29 Feb

I yearn for the simple life that I do not have. 

I have recurring fantasies about white-painted rooms with white curtains and white bedding and maybe just one book.  A white ceiling fan blowing the curtains.  There is no telephone in my imaginary room.  There is an electric outlet for the lamp so I can read the book even after dark.  Maybe there are three books.  Or five.  A few, so that I have something to choose from.  But no computer, no television, no children and no big fluffy dogs.  Or little fluffy dogs either. 

It’s not that the living, chattering, running, jumping members of my family don’t exist in this fantasy life.  They do.  They are still very important to me.  But they are just somewhere else.  Being taken care of and they don’t miss me.  Maybe they’re all in Europe like they will be this summer.  Maybe I could actually re-enact this white scene.  I could move everything out of my house that isn’t white and clean and I could take the dogs to the kennel.  I would pretend that I was going on a trip, because what kind of person boards their dogs while they stay home – just to have a break from all the needs?

I think I would be happy for about 48 hours like that.  And then I would start reading cookbooks and planning dinner parties because I would be lonely and my house would be so clean and just calling out for guests.  And who really wants to live alone for the long term?  I think I would cease to appreciate it after a while.

When we were at Marfa over Christmas and I was going to bed no later than 9 p.m., my dad said “believe it or not, one day they will grow up and you will have a chance to do what you want to do.”  and I said “Right.  In 14 years.”  FOURTEEN.  I have fourteen years ahead of driving children around, administering medications, filling out health forms, trying to track them down in the neighborhood because he rode to a friend’s house on his bike, but now it turns out that he is at the coliseum at the fairgrounds.  FOURTEEN more years of nonstop activity.

Fourteen years of wild and busy and dirty and muddy and plays and awards ceremonies and Shakespeare festivals.  Exams and appointments and summer camp and sleepovers.  Of “what’s for supper” and “I don’t want to wear that.”  Of traveling that doesn’t involve the great cathedrals.  Maybe the national parks, although I don’t know how to camp except as a dependent.  We might have to stay in the lodge. 

Yes, I’m sure it is just going to fly by.





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