************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday Morning

I drop off a sleepy teen in time to take her college placement test, very early this Saturday morning. From there, I drive straight to the bookstore where my writers’ group meets. I'll arrive way too early, but I don’t feel like heading in the opposite direction to go home, in between.

With over an hour left before the stores open, only the Starbucks shows signs of life. I take my coffee from a girl who seems impossibly chipper.
A test sip.
Two sharp turns
The sky spits on my windshield.
I watch the world wake up from the mall parking lot...  
and I think about the Rag Doll.

My therapist thinks I'm avoiding the Rag Doll.

I know it's true. It shows in the anxiety which wanes and crests like the tides, and in the recurring dreams of running in circles, and of searching through room after room, and all the while knowing I am circumventing the one place I need to be.

Another car pulls into the empty lot. The driver chooses to park in the spot right next to me, despite the hundreds of other options. She drops a still-lit cigarette butt, jingles a large key ring, and walks towards a mostly hidden alcove which likely leads to a store’s back entrance.

I think about the past couple of weeks.
A terrible stomach flu coinciding with the death of my dog.
A surgical procedure in my mouth.
A disagreement with a close friend which is still unresolved. 
A change in medication.
A name from my past popping up and then shutting me down
and my therapist buying me a real rag doll… which I love but have no idea what to do with.

The rag doll sits in the rocking chair in my room, where it’s been since Monday. Somehow the rag doll is supposed to help me with the Rag Doll... but I don't know how to make it happen.
A Volkswagen beetle parks right across from me.
Slug-a-bug blue, I think, my daughter’s face popping into my head.

A schnauzer pops out of the bug, a woman on the other end of his leash.

I peruse the options; Lands End, Borders, Subway. No pet supply store or grooming shop in sight.

She walks the dog in the gravel and low bushes between rows of cars. With a perplexed look, the dog sniffs. Eventually, he lifts a leg, looking up at his owner for approval. She’s talking on her cell phone, unaware of his offering.

Time passes slowly. I look over the pages of editing I've brought for the meeting, adding another comment or two in red ink. I’m so glad for this group. Today they’ll be going over a big chunk of my book, which is basically finished. I just can't seem to accept it as finished until someone else puts an okay on it.

The line at Starbucks moves forwards in twelve-foot intervals. I imagine the cheer slowly dissipating from the girl’s voice as she serves her sixty-third coffee of the morning.

Welcome to Starbucks
Would you like to try a cinnamon caramel mocha Frappacino?
Please pull forward.
Thanks for coming to Starbucks! Now piss off.

I turn my attention to a new arrival. A man is unskillfully opening a complex-looking contraption. It turns out to be a double-stroller. He extracts a kicking toddler from the car and straps him into one seat. A moment later it’s déjà vous. Two identical squirmers struggle against the seat belts.

His wife must have picked out those matching outfits.

Futilely trying to keep the drizzle off the twins, he opens the stroller's tiny canopy.  As he pushes the wide-load baby-containment-system towards a store, I glance at my watch.
The stores won’t open for another ten minutes.

This being the most exciting thing to happen so far, I watch intently as he tries both doors of a children’s clothing store. He looks at his watch and then back at his car.

That’s when he catches me watching him.

I guiltily look down, and then rifle through my purse as if I have a sudden desperate need for lip gloss. I pull out my phone and sign into my email account. Scrolling down, I find the email my therapist sent the night before.

I finally asked her for suggestions about the rag doll, and she sent me a list of options. Some of them seem like possibilities.... I know I need to get serious about this, but I’m tired and I  have a meeting this morning and two soccer games to watch this afternoon, in the rain, apparently, and tomorrow is Mother’s Day and, wow, there sure are a lot of ways to put this off.

When I look up, the man and the twins are gone.
I gather my things, and kick the now-burned-out cigarette butt on my way out of the car.
The schnauzer barks twice as I pass the Volkswagon.  
The sun peaks out for a moment and I push the Rag Doll back into her corner for another day.


  1. This made me think of a rag doll I once got for Christmas. I was small, maybe 4 years old. I absolutely did NOT want a rag doll. My brother told me I was getting one. Darn. But within minutes of pulling that soft stocking-like face out of the wrappings, she was my best friend. I actually have thot of her recently and wondered when/where I lost her. Wow. Memories, thanks!

  2. I guess this will come up in your therapy session. I guess it needs to be taken slowly.


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Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.