This is one of those nights when I think, I don’t deserve this.
The kids were on their best behavior all week, not that we usually have any major problems out of them. Work is coming in, not enough, not yet, but it’s finding its way from unexpected places. I survived my first reading, made the audience cry-and not because I sucked, and outsold every other author in the store that day. Beloved and his band got the green light to go forward with their new album, and it should be out in a couple of months. The dog hasn’t eaten anyone’s face, poisoned itself with garbage or exploded all over the kitchen, and the cat hasn’t killed him yet. The house is clean, laundry is almost caught up, the kitchen is stocked with good food and nobody’s sick. The bank account is in the black and none of the bills are in the red.
If you drive a BMW and just tested the pH in your hot tub, some of those probably seem like very minor things. If you high-five your spouse when the check engine light goes off in your Kia minivan and wish the hot water in the shower lasted long enough for you to shave your legs and wash your hair in the same trip, you get it.
Things are good. And that scares the hell out of me. I’m afraid to get used to it, afraid to depend on it. Afraid to buy the good toilet paper this week because the next, we may not be able to afford the sandpaper kind. Afraid to waste gas on going to the park because I may not have enough to get the baby to dance later on. Afraid to breathe, because the next breath may be toxic.
I know those people who say “Let god handle it.”
1. I’m an atheist.
2. Even if I wasn’t, I tried that “Let someone else handle it” shit once. There’s always a handling fee, and fuck that.
I know those people who say “The universe will provide.”
1. The universe is gas and matter and anti-matter.
2. All it’s going to provide is meteorites and stuff like that.
I live in Asheville, center of the laid-back, let-it-be, Everything Zen universe. I should be steeped in the ways of “It will be OK,” but I missed that class or something. I can fill parking meters, chat up homeless guys, share my drinks with buskers I’ve never seen before; my ten-year-old reminded me the other day that we need hemp oil, I’ve seen Artimus at the brewery, and I wear skirts over my pants. I’ve been to hoop jams and drum circles, volunteered at festivals, camped in the van by some river whose name I can’t remember. I’ve got the culture down, except for the theory that things will all work out.
The fact is life is scary, especially at 3:30 in the morning when I’m tipsy and the kids aren’t home and a snowstorm’s moving in.
And tonight, when things are good, all I can think is how do I deserve this?
And then I remember that I didn’t deserve all the shit I got before either, and that karma is a laugh and god is a joke and we are where we are because of the steps that we’ve taken and the things that we’ve tripped over, and then I can finally breathe and say that things will be ok.