“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”
I am going to buy a shotgun, I think I should buy a shotgun, an over-under, I need a shotgun, who knows they may ban shotguns, I don’t know, but I need a new shotgun. You don’t need a damn shotgun. Yes I do. How many do you have now? He answers a number above one. No I say you do not need one, you are a grown man, and can make your own decisions, but you do not need another damn gun. You are acting like a gun NUT rather than a gun enthusiast, and that’s uncool.
You are such a hoarder, I say, you feel like you have to fill the empty void inside of you by filling it up with things, and you need to start living with that empty feeling and know you don’t HAVE to fill it up.
You hate yourself, he says. I make a mad face. See, he says, don’t psycho analyze me, I can do it right back.
I am quiet for a while.
Then I say, yeah I pretty much do though. My grandparents told me that they favored my brother and sister, I know my parents did not always like me very much, I was teased unmercifully in elementary school and high school, and I really only have one real friend left over from college. I sigh. And I have had terrible luck in love, I couldn’t even manage to keep a husband, and I am a horrible mother I have discovered in the last year. Yeah, I do hate myself.
See he says, I was right.
We are sitting in the car, talking, power off, you know, she says, sometimes, I wish you had met the Pirate sooner. I know I say, he is so much more suited to me. But there is the Butterfly Effect she says. Yeah and I am not sure it would have worked had I met him earlier, there are things that I am okay with only because of what I learned with ___. She looks at me, waiting. I mean sometimes I miss the affection, because he was really affectionate and cuddly, and the Pirate just isn’t. Yeah, she says, I am not sure how I would do without cuddling. It’s not that we don’t, I say, but it is that it’s not all the time. Although I do know they say that people that over cuddle do so because they have a basic deep insecurity, I do not say this aloud. That would fit her like a glove. But I do say, the thing is, with the Pirate it is real, he is being honest with himself and with me, and I see the difference between real feelings and a facade, and I would never have been able to see that without my previous experience. Also I say, he can be critical, but I see that there is a difference, with ___, he was critical because he actually thought I was beneath him. Oh yeah, she says, he was an asshole, I hated how judgmental and nasty he was. With the Pirate, I see how his mom is with him, trim your beard, cut your hair, your stomach is too big, she does it because that is how she expresses love, and with the Pirate he does the same, I don’t let him get away with it, but I see where it comes from, he is critical because he cares. Anyway I say, he is more suited to me because he is just as happy as I am spending the day outside, because he gardens, and hunts, and fishes and camps and hikes and works his tail off, and loves science fiction, is an artist, and takes real care of his family not for later, but right now. Let’s go in, I say. You need to learn how to start that snow blower. (an older one he is giving her).
This morning he throws open the door to my room, it’s almost seven you are going to be late. It’s Martin Luther King day, I don’t have to work. I marvel at how I am not always the first one up, at how he makes the coffee as often as I do. The cat is eating the dog’s food, and the dog is whining to get out anyway because he can hear the pirate yelling at Bart to get out of there, that’s Sancho’s food, so we get up. The Pirate feeds and takes him out every morning, and some nights he sleeps on the floor of the Pirate’s room. He makes some comment about my clumsiness, or laziness. Okay I say and then strike a pose. CAPTAIN CRITICAL: able to make the smallest and most insignificant flaw into the biggest problem in the universe with a single word. Is that a speck on your shirt? Or is it a BLACK HOLE? He is laughing, calling me an idiot,and standing legs spread apart with his hands on his hip, jaw jutted out. CAPTAIN CRITICAL: protecting all of planet earth from small flaws!
And in the end, it is that ugly voice that hates me, not me, myself. I am more the one who loves herself but cannot understand where it all went wrong, in my worst state, it is self hate, in a funny state, it is self depreciation, in the best state it is a note on the irony of the universe. It is the ego that says, I deserve better, but why have I not gotten better? Sometimes the answer is ugly, sometimes it is ego based, sometimes it is a shrug of the shoulders and a whatever happens happens for the best. But in there somewhere is a woman questing for truth, for honesty, for love and for laughter.
Nothing to hate there.