This morning I discovered anarchy within my dishwasher. While the motor would still begin its raucous cacophony signaling a cycle, no water was being added, thereby baking the gunk onto my dishes and ruining my life forever. By “forever”, of course, I mean “for the next half hour, as I plunge elbows deep into the sink of suds.” No longer an owner but a renter for now, I called the landlord with my head hung low, as though I’d broken a beloved piece of antique china, awaiting a verbal rebuke that never arrived. Since I’m a tenant who always pays on time and isn’t running a meth lab out of his house, I’m considered one of the good ones, and he cheerfully informs me that Leon, his “appliance guy”, will be here tomorrow to “give it a look.”
This consoles me, as the last time I saw Leon, he was squeezing his considerable girth into the attic to work on the furnace (yes, you read that right), and after he did some repairs, he left my place without so much as stealing any of my furniture (and yes, I have trust issues). I’ll be happy to see Leon again, whereby he’ll refuse my offer of coffee and give me a look every time I try and make him laugh as though I’m lighting my sideburns on fire for his amusement. It’s a dynamic between us that’s still in the rough.
There is hope for my dishwasher, after all. I just need to keep up the effort until tomorrow. And I can wait that long.
Divorce, like dishwasher anarchy, is emotional devastation with an unknown half-life. From the moment that that decision was made, there has been little emotional peace. Things just aren’t as funny, I’m not funny, trust between you and others is under greater scrutiny, and like the dishwasher debacle, you have to work a lot harder to get rid of the gunk, lest it get baked on permanently. It’s been said that Karma is a bitch, but in truth, consequences are a lot bitchier when you have to live with them.
And then, one day your eye catches something, and you catch yourself smiling like you used to, a little. You remember for a moment why you have faith in the better days of tomorrow. You’ll live. Given the magnitude of greater sorrows in this world, it seems selfish to feel so overwhelmed by your new reality, but there you are. Some little kid smiles up at you in the fire truck, and you smile back, like you used to a few years ago. Someone asks for your creative input, and you feel a little rush as your artistic vibe gets nudged awake from a long nap. You’re going to be you again, and that feels pretty damn good.
Tomorrow night some friends will join me to watch Robert Earl Keen put on a show. We’ll all be up front, a girl who knows how to make me smile at my side, putting our minds right with music and memories to be made. I’m damn lucky to have a chance to catch a good concert, and I’m grateful for the way things are looking up. Maybe the dishwasher will be repaired. Maybe I’ll see a little more laughter in my world, laughing from the soul, without a bitter edge. I just need to keep up the effort until tomorrow.
And I can wait that long.