Saturday, September 10, 2011

grey eyeshadow

a friend of mine had a birthday and i left her a facebook message. and i did the math. we have been friends for 27 years. we were 12, junior high. and i remember exactly what i looked like in the mirror, applying grey eyeshadow and pink lip gloss to my olive skin. i chose grey because my mom told me it looked good with my skin. i wasn't allowed to wear mascara yet. only eyeshadow. i used to spend at least a half an hour getting ready in the morning and now i am lucky if i shower. otherwise, i just throw on a hat. since i've been pregnant and/or exhausted from nurturing a newborn i do not wear makeup, i do not do my hair. and i wonder why i care less at 39 than i did at 12 when i didn't even have the common sense to not wear pink lip gloss and grey eyeshadow.

i cannot keep plants alive and yet there are two tiny plants from ikea in my house that are thriving. i want to buy up the lot of them, pot them and display them all over. prove to myself that i can do something as simple as taking care of a plant. they say addicts have to start with plants before getting into a relationship and i think about the fact that every other plant in my house has short shelf life and yet i've got two humans that need watering. i think my fears are well-founded. i think i will never sleep again.

my cat is getting old. 12. she is starting to look grey and wrinkled and her digestive system is not what it once was. i do not want to deal with her getting old and yet the greatest gift we can give those we love is the assurance that we will take care of them at the end, yes? i think about when i get old and grey and i wonder if i will have someone there to make sure the room is cool enough for my comfort, if they will play my favorite ben harper song on repeat when i want to hear it because it makes my blood run smooth, if they will sit and tell me stories or listen to mine. or if i will end up in a room with tubes and hotel linens, attended to by people who get paid to do so but don't really know me. i want to go outside to die, like a cat. curl up under a bush and wait it out. not be fed jello and powdered eggs every morning, waiting for someone to help me to the restroom. and i wonder why sitting here at the age of 39, drinking decaf iced coffee with a tiny babe sleeping next to me and a feisty toddler singing to herself and asking for more fruit calls to mind the way my things will end. i think about how i spent the night in bed, tossing and turning because it seems life is full of instability and i crave stability. when really there is no such thing.

27 years ago i believed in my ability to stabilize. that age would somehow take away the dead plants and reality of getting too old and animals on the down slope of their lives. 27 years ago i felt as though i had everything figured out. but no one wearing grey eyeshadow sans mascara has the ability to see past the eighties.


  1. jezuz! (big kiss)

    love your writing, your seeing, your vulnerability. now, for the awl. you've more strength than you know. see? you with your babies, strong, laying down your rules: life is safe and fair. this is you being a momma. the cat dying alone under the bushes. this is you too. you are all of it but as a mother you/we/me switch some survivor switch in us to keep life. let the switch go just that little as they grow and you will grow too.

    you are such a beautiful woman.


  2. I love how grey and 12 weave through and surface in different places here. Really, I just like the privilege of watching the movement of your mind.

  3. I too fear how the end will come, not that it will. My husband and I talk about things like Stage 4, and how...with that diagnosis...we will discard any treatment option in favor of living our last to the fullest. I wonder why my thoughts can be so morbid. Then I remember who I am. Ha! I am the queen of morbid :)

  4. I always thought the grey looked good on you but maybe it was because I liked it too.

    If I were going to be here in your old age, I would take care of you and Bryan alongside Finn and Dash - but alas, it is you who will be taking care of me - hopefully it won't be for many many years to come (I'm going to live to be 100, you know). And as you and I have discussed, no way is there going to be any plugs or tubes to keep me here - I want to go out kicking up my heels. You should have that right too - but with science going the way it is, they may have ways of prolonging life -

    As for stability - having your family is about the only thing I consider stable anymore. And as I consider this as I write, I realize my parents, your grandparents, have been here longer than anyone else in our family - and their time left is limited which makes me sad.

    So we shall enjoy one another, you and I, and all our parents, spouses, siblings, and children and their extended families brought into the fold.

    I love that you think about everything out loud. Helps the rest of us realize we're not the only ones with the "2 AM wide awake worries"

  5. i have been accused of still not seeing past the 80s:)
    what a treat, reading two generations of amazing, introspective writers.


use your kind words.