Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Game of Cards

                                                           A Game of Cards

  I really do not know how it started. Very slowly I expect. Between marriages and divorces, children and the passing of time, I barely noticed in the beginning. I simply went out less. I stayed home. I made few friends outside of work and if I wasn't selling houses, I just stayed in. My children would comment on it. A dear neighbor who became a life long friend would come and coax me out. We would get up early and hit garage sales and have lunches. I was very reluctant to venture out on my own. I had no real desire to commune with the world. When Peng came along, again i was brought out of my shell. We would wonder the country together. However, as soon as he would leave for work, I would cocoon
in the house. I did not see it as a problem. It was a preference. I would make sure I had everything I needed and I would pend days, a week alone. Except for when one of my children visited.

  At first I would work in the gardens surrounding our home. And when I needed something for the yard, fertilizer or flowers, I would wonder out. I tried to get there and back as soon as I could. It was a trial. Little by little, my world got smaller. I stopped doing the yard. My son in law did. He was a hard worker and he got everything in order and so I simply gave it over to him and went back to the couch.
I read two or three books a week. I painted and repainted the walls. I was not lonely. I had Edgar. A gift from my husband. Company while he was away. It got harder and harder for me to make myself leave the house. It was an effort. I had to talk myself into it. I was usually just fine as soon as I got out. It was the getting out that was the problem. I simply did not wish to. I would postpone errands and make do without things. Just to prolong a trip out into the world. I just could not get past the leaving. I was fine once I was able to talk myself into going out. There was just nothing out there that I wanted badly enough to go get it.

  There was a sadness to it all. A melancholy kind of flavor to the day. When I thought about it too much, I would come to the conclusion that life was passing me by. I watched it tumbled out. Hours can quickly turn into days and it is such a short step into weeks from there. I would catch snatches of the life I was missing. An article in the paper about something I would of loved to be included in. Things I wanted to see. To bare witness to, but still I did not move. I would start many days thinking I might take a drive. Go see what new books were waiting for me to discover. But chances were as good as not  that I would be going no further than upstairs and the many things I had thought to do remained undone. I worked most of my life. I had somewhere to be and a very limited amount of time for anything I might want to undertake. And in all that time, I prayed for more. More hours in the day. More days in the week and less. I prayed for less. For the burden of things that always remained to be done to be lifted. And finely, I received an answer. I was given all the time one could ask for and I let it drift by. Unused.

  I knew I was missing out on things. Probably important things. I would discuss this with myself often.
Tell myself to get out there and explore. When I listened to me, I enjoyed it immensely. Yet, it was still always a conversation with pros and cons laid out like cards on a table. I would check both hands as I played poker with myself. Which was the better draw? How could I sweeten the pot? I would throw in a mani/pedi to my grocery store jaunt. I had to bribe myself to go. To set my mind to it. As if it was a struggle and to be honest it was. Of course Edgar went too. He became well known out and about. He loved the adventure of it all.  Many times, he was the entire reason for a trip. I would map out our day. We would go to every pet store I could find. Five or six in a day. At the very end I would stop and pick up a gallon of milk, which had been the catalyst for the journey to begin with. I still stay in more than I go out and I still have to talk myself into it. And it may always be that way. Shuffling the deck to see which side of me will win the next time around.

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