Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Domino Effect

When my brain is in a good mood it's quite lovely. It's not an outrageously good mood. Just a regular good mood. Colors are pleasant. Crowds are manageable. I even hit it lucky and find a couple of blouses to carry me through the Sonoran summer scorch and toast. Just as I bought a lot of sweaters and undershirts in the North, I buy a ton of tops here. Penneys can be a Godsend.

It's spring . It's prom season and heading toward wedding season. An an extended family gathers in the lady's department. The lucky bride, her mother, and her grandmother. It's time to get the dresses for the girls to wear, the bride's younger sister and a young cousin. Girls at the blossoming point of late adolsecence. Limbs and attitude are beginning to come under control. Their future is coming into view. A brief moment of glow in family harmony and excitement.

"How about this one?"
"Oh no, you are not wearing black to my wedding." I'm surprised I want to pipe up, join them, and laugh about bad luck black at a wedding. Feel a little of the fun. It's so unlike me, the socially anxious avoider.

"Ooooh, this is pretty"
"Oh dear," must be grandma there, "you can't go backless in a church." And properly so, I think. The girls accept this and I am pleased. Someone taught them both manners and the ability to learn from their elders. Bravo. Well done.

Grandma pauses over a coral and white seersucker suit. "We used to wear seersucker in summer. It was so nice and cool." A momentary look of horror flashes past the girl's eyes. They really couldn't wear that granny outfit. Oh help! Thankfully mom discovers another option quickly and everyone moves on to the dressing room.

After some looking around, I, too, take my cubicle in the dressing room. I listen to the happy chatter of a family of women at full-fashion tilt.

"Oh, that's darling!"
"What do you think of this color?"
"You must try this on!"

And I'm nearly overcome with the need to giggle but suppress it. I want to thank them. To tell them of my appreciation of their day. I remember the happy times with my own cousins, mother, grandmother, and aunt. The season switches to fall and shopping for school clothes. I go back North. My cousins have arrived from their farm two hours away to the town where I live. Options are overwhelming. Sizes are plentiful. Colors are glorious.

I'm not overly surprised to discover why I need to suppress the giggles. If I giggle I will disolve to tears. The maudlin will take over. It's all over. My family will never be that way again. Those precious moments are gone forever.

I'll never have a family of my own to guide to this important life event. No joy in seeing children of my own grow. Of sharing my own wisdom with daughters. As the tumble continues, I check out fast and head for the car. Be careful not to cry while driving in the city on a Saturday afternoon. Traffic and tears are a deadly mix.

As I head over the 7th street pass and being my descent to Sunnyslope the velocity of sadness increases. It was all his fault. I take no blame for being a pawn in his plan. I didn't know I was a smoke-screen for him to hide behind. I actually believed him when he said I was too nervous to have a child. That I'd be bored as a full-time Mom at home. I fell for it and just as well. No child means no connection with that little episode in my life.

He took it all away with pride in his abiity to deceive. The success of his subtle abuse. My gullibility. He methodically set up each piece to resemble the little step-family I thought I had. Then he ripped away all the trust. My security. My hope. My stepson. He brought it crashing down. Total wipeout.

I keep the tears at bay and get into Walgreen's to pick up that prescription. The medication I suspect would not be so vital without the experience. Or maybe not. So hard to tell with this particular albatross. How could anyone know what I might have gained without him? Or what I gained because of him.

In the late afternoon sun it is all loss and anger. That particular row of dominoes has reached its end. I've safely at home and the anesthesia of television has put an end to the toppling for now. The good day may return tonight. Or tomorrow. I am watchful. I just have to wait.


zirelda said...

I hope your good day returned quite soon. I hate when that happens to me. Everything is good until it is not and then it isn't just not good. It is a spiral.

Hugs lady. And beautifully written.

Unknown said...

Fantastic post, Bookie. I think you've grown so much over the years. That's what you've gained because of him, in spite of him.