A Lemony Life

Out of curiosity, I just had a look through my stats to see what has been my most-viewed post–it’s Birth Stories, from nearly two years ago. Of course, I promptly reread it.

The corners of my mouth began to twitch as I read. I’m so me! Isn’t that funny? I was initially merely tickled, then grew more and more pleased with myself. I’d found my voice before the day I wrote those words, the same voice I hear inside my head as I write these words.

But the good cheer faded as I began to mourn that me-who-was. Today-me would be frightening to her. Two years isn’t very long at all, but two weeks can be an eternity.

Ha! Did you see, just there? I made a TTC joke. Kind of.

The past two weeks have taken more of a toll on me and Ian than the past two years. Hell, the past ten years. It has been horrible. And we have at least one more week to go.

I can’t tell you anything because we don’t know anything. At first, no one had any information to give us; now, they’ve simply stopped returning calls. And–just–FUCK!! In some ways, no news is good news, but in others, not so much.

But I’ve digressed myself right on away from the destination I had in mind when I began.

My most viewed post ever, aside from my home page and my about pages, has no comments. Not a single one. I even asked for a hell yeah; no hell yeahs were offered.

It’s not that I value my words any less because they’re missing someone else’s; it just seems odd. I have to wonder: was it something I said? Was it everything I said? Maybe that’s it. I said it all; nothing was left to add.

Or maybe everyone was in a purgatory, like we are right now. It’s hard to pretend that all is well, everything’s fine, perfectly normal when it’s so obviously not. It’s been hard for me to comment, or even like anything. It feels false.

And yet.

Grief and stress and worry are not full time jobs. They’re not clinical depression. There is always a moment to snatch here and there, a moment of something else. It feels wrong when I notice it, as those interludes always do while I’m grieving, but they’re inescapable.

Earlier I read a recipe for some kind of lemon pie or cake or something; it called for ‘lemon rind.’ I considered commenting that they probably mean lemon zest, as the pithy part included in the rind is not so tasty, but I refrained.

I refrained because I had that moment of something else. I was distracted by the word ‘lemon’ itself–it’s so lemony. It’s a good word. It feels silky smooth when you say it, like a perfectly sweetened lemonade. I repeated ‘lemon’ to myself a few times, savoring the taste of the sound. It flows. It’s soft and round and homey. A good word. Solid, but ephemeral.

I caught myself enjoying an imaginary lemon I the midst of our crisis, and it felt wrong. But it felt right. They say to make lemonade. Sometimes all you have is a word.

And yet.

The more things that happen, the less credible I feel. We have two fireproof lockboxes of legal documents and reports and records, and still we obtain more and more and more. We need another lockbox.

When it’s all strewn out across the bed as we search for one particular document, it’s absolutely astounding. The sheer volume of crap we have dealt with in the past five years is unbelievable. I have been here, and I can’t believe it.

I can’t possibly expect anyone else to believe it. No one but us is aware of all of this. As a writer, I would never throw this much at a reader and expect a suspension of disbelief.

I’ll stack our personal headlines up against the state of Florida’s any day, y’all. And Florida is crazy with the headlines.

It’s enough to make me try to remember every wish I made as a child. Birthday candles, wishing wells, shooting stars. What could I possibly have wished for to warrant this? How can this possibly lead to a granted wish?

I don’t really want to know. I don’t ever want to know what other terrible things I have to look forward to. I’ll kick back, secure in the knowledge that I’ll never know the things I do truly want to know. There is a certain kind of bland, tasteless security in knowing this.

I’ll relax, and dream about lemons.