Thursday, April 14, 2011
Celebrating Mud on her 40th
Climbing the stairs to E’s old apartment, I was in no way prepared for my first steps through the Wombat’s force field. I was enwrapped in E’s strong arms. Maybe. Not sure if that actually happened. But it felt like she squeezed me tight and lifted me a bit off the ground. She placed me on a couch that sunk a wee bit in the middle. She gave me a glass of wine. And then I had the honor of watching Mud’s hands. I watched her dice tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, bread. She shuffled that shit like a deck of solitaire cards.
Mud sat cross legged on the floor, that night, untying the rat’s nest that had taken hold in her knitting bag. The mice have since built a high rise Sandals beach front resort in this bag, but she lets them live there rent free. Two days (or more) after my first ever stitch and bitch, our destinies would collide like two gay lovers at a straight bar. She called me to find out how the shedding of a fetus might feel.
And then, while we smelled the daisies and drank margaritas, we discarded the insides of our uteri like chickens who molt in the fall. We raped our husbands with creamy egg whites still fresh on our fingertips, wanting more spawn instantly. It was a good lesson for us both- our continually losing the genetic malformations taught us that control was something that existed only in our heads.
After all the boys were born two weeks apart, and after I was reborn, and after I lost a piece of my own mother, I enlisted Mud. She was the summit- the thing I looked to when I was in the ditches. When I was convinced that both boys would never talk and that they would hit their heads against a wall for the rest of their waking hours Mud said, “We’re going.” And on a dark cold winter morning she picked me up as I walked down my hill toward Tortolla. She made me drink rum and hang out with younger sexy men. She made me chase hairy spiders and big black men. She made me lift women’s skirts and feed the sharks. She brought me back. Back.
Since then it’s been me crying on her shoulder (about pretty much everything) and her not minding all the slobber. And I still can’t understand why.
There is little need on Mud’s part. There is, however, a need for instant gratification. There is Christmas Tree Shop and screen doors NOW from Home Depot. There is milk for dinner and absolutely no dessert. There are only gin and tonics and hot baths and smutty magazines and the goal of a clean house.
There is an undying need to help people; no, to save people. People who are dying on the side of a mountain, who are walking around with lost appendages, who are left for dead in the ditch. You have saved me.
There is a constant positive attitude and sometimes it’s mixed heavily with a strand of annoyance, but that’s only with her children. And always when there is a sun set worth watching, she watches. And when there is an owl in the night worth hearing, she listens.
Mud comes from this grand place that we hear little of. Big lights. Famous faces. Hot dog stands on every corner. And yet she comes from a place that taught her that life is too short to wait around for it. That there is always more fun to be had, more dogs to be found, more cats to be saved, more cushions to be purchased, more plants to grow, more frogs to be discovered, more wolves to chase. I’m just grateful that she won’t ever stop believing that there are more people to dig out of ditches. So I can continually be saved.