Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Second Chance

Sometimes the time machine appears, magically, without my even calling for it and I am so grateful.

Yesterday the cell phone said I was running out of voicemail space, I didn't even know I was saving voicemails so I started deleting then scrolling backward, how many messages did I have? And I find Nora again from three years ago, asking me to pick her up at the Rock House after practice. Her voice is so pipped and high again, she is nearly chirping. I'm reading the Columbine book by Dave Cullen (against my greater instincts but the writing is so damn good and the structure is so marvelous -- how could he take all this horrific information and make sense out of senselessness but we will remember and know the victims now, thanks to his work) and he says the mothers could not stop hugging their surviving kids, even when that was no longer what the kids needed. I'll never erase this notes.

I can't sleep until the girls turn out their lights, I just can't, I feel anxious until they are out of their bathrooms and in bed and one night it was so late and I hear Nora get back up out of bed and I called out, "I really wanted to go to yoga tomorrow morning!" which was crazy but crazy is the name of the game in this kitchen renovation disarray with all the furniture and boxes and innards of the kitchen and living room shoved into the front dining room which except for the bedrooms and baths, is about all the rooms we have in this house. That night I was trying to sleep on the couch for reasons that are too complicated to get into and are extensions of the general insanity, but I will say it could be a refuge of minimalism in this mess, this tan and velvety piece of furniture left in the empty echoing living room.

Nora appeared at the top of the stairs, silhouetted against the second floor hall light and said nothing and I called out again, not in beddy-bye soft voice, oh no, I'm still shouting, "It's midnight! You should be in bed!" and she comes down the stairs without a word and stands over me and then says, "Can I sleep with you?" and my fatigued anger crashes down in ashes on the floor and I open my arms to her and she puts her head on my shoulder and falls asleep while I breathe in her hair and wonder wonder at my blessed fortune to have one more night with her precious self. My child, my dear child, returned to me from the abyss of sarcasm and annoyance and silence and locked doors and doubt that separates the mother from her teen daughter. Good night, good night, amen amen, thank you thank you thank you.

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