I’m sorry it was at your expense.

Thank you for parking in your usual space. You backed into it with your Camaro, despite the fact that today it was blocked off with orange cones and yellow warning tape to prevent people from driving into any of the trenches that have been dug in front of the multi-units where work is to be done. I couldn’t stop you, because there was a car in front of me that you were blocking, and it seemed that you were simply inconsiderately holding up traffic to make a K-turn. But, in broad daylight, you were inconsiderate to your car, knocking over the cones, breaking the tape, and plowing over the trench until you were securely in your familiar space and the front of your car scraped bottom. Because, dammit, that’s where you always park.

I said to myself, “I can’t fu**ing believe it! What an a**hole!”

Then I saw the symbolism, and said:

“But that’s what I do.”

Well, apparently that last little magical thing I’d kept stored in my heart turned out to be an illusion, too.

Now I’m completely disillusioned, which was the whole point of this blog. After a rough few weeks, I’m finally ready to move on.

I’m done with feeling sorry for myself for any of the hurts, including the disguised one of “I’m done since I obviously can’t trust myself to only trust the trustworthy” that tries to pass itself off as a lesson learned.

I am feeling very free and full of energy. I am an open person who enjoys being that way. If I get hurt again, so what.

I’m bored with the analyzing and energized by my spring plans of planting vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Which brings me to the question, what is smart?

I did not inherit the delicate French, pianist fingers that my daughter ended up with. The genes skipped a generation, and gave me my fat, kohlrabi-planting ones that fondly remind me of my German grandmother, working hard in her vegetable garden.

Vegetable plants don’t jump where they think they should go when you get near them. Links on my phone are activated not only because a fat finger gets in the way, but when a finger is nearby but doesn’t even touch! This is called convenience. Because actually pressing the link would take so much out of me.

Another convenience is when the phone rings when it is deep in my pocketbook. (If I’m driving, I should just forget it, and hope it’s not an emergency. Governor Christie tells me on my windshield sticker that I should “Put the Phone Down”, which is confusing because shouldn’t it be “Don’t pick up the phone in the first place.”?) The purse fumbling activates an inability to answer the call. Instead a list of handy text messages, like “Can’t talk now. What’s up?” or “Did you want me to pick up that movie with Meryl Streep?” pops up, requiring me to choose one in order to get back to a place where I can call back.

Being poor, my phone serves as my music player. Since it pretty much dials and texts what it wants at will, I don’t have any contacts in it that wouldn’t laugh with me were they to get the following text, discovered as a draft after getting home from my playlist-filled stroll around the neighborhood the other day:

“Toof”

To be fair, my phone often ignores links I touch 11 to 16 times, so it all evens out.

*Southern for “getting ready to”

 

I pick a book off the library shelf—Change the Way You See Everything by Cramer and Wasiak. Cool photos, inspirational ideas until they get to be too much. I read a little more. Concentrate on the positive and stop trying to prevent and fix, it says. What???? Preventing and fixing is bad? That’s what I do. I’m furious. Back to the library you will go.

A few days go by. A few days of being at work, trying to prevent and fix, followed by a couple of days with a gnawing feeling that things are unpreventable and unfixable. Meanwhile, the people around me are content with working in pleasant, meandering ways.

I’ve noticed that the words that piss me off the most are often the truest.

I pick up the book again. This approach to things is definitely not me.

Yet.

When trying to keep your New Year’s resolutions, please remember the importance of sticking to them throughout the year all the way through December 2014. With Christmas 2013 behind us, it’s easy to forget that Santa is watching.

http://stayfreemagazine.org/public/irwin-chusid-santa-claus.mp3

When we were kids, we liked to dig in the yard. I scared my little sister once by telling her that the cluster of roots we found was the devil’s hair.

Up was good. Down was bad. Up was heaven. Down was hell. People climb the ladder. People fall from grace.

“I don’t understand where heaven is in space,” was a dilemma nobody would ever help me with as a child.

What is failing? Is it falling?

When we build upon sound underpinnings—great! When things fall apart because they are not based on a solid foundation, that is truth—great!

Hitting bottom when up is good and down is bad sounds awful. Hitting bottom on Earth in the Solar System in the Universe is the natural result of the wonderful force of gravity.

It is Mother Earth pulling you close into her arms and giving you a big hug.

I don’t know if it’s because most middle and above class women get their nails professionally done nowadays, but I’ve been having trouble finding emery boards. It’s not that I don’t eventually find them—but they used to be everywhere. At checkout counters. Even in the nail care section.

Maybe I’m too poor and/or afraid of infection to get my nails done in a salon, but I have my standards, and I can’t stand it if I see my nails in a weird shape. If my thumb starts to look like a trapezoid and I reach into my pocketbook and don’t pull out an emery board, I’m not happy. Or if the emery board has lost its grit, I curse that checkout counter with its array of lip balms.

The best emery boards—the ones that kept their abrasive finish forever—were always the advertisement giveaway ones. I still have one from my North Carolina gynecologist’s office. See, there are physicians who treat the whole person.

Even if you weren’t a good enough citizen to follow the campaign, it always paid to go vote to get the candidate emery boards. They were the best. A good emery board could get a Democrat elected in a rural small town or Roe v Wade overturned in Manhattan.

When is the best time to use an emery board? I worked in a place that had weekly safety meetings, and this one lady used the half hour to manicure her nails. While not on the level of, to quote Elvis Costello, “filing her nails while they’re dragging the lake,” I thought that was pretty rude. But I did admire her efficient use of time. I try to leave an emery board within easy reach of a long red light, or do a nail or two when I have a few random minutes. This avoids looking down on my hands and feeling inferior to those middle and above class women happily choosing among the lip balm.

That’s all I’m going to say. As I type this, my right index finger is looking a little dodecagonal.