Moment of Inertia

Sensory deprivation of sorts.  Maximizing pleasurable sensations to deny less pleasant sensations. Floating, floating, floating…

A long weekend visiting my sister, T, in Florida. I brought The Boy along for a little rest and relaxation – he’d been working hard at his job for over a year without time off. He was out on the boat chasing big fishies with T’s partner, The Captain.  T was in her office, posting grades for her graduate class.

i was in the pool, sprawled on a raft. My face covered with a hat to prevent further sun damage.  i let the sunscreen do the work on my appendages. Warm to the bone.  It would have been downright hot if i didn’t have my hands, feet and arse dunked in the cool salt water beneath me.

Floating, floating, floating… Warm in the sun, cooler when a cloud happened to get between us. Bouncing like a slow-motion pinball when i’d hit the edge. Spinning a little, with assistance from the gentle breeze.  Somewhat Brownian motion.

In that moment, i could account for the well-being of the people who occupy a substantial portion of my brain space.  Mom?  Glimmer of hope regarding the home renovation, now in the fourth year.  Her health? Shitty, but stable.  The Girl?  Doing well with her new job, and surrounded by good people.  The Boy?  On a boat, chasing fish on the ocean.  Studley?  On the same boat, sharing the adventure and chasing fish.  My sister, T?  Settled comfortably in life with her partner, The Captain, after a fairly difficult run last summer.

In that moment.

Eyes covered.  i let the sun warm me, and the water cool me, and the wind spin me slowly around the pool.  My frame of reference was skewed – “am i facing the house, or the waterway?”  Absolutely certain that i’d echo-located the sound of the central air compressor, i knew the house was to my left.  Peeking from under the hat that covered my face, i was surprised to be pointed squarely toward the waterway.

i played this game over and over.  The sound of the yard man’s leaf blower from across the canal.  Confident that i’d kept track of the source of the sound as i slowly careened across the surface of the pool.  Another peek.  Another failure.  Floating, floating, floating…

The game kept me squarely in that moment.  No need to drive away dark thoughts and worry about what lies ahead.  The sun was warm.  The water was cool.  The breeze was gentle.  Letting the pleasurable sensations take charge.  All was well in that moment.

Floating, floating, floating… Lightly toasted, completely refreshed.  i heard the boat approaching the dock and went to greet The Captain and her crew.  i had been in the pool, in that moment, for three solid hours.

None of us are big enough to stop the world from turning.  Sometimes we can make it feel as though we’ve at least slowed it down…


Taming of the Shrew

She resents me, although she’s never met me. It has nothing to do with who i am, what i do, what i believe, how i look, how i live my life… The simple fact that i exist… that’s enough.

Weddings and funerals are inherently emotional events. A crash of Venn Diagrams – we assemble to celebrate, or reflect and remember. Memories and pinning points both sweeten, and poison, the atmosphere.

It was a genuine delight to be invited to the wedding of Studley’s son last weekend. It’s been five years or so since the divorce, and while he’s moved on with his life, his ex-wife has wallowed in a bitter stew. Knowing that my attendance at the wedding could create discomfort for the newlyweds, i offered to step back – wanting to do nothing to draw attention away from the celebration of their marriage.

The young couple considered the offer – but came back with a resounding “We love you! If anyone there has a problem with it? It’s theirs, not ours – and certainly not yours. Please celebrate with us!”

A small wedding.  Knowing that there would be a moment when we’d be introduced, i considered a greeting. “Nice to meet you” wouldn’t cut it, as it wasn’t nice to meet her. Rather than lie, i needed something else. i settled on “Your children are delightful! You must be quite proud!” – which is what i said when her son introduced me as “Dad’s friend, daisyfae”.

For the wedding, i chose the blandest, dullest, most boring outfit i could conjure* from my wardrobe – long navy dress, white sweater, coral scarf.  Didn’t stick around for the formal family photography session – not my gig, didn’t even need to be there to watch.  Stayed clear of the dance floor while the mother of the groom was out with her children. When Studley and i eventually hit it for some swing, i found a spot on the dance floor that was out of her direct line of sight.

Arriving back at the hotel after the reception, we met with Studley’s daughter to sort logistics for a breakfast meet up the following morning. The Girl Child had the ex-wife in tow. No way out. The Girl Child hugged her father and me as we moved toward the elevator. i reached out to shake the hand of the ex-wife, and wished her safe travels. Refusing my hand, she waved and said “good night”.

She resents me, after just meeting me. It has nothing to do with who i am, what i do, what i believe, how i look, how i live my life… The simple fact that i exist… that’s all.

And sometimes, that’s how it will be. Onward…

move the fuck on

* not a tremendous challenge.  i don’t shop.  i have underwear older than my children…