It’s been weeks since ‘the flood’ and weeks since I’ve written.
Today I’m rushing laundry as a handyman is to meet me at my disheveled home @ 9 a.m.
Of course, the laundromat did not open early today as Murphy’s law would have it.
‘Handyman’ is going to ‘look’ at the damage and other repairs that I’ve requested so many times.
If one more person looks and does not DO – I’m going to have to put my foot down.
I say that, but I’m not confrontational.
I did however, stand up for Muslims and others while stuck outside listening to Glaucoma man rant and rave.
A rare photo of him – he’s the one in the Hawaiian shirt.
The other gentleman was also a source of anger for Glaucoma man as he was let in before us.
I don’t care, but jeez did HE take it personally. I told him to calm down as Laundry Lady came to unlock the front door. She didn’t need any of his venom.
Other than laundry and handymen and my interactions here – life has been … Different lately.
Work is changing – two of the original owners are leaving to enjoy their lives together and travel. They will be missed.
I turned 48 and decided that I, too, needed to make some changes.
That’s been difficult. Whenever there are others involved it’s a painful process.
But as I think of my friend in the hospital and I hear news of people my age suddenly passing of late – it’s very clear to me that none of us are promised tomorrow and it’s time to start soaking up each day.
I’m seeking peace for myself. And while I feel selfish doing so, no one else is going to find that for me.
Clearly no handyman – they’ll just keep coming around and ‘looking’ at damage and making appointments to return some day.
“If you need change, I can’t give it to you.”
My laundry lady went on to say, “The girl last night locked the vault.”
Made me start thinking about how much I DO need change. And not the break a twenty kind.
But I’m working on that. Vaults be damned.
I guess this is kind of a change … Sure not ginger ale.
And, thanks to our recent monsoon shenanigans, there are all these fun plants wrapped around mundane objects, really found this beautiful.
So, there’s a couple of changes.
But not the ones I had in mind.
There comes a day when you wake up, look around you and realize, “I am approaching 50 and I haven’t much to look forward to.”
There comes a day when you wake up and repeat your day like a pattern and loathe it.
I have an unchecked lottery ticket in my purse. A dream of what my life could be and health issues I want mended.
I have a bonkers sense of hope, and a realistic feeling of being ‘stuck’.
Those things coupled become completely frustrating.
It’s like ticking off days on a calendar, only, it’s the countdown to the end.
So, what do I want to change, and how to go about it?
I’ll know more about that soon.
Mostly though, I stay in the moment and appreciate my life.
But I can’t keep doing my pattern forever. I need more for myself.
I am capable of change, and open to it.
Now I just need to check that lottery ticket I suppose.
Listen to how my rhythm goes …
Woke up at 8 and while brushing my teeth ‘Oye como va’ popped into my head. Santana was brushing his teeth with me.
Out of nowhere – songs pop into my head. I hear a song and remember a time, a place, a movie. Mostly movies. I can’t hear ‘Running on empty’ without thinking of Forrest Gump or ‘American Girl’ without thinking of Silence of the Lambs.
If all went as planned – today I would be waking up a wife. Yesterday was to be my wedding day. Instead, I woke knowing I have 4 days left living with the man who was to be my groom.
Life is like that.
That old joke:
My fingers hurt – I’ve successfully bitten off every single nail.
My leg hurts – I pulled a hamstring over a week ago and still so tender. Gawd only knows how, I think we know by now I do NOT do exertion.
My heart hurts …
But life goes on. Limping into action this morning I kept repeating ‘Oye como va’ in my head until I reached the laundromat.
Glaucoma man was here. I think I startled him with a hug. In fact I know I did because his reaction? “Oh!?” Poor guy. Sorry glaucoma man, but I hadn’t seen you and a familiar, albeit, a tad annoying face was welcome today. OK, his face isn’t annoying, but his constant chatter while I try to type is. Laundry lady’s patience wears thin with him too. I try to give him all my attention though.
Just learned so much more about laundry lady by the way … about the grandchildren she never sees, about the ex-husband who drew up divorce papers for one dollar in prison. About her son.
For an introvert, I sure chat a lot with the random people in my life.
That’s how my rhythm goes.
Tomorrow is my birthday.
I will be 46. (I actually had to do the math today on a calculator – I wasn’t sure if I was going to be 46 or 47 … any of you forget too?)
*TANGENT* I’ve written a couple of posts that I deleted – because they contained photos I thought were beautiful, but they WERE me in various states of undress. Artistic though – no boobs or privates. I deleted them because I try to keep this site at least rated ‘PG’ – but I’m posting these pics now – and NOT deleting because at 45, almost 46, I should have confidence. I should document myself before I sag, and I should trust that those of you reading this, are READING because you like the written word and probably have some tolerance and admiration for self-expression. I need to trust this. So here we go. The photos I posted, then woke up and thought “FUCK! That’s TOO X-rated for my site!” When they’re SO not.
I’ve never been one of those chicks that have multiple ’29th’ birthdays, refusing to hit their 30’s – or have ever lied about my age. Ok – to be fair, I DID age myself in my handwritten English passport when I was 20 to be able to accompany my English friend to a bar.
But then before I traveled again, I had to get a freaking new passport.
SO I was asked today: “Are you excited about your birthday?”
And honestly, for me at least, the older I get the less excited I get.
I’m just surprised and grateful to be alive after all the debauchery in my 20’s. I seriously, SERIOUSLY did NOT see me making it to 40.
Although, two things consistently happen on that ‘special’ day.
1. I wake up and have that momentary “It’s my birthday!” thought.
2. I want to look pretty for the day.
So when I took my quick-lunch and headed to Ross with a $9 limit (in my head) for a new dress – I was happy to leave the store with a $7.49 clearance outfit that will give me that ‘new outfit feeling.’
That feeling is so funny isn’t it?
Unless people see you week after week in the same stuff, if you’re wearing something new, no one else knows it, yet – you carry yourself differently. LOL!
Anyway – back to being an adult and not thinking I’d make it there.
I was a VERY good girl in my youth. I was. And when I hit my 20’s, I guess I felt like I had to make up for lost time.
I dated some bad boys.
I became the epicenter of some very bad things.
I recall one night, at a warehouse rave that even cops would enter, see the debauchery and decide, “Um, yeah – no – we’re not getting into this” when I had tried Ecstasy for the first and only time.
I was in the VIP room – my boyfriend at the time was DJing the event.
We were in a circle just chatting.
When everyone suddenly hushed. Now, I’m feeling good. And enjoying the moment and keep talking.
I noticed the look on everyone elses faces … and look up.
And there is a gun.
To my head.
What I hadn’t noticed, was that the host of the party, was sitting on the ground, execution style (on his knees, hands behind head) with another gun to HIS head.
They asked us to remove all jewelry and were taking the money the host charged to get into the event.
The first words out of my mouth??
“You just ruined my high.”
These were crazy times. Bonkers days that rolled into nights and back into days and “Shall we go get breakfast?” as we squinted at the sun.
There was retaliation that night.
And shortly after – a friend of ours was tortured and killed.
And I know who was behind it – and for the life of me – or for his life, I cannot remember his name.
And I’m sorry for that.
And I’m sorry that I was a part of that world.
I was also given a knife and much trust in watching the door for other raves – taking money in a city RIDDLED with gang activity.
Me?! The innocent British girl who was still playing with Barbies until 16?
So, you can see – that my 46th birthday was not anticipated.
I can thank my son for that.
But I do think back – and I look at my life today – and I think, anyone can change.
I don’t see hopelessness where others do.
I don’t see losers where others do – because ‘losers’ are a state of mind – or a stage of life.
I STILL see SUCH good.
And so tomorrow – I will be SO grateful to have reached 46. FORTY FREAKING SIX! With a healthy, loving, talented son and an amazing, talented, beautiful fiance – and embrace my years.
It was driving me bonkers that my laundry day was being delayed. I dug through my purse, broke open my gumball machine and sheepishly traded in some quarters and dimes at the laundromat counter.
“We like change …” she said.
She’s sweet like that. Took herself away from her ironing to accommodate my change.
So now I’m back on track – albeit, a little later than normal.
First thing I noticed was the lack of carts.
Seriously, where did they go?? On a group mission to search for missing socks? I don’t know. There are usually 4 carts to a table.
There’s a different clientele in here too.
I don’t know these people. And while I’m glad I don’t have to do laundry after work tomorrow, I’m feeling incredibly out of my element with this new crowd.
SUCH a creature of habit am I.
“We like change …” I remind myself.
Because you know as soon as she said that, and even while I was making little quarter and dime piles, I was off on a tangent in my head about that sentence.
I’m not big on change.
I’m like a wary woodland creature.
I can be coaxed into a different environment by a treat holding hand with accompanying coos of “c’mon, little fella, it’s ok … I won’t hurt you”. But all the while I’m peering around and ready to scamper off back to the comfort of what I know.
I’m reminded of this right now …
Only I would see the box. Yes I would. I may be easily led, but not captured.
Unless it’s by my own damn rituals – like having to do laundry on a Sunday.
I’m still concerned about the carts by the way … they haven’t made it back and I worry about them. Perhaps I need to put down a trail of cart treats and coax them back?
What the heck do carts like?
Little droplets of WD40 for their wheels perhaps?
I’ll stick with my original thought that they’re on that sock finding mission.
Good luck on your valiant quest you brave, brave carts!