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Yesterday was such a roller-coaster ride. Not on one of the new fancy ones, but the old wooden ones that rumble and creak convincing you that all of the rivets are going to pop and the whole thing is going to come crashing down. The ones that are older than I am, with no padding or extra bars to hold you firmly in place, instead you slam side to side with the person next to you. The ones where decades of chewing gum seem to hold the seats together. It’s loud, a bit fearful, exciting, stomach churning, and for some reason you just have to laugh.
It is now noon and I am still in my pajamas… or jjs as they are called in this house. I just came in from moving my car off the street and into the driveway so I wouldn’t get (in all fairness) a nasty note from the postman. When I put the car in park, the sun was just beaming in and I couldn’t move. It felt like the greenhouses of my childhood. Warm and quiet. And for a bit I realized nobody knew where I was. I felt invisible. I sat there are stared at my gardens frozen into the ground, looked at the trim that needed to go up, noticed where I missed a spot painting the downspout, smiled at the little gnome happily keeping watch over our beautiful vegetable beds that Chris built and listened to the birds that were out soaking up the sunshine, too. I tried to process all the ups and downs of the 24 hours prior, but it felt too much to make sense of. I was saved from my thoughts as I watched in my rearview mirror one of my favorite families out for a walk, make their way up the street. They were happily enjoying one another’s company. It seemed so simple; so connected…….so lovely.
I continued to sit in my muted world. I closed my eyes and turned my face towards the sun. I felt completely alone. Soon there were tears running down my face. It use to be pretty easy for me to tear up, but a few years ago, I felt like I used up my well of tears, so it caught me completely off guard. Where were they coming from? Exhaustion from a week of being sick and taking care of a child, thoughts of an old friend’s child going through cancer treatments, that the sky is so beautifully blue here… here was the roller coaster again. My brain and heart slamming side to side against one another as I went for this ride. Do other people do this? Or I am in denial my need of a padded room? (please don’t answer that!)
Soon, I heard the rumble of Chris’s truck approaching on his way home from the grocery store. I sat still as his truck pulled up alongside my car. He got out and loaded his hands up with the colorful bags and walked right along side my car. His face a foot from mine. He didn’t see me. Couldn’t he feel me staring at him? I was still invisible. I watched him walk through the front yard with his familiar gait. I wanted to call out and have him come sit in the warm car with me and enjoy the quiet, but I didn’t. I just watched his broad shoulders disappear into the house. I sat awhile longer now melted into the drivers seat thinking about how he and I have sat side by side for over half of our lives now, slamming into one another on our roller coaster ride. Sometimes laughing because it’s easier, sometimes screaming because the height is too high and the curve is too sharp, and yes, sometimes sitting alone in the seat and taking a few of the ups and downs alone.
I think I am going to go get dressed now, take a break from the ride and see if he wants to go for a walk.