I can’t quite identify what got me weepy today. It might have been someone’s accidental mention of a particularly bittersweet holiday, or the rising number of tasks for which I need to ask help. Perhaps the sticking “f” key on my laptop annoyed me once too often.
But when I pulled out the loft ladder and crashed a stack of china onto the floor, I lost control.
I collapsed into a chair, sobbing, shaking. I didn’t particularly need as many dishes as I kept when I moved. But the sight of jagged shards scattered across the kitchen unnerved me. I liked those plates. I bought them at thrift stores in that clumsy year between separation and my last divorce. Jenny Rosen dragged me out of the house to search for them so I wouldn’t have to use my soon-to-be-ex-husband’s first wife’s dead mother’s dishes any more. Now they’ve been heaped into a plastic bag and tossed in the trash, and I’m eating cold pasta salted with my falling tears.
I’m not complaining. My heart cringes though, the sad twist of a soul with clumsy stitches over unhealed rends. I search for consolation: The ten-dollar cabinet; a successful community meeting; glorious blue skies for three days’ running while back home piles of snow stopped traffic and downed power lines. I don’t feel much better. I struggle to grasp the momentum, wrapping the spastic fingers of my lily-white hands around the fleeting wisp of joyfulness with which I started this day, twelve hours and a life-time ago.
It’s the thirteenth day of the sixty-first month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.