Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The First Day
The first day I had no job...except I'm a mom, I've always got a job, but do I, when the kids don't live with me? There's always work to do--walk the dog, do the dishes, make the bed, and those endless dinners. I say I love being a traditional housewife but of course that's a lie. Left to my own devices, I eat jell-o for dinner and watch crime dramas on television, the lists of things I'd planned to accomplish suddenly much too overwhelming.
On the first day of freedom from Cornell, I had scheduled a client so I was the first person to rush away from the big send-off luncheon.
When I quit UCS because David advised it, I walked my dog and felt exhausted by the idea of cleaning his filthy house.
Even now I say I don't have a job, but living is a job. Isn't it? It's work to smile and act nice and comply with the endless social mores. Maybe that's why my favorite fantasy is to live in isolation in a remote corner of Maine or Utah with only my dogs for company.
But I do, of course, work those 16 hours a week, sometimes a few more, and I'm on call 5 nights a week in trade for my apartment. No money, but no expenses either.
In the living room of my free apartment I used to have "Flaming June" hanging over my thrift store couch. Brian and I had that over our bed. But it's not really a living room painting so I've taken it down and now it's in the too-expensive storage unit with boxes of toys my son, too old for, has forgotten about, along with holiday decorations and other things I can't bear to surrender yet.
Brian is gone now and James is his replacement, the latest in a string of husbands. I cling to the idiocy of hope. But I appreciated him last night, snoring naked next to me. I thought in the dark, what's a husband for if not to keep me company in bed? I love touching his belly when he's sleeping. We don't have much--we're mostly respectful and kind to each other--but we do have this sweet intimacy of sleep.