I’ve been taking pictures of houses. Big houses. Small. Craftsman. Brick ranches. Everyday I drive around with Mim and say Oh, there’s a pretty one. Look at the roses. Mim can even point out mid century modern. Ooooh a pink door. We drive around like this twice a day or so. I contemplate how I won’t have a house ever again in my life time. I push push push it out of my mind. I ruminate on this news- depending on my mood. I dream up ways to buy a house- lottery winnings, buy a tiny lot in the middle of nowhere and put a small house on it, my cousin or my friend may want me to be a Golden Girls with them, marry a rich idiot who will most likely cheat on me right after I have made him a delicious sandwich, magically change careers from a helping field to a money making field… I better start buying lottery tickets.
I never imagined myself here 10 years ago and I am aware that I don’t know where I will be in another 10.
I don’t really have a clear understanding how I got here- living in this condo. But in my adult life, I have lived here in 14b longer than anywhere else.
I know this fear is knitted together with my ideas about finding love again. Or maybe even finding a like again. Houses come with marriage and children and now hurtling toward 50, I check the box single from my downstairs condo. My kids are amazing and perfect and the loves of my life. And they are growing older. Number 4 will go to college in Maine come the end of the quarantine. Number 5 will be a junior and Mim will be in middle school- I’m not joking- my babies are growing up. I can handle it. There will be grandchildren and dogs and July 4ths on docks with firecrackers and mosquitoes. Life will continue int his beautiful unfolding of mystery and love and difficulty.
Let’s pretend I had savings to buy a house, I should save that for Mim. Raising a child with a disability is expensive and raising an adult with a disability will potentially, be even more so. I can stay in the moment as well as any Buddha. Most of the time I can. But this is about fear. The real stuff.
Middle aged men aren’t that likable. And I am quite chubby. Middle aged men think that they are not chubby. I do not know this for sure because I do not talk to many men about these things but I get the impression that men believe themselves to be all that plus a milkshake. I do not think a man is in my future. I do not want to put any eggs in that basket. That basket seems to painful and weary and full of more uncertainty and heartache.
On NPR the other day, they were talking about many couples marrying during an emergency like right after a hurricane or a war or a pandemic. This happens because the individuals want to concrete something in their lives. They desire decisiveness and stability- so they do what they can control and that is marry the one they love. They can cement a relationship while they cannot control the forces of nature, disease, or financial devastation. I think that is me with the house. Wandering around down the different trails, choosing the wrong direction at every fork. I just want to have one thing go like my dreams or assumptions- adult women have houses to decorate and pour their creativity into. A house to weather a storm, to shelter during a quarantine, to create an oasis.
I want to not go against the grain. I want to not be fat. I want to not be divorced. I want to not live in a condo. I mean- I do not want to be married to Walt because he did not respect me and made me crazy and he cheated. And he passed out on the couch on Friday nights so that I could wonder alone if Tuck was out drinking, if Addy skipped her meals, if BeBe needed a ride home from the football game, if George is depressed and that is why he didn’t go to the football game, if Dolly’s friends’ parents judged me for letting her sleep over too much, and if Mim was ever going to sleep in her own bed. And I do not want to marry someone else. Because that seems like so much trouble. I just don’t want to be the divorced one. The single one in a sea of married people. I’m not actually leaving my house because the quarantine so I do not see people together but I don’t want to be the I when everyone else seems to be a We or at least I imagine it that way.
I want a cheeseburger.
A tic bit me last week and it still itches. Is that normal? George got the tic out but it bothers me. I hate to die of Lyme disease while everyone else dies of Corona. The kids tell me that Lyme disease won’t kill me. I’m being dramatic.
I want chocolate after I eat a cheeseburger.
I know You in your house with your husband will say I’m lucky to not have a big financial responsibility, or lucky to not have to mow a big lawn, or that I will meet someone one day and forget all this heartache. But I don’t believe you.