First Summer Without Her

It is the loneliest summer ever…and my first summer ever without my older sister. She died in a car accident 11 months ago. She was 9 months pregnant. Whenever I see something exceptionally beautiful, I think it’s her.

The Selfless Game

When I was a blonde, pigtailed, obnoxious but polite child in England, my communist (the good kind) Grandma had a tube of Smarties in her purse. They are like MnM’s, like colorful, chocolate jewels that melt on your tongue. There was only one left and Meliah wanted it.

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When I Found Out

I was driving Zoe to an autism therapy appointment on campus. It was 3:00 in the afternoon and I was in a bad mood. I was sad because… I didn’t even know why. It was a useless, sadness-for-no-reason feeling which was erased from my life after what happened next.  

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What’s Done is Done

I waited as she had her conversation with the plumber. It lasted for a long time. I breathed through it and held it together and held it together as I felt anger starting to burn while I waited and gasped.

“OK, what’s up?” she said.

 I forced the words out of my mouth, “Meliah was killed in a car accident.”

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The Distraction Is Saving Me – by: Odette

It is Saturday morning, about 5am. I couldn’t sleep at all. I’ve literally been awake all night…so now I’ve given up trying. If I get it all out through writing, then maybe I’ll be able to rest. I cheated on my husband 2 days ago, and I’m still trying to feel bad about it.

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Learning New Colors

I think that when he turned on the music and suddenly some guy, I’m guessing his roommate, left the house without acknowledging me and with the door banging behind him, I realized what was going to happen and I started to reevaluate things.

What if this kid was stupid and not worth my time? He came out with a little pipe in one hand and a bottle of gin in the other. Ok. This was not what I was good at but it was different from usual and I could give it a try.

“You’ll need to put lots of tonic in the gin for me to be able to drink it” I said, starting to feel a bit worried that there was no where to put anything except for on the floor and I was sunk in his couch cushions like I was drowning.

“Here, come in my room because I have a table in there.”

I hesitated. I mean, what if he was some psycho and I here I was thinking I was the one in control, but maybe he was. This made me grumpy and the Bob Marley was something I only listened to at the beach so that was starting to make me grumpy too. I looked at the door, then back at him. He squinted at me and said, “What music do you like?”

“Oh you wouldn’t like it” I said. “It is some group from the 80’s called, New Order.”

He said, “come here” and walked back to his room. I heard Bob Marley stop and Bizarre Love Triangle started to thud though the house from his room…instant joy. I used my jogging leg muscles to get up from the couch and I headed over to the music and stood in the doorway of his bedroom, still holding the ice-sock to my head. He had put the gin, tonic and weed on his computer desk, on top of massive text books. There were 5 different types of Rubix Cubes stacked in a tower next to his computer. One was made up of all silver stickers. I picked it up and studied it with interest then put it back carefully on top of the tower. His bed was large and tidy with a boring navy comforter stretched over some pillows. There was an actual mini-fridge next to his bed, doubling as a bedside table, and some phone chargers scattered over it along with what I suspected was a retainer case.

He pushed his rolling computer chair towards me and I sat on it while he poured the drinks. “Lots of tonic” I reminded him. “I don’t really like the taste of alcohol” His lips turned up at the corners and I wondered what he thought of me. I had no idea of what guys thought of me these days. I knew that I was still said hello to on every aisle of the grocery store by random people, but I never knew if that was just because Zoe was so damn cute. I also didn’t know what my perceived personality was anymore. I knew I used to be what my old boyfriend described as witty. But now I got the sense that I was just a pain in the ass.

I had a few sips of the drink with my free hand and it was strong. I sighed. He couldn’t even get the drink right. He did get my expression right though because he took it out of my hand and put more tonic in it and then handed it back to me. That made me feel more relaxed. I like it when guys figure shit out and then do something about it.

Is it lazy if I don’t want to write what happened next? It feels like it needs to be just for me.

I’ll tell a little more. I told him I liked the new Taylor Swift album because it was all folk songs and then that was immediately playing. It was actually a little test because most guys don’t like Taylor Swift. But he was making it clear that whatever was happening right now was all about me. That was a familiar feeling from a long time ago.

I feel like this is all pouring out of me. I’m currently sitting on my bed with my laptop and my mask on. I wear it whenever I feel guilty. It is 1pm and I had to check to see what day it is (Wednesday) as days, moments, feelings are all still running together these days. Zoe is watching, Sofia The First, I can see her little head on the couch from my doorway. Chris is at band practice. I’ll finish this later. I’m feeling like such an insane, pitiful excuse for a human being.

Regressing

He was out there again this morning. I just drove by him. I’m too nervous to even look at him again, never mind stop the car and talk to him.  Talk about a relationship regressing.

Speaking of regressing, something kind of weird…Zoe hasn’t called me mama for a while. It has probably been about 2 months. I figure it is just a phase but it is kind of weird. Also, she could do her letters and numbers at 14 months which is totally genius-baby (this child could be on Ellen).  But she seems to be loosing interest or forgetting them. Also at 18 months she memorized all of the states from her United States puzzle we do together. She is loosing interest in this too. Of course there is no info online about genius 2-year-old’s forgetting letters and numbers they already learned.

I need to probably just focus on her and not on Jake down the street. Right now Chris is in the living room drinking a beer and playing a soccer video game online with some random people in like, The Constitutional Monarch of Euroguay or somewhere in the world. He can’t pause it to talk or answer me about my concerns with our little Zoe, because it will mess up his game.

Chris just called in from the living room, “Whatcha Doin?”

Me. “Um writing an email.” I can’t say I’m writing a secret blog about the college kid down the street.

When did I turn into such a liar?

Dog Tricks

OK, after I wrote that post yesterday evening, something crazy happened. My cat was mewing to come in the back door but when I let her in she went shooting through my legs like she’d seen a ghost…more like the Hound of the Baskervilles. When I looked out to see what was bothering her I saw a dog run through our back yard, and I realized it was Jake’s dog, Milo.

Let me start though with what was going on before that. I had just finished writing last night’s blog post and I went in to the living room to talk to Chris. He was playing his soccer video game that I can’t interrupt so I just sat there with the iPad. I was feeling kind of anxious. I hadn’t been feeling anxious for a long time but I think this weird regression thing with Zoe and also the approaching anniversary of Meliah’s passing is starting to severely mess with me. I thought about taking an Ativan and mentioned this to Chris. Then I told him that I might get a beer from the fridge because I had never heard of anyone having an anxiety attack while drunk before. I’m not a big drinker. Beer gives me a headache but I really try and stay away from the beta blockers as they work so well calming the grief and peeling the squeezing fist away from my heart, that I crave them. Anyway, so I was on my way to get a beer to try that route, when I heard my cat mewing in the back yard and that is when I went and saw Jake’s dog.

So I went out of the back door after Milo and shut it, then hurried off into the dark calling to Milo in a hissing type of whisper. But he kept going around the side of the house and he squeezed through the front gate like Houdini. I opened the gate to follow him, to try and catch him and get him back to Jake somehow, but there was Jake, standing under the gold streetlamp out front of our house. Milo just ran up to Jake and I saw Jake slip him a dog treat.  So I drew in a breath and walked up to Jake and said hello with a nice smile.

I wrote a long, detailed, awesome story about what happened next because I was so excited about it. The gist of it is that  Jake really wanted to make sure I was OK and didn’t know how to get me  to come and talk to him. So he plotted to have Milo run around my yard to get my attention somehow. I’m glad Milo didn’t eat my cat.

Jake was really sorry about hitting me in the head. But he said that he couldn’t stop thinking about me. He wanted to see if my cut was healing and when he moved my hair to see, it was like an electric current running through me just from his fingers brushing against my skin for a moment.

I think I’ll post a piece of the story tomorrow night. It has our dialogue in it. But I want to end this post by saying when I went back in the house, glowing like the street lamp, I didn’t need any beer or Ativan and I realized that the most frighteningly effective drug for my grief, is Jake.

-Odette

Hello Weekend

This weekend I am going to talk to a girl in town who has a little boy with autism. I just want to ask her some questions and find out which doctor she takes him to. The online autism sites I have been devouring all say, “early intervention is key in recovery,”  over and over again. So I realize I can’t wait to see if this “regressing” business is a phase that will pass.

My parents want us all to go to their lake house but Chris probably won’t want to go, and also my parents and I will  be stumbling around in a grief-haze since it is getting so close to the anniversary of Meliah’s and baby Lisa’s passing.

I’m also going to call my younger Sister, Astrid, in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) NY. I want her to send me a new mix of mp3’s. She is the music Goddess. I haven’t seen her since Meliah’s funeral. She deals with things in her own way.

To take my mind off everything I’m going to try something I’ve never done before…make soufflé. That should at least get a bit of a laugh out of my parents.

p.s. On Monday I will post the excerpt from my story that I promised I would post.

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