Monday, June 22, 2009

A Day In The Life

I'm feeling introspective and wanting to write creatively right now, but it's been so long since I've primed that well, that I think the waters might not flow as quickly as the mood is striking me.

There have been numerous stresses over the previous months and more stresses to come, such is daily life. I know the urge to write, is really that urge to escape, into pure emotion, fantasy lives and the image of an easier, quieter life that I imagine I must have enjoyed at some point in time, even if it wasn't in this life.

So while contemplating what emotion was moving me and what I wanted to write, I began looking through a folder of my old writings. I just plucked a file from the back and read with amusement, an entirely different set of stresses that used to be my daily life, back when my children were 3 and 5 and I was not only going to college full-time, but also working more than full-time and preparing to go through a divorce. The writing quality isn't that good, but I'm sure I wrote it in a sleep deprived state.

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A Day In The Life

Farmers have roosters, superheroes have howlers. 1:47 a.m. the howling alarm goes off as a freight train whistles through town. Our superhero jumps out of the warmth of her bed, heart pounding, hoping to have awoken before the grumpy (I will call you at any hour if your dogs so much as bark once and awaken me) neighbor. This neighbor has also been known to call if the phone rings, in my house, in the early hours of the morning to request the ringers be turned off, as they disturb his sleep. Apparently he can hear through closed windows and house walls, across the stretch of lawn between our houses and through his house walls and closed windows.

As quickly as her rudely awakened body can manage, she runs to the back door and hisses, "shut the hell up," letting one of the two offenders come inside. Divide and conquer usually works for her. The younger dog doesn't seem to like to howl alone. Must be a pack thing. She climbs back into bed knowing the official alarm will go off in 3 1/2 hours. She wraps her pillow around her head to muffle all sound and light, begging sleep to return quickly.

Her dreams return, filled with kaleidoscopic images of color and movement, slowly pulling themselves into various shapes and scenarios. She relaxes into peaceful dreams of romantic heroes. Then - abruptly - the colors fade to sinister shades of grey. In her dream, someone is approaching. The stealthy movements of a certain murderer/rapist captivate all her senses. Her heart begins to pound, the killer comes closer, closer, she can feel his breath on her face. She has to awake, her only escape from this horror. Her eyes flash open only to see another pair of eyes gazing directly into hers.

She screams with all the terror and drama any B-flick actress worth her weight in fake blood could muster. Then her would be assailant falls backward screaming too. Oh my gawd! She yells as she switches on the light to see her youngest child shaking in fear, crocodile tears cascading over his baby cheeks. "What were you doing in mommy's face?" She questions. "I'm firsty," he wails. "Shit," she curses under her breath.

Dramatically throwing the blankets off, head hung low like a slave, she walks the longest mile to the kitchen. She thinks to herself, "I hate cold tile on warm bare feet." After watering the Sahara, she returns to her bed, glancing at the clock, 2:58 a.m. Ooooohhhhh she groans as she burrows down into the blankets, cocooning herself against the trials of the night.

All is peaceful in the sleepy little house. 4:17 a.m., little brother is sprawled across his bed, sleeping in total contentment. Our superhero is buried beneath her blankets, yet still on call. Now it's sister's turn. A blood curling scream, "MOM!!" Our superhero springs from mommy's bed. Leaping in a single bound over the rails at the end of the bed, a tangle of blankets resembling a cape flowing behind her, she clears Tonka trucks strategically abandoned in the hall, and reaches sister's bedside in less than two heartbeats.

Panting and in pain, mommy gasps, "what's wrong Sweetie?" "I had a bad dream, a bad man was chasing me, and someone else was hitting me." "Aww, Honey, don't dream of bad people. Think of nice things like kitties." "But the bad man broke into my dreams." "Then think of a little kitty that loves you, and it grows up into a big, brave lion. When the bad man comes back, let your pet lion chase him for a change." "Okay," she sighs, and is back asleep almost as quickly as she awoke.

The weary superhero has rescued yet another child. Now she drags back to her bed. Bending over to retrieve her blankets in the hall, she notices when she tugs on her blankets, they are immovable, even for her super-human strength. A whisper of, "what the hell," echoes in the hall as a light is switched on. A 65 pound wild dog wannabe lies sprawled in the middle of the blankets, eyes squinting in the bright light as if to say, "turn the damn light out woman, I'm trying to sleep." "Oh never mind," she says in disgust as she switches off the light. "You can keep the blankets." 4:45 a.m. with fresh blankets from the closet shelf our superhero returns to bed, begging the gods for 30 minutes of uninterrupted sleep.

5:30 a.m. shrills our superhero into consciousness. Springing off her bed and into the shower in one fluid movement, she turns on the taps, shivering and waiting desperately at the side of the shower stall for the water to gather warmth.

6:00 a.m. our superhero prepares not only herself, but two small, usually uncooperative children for their day ahead. Three sets of clothes, a quick shower for the one still not quite potty trained, three different breakfasts to suit everyone's tastes, three backpacks, with homework done, notes signed, library books awaiting return, cookies baked for snack time, money for a field trip, lunches for the finicky, and other assorted accouterments.

7:30 a.m. our superhero fights the raging traffic of mad mothers in their daily rush between daycares, schools, and work, and the occasional father or friend who's not quite used to the way the traffic flows through the parking lot every morning, causing a blockage and a delay of three precious minutes, as they pull into the lot from the wrong end.

8:00 a.m. our superhero goes to her classes trying at intervals to be attentive without dosing, answering without ignorance, and sitting mutely with head down, hoping she won't be called on.

1:00 p.m. our superhero has survived another day of back to back classes without lunch. She sprints home to swallow a meal of fruit, bread and cheese, before dashing out to retrieve the first child from daycare, before going on to get the second child from school, then pouring into the afternoon and evening with snacks, homework, dinner, bathes, bedtime stories, brief silences interspersed with requests for water, another bedtime story, etc. before mom begins her own homework, then falling off to bed for another evening in the life of a superhero to begin.

1 comment:

Larena said...

Ahhhh...those were the days !!!

And on and on and on

Still busy!  Surprised?  I think this is just the state of my life.  I'm teaching an on-line course, traveling three weeks in a row (MD,...