The Couch

Brain Dump. Stream of consciousness writing. Journaling. Thoughts. It’s all just playing with words. You conjure some, roll them around in a bait-and-switch method, and next thing you know, a few of them cling to each other like that odd sock that gets mixed in with your load of towels. You have all these matching colors and textures and then the errant stray sticks its foot out.

Happily or not you go along in the stream, thoughts cascading in, mixing with others, and tumbling out. Mindlessly moving through the everyday, not caring to pause or take notice until that wretched oddity shows up, and, voila! Now you have to deal with it.

Tomorrow is my grandson’s first birthday. His mom is still not talking to me, but I have an invite to his party on Sunday so I’ll go. I am grateful for the opportunity to share in the celebration. In two days, my youngest daughter turns twenty-one. I remember the day she was born like it was a year ago. And I can’t count the too many times in the last five years that I thought she wouldn’t live to see this day. I’m honored that she wants me to take part in her celebration. Three days later is my ex-husband’s birthday, mixed in for good measure with all my other memories. But it is the birthday one week from tonight—when my daughter who is not talking to me, my firstborn, will be twenty-nine—that clings with static in my brain.

The whole situation is an anomaly. It’s the outlier in my life that brings out all my OCD traits. It is the nonsensical behavior that screams for someone to make sense of it. My first thoughts in the morning are of its existence and how might I fix it. My last thoughts each night are my silent prayers, seeking for guidance and answers.

I used to enjoy first light of day with all its promise and potential. And I used to look forward with gratitude when darkness brought time to pause, reflect, rest. All the hours of chaos and madness in between sunrise and sunset were the moments I wanted to maneuver as quickly as I could. And now, since The Big Drama, I want to swim and surf and float in each day’s mainstream, seeking solace in the flotsam because it hides the confusion and hurt and anger that plague my thoughts and dreams in the night. But I am not a swimmer, and the few strokes of dog paddling that I know are exhausting.

When I enter my daughter’s house on Sunday noon to celebrate the little man’s big day, you can bet I’ll be scanning the room for a life preserver. Or an olive branch. Pray that there is one within reach.

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