when you're gone i sense the lack of you. air fills the place you belong, following me around like a ghost. i lay in bed listening to the rise and fall of our sons breathing. i see their noses and brows outlined in the darkness. they look just like you, i think. you planted them in me and they grew from nothing. they are half you, and yet they cannot fill the hole you've left. i know this journey away is only temporary, but it occurs to me as i try to sleep here in my mother's house that this is my plan for the worst-case-scenario - to live here, sleep here with our sons and sense the lack of you surely more succinctly, more cuttingly than now. i imagine you gone forever and my shoulders shudder and quake with my weeping at the horror of it. it would be so impossible to breathe without you, let alone raise our boys, be strong, continue on. these days apart may be made worse by our struggling of late - the stress of your career on the line, the preschoolian's problems, my inability to dig myself out of myself at times, but it is a great reminder of how deep is our need for one another. this family we have created is a lifeline to the world and all my improbable, horrific imaginings simply underscore that fact, remind me of the strength of this blood that connects us, how important our flesh and our mutual struggle. we are molded of the same thing. we are one. i cannot forget. i love you. come back soon.


i am spinning my wheels. i am stuck in the mud. as much as i accomplish anything, move the slightest bit forward, i am being pushed back, seeming to stand ever still, yet flailing. there is so much mess about. so much eight arms swinging about, bringing things and little boys to and fro; constant madness and there is an inner turmoil to accompany the outer chaos. there is a sense of all this being unjustified, unfair, not right. there is a sense that i am under constant pressure and the slightest bit of anything pressing on me any further causes eruptions, spasms of profanity and gritted teeth. one day the car seat wouldn't go in and it was all tourette's and tmj - i was needing so badly for it all to stop. i hated the car seat, the car, the fact of the need to drive, this history that made me require this hunk of plastic that will surely be landfilled, this unnecessary mined ore and all the petroleum of the world - the arab oil dictatorships, this president and his saudi ties... the call for jihad seemed suddenly so reasonable as i was running late and the car seat still moved and bastian fell asleep between my purse and diaper bag in the front seat, waiting. jihad! fuck the car seat! that is the essence of the unreasonable erupting from me. that is the every day, these days. i cannot articulate anything and i cannot pinpoint what is wrong. i have been having a bad life and i am waiting for it to be spurred to improvement. i am trying to accomplish just that by the movement of any project in a forward direction, but my long-term destinations are insurmountable even in my dreams where i announce that the pursuit of midwifery is a decade away; and my short-term goals get buried by my sons spewing snot and making constant messes. even dusting the bookshelves becomes impossible as things are all drenched by the three year old in food bits, soap, and salt. he finds new concoctions for the things he drinks, eats, and eliminates with our floors and furniture. my life is the cup of tea made and forgotten as one child pees in his diaper while the other pees on the floor and i move from place to place, wiping and vinegaring, discovering peanuts in the plants or jam on the computer screen, hours later discovering the tea on the kitchen countertop, cold and unnecessary or unwanted with the lunch i must attempt to make. i am spinning in circles, looking for a pathway to release into and finding myself merely continuing to spiral. i cannot hold a thought and i am going nowhere.


the terrible truth about being so domestic and so nuclear as a stay-at-home mother is that i spend half of my life buying things. i am the stocker and i do the inventory of our home. i make lists and buy gifts and am drawn in by the secret drug in the air at target that tells me to consume. this all despite my urges and philosophy to be both frugal and to live simply. it seems nearly unavoidable. i hate it at the same time that i long for things. i am seduced by slick magazine spreads and by the well-researched product arrangement at the stores. i see things that i probably do not need but most certainly could use and i long, i lust, i do figuring rapidly in my head to determine the cost-benefit analysis on my bank account. i have no credit card debt. i am not gluttonous, yet i consume. i imbibe things. i am drunk on my own buying-power and i hate it. china is growing and manufacturing and polluting and violating the rights of their humans constantly that i might have shiny new canisters for my flour so the plastic that held my whole wheat stone-ground loveliness does not leach its toxins inward and onward to my breads and baked goods, toxifying the gastrointestinal tracts of my children where already surely there are pesticides and jet fuel from the air and water. the whole thing is disturbing, disgusting, depressing. i know that i have been duped into it by the big box marts, by the television and the pop-up ads. i know that the target is me. i am a part of one of the great markets of the modern era and it is delusional of me to think that i could escape it. i hate it. i hate it. i hate it.