Last night I slept for ten hours. I can't remember the last time I slept that long. I think it is exhaustion. Emotional exhaustion. Sometimes it feels like this whole situation is unreal. It doesn't feel real. I wake up in the morning and there is a split second before I remember. A split second when I feel like a normal person with a normal life.
I learned how to fire a shotgun today. How to load it, pump it, pull the trigger. I've always hated guns. I still do. I hate the gun laws in America. The idiocy of the NRA. I've never even wanted to touch one.
But today I gripped the gun like I knew what I was doing. I fired off several rounds. I didn't wince or hesitate. The man instructing me watched and raised an eyebrow. “Wow.”
I was talking on the phone with a friend today. She was telling me about a mutual acquaintance, describing to me this woman's difficult history (abandonment, divorce). It was sad. It occurred to me then, as I was listening, that this is how people talk about me. They tell my story in hushed voices, when I'm not in the room. I'm that woman. The one with the unfortunate past.
Later that day, I was sitting on the couch reading. Anna came and sat next to me and started telling me a story about what one of the cats did (yes, the cats are with us). Midway through the story her voice trailed off. She stopped, smiled at me and crawled into my lap. I wrapped my arms around her and just held her. I took in her slender arms and the hair falling out of her ponytail. In that moment I was overcome with her beauty, her utter perfection.
I have a beautiful dream for my future. I always have. The fact that it's never unfolded doesn't dampen the hope. I still believe in that future. Some days I can almost reach out and touch it. Other days, like today, the weight of the present is just too great.
A family member wrote me tonight. She said please write me back so I know you and the kids are okay. She said she watched my blog because she knew as long as I was posting, we were okay. So I sat down and wrote this.
Tonight we are okay.