I’m a steamer, hurling my body down the rough concrete sidewalks encircling the apartment complex. “Splat splat splat” my bare feet trammel the path, the sound bush-league to my visceral, inexhaustible rage. I’m explosive, TNT, fire in the hole ungodly angry. Piston-armed, battering ram headed, I’m sailor cursing the ground I walk. Around and around I storm the neighborhood till bloody footed I mince up the stairs to our shanty space, wasted by frenzy, breath spent and wispy, tearless sorrow my countenance.
Such was my life. I’d set sail, pounding that pavement, after shrilling “You’ve been drinking!” “No I haven’t,” roared the reeking-of-vodka madman, emptying his pockets of there’s-nothing-to-see-here eye drops and breath mints. Vodka, imbibed in sufficient quantities does have an odor, a greasy, gaseous, volatile stench, a sharp I-hate-myself funk. Accused booms in a god-like voice, “You’re no kind of wife” and I wail “just kill me now, God. I’m done. It’s over. I can’t do this anymore!” But God didn’t and I did. Until I couldn’t anymore.
Memories assail me. I am stonewalled, paralyzed by the specter of nine years in this torrid, tawdry town. I escaped, once and for all, from here, from that, from him, and now, staying just yards from there, I am manacled and bludgeoned with flashbacks. I’ve unwittingly donned a ratty old bathrobe embroidered “Misery” and I’m sucked down, down, down into moldy, sun-bleached, putrid remembrances. Hours pass, days disappear, no rhythm, no meaning, no plans. Breathe in breathe out. Take a shower for crying out loud! What is today? I forget food, medicine, plans, purpose. Who am I?
Shake it off Missy! Lay it all aside. That was then, not now. Remember me? The girl who went skydiving, gleefully encountered bears, drove cross-country in a 5-speed dream? The autodidactic, award-winning interior decorator, dead aim shooter, giver of life (3 times and by surgery, no less)? An overcomer of aortic aneurysm, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, bleeding breasts and broken spine? An ovaries-to-the-wall adventurer, a scared-to-death-but-going-all-out-anyway person? Come on woman! Remember thy self!
Memories won’t kill me. Memories can’t kill me. Memories CAN’T kill me.
I can do this. I’m steaming mad for life, for a life lived to the fullest. I’m rolling on!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV)