Saturday, January 5, 2013

Here Be Monsters

Dear John,
 
I had a good day at work and the animals got through the day without bloodshed. Jethro did eat the cat food again. I'm shopping for a cat tower, so Hunter can get away out of Jethro's reach when he wants to. I will put his food dish on one of the higher levels. I refuse to provide the dog with cat food.
 
I heard a commercial on television tonight that was encouraging all of us to go where we've never gone before, not physically but emotionally. I have no idea what they were selling because my mind got stuck on that idea. I think I've done that already in the last year or two. And as I thought that, it occurred to me that, emotionally, I've already gone off the edge of the map. Then I heard Geoffery Rush saying, "Here there be monsters."
 
So this is what he was talking about! I've gotten to know the widowhood monsters - loneliness, financial insecurity, predatory creditors who think a new widow is an easy target, billing entities that raise the price when they find out that they're dealing with a new widow, holidays, HIPPA, romantic movies, and a host of others. Some of the monsters are real and some are just our fears. The monsters come and gather in the dark after you go to bed and turn the lights out. Alone in the dark there are other kinds of monsters - the Last Argument monster, the Regrets, the Words Unsaid, and for me, the monster of why-I-didn't-fix-you meat-loaf-and-mashed-potatoes-more-often-since-that-was-your-favorite-meal. The future has its own particular monsters - Memories Not Made, Plans Not Fulfilled, Things Done Alone. The giant dragon out here is called Despair.

Yes, I'm off the edge of the map alright. But uncharted territory is only uncharted until somebody explores and charts it. So I'll keep writing about this strange new place, and maybe it will help another widow find her way through the dragons and sea monsters. Believe me, there is nothing linear about any of this. A short line is the straightest distance between two points, but there are no straight lines once you fall off the edge of the map. It's messy and unpredictable - hard things for anybody as anal as I am.

It's time for my daily meeting with the Bedtime Monsters. I may not stay awake for them to do more than say hello. They always at least do that, just so I remember that I'm over the edge of the map, where be monsters.

Love and adore you,
Joan.

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