The legislative alert I posted yesterday is so ugly, not just aesthetically but ugly because it makes me feel frantic and hangs over my head like a sword of Damocles.
I drove around in my car all day yesterday on the brink. I woke up with the intention to not be sharp with my children, to make their lunches sweetly and to kiss them sweetly and say I love you as they skipped off to school. What I landed up doing was yelling that I was so tired of picking up the wet towels from last night! and I can't believe you're actually sneaking around with the iPod Touch when I told you not to use it during the week! and a final shout of WHY CAN'T WE HAVE A PEACEFUL MORNING FOR ONCE? When I dressed Sophie, who had not been to school all week because of the flu, I lamented in front of her that it is so hard to dress you and not get any help (this said as I tried to pull her skinny jeans over her foot which was arched back because she doesn't relax her muscles properly, a bit of cerebral palsy). She just stared at me with her big, dark pools of eyes and I hustled her out of the house. On the way to her school, her aide texted me that she was sick and maybe I didn't want to bring Sophie to school and that little text, that I read at a red light halfway to the school, my salvation, drove me to tears. Bitter, angry tears of self-pity. I can't take it anymore, I thought and glanced at myself in the mirror. Bitter and angry, I looked, and it was startling. I took Sophie to school and handed her into the arms of her teacher and learned that due to budget cuts IT WAS A MINIMAL DAY, so I needed to be back at the school by noon which as far as I'm concerned was like preschool hours -- drop them off and turn around and go back. Tomorrow, the teacher added, is also a minimum day and your aide is on furlough.
I hate Los Angeles Unified School District, is what I thought. I entertained the hate, the feeling it gave me and while not entirely unpleasant -- because there is a smugness to rage that is seductive -- I
I won't bore you with the rest of the day I had yesterday -- the telephone conference calls for my job, my trip to Trader Joe's where I saw a woman, the mother of one of the boys' old classmates, a woman who I haven't seen in ages and whom I barely know, who said to me as I perused the bagged salads, Hello! and when I turned around she said, I knew that beautiful profile! and so strong is my pathetic-ness these days, my vanity, my barely holding it together-ness, that I whimpered a bit to her, WITH TEARS, and thanked her for the compliment. And then I proceeded to blather on, right there in the cheese and produce section about how unmoored I am, how I've plunged into this rut and can't find my way out and how this compliment, these sweet words -- and she finished my sentence:
You'll take them! And she smiled and we laughed and commiserated and then awkwardly broke the intimacy and finished our shopping.
Weirdly enough, I felt happy, then. And when I picked the boys up from school later that day, we stopped and got donuts -- glazed donuts -- and one had a small sprinkling of bacon on it, and who doesn't like a bacon donut? (actually, me -- it was disgusting)