Tuesday, August 10, 2010

15 days.

15 days.

It’s been 15 days and there’s no sign of it. And with no rescue squad sent in to search. Believe as you may this surprise never comes at a good time. Not for anyone ever.

I’m late. You can be late for dinner, late for appointments, even late to bed. No one cares if you’re belated for a birthday. Tardy for work occasionally won’t make a life altering change. But you can’t be for this.

It’s fifteen minutes after twelve on Sunday when I realize, there it wasn’t. After shuffling around children to morning birthday parties at a strange oversized mouse’s house with freakish companions, I’m at the salon rescheduling my nail appointment with Drea. When it isn’t there. Five days late. Right between my nail appointment and his parent’s anniversary dinner.  The noticeable nothing that you’ve got circled in red on the calendar, without a second thought or glance. Clockwork. And it isn’t anywhere to be seen. Drea doesn’t care that I’m tardy and she says she’ll take me right now. I apologize for the last minute birthday parties and tell her next week on Tuesday. She says that works and to enjoy that leftover piece of chocolate cake for her. I smile and laugh. Five more minutes have passed by and I’m even later.

“We’re going to….” The words trail off. He tells me that we’re going to have to sell the old washer and dryer while we are standing in the kitchen on Monday morning. As he tells me about the mismatched socks stuck under the machine my mind wanders. Thinks about his young son that visits on the weekends. Wondering if I can do this if forced to make a choice. He’s still talking about random nothing. It’s the first chance we’ve been able to be alone together for more than thirty minutes since Friday morning. He tells me that the mail man delivers at Noon everyday. I know that’s not true. He delivers promptly at 1:20 pm everyday. Today I’m six days late.  He passes the sugar and I simply set it aside with a smile and let him keep talking. His voice makes a sound that comforts my nerves and I don’t feel overwhelmed after he speaks. I wonder if this is enough of a reason to make that choice.  I keep sipping my tea as he kisses my forehead and promises to be home by five.

Your parent’s may have called it a mistake. Most people call anything unplanned a mistake. That little plus sign on the test that you aren’t ready to take when you can’t see it coming.

Two weeks and no sign of reprieve. In front of the execution squad and no sign of blood.

That Wednesday also known as eight days late I found myself picking up Chinese take out for the retirement party at the office. The fortune cookie reads: you will smile with winning colors in the face of a difficult decision. What color should I paint the kitchen? Crème or a pale Olive. I’m flipping through several brochures of paint swatches when I probably should be reading a Women’s Circle magazine for advice about this overdue problem that I haven’t bothered to confirm or deny. Maybe I should think about a vacation to Finland?

360 hours. Community service moves quicker than this. I’m living a jail sentence that hasn’t been overturned. Caged like an animal on the verge of release. Two weeks and one day late. One day for good measure. It isn’t anyone’s fault. Things just happen. No surprises. No accusations.

Ten days late brings the wonder and amazement of the unexpected. I’m thirty-two minutes early for a 9 o’clock train. Despite rush hour traffic it’s going to arrive approximately ten minutes early and depart five minutes later. There’s a man called Murphy and he has a law that states anything that can go wrong will go wrong. It’s not that the world wants you to fail. It’s simply reminding you of the ultimate unknown. Three miles into the commute the train has a delay. It can’t be happening. But it is. You plan and prepare. Take all the necessary precautions. But there’s that X-factor. The plunge of not being able to stop a mistake and accepting that on some level it may keep happening.  There’s no manual on preparing for the unexpected. No matter how many which ways you could prepare it, something unknown can happen. The train arrives thirteen minutes late at my destination and somehow I’m still on time for work.

A thousand different questions enter the mind… will I be good at this when I was so bad at starting out? How could I not notice something so routine? Three becomes five becomes seven then nine, until you’ve reached an aching feeling and thinking that it’s impossible.

Eleven days late and I can’t help but wonder if I’m doing the right thing by taking a test. I’ve consulted my friend Holly who has had to take at least six of these tests without wondering what the result will be. She wants us to go to the store. I can’t bring myself to stop pouring shots of tequila and not drinking them. It’s the one time you hope to be early. And you aren’t. So there’s no way of knowing until you do it. Take the test that can’t be passed or failed because it only confirms that you are or are not. Then there’s the sinking feeling as you spend thirty-five minutes in CVS with your drunken best friend picking out the proper test. Cheap isn’t a good idea. There really isn’t room for error. In the end Holly is too loud and I’m not ready to take a test but I grab three anyway. HPT. EPT. FRT. I will be soon.

Another day late. This one is number 12. I’m visiting this uber chic store called the Stork after briefly reading the script for Rosemary’s baby on my Kindle. Brandon is the name of the sales clerk. I can’t remember anything about nursery rhymes and Amelia has sent out the invitations with instructions of a themed gift. I ask for the registry and Brandon informs me there is none. I level with him that me and this type of place aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. Brandon tells me not worry and to have a seat. I find a rocking chair and pull out my read. The part of mother suits Rosemary and somehow the chair feels comfortable. I still don’t know how I feel about taking the test. Maybe my choice has already been made and I won’t have to. It’s been thirty minutes when Brandon hands me a basket bigger than my head overflowing with tiny human clothing and accoutrements. I sign the slip for $230. Somehow this appeases my guilt.

13 days late. Knocked up sounds like a bad country song waiting to happen. Minus the deadbeat man and missing tooth runaway. I’m sure that I’m overreacting. I want to go to back to bed and cry myself to sleep but I don’t. I get up and go to work business as usual.

Every time I watch the children at the zoo I can’t help but wonder if that one day I’ll have one. It’s a thought that crosses everyone’s mind. There’s this memory I have of my mother when I was a teenager. She was a school nurse and liked to talk things out as often as possible. I can remember the first time it happened. She told me, “It’s ok to be scared. We are all scared when it happens the first time. But don’t give into that fear. It will be fine. You can’t stop this from happening. It will be ok.” I can remember smiling and feeling so very warm in the pit of my stomach as she hugged me.

It’s been 15 days and as much as I want to backtrack and retrace those lost moments before it happened I can’t. It’s ok to not know. I can handle this either way. There are thirteen children in our building. One more won’t hurt. He’s an excellent father on the weekends. Maybe he’ll make a great one everyday. I can’t help but think that this is possible as I pass the children playing in the park. Up and down the slide they go. In and out of the imaginary fortress of rainbows. I keep walking through and soaking up the sounds of laughter. Because there it is. 15 days late. My mind is free and relieved as it arrives. The choice has already been made even if I don’t know what it is. It’s sitting on the counter in the bathroom. I had to get some air in those ten minutes of not knowing. Preparing myself for the one thing I couldn’t change. And now I have the answer. Three blocks from the apartment before going back into the building I know that this little thing changes everything including how I feel about the unknown.

15 days. New. Different. Channeling… attempting to.  I can’t help but continue to try and push the REAL envelope. Actors feel out of the box, why not write that way? These things are not what I would have seen myself writing about a year ago. At any rate this is because my loaded mind is full of ideas and not knowing where they will end up. So… I’ve jumped full-fledged into this larger undertaking for the next 15 days. It’s a deadline that feels more possible than ever. Absolutely loving it! There will be new... as much as possible. More about it all later… back to writing. Enjoy. m.

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