This morning fucking sucked. But did I honestly expect anything else? Nothing went as planned, and it never does. It was as if someone had physically shaken me for 60 minutes and then threw me on my feet to walk. There was just no way. I completely lost it driving up 95. I couldn’t even see. My eyes were flooding and last nights mascara was falling into them, and shit it stung badly. How fucking stupid can a person be?
I pulled it together shortly after realizing that I could very well crash my car from lack of vision. Driving down route 1, I thought, I want to see my grandmothers house, or rather what was my grandmothers house.
In the late winter of 2016, the power in her vacant house tripped, and the electricity never came back on. Her pipes broke and her entire house was ruined. Water ran for 3 days before we knew what had happened. I remember getting there and hearing a waterfall from the second floor onto the first floor hallway. Dad and Lana were already on the move, pulling things out of the house and laying them outside. After processing what I had walked into, I joined them, stomping about franticly in soaked tennis shoes. We emptied what seemed like half the house onto the lawn, and just like that, it started to snow. I remember how cold I was, how sad I was. The walls were splitting and swelling. The basement, like a shallow pond. The only place that felt like home after my parents divorced was now gone.
I drove down her road wondering if had some developer torn it down. Or if there was an ugly brand new cookie cutter house sitting there. Maybe two ugly brand new cookie cutter houses sitting there staring back at me.
As I approached it, I saw that there was new furniture on the screened in porch on the side of the house. My jaw dropped. Someone bought it. Someone bought it and fixed it. Someone beside me saw value in it. I started crying as I drove off. All of my memories came back to me. My regret ever moving out came back, too. Every holiday, cookout, homemade dinner. The times when I would drive over there to shovel her driveway before she was even awake. Goodness, I missed it all.
I was now on my way to see her. When I got there she was tired. She didn’t want to eat. We talked a little. I wanted to tell her about her house, that someone made it beautiful and livable again.
But the thing is, she still doesn’t even know it flooded.
She quickly fell asleep. That wasn’t unusual. She’s been holding on for two years at this point. It was just another day, really. I don’t get too sad about it anymore because I don’t allow myself to think about her reality. Today, however, was different. I sat there on the bed and looked down at her sleeping. Even when she sleeps she looks like she’s in total discomfort. It’s like she’s frowning. I cried. I bit on my lip to snap out of it, but the tears just kept coming. God damnit, if only I could do something to make her feel total joy one last time.
I thought about everything. I missed time with her; dinner dates, baking, talks at her kitchen table. I thought about how nothing feels like home anymore. I wanted to be back in her house on her, what seemed like, 40 year old couch with my head on her lap, watching who even fucking knows, like Shirley Temple or something. I thought about how she’s been there for every achievement in my life. I thought about how I always pictured her at my wedding. Her only granddaughter. Her only grandchild. I wanted her to be here to finally see me well on my way. I wanted her to feel proud of me. I wanted her to witness me being proud of myself. I wanted her to see me so genuinely happy. I wanted her to be able to see that I was going to be ok after she was gone. I can’t even give her that. I just want to tell her that I’m sorry for being such a god damn disappointment. But I don’t have it in me.
No one knows what has happened to me. I don’t know what has happened to me. But I fucked up. My young self never pictured my life this way at 27. My family straight up asks me if I’m done wasting my twentieth decade yet. I’ve literally been laughed at. I laugh back, too, but it’s really just to cover my own disappointment. Disappointment. I am the embodiment of disappointment, and I am so sorry. I am so fucking sorry.