Monday, March 31, 2008


Forty-two days. That’s how much time I have. Forty-two days to sort through the drawers. Through the closets. Through the attic, and the crawl space. Through the photo albums, and the file cabinet, and the basement. Six years in a house, almost eleven years in a marriage, and now I have forty-two days to figure out what stays, what goes, what’s his, what’s mine, and what, if anything, is left.

The good news is we sold the house. In a market called the “worst…since the Great Depression,” we got lucky. The house was only on the market for three weeks. The buyer is a local guy who likes the location. The inspection went well and there don’t seem to be any complications in the deal. The P&S gets signed this week. We got lucky. That’s what they tell me.

Somehow, I just can’t seem to celebrate.

Six years ago, when we bought this house (for considerably more than we just sold it for, I might add), Matt and I were still pretty fresh off our California high. We had decent jobs, we had a good down payment, we had lots of friends, and hopefully a baby was on the way. Life was pretty good, and here we were -- buying our second house; a great little Victorian Farmhouse with a front porch perfect for rocking chairs and rosebushes, a yard big enough for the two dogs, and a family neighborhood. The beach was less than a mile away. We took a boat to work every morning, and back again each evening. They served beer on the boat. We bought new furniture, and a high-end gas grill. House became home, and I became pregnant. Calder was born to this house. This house saw his nightly feedings, his first smiles, his first cold. It sheltered two terrified parents who had no idea what to do with a newborn. Calder had his first solid food in the blue-tiled kitchen, where I laughed until I cried at the look on his face when he tried the strained peas. Matt bathed him in the kitchen sink. He sat up, crawled, and said “dada” in front of the fire in the family room. His first steps were in the back yard. This is the house where he became the most amazing person I have ever met.

This is also the house where friends came. Summer afternoons, cold beers and burgers on the grill. Matt wrestling with the dogs while Calder and a neighbor baby played on a blanket nearby. On Christmas eve, the house was filled with family, old friends, and more than likely, new friends who, for various reasons, had no place else to celebrate. Calder’s first birthday party was in the backyard, and all of Matt’s family came; his parents, his sister, his two brothers, their spouses, and Calder’s ten cousins. The only photo of the entire family was taken on our front porch. Matt and I danced in the kitchen, ate dinners we’d cooked together by candlelight in the dining room, and shared coffee and the paper on the sun porch. We laughed.

I grew organic tomatoes and spinach here. Matt ripped out ancient overgrown yews and we planted japanese maples and red-twig dogwoods. Matt put up the bird feeder he’d given me for my birthday outside of the bay window so I could see it while I was feeding Calder. We found a robin’s nest in the cherry tree.

It was in this house that I first admitted to Matt, and then to myself, that things weren’t all right with me. It was in our bedroom, in the dark, that I cried and tried to explain that I had gone so deeply inside of myself, so quickly, that I was lost. The upstairs bathroom, which we renovated together, saw me curled on the cold tile floor, my body clammy with sweat, my mouth dry, my stomach aching from the dry heaves. It was in the kitchen that Matt first told me that he hated this town, and that he wasn’t happy with his life. The family room was where I broke into his email and found all the letters he had written to her. It was here that I heard the phone message where she called me a bitch who was “keeping them apart.” It was up in the bedroom again, where Matt sat in his closet and cried, clothes piled all around him, the day he decided to move out. It was in the driveway that I stood to watch him leave.

This is the house where I prayed for guidance. Where I prayed for Matt’s father when he was ill, and where I wept when I heard he had died. Where I prayed for my grandmother when she was dying. The house where I begged for Matt to come back, and where I swore I would never let him come again. It was this house where I completely fell apart and where my friends and family gathered to put me back together again. Where my closest friends shared themselves with me. Where I sobbed when Matt took Calder away from me. Where I sit while I write this.

Forty-two days.

How do I even begin?


Originally uploaded by lkgilbert.
We should all be this happy.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Found Art

Originally uploaded by unbound67.
This is not my photograph, but I thought it was worth borrowing.

Broken Directional

Have you ever felt completely invisible? As if, all of a sudden (or perhaps gradually and painfully over the PAST TWO YEARS) the people who have sworn to love you and care about you and respect you one day said " oh to hell with this, as of today person X ceases to exist. Unless I have the urge to shit all over someone, then, like magic, person X shall be at my mercy."

No matter how I try, no matter what I do, I am person X. It's gotten so that sometimes I can't even see myself.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Night. A Lesson.

"Then down into the basement…What I wanted, I think, was just to do something extreme. Something that would be hard afterwards to pretend I hadn't done. I got the gun out of the toolbox, sat down on a haybale, put my left hand palm-down on the rough hay, stuck the muzzle into that little web of skin between your thumb and the rest of your hand and shot myself there more or less experimentally. To see what it would be like. Jesus Christ it hurt. Oh, not the worst I ever felt: nothing to compare with, say, bright pain in a tooth. This was like hitting yourself with a hammer, hard, and knowing you've done damage; but with a raw stinging afterwards that just seemed to get worse and worse and worse. That's Jernigan all over: first you swallow a bunch of drugstore anodynes and then you want to feel something and then you bitch and moan because it hurts."
(From Jernigan by David Gates.)

That about sums it up.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Local Youth Vomits, Steals Mom's Shoes

Long night. Longer day. Poor Calder just couldn't catch a break. Nor could the pachyceptosaurus, who was mauled mere moments after this shot was taken.

How Do I Loathe Thee?

I'm fit to be tied!
I'm madder than a wet hen!
The fur's about to fly!
I've got my panties in a wad!
My blood is boiling!
I'm about to go through the roof!
I'm mad enough to spit nails!
I'm going to have a cow!
I'll throw the book at you!
I'm gonna read you the riot act!
Man, you get under my skin.
I'm going to tear you a new asshole!
I'm wound tighter than a spring about this!
You really chap my hide!
You really get my bitch up!
I'm going to flip my lid!
I'm frothing at the mouth!
I've had it up to here!

In other words, we've become cliché.

It sucks to be this angry.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How I know that God's a comedian.

I'm doing my 3rd load of dirty sheets, my shirt is drenched, and the entire upstairs is strewn with vomit covered-stuffed animals.

The stomach flu has arrived.

Funny thing? I'm so flipping happy that I get to be the one to deal with it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Things did not go well.

I've completely lost faith in the system, in bravery, and in honesty. It's a bitter cocktail. And the worst part is that the people making the decisions don't know this amazing soul.

Nevertheless, we will all be here waiting.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Primary Droplets
Originally uploaded by lkgilbert.
watching the tail lights through the rain.

Back in a bit.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Nothing to read into, here…

…I've just been replaying this song over and over in my head for some strange reason.

And dreaming of people I went to college with and haven't seen or even thought of in 20 years.


Get this widget | Track details | eSnips Social DNA

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes (or PMS is a Beeeeeeeyatch.)

Thanks for all of your support yesterday. I got some bad news, which was worthy of the tears, but I ended up being sort of a pain in the ass for most of the day.

I am, however, remaining true to the notion that I'm allowed to do this, from time to time. Homo Sapiens and all that.