Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

The Fire

It's been cold in LA. Cold and wet. The dripping in my kitchen seems to have stopped, but then again, so has the rain, for now. Still, the chill remains.

So tonight, fresh from a truly unique afternoon at Tamar's (yes, I'll write about it, but first I have to digest it all--and that includes the 37 homemade scones with clotted cream I ingested), I put a few logs into the fireplace, and cozied up as close as I can without my kids freaking out that Mommy is going to suddenly combust. They're in bed now, and I've put the last of the dry logs on, and I'm feeling warm and full and vaguely satisfied, and I think when I'm done typing and surfing and thinking and wishing and wondering and considering, I'm going to pull my old-lady blanket from the quilt rack within arm's reach, and I'm going to curl up here and sleep for as long as I can before Baroy wakes up from his own spot on the couch, where he's currently tangled up in the throw my mom crocheted for us several years ago, and rouses me to come up to bed with him.

Yes, we do live life in the fast lane. If the fast lane never goes above 15 miles an hour, that is.

When I first sat down to write this, looking into the fire for inspiration, I had the vague idea that I was going to use it as a jumping off point to muse a little about this sort of peculiar, but highly satisfying emergence of heat in my almost-nine-year-old marriage. And yes, my friend, I was going to put a warning on it so that you--and you know who you are--would not have to be caught unawares by the sudden use of words like 'straddle.' But never you fear. I'm not going to go there. Still, I make no promises about what the rest of this post will now hold, because we're about to launch into uncharted, unconsidered territory.

That said, I think I'd rather talk a little bit about warmth instead of heat. There's a cat curled up on the outer part of my left thigh, kneading away at my hip as if it's about to sprout a nipple and give her nourishment. I have huge fluffy pink-and-white socks on my feet, which are almost never warm enough, but right now are. And earlier, as I crawled into bed with N--my big boy in ways that no growth chart can measure--to read him a book and cuddle him to sleep, he said, "I cold. You cold, too, Mommy?" and he lifted up the blanket so I could join him in its warmth. A few moments later, after tossing and turning a bit, he said, "I need you make a hole for me, Mommy." And I wrapped my left arm around his body--it making a circle into whose hole he fits perfectly--and pulled his back against my front, and felt his baby-boy warmth seep into my bones.

It's been a tough couple of days, in some ways. I'm premenstrual, a condition that strikes fear into my own heart, much less the hearts of those upon whom I have to inflict myself right now. I'm having a hard time, amidst all the holiday chaos, remembering to take my drugs in the right amounts at the right times, and that means some weird physical symptoms of near-withdrawal as my body adjusts to an always-changing level of chemicals. Plus I've got a shovel-load of self-induced stress on me right now. The real world is bearing down upon me, and I'm not ready to re-enter it. I haven't done half the work I need to have done, and I'm not working on whittling that down any right now. I haven't taken a breath in days that didn't have to fight to get past the anxiety that's clogging my throat and sitting on my chest, threatening to stop my lungs from inflating.

Still, I'm blessed beyond measure. My lungs will inflate, and when they do, they will be filled with air, not water, unlike so many in places so far away. I am not about to be swept away by anything other than my own fears--and even that is unlikely, because I am anchored to this place and this time by the man I love and the children I would give my life for. I am dry. I am warm. And I am about to pull my sleeping kitty closer to me, bury my face in her fur, and fall asleep in front of a roaring fire. There is warmth all around. I just need to remember to feel it.

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