jettison to the center of the storm

Saturday was a new day, a different day. I woke up in a bed underneath wall papered palm trees to home cooked pancakes. I can’t remember the last time I woke up on a Saturday morning and ate a hot breakfast in my pajamas. It reminded me of the times that we did that every Saturday, when the missionaries were here before I was even awake. Saturdays lost that won’t be reclaimed. Old traditions that will soon be replaced with new ones. A little bit of a reminder that these things are going away, that as we leave here we'll be acknowledging that we can't come back. Things are never going to be fixed and mended. It's a branch of a tree broken off--it can't be glued or stapled on. It's done. New branches will grow and the old one will still exist, but it's not the same, never the same. So much thought from a stack of pancakes.

Then it was back to the house that isn’t ours. To the empty place. We collected our random items scattered about in hopes that we’ll remember to collect them, or that maybe we just won’t ever leave. Just me and the mother, scrubbing, dusting, and mopping for the last time. Thinking about how this house had always been safe for me. This was my refuge. This wasn’t where I hurt. This was where I was safe. Any time I got hurt here I left. This was where I came home and cried about mean people, friendless middle school days, real life learning experiences. This was the place I longed for when I was lonely on that island in the sea, where every airport brought me closer to. It wasn’t my home anymore. I was getting it ready for someone else to enjoy. I sighed a lot, reaching behind and on top, making sure no toys, clothes, or dust particles remained. I intentionally didn’t throw away the budding plant in the window. It had gotten off to a good start. Maybe the new family will follow it’s lead. Maybe we will too.

Then it was clean. Then we were making trips to drop off food and luggage, picking up and dropping of friends and siblings. Trying to fall asleep at 10 am in my mom’s empty bedroom while watching her sort through the last few things and pretending to pay attention to RED on her laptop. Then it shifted. The new people were here. This was their house and they were marking their territory with their stuffed kid’s chairs and their boxes of easy mac. I felt like our privacy was being invaded, like our little home was violated. Mother and I left. We fled to our safe haven where there were kind hearted people and a lovely pool.

Later I had to go back to my home on 25th court because I left my phone in the garage (accident? Probably not). I wanted to see my house again, my dog, and two people who have an uncanny ability to cheer me up. The new family was already moving stuff in. It was a sad moment. Then memories are in spurts.

Two tall glass bottles of clear liquid almost breaking, cutting off the bass of ghosts n stuff, dog treats, tears, and lost tags. But it was okay. It always is.

I fled back to the salt water pool, letting the water do what it always does—calm my nerves and stabilize my emotions. The cool salt water was relief from my sadness and the heat of the sun. I tried to continue conquering my fears by doing a back flip. I didn’t get any further. I’m not sure that I ever will.

Jada and I left. We blasted music and sped down old hiatus because it’s what we do.

She needed to meet her friend at the mall. So she did.

And then I was left to keep the party going solo. I partied, confronted a cop, and dealt with the weirdness of leaving the place I love the most. I went back to our safe house and tried to sleep for twenty minutes.

I went to a talent show where there wasn’t much talent. I ended up in a car with some uniquely entertaining people. Still praying that I won’t end up in a ward without people like them.

Getting lost and Asians singing Natasha Bedingfield.

Getting retaliation.

(the signs say “hope the sushi was good")

Finally, FINALLY sleeping.

My bangs rebelled the next morning

It was an excellent Sunday. My mom loved me and the johnsons were there and we were going to be okay and I gave an important gift for the first time. It was a special Sunday, one that I loved but surely couldn’t have every week or I’d become jaded or desensitized from overexposure.

After that it was standing in the heat declining an offer to sleep on the patio with the ducks, and the long drive over broad roads rising up over the interstate, pushing the gas all the way to Miami. Taking a pre-meal siesta and eating the best Dominican food in the world.

Finishing dinner and watching the Best Two Years (yes, we’re now that family) and laughing too hard. Hearing the punch lines quoted three seconds before the movie actually said them, hearing everyone laugh and then laugh at other people’s laugh. Eating dessert that is deadly, so very rico.

That night was the most entertaining fireside I’ve ever been to, one where the speaker was, from the pulpit, inviting accusations and rebuttals from boys and girls concerning their perspectives on the responsibilities of each gender. I saw some of my very favorite people

Oh yeah. I joined the Dew Crew. Almost officially, but not quite yet.

[Title from Rescued by Jack's Mannequin]

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