For Kafka

Kafka

He was no bigger than her hand and just four weeks old, too young to be properly weaned. She chose him for his rambunctiousness – and for his pink nose that was entirely too big for his face and made her smile. She swaddled him in an old towel, flipped him unwillingly on his back and coaxed the bottle between his tiny, razor-sharp kitten teeth. “How could anyone be so heartless as to drown a litter of helpless kittens,” she thought as her new companion settled into slurping the milky formula. She had wanted a kitten for months, but her boyfriend had convinced her to wait until he moved in. Well, that wasn’t going to happen now, but at least she had the kitten – more dependable than any long-distance romance. They would save each other.

R.I.P
Kafka
March 4, 2001 – December 8, 2014

Volunteer Roses

In the deep recesses of my front garden, I found a few spouts of volunteer roses.  They are covered with mildew, yellow and sickly.  It’s no wonder they haven’t previously poked their heads above ground in the poor, damp, sunless soil hidden behind my landscaping.  No rose could thrive.  My plan, once they are a little bigger, is to dig them up and transplant them into the rose garden in my backyard, where the sun shines bright on rich, fecund soil.   The volunteers will probably lose their leaves and die.  That always happens when I try to move plants to someplace better, the change is too much for them.

The rangy, stunted, forgotten and unloved volunteers in the front yard and their healthy, happy, desired and prolific cousins in the backyard make a noteworthy contrast.  Oh, how creating the right environment can make the difference in successful thriving.

I’ve been talking with my shrink about my childhood upbringing – two parents who didn’t want another baby,  a father who didn’t nurture or encourage me (and, frankly, intimidated and belittled me) and a mother who was too tired, busy, or downtrodden  to offer me the safe harbor and respite I needed from dad’s brutal and unloving parenting.

You know where this is going.  Today, I am the volunteer rose, weakly trying to raise my head towards the sun, but suffering from the consequences of being raised in my detrimental environment.  Will I always be stunted and emotionally rangy?  Is the damage too profound and will any attempt to move me towards a healthier situation cause me to die completely, unable to adjust to the warm sun and fertile soil?  Will I always fail to bloom?

The Next Chapter

I’ve been told that I need to close the chapter of my life that included him.  It may not have a sufficient ending, like an unfinished Franz Kafka story, but I must move on regardless.

So,  I turn the page and I stare at a blank piece of paper. What can I say about the protagonist? She’s emotionally beaten and bruised, weary from her struggles (wary as well).  Cynical?  Yes, but there is a little glimmer of hope that sparks within her still.

What does she do next?  The online dating appears to be going nowhere.  She receives emails almost every day but, the men that seem to have fallen for her live on another coast – or even in another country.  The men that seem mutually compatible fizzle out before the first date.  The ones she sees and say, “maybe perhaps,” don’t respond to her emails.

She needs a diversion.  But what?  Her work, right now, is as disheartening as her love life.  And her hobbies bore her. And her friendships are close to nil. What is her next step?  How does she move on?

Balanced Meal and Mind

After a bout of melancholy that lasted through the weekend and into the new week, I’m feeling okay today (finally by Thursday!).

I think my therapist was a little concerned about how emotionally beaten up I seemed during my visit on Monday.  Heck, I was concerned.  Shouldn’t these drugs have kicked in 100% by now?  Shouldn’t I be walking on sunshine?  Frankly, I’m tired of talking and thinking and dreaming about him.  He’s gone.  I’ve got to get over it and move on with my fabulous life.

I did a little Google research today and I’m starting to wonder if part of this depression isn’t caused by my new limited, limited eating habits.

For me, food has always meant Love and Passion. I feed those I care about.  When I was dating him, eating was our favorite thing to do.  When he left, I lost all interest in food.  I LOVED food – the taste, the texture, the scent.  These days, I drive around aimlessly during lunch just trying to find something to eat that will stop the gnawing in my gut.  Nothing seems to excite me.  It could all be sawdust as much as I care what goes in my mouth.

The upside – and, yes, this IS an upside, I’ve lost 19.5 pounds over the last 3 months.  Just a half-pound to go and I’m done. Down 20 pounds.  I’m in a size 2 – and I’m happy about that, at least.  The body looks good – took a new photo for the online dating site:

The downside – the butt is flat – I just bought a bootie busting DVD so I can find my butt again. I need a butt for my new skinny jeans, right?

But, anyway,  I’ve been eating like crap and I’ve been feeling like crap, so today I had a little something with my breakfast coffee, had my mid-morning chai, ate a lunch with a bit more carbs and I’ve got plans for a good, healthy dinner.

I’m feeling better today – not laughing, light-hearted, Holly Golightly, but I’m also not ready to break into tears at the slightest provocation – or as soon as the therapist’s door closes.  Maybe it’s as simple as starting to eat again.

Days since I’ve contacted my ex:  57

Days since I’ve searched for my ex: 9 (although I did drive by some of his lunch haunts yesterday, but I didn’t stalk and I didn’t go inside)

What I’m grateful for:  Carbs

Packing

Last night, I brought home a heavy cardboard box from work.  In its previous life, it contained the new fuser drum for our copier.  I placed the box on the bare wooden floor of my living room and folded back the flaps so I could peer into the emptiness inside.  On the bottom of the box, I placed Sunday’s old newspaper, carefully folding it to fit snuggly into each corner.  On top of the newspaper, I placed my ex boyfriend, bending his arms and legs as needed to fit.  Around him, I stuffed in our memories.  I fit in the Sigg bottle we used on our second and third dates to surreptitiously drink wine, I added his England sweatshirt he let me borrow, the sweater he gave me at Christmas and my favorite photo of us that sat proudly in my office for over a year.  I squeezed in the dim sum we enjoyed on Sundays, the night I gave him a shower after his sweaty show and his tennis shoe print that is still on my driveway – even after all of this rain.  I folded in his personal ad and poured in his morning smell, as well as our first kiss in the bar, the day he taught me to fly fish, and all the tears I’ve cried these past two months.  I packed it all in until the sides of the box bulged. I folded the flaps down and pushed them together with my knees as tight as I could as I taped the box closed.  One long strip of tape across the length of the box and thee across the other way ensured it was sealed.  I smoothed the tape firmly with my hands and marked the box with a thick sharpie with the word “PAST”.  I wrote the word in large block letters on the top and all four sides.  I lifted the box, heavier than I expected, and took it into the garage.  By stepping on an old chair, I was able to hoist it into the rafters, but I could still see the word “PAST” on the box from my vantage point on the chair.  I grabbed the broom leaning on the wall and used the broom handle to push the box farther and farther back, as far as the broom would reach with me outstretched and on my very tippy toes.  I pushed the box back into the dark corner of the rafters with the thick layers of dust, the black widow webs and the big brown cockroach nests until I could barely see the tip of the box’s corner.  I stepped down from the chair, placed the broom back against the wall, turned off the garage light, locked the door and washed my hands in the kitchen sink.  It would soon be forgotten there.