an entire world away, another life that only exists in my mind.

Tonight was just my own stupid fault. I haven't drank in a few months and decided I wanted to do the cake decorating (for my best friend's son's first birthday) old-school style, meaning I'd drink heavily while decorating the cake.

I know it sounds crazy, but cake decorating is much more fun when drunk. The combination really got me through the year or so immediately following his death. I'd get completely trashed while baking and decorating 4-tier wedding cakes. It was a sort of therapy — it gave me something to focus on while I ignored the ache in my heart, trying my best to drown it with Crown.

As depressing as it may sound, those were some good times. Several friends would be over at the house, my kitchen homey and warm as I baked and decorated and drank.

My mom came over tonight. She drank her vodka as I shot down my whiskey. I really enjoyed myself.

Right up until she left and I found myself alone — standing in our kitchen every time I closed my eyes, waiting for him to come home from work.

It's times like these that threaten to drive me crazy. I can close my eyes and see everything just as it was. I am aware of his scent and sense him standing just behind me, just out of reach. And no, this isn't merely the result of consuming too much alcohol...it still happens when I'm completely sober. I just have a much harder time pushing it to the back of my mind when I'm intoxicated.

So there I am tonight, the cakes finished, my mother gone home, the pint empty....my husband and son had gone to bed hours beforehand and suddenly it hit — the racking, silent sobs that leave me in a helpless pile on the bathroom floor.

I close my eyes and am heart-broken because my soul's sight is filled with what once was...I open them, and I'm angry at the world surrounding me — one I barely recognize as the one in which I belong.

I can hear Dr. Hook from the other room...

"Sometimes I still think about you
Sometimes I wish that you'd call
And sometimes I feel like
You're lying here with me
And it's still the sweetest of all"


...and I crumble, my heart and mind trapped in a time that is no more yet refuses to recede into the past.

I hug the toilet, urging myself to puke...it's gotta be the alcohol — that's why my heart is racing and I can't seem to catch my breath, the knot in my chest growing tighter every time I blink, seeing his face...just out of reach.

But I haven't drank enough to be sick...and I certainly haven't drank enough to not remember it in the morning.

No, I've drank just enough to open the flood gates...but not nearly enough to ease the pain the inundation causes.

I am trapped between that which was, that which is and that which awaits me in eternity — intermingled...a giant clusterfuck of all I've ever loved, my only sense of home. It alludes me, always just out of reach...the memory of it haunts me, the promise of it taunting me, as I cry out to God, "please, just let me have him back!"

3 comments:

  1. Never met him, but I know what he'd say.

    "I loved you. I still love you. And we're inside each other all the time."

    and

    "Where is the joy? Find the joy. Would you give up having known me, to lose the pain? If not, then find the joy. There I am. All the time."

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  2. Thank you. I really needed to hear that.

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  3. Sometimes we forget that, it wouldn't be possible to feel such pain if the joy weren't there.

    The joy is still there. He's in you, in your child.

    It's not the same, I know. Of course, it never is.

    I cry with you.

    But is it fair to choose to live in the dark, because your favorite light is gone?

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