Paradise Lost

January 14, 2018

I managed to do laundry yesterday. Felt like Hercules.

There is an interesting and assorted pile of things to deal with next to my laptop. Tangled jewelry and receipts. I need to head to the antique market and find jars for my shells both from Cozumel and still from Florida, they are sitting in the Tupperware I brought them home in.

I leave here in 40 days and 40 nights, so the shells are really the least of my worries. I have a whole life to sort out pack up and move. I have 500 wedding photos to sort through and process, a book to get published, bills to pay and 3 piggy banks that need to get dumped into one of those change sorting machines. I might just have more than enough to pay off my parking tickets so I can get a new sticker before I go.

But for now, here I sit, in the pajamas I pulled on at 6am yesterday after a very long day of traveling back here.

My closet door is ajar and the aforementioned clean clothes are sitting in mountain form at the end of my bed.

I can’t turn around or look left or right, all I see are pesos, and empty pack of gum I doled out to the kids before we got on the plane, Danielle’s silver elephant charm once lost and now found and that giant pile of laundry.

I am not ready to deal.

I spent yesterday listlessly wandering the main floor of the house, half-heartedly tidying. Not writing, not looking at the photos I took. Just browsing the internet and when it got dark I watched a few episodes of True Blood. On season 4 now. It is my favorite.

Taking too many breaks in between to smoke my Mexican Marlboros, my lungs hurt a bit. My whole chest hurts and it isn’t just the cigarettes.

My heart hurts.

I talked to Danielle last night. She asked how I was, said the girls were weepy. Me too mama, me too.

“Reality sucks” she said.

No shit mamabear, no shit.

My reality? I had 4 hours sleep after sleeping for 2 on a plane, sick and in a lot of pain. The long walk to customs. Fight at the baggage claim. And then having to say goodbye to my new weird and wonderful little family.

I miss all my other kids from other mothers.

I’m a high functioning introvert so, being at a resort on an island with 60+ strangers just in our group, as well as staff, and other guests, made me twitchy. But the kids made it better. Long walks on the beach with Katie looking for shells and sharks teeth, having a purpose, dealing with the crazy neighbors the night before the wedding or wiping ice cream of Lexi’s face made me feel better.

I would disappear for an hour here or there and just sit on my tiny porch and invariably Cass, Haley or one of the boys would walk by and check in.

I know this is post vacation let down.

I miss the sun and the sea. My eyes have returned to grey. My tan is already starting to fade and the sun, although out today and warming things up a bit, seems weak by comparison.

I’m home in a house that has never felt quite right. I have been gone for exactly half the time I’ve lived here. In my head I am already gone again.

I came back to chaos. I haven’t heard from that Swain boy since before I left and the air hurts my face here.

I know everything is going to get better, probably sooner than later.

I will tick a few things off the to-do list and then it’ll be time to go.

And before I go I get to see everyone one more time.

At least there is that to look forward to.


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  • Robert Wertzler January 14, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    That phrase, post vacation let down, rings a loud bell. Going on vacation (which I rarely did) always felt like release and coming back was the “back to real life” (and, yes, laundry) let down.

  • Anonymous January 14, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Paradise Lost is an amazing piece of writing.. maybe because for me it’s like some weird doppelganger shit.. so it kinda threw me, but yesss it’s gonna be alright we know this. My strategy is just like pay the bills, buy animal food lol and get buzzed every so often .. just do it and yesss adulting sucks. You’ll make the decisions and slide in with 10 seconds left over! If I gotta do it so do you.. xoxo

    • sexloveandgrace January 14, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      thank you, needed to hear this

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