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10:11 a.m. - 2012-08-05
Getting some stuff off my chest. No biggie in the main.

Terri and moving house has been on my mind a lot recently. Actually the idea of moving gives me the walloping willies, but Terri's adventures in paring down and prioritizing all her things is making me itchy to do some purging around here. I'm feeling freighted by stuff. This house has too much stuff in it. And it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep my mind serene.

We've been here for nine years now and despite my good intentions to keep my life streamlined and tidy the stuff crept in and piled up. I can't lay it all on Mick either, true, he's a hoarder and he's done a dandy job of clogging up the attic, the garage, the cellar, and the front porch with God knows what, but I've allowed my own stash o' crap to become unwieldy too. And unlike Mick who believes every scrap of his stuff is valuable and worth bazillions of dollars (not that he'll sell any of it) I know most of my crap is crap. Broken things I don't have any problem getting rid of, but what to do with the things which are whole and sound but just not necessary anymore? For instance, Mick buys me flowers a few times a year. The flowers come in a vase. Now I have a dozen or so vases. They're pretty enough, but not extraordinary. How do you throw out a perfectly good vase? Donate them? To whom? I doubt the Goodwill needs them, they're probably awash in cheap florists vases. Put them on Craig's List or Freecycle? Will bunches of strangers be rushing over here to get these macht nichts flower holders? Doubt it. Make something clever and crafty with them and sell them at flea markets? Yeah right.

And that's just the vases, there's scads more things like that clogging up my life. Unwatched movies, unplayed CDs, kitchen tools I never use, random chargers to electronics I'm not sure work anymore, jewelry, clothing, etc, etc. Maybe a few things are okay for donating, but most of this stuff is just stuff- the detritus of modern American life. A garage sale is out. Too much effort for too little gain. And the idea of sitting in sun all weekend while strangers paw through my things and argue that 50 cents is too high for a nice maple table and will I take a quarter? BLECH!!!

On top of everything else it feels gross to be complaining about having too much stuff. A complete first world problem and embarrassing to admit to. Fortunately it's only a couple months until Fall Clean-Up aka: Throw Out Your Big Garbage Week. I plan on starting early. The curb shoppers and scavengers are quite efficient. I don't know what they do with all the stuff nor do I care, all I know is if I put it out there 90% will be gone in a day. Then they can figure out what to do with all the dang vases.

Of course part of my crowded house feeling is from actually having a crowded house. We've just limped past the halfway mark of our grand experiment in togetherness. Whee.

Never again. I swear to you on all that's holy and profane. Never, ever, ever again. Should the day ever come when I'm faced with more than two weeks of the both of them being here all day and night I am going straight to NASA and volunteering for a 3 year stint on the space station ALONE. I'll run tests, sweep up the space dust, keep the solar collectors clean, whatever. Just so long as I'm up there in orbit where nobody can swoop in on me and demand my attention. The peace of it!!! Even the zero-gravity squat toilet is okay. At least it would be MY zero-gravity squat toilet and nobody would be clogging it up with giant man poops and peeing all over the damn thing.

My friends, I am wrung out. Trying to keep the peace for the last 41 days has ground me to a nubbin. Surely there must be some middle ground between the ex who didn't give a shit about anything and Mick who makes a huge honking hairy deal out of EVERYTHING. A door slam, a barking dog, a telemarketer, a misdirected piece of mail and holy Mary Mother of God there's a piss fest, a rant and enough rage and frothing for a dozen rabid dogs. How this man has managed not to stroke out is a mystery. Nobody can be THAT upset with EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME and not blow an artery. Then again, Mick gives all this shit to me. He rants and sneers and gets all crazy eyed and foamy at me and then he walks away whistling and here I am buried beneath his constant unrelenting outrage.

Yes, of course I've spoken with him about it. Yes, I tried 'Talk to the hand'. Yes I have tried everything from feeding his face to running away to bellowing back to countering his shit with a Zen smile. I've even tried distracting him with blow jobs.

Nothing works for long.

Wolf, too, is getting on my last nerve. Not that he's demanding, but if Mick's stinking up my life with his barrages of bile, it's nothing compared to the vitriol he tries to heap on my kid. And I am always having to be there. Soothing, shoving Mick out of the room before he can reduce Wolf to humiliated ash. My mother was more than okay with allowing the men in her life to abuse me, but I am not my mother. Nobody is allowed to make my son feel like shit.

Yet Mick isn't always wrong when he wants to go off on Wolf. My boy can do a better job. It's little enough that's asked of him by way of chores and cooperation. Does Mick need to blow fire from his nostrils and go into a 15 minute hissy fit and abuse festival because Wolf didn't take the trash cans to the curb? Of course not. But should Wolf have remembered to do it in the first place? Absolutely.

Is Wolf consciously playing me? I don't think so, but he is pushing things. Believing I'll always intervene and be on his side, it's under there somewhere, and he's no stoopnagel.

Goddamn, I am so tired.

And what about me? Where's my place? When do I get to do just for me?

Good question. And one I'm nowhere near figuring out the answer for. The one thing I am sure of is that September 4th is coming. On that day Mick will don his uniform shirt and go off to the Uber Sports School's campus and stay there for a lovely, oh so quiet eight hours. On Sept 4th Wolf will climb onto a big yellow bus and go away to Podunkville High and stay there for a lovely, oh so quiet seven hours.

They'll come back, sure. And they'll bring tales of woe and aggravation and paperwork to fill out and bitches and whines to listen to and lists of things they need. And I'll have to soothe and mend and tend as usual. But on September 4th I can start banking up those precious hours of alone time. Time when I'm obligated to no one but me. Why, in that first week alone I'll get 28 whole hours just for me. Time when I can write, paint, think, sleep, jack off, paint my toe nails, talk to a friend, try a new recipe, shop, cruise around in the car with the radio blasting, clean my house and giggle because it'll still be clean an hour later. 28 blissful hours when I know my house is empty and only the dog wants my attention.

No more getting up at dawn and tip-toeing around to make my coffee and get in some writing time. No more sealing myself in here weighed down with the foreknowledge that by doing so the mess on the other side of the door will be that much bigger when I come out.

I used to dream of great things. Bestsellers. An honored and respected voice and a hand in making policy. Traveling the world and reporting in on what I saw there. A byline. Some power to effect change for the good. I used to dream about making a difference.

Now? Nowadays I dream about taking a crap without a knock on the bathroom door.

Thanks for listening. I really needed to vent.

Muddling through and refreshed for having had my say. ~LA

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