We made the announcement about a week ago on FB that we would be returning to the US of A after eight years abroad – and now I’m not so sure. It feels like announcing I’m getting married and then having to tell everyone that the wedding’s not taking place after all.
I mean, we’re here. We’ve made the move. We left Cambodia under duress. But no, I can’t speak about it freely at this point and I’m not sure if I ever will be able to. As a blogger, a memoirist, a person who understands the need to unburden herself, I wish I could, but some situations call for discretion.
In any case, I’ve been living a life of (1) unexpected unpleasant surprises, (2) crazy running around uncertainty and (3) what felt like certainty to (4) having the cycle repeat itself again. I’m not sure how much more I can handle.
I suppose it is a bit like learning to fall properly, but I’m still trying to get the hang of it so I’m basically hurting myself more than necessary…or waiting for life to get back to normal while I furiously overturn every stone I can think to look under.
My friend Tony told me to breathe. My brother said to take a break from trying to figure everything out right now. Good advice. My mother is telling me what to do and being disapproving to bait. Yet I find myself trying to please her, defend myself and make everyone happy.
I called my stepdad. I needed to talk to someone who understands what it’s like to live with my mother.
“Everything’s sticky. The kitchen is sticky.”
“She snores louder than me. I can’t sleep.”
“She’s driving me crazy.”
And after I vent, I share the possibilities of what we might do next. “We’re thinking of doing housesitting. You know, you watch someone’s dog, Brownie, and take care of their place.”
“Hmmm. Funny that you mentioned that name.”
“About 10 days ago, two dogs were fighting in front of our house, Brownie and Ralphie. I was trying to break them up before our dogs got involved. When I finally got them apart and the neighbors showed up to help, I went inside to wash my hands because I could tell Brownie had bitten me. But as it turned out, he had bitten my finger off.”
“What? OMG. Which one?”
“My right index finger.”
“You’re kidding me.”
“No, I’m being completely serious.”
“No, I know you are. Are you okay? Did you go to the hospital?”
“Yes. I went and told them my finger had been bitten off. They thought I had just been bitten until they saw my hand. They had to get a specialized doctor in to cut off the jagged bone and after five days I went into surgery.”
“Oh my gawd, oh my gawd.”
“The funny thing was that the whole neighborhood went looking for my finger.”
“Oh, no. Brownie ate it already.”
“That’s what I told them.”
“Suddenly my problems don’t seem like such a big deal anymore.”
“I knew I’d cheer you up.”
“Is this a cautionary tale against housesitting?”
“Yes, yes, it is.”