A Surreal Tint


I’m having a hard time right now, as I’m sure many of us are. It’s a scary world. Here in Ohio, we’re not supposed to be going anywhere unless it’s absolutely necessary. Most stores that do not sell food are closed…recreation, schools, all shut down until further notice.

The only two people I allow myself to see are my daughter and boyfriend. She’s still working since she’s a manager of a gourmet burger place but my boyfriend has been laid off until further notice. He’s not getting anywhere when he tries (so many times now) to unsuccessfully apply for unemployment.

As for me, even though I’m used to being at home for extended periods of time, life has taken on a surreal tint. Going to the store for food or medications feels like I’m risking my life and that of anyone else that I come into contact with. So, I just stay put and if I DO go anywhere, I put on a bandana around my mouth and nose.

I’m glad that we got to move before this entire pandemic started. At least I’m not stuck inside that stupid condo for God knows how long. I had hoped that moving here would be full of bright, happy feelings; instead, I’m afraid to wake up each day and read the news.

What if today is the day that my daughter, who still has to do carry out and delivery orders, catches this fucker?

I don’t want to get out of bed. I struggle every morning. I’m depressed, anxious and scared. My fibro is flaring and I’m so fucking tired of being in pain 24/7.

I miss my mom but I’m also thankful that she isn’t here during this crisis…she’d be an absolute wreck! At least she isn’t suffering even more than she already did.

But regardless of that, I’m experiencing a grief tsunami, unrelenting waves of sadness, absolute pain that cuts right to the core of me.

So yeah, I’m not doing so great right now.

I hope you guys are doing better than I am.

Christmas Jello


Despite my best efforts, I had an epic meltdown last night.

The thing that triggered it was that my daughter lost her Cleveland State graduation tickets. Drama and chaos ensued as we both tore through the house, looking in places that seemed ridiculous (silverware drawer) for them.

(She’s graduating on Sunday with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and of course, I’m so proud of her.)

“You didn’t accidentally throw them away, did you?” she asked me, desperation and accusation in her voice.

Oh, the way children can break their mother’s hearts.

“Not that I am aware of,” I replied, trying to keep my hurt from showing.

Well, we didn’t find them.

It was too late for her to contact the college to see about getting replacement tickets, although she did try, all she got was a recorded message saying that the office was closed.

I reasoned that they would understand and give her more (she only needs 7) but she freaked out and said that they wouldn’t grant her any. Everyone was going to be mad at her and she was such a basket-case over the entire ordeal that I became quietly angry and absolutely speechless.

I went out onto the patio. In the freezing, bitter cold darkness, I took a few deep inhales of the marijuana that I splurged on for the holidays and then exhaled slowly, watching the smoke go higher as the wind took it away.

Fuck it. Fuck this.

I was angry, bereft, depressed and wishing that I could disappear up into the clouds with the plumes myself.

Once I came back inside, I started crying so hard that I thought my body would dehydrate. I was so scared, I was am so lost. I wanted to talk to somebody, but it was after 10 PM and I didn’t want to bother anyone with my intense grief and feelings of despair.

How can I continue to live without her? How will I fulfill the promise that I made to my mom before they wheeled her away for that last pointless surgery?

These thoughts turned my blood as cold as the ice that has formed in the outside water bowl for my dogs.

There will be an extra unused ticket for my daughter’s graduation.

There will be no present under the tree that says “mom” on the tag.

There will be an empty seat at the dinner table.

If one more person tells me that she’s in heaven now with God, I’m going to scream.

Everything feels different now and nothing will ever be the same again without our matriarch leading the way, with her intense joy of having us all together on Christmas Day. My mother loved Christmas and now that she’s dead, I have no desire to buy gifts or make Christmas jello-like she always asked me to do.

Red and green squares, topped with Cool Whip. Sugar-free due to being diabetics and the fact that nobody else ate it but the two of us.

The numbness that comes after death to protect us from the shock is hanging out above the treetops where my marijuana smoke still lingers, too high for me to reach and put on like a safety cloak.

The office has more tickets for my daughter to pick up after work today, so I won’t have to fight and argue my way inside like I was planning to do. I had nothing left to lose and no lack of ticket would’ve kept me from watching her graduate.

I need to be there to take photos and a video. I need to represent my deceased mother, who wanted so badly to watch her first grandchild achieve something so monumental.

Nobody seems to understand how I am feeling right now and I crave solitude so badly that I can taste it like the Christmas jello from last year, sweet on my tongue, yet this year, bitter in my soul.