December 29, 2003
December 29, 2003 - 12:14 p.m.
I woke up today in the middle of a storm.
Driving rain slammed against my bedroom window, shaking the glass in its aging frame. The wet outside leaked in a little, creating a fine cold mist that chilled my outstreched fingers when they reached the pane. From my pillow I could see the courtyard's two olive trees, bent almost double with wind, snapping back as the currents allowed. The walls creaked, pushing back the weather.
Still in bed, I silenced my alarm for the third time, finally clicking off the snooze. I squeezed my eyes shut against the morning, pushing back consciousness and hoping for sleep. It would not come. Instead, like the wet hammering drops outside, images and words flooded in.
In the past week, many of the people I care about most deeply have broken down. Mom and Dad, after a drunken talk about divorce on Christmas Eve. Miss Beek, unsure about the right thing with a man. Scratcher, broken by his father's disrespect. More rocking bodies than I care to count have passed through these arms.
In the middle of all this pain, my own life is slowly coming together. Scratcher and I came through our first Twilight Zone-like argument. I've been offered a new position in our office, one that will let me use my analytical skills to write and hire. And I sign the refinance papers today at 4:00 p.m. Within a week all the credit cards will be paid off, my father's loan repaid, and my monthly bills cut in half. In February I will be able to afford to save money for the first time since J moved out in September 2002.
I can't feel any of these good things yet. None of them are real. I'm worried about my family, I'm worried about my friends, and frankly I'm terrified by this new relationship. But in a few days, well - it will probably feel much better. I am deeply grateful.
I wish you all well in the new year, especially those who've been unduly burdened in the old one. May your loads be lightened. May you find others with whom to share the weights - and may their cares be lessened as well.
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former / latter