Colors and textures make him sick

I never noticed until he audibly gagged one night after watching a TV commercial for house painting services!  It was the color of the fresh paint on the stucco, he says.  It’s the same color of the river mud in southeastern Arizona.  It happened again while his father described vinyl, and the manufacturing of these new, so-called-leather sofas.  His father told him vinyl waste was made into a spray that when applied to fabric could replicate the look and feel of a genuine leather sofa. It was when his father began describing the way this vinyl material cracked with decay that he began dry heaving, uncontrollably.  I watch the whites of his eyes turn red, and the blues fade behind tears.

I can remember when he lost his sense of smell; his sense of taste soon followed.  It was when he could no longer be relied upon to rescue bread that I was notorious for abandoning in our toaster oven.  It was also when I could no longer serve him a meal that was anything more than “Ehh,…..alright.

When we returned to our bedroom after supper I ask him why colors and textures are making him sick.  The memories conjuring up horror in his body.  He opens his mouth to speak, but no sounds escape, and I wait patiently for him to settle.  He says, “The colors and textures are almost like a flashback. I can smell and I remember things from my last job.”

 The job he could never talk to me about.  The job that still wakes him, and still haunts him.

He tells me about the color of the freshly painted stucco house in the commercial was the same colors made by the human body.  The WORST of these colors were the ones that were made postmortem.  He goes on to tell me that the texture of cracked vinyl too closely resembles that of decayed flesh.  I notice that while he is speaking to me that his knuckles are white where he is gripping the edge of our bed, and I put my hand on the small of his back, and I tell him “It’s okay.”

I wonder what happened inside of his beautiful body.  When sensory neurons died, and were tragically replaced with the haunting memories of the colors and textures that he can never escape.



I am a Coward

I am so fucking embarrassed of they way I handled that situation.

Why do I always have to second guess myself?  Why am I such a chickenshit?

I should have had the courage to enter that room and communicate what I needed too, but instead I ran away.  I ran away like a scared child.  I ran searching for an answer.  What I was searching for was someone to help me instead of me standing up for myself.  I was even in the right!  But, all I found was my cowardly reflection, and I know they all saw it too.

I am just so embarrassed.

I am ashamed of me.

Why did I have to run?

Why can’t I believe in myself?


The lesson that I can’t seem to learn are so goddamn humiliating!  Because a woman of my age with two children should know better by now.  But how do you learn to respect something that you never had?  And how do you give thanks for gifts you never asked for?  I resent them all.

God, I feel small.  

It’s only a number, but those shapes and colors that bend to form give them all of their meaning.  This number that means nothing, and everything to me all at once.  Seeing it can give me hope; and seeing it can send me diving straight down into the deepest pits of darkness.  I just can’t shake this number today, and I can’t stop beating myself up for it.

How did I end up here, again?  

I have to do better, for them!  I have to be better!

When the phone rang I open my mouth to speak, but I was strangled by my own emotion. My tongue grew swollen while my throat went dry.

I hate myself, and what I have become. 

I manage to get out an unrecognizable “Hello” before I begin to cry.

“Shhhhhhhhh…..(the voice is telling me)

It’s going to be alright! 

We will figure it all out, just like we always do!

Just do your best to focus on your work until you get back home, and we can talk about it some more then.”

“Did you see it?  I am so sorry!”

“Yes, but, it’s only a number.  Please!  Just let it go.  It’s going to get better.  I promise.”

I only wish that I could still believe you!

Where did You go?

Why didn’t you wake me?  

I can only imagine that it was for selfish reasons.  So that you could fit in a few more hours of that Me-time.

When every second of my waking life is consumed with Them, where do We fit in any longer?

In dreams, and memories, alone?  In anger, sadness, and fear?

Those are the only places that I can find Us anymore.

Those are the only places where I can find You.

Did you see me drowning?

Can you feel how cold I’ve turned?  I am hardened.

I feel our love is dying.

You never claimed this life as your own, and instead you handed Them the keys.

I have watched you let Them steer for so long now that I think you, yourself have forgotten how to drive.

Where do we go from here?

What even happened to Us?

I am so angry that I can no longer speak.  Tears are lost deep inside of my body.

Maybe it is my fault for letting you slip so far away.

But, now I can’t even remember what it felt like to have all of you.

Did I, ever?



Falling Upstairs

Today was my first day back to work after being out sick for over week, and during my 45-minute commute from Surprise to Glendale I kept wondering why I felt inebriated.  Quick head movements and lane changes made me dizzy, and the rising sun was blinding me!  I kept a cautious 3 car length at all times.  But what I am feeling is a residual hangover from boarder line overdosing on dextromethorphan every night for the past week.  This was the sickest that I can ever remember being.  Maybe it’s just my age?  Maybe it’s the depression?  Maybe it’s another side effect from the augmentin?!

Once I got to the office I dove right back into my work.  I had mapped out how I would need to spend my first two hours of my day the night before while skimming through my email.  I was already back into the groove.  I managed to keep this steady work pace until I had to physically leave my desk.  I walked down two flights of stairs to the testing center where I had to retrieve some exams, and on the way back up I fell.  I literally fell UP the stairwell.  My feet failed me.  I was attempting to operate at a speed that my body would not allow.  My toes lagging behind caused me to miss the next step.  My bare skinned shins were the first to make contact with what I can only describe as the asphalt material covering the surface of the steps.  In slow motion I turned my body to the left in an effort to prevent my face from hitting next.  I landed on both elbows and then doused myself in a hot cup of lemon echinacea tea.

Gasps followed, and then a stranger calls out from the first floor “Are you okay?  Do you need help?”  Embarrassment had overwhelmed all of my senses, and I was literally frozen.  I reached for my cup of tea and I collected myself, but I could only muster this response “I am sorry!” while covering my face I escaped back to my office.  When I arrived I realized I had been holding my breathe so I finally let it all out, and then I began to cry, but I don’t know what I was crying for.  Was it the realization that my physical body may not always be capable of the things that I did yesterday?  Or maybe it was that I cannot even take the smallest offers of help?


I seriously hate my life at the moment, and I cannot believe I just typed that out loud.

What is wrong with me?

Why am I wired this way?

Why can’t I focus on the positive in my life instead of wallowing in my own self pity?

I have been dreaming about my river, again.  It terrifies me to think I might know what it actually means.  It’s being self aware that I am more than halfway through this life, in this body.  It’s knowing that I could have done more in certain aspects of my life, and it may already be too late.  It’s watching my sons growing sometimes literally right before my eyes, and the uncomfortability that I have with it all.

Sometimes I think that I can feel the earth turning.  It is so unsettling.  That realization of just how small I truly am often frightens me.  I am terrified that one day I may fall, so far that I will never return be able to return again.


Last stretch

I woke to the sound of rain tapping on my bedroom window.  When I stood to peek out the blinds the winter sun was nowhere near rising at 4am.  The thoughts flooding my brain all involve my own short comings.  The things still left undone, and only 10 more days until Christmas.  I inhale to fill my lungs with cold air from my room, and before I can fully exhale I am crying.

I keep waking from a repetitive dream.  I am driving alone in a dark grey sports car on a disheveled freeway.  I am trying my best to keep the car from veering off my path but it’s out of control at this speed.  It’s always dark, and there are parts of the freeway that are completely missing….showing nothing but black empty space underneath.  I am terrified.  I am accelerating, and I pump the breaks but this car doesn’t respond.  The only control that I have is of the direction, and that is when the road loop de loops.  I am panicked, frantic, and I always wake from this dream startled, clenched and exhausted.  I am tormenting myself even inside of my own dreams!

I wish I could be satisfied with my efforts, especially when I have given so much of myself.  I wish I could be content with my place inside of this world.  I wish I would stop waiting, wishing, and hoping for things that will never be.  I wish I could just be happy.