It has been a shitty day here, and my head likes to celebrate shitty days by trying to kill me. Because, really? What better finale could there possibly be?
It’s like the fireworks display on the 4th of July . . .
“There’s some shit. And more explosions of shit. And ooooooh . . . more giant explosions of shit! YAY! This shit is so horrific! Look! More shit! This shit is raining down everywhere!”
And then your brain is numbed to the horror of the exploding shit, and you just sit quietly as the shit sparkles down on you from above. And you think, “OK, that’s not so bad. Look at me! I am dealing with explosions of shit here, and it’s not that bad. I am all strong and powerful!”
And then the shit in your brain begins to explode. A huge sizzling fireworks finale of death and destruction! YAY!
And shit exploding in your brain?
That shit hurts.
So I went to bed for a while.
Now that I am coherent again?
Except not really?
Here I am.
It occurs to me at this moment? That if I had not committed myself to posting every day? I would be much better able to manage the impression you are forming of me. I could just be silent today, and you could imagine that I am out horseback riding! Or making a papier mache piñata!
Or having sex in a hammock.
Yes, you could imagine that I am just too busy with happy other things!
Maybe I need to shut the fuck up once in a while.
My head hurts.
You want to know my best moment ever in a hammock?
It was in Hawaii.
Maj was four and Kallan was two. We were walking along the beach after dinner, headed back to our hotel. The air was warm and filled with the rich heavy scent of plumeria.
Those waxy white flowers, with their heady scent and thick sensual velvet petals . . .
I am not a flower person, but that vacation? Is flower-scented in my memory.
We are walking along the beach. The ocean is gentle in the background. And the sand below our feet is filled with sparkling blue bits of fluorescence. At first, it’s like an illusion . . . how could the sand be glowing blue-green in the darkness? We all bend to scoop up sand and inspect the bits of captured light.
And the light is real.
Some phosphorescent something has broken up out there in the watery massive darkness and has washed ashore in a million miniature nighttime phantom sandy stars.
Blue-green stars below our feet.
And we continue our journey, over these fallen bits of sky that are not sky.
The girls are tired. Not crabby tired, but lovely tired, in that rosy-cheeked, soft, and agreeable way that small children occasionally are. Maj spots an empty hammock and asks if we can rest for a minute.
And so we do.
All four of us lie together in the hammock and stare up at the sky.
Kallan, then me, then Maj, and then Mark.
We all fall together a bit as the hammock curves below us, and we are all contact and warmth and love.
Mark reaches back above Maj’s head to hold my hand, and we stare up at the sky.
The nighttime sky seems to lower itself to meet our bodies. I feel as though I might reach up and tuck the night around us like a blanket. A shimmering velvety blue-black blanket. And the stars? Seem as easily reachable as the sand had been below our feet a few moments before.
As though the stars might be held in my hand for a moment and examined.
And then blown like dust across the beach.
Mark reaches down with a foot to set the hammock in motion, and we rock. Gently.
With the gentle ocean in the background.
And our warm sleepy children so close I can feel the heartbeat of one and the breath of the other.
And Mark’s hand in mine.
And the scent of plumeria.
A magic moment.
So for today?
Imagine that I have been in that hammock.
Instead of where I was.
A place less pleasant.