I woke up yesterday morning and asked my husband, “Have you ever had a dream where you really need to go to the bathroom and then everyone in your dream tries to stop you? You know, the dream where you tell your companion you need to use the facilities and he talks for hours and hours and you’re doing the cross-legged potty dance but he doesn’t notice, so you run away with a friend who says she has a bathroom for you to use but it’s a bit of a drive; in the car she hands you an extra large Mountain Dew and by the time you pull over to the McDonald’s five states away you almost weep for joy upon spying it’s familiar yellow arches, this beacon of relief to your barely contained bladder which prompts you to sprint from the car before it’s stopped, run inside only to find all the bathrooms are used and for some reason McDonald’s has added showers, so the sound of rushing water inundates your auricle facilities until you almost burst, and by the time you have decided wetting yourself is the only possible solution in such a situation, you wake up, realize you have GOT TO GO and you stumble groggily to the bathroom to find your husband already there and once again you have to make a run for it, but it’s real life and you’re half asleep so you stumble into a wall before finally, FINALLY you can go to the bathroom. Has this ever happened to you?”
Si quiere vender libros o tener una audiencia en Internet, no hable de politica. Este es el consejo recibi cuando empece a escribir. Entiendo los razones. Es importante aparezca neutral. Ya no puedo hacerlo. Estoy enojada. No, no. Necesito una palabra mas fuerte. Estoy livida. Furiosa.
No puedo leer como que horible es a critcar el hijo del presidente cuando la gente llamo las hijas del presidente cosas mas feas. Una persona malvada deseaba que Malia Obama muriera de SIDA. Ahora es diferente? Porque? Por que es un hijo blanco? Y la Marcha de Mujeres. Cuantos de mis amigos estaban enojados con los manifestantes? Cuantos pensaban que las mujeres necesitaban aceptar y seguir adelante? Así que hace 8 años cuando la gente quemó efigies del presidente que no era nada? Estoy cansada de los estandares dobles.
Ya no puedo escuchar como debo aceptarlo y seguir adelante. El es presidente ahora. Vive con ello. Como puedo vivir con ira, racismo, sexismo y la marginacion de la mitad de poblacion de los Estados Unidos? No es mi presidente, y El no merece mi respeto.
No puedo pensar en mis amigos que votaron por el de la misma manera. Como puedo? Mi hija es birracial. Mis estudiantes son hispanos y musulmanes. ‘Estos amigos’ votaron por un racista. Mi esposo tiene un discapacidad y ellos votaron por un hombre quien se burlo de una person con discapacidades. Yo fui violada, abusada, y acosada sexualmente. Como puedo ser amigo de alguien quien voto por un hombre que se haya jactado de asaltar a las mujeres? Si piensan que estas acciones son aceptables, no son mis amigos.
Es muy tentador publicar esto en inglés en todas mis cuentas de redes sociales pero admito que soy un cobarde. No quiero leer correo de odio o tener amenazas contra mi vida. Ya he vivido eso.
Y que bien haria para decir esto? La gente creera lo que quiere. Yo voy a vivir mi vida con respeto y amor y cada dia voy a luchar por los derechos de ‘lo menos de estos.’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Mathew 25:45
**If anyone does read this, please excuse my missing accents or any other errors I made. And on that note, if you know any shortcuts for making accents, I’d love to hear them.
Me: Hey, do you want this candle?
14 y/o: It doesn’t go with my aesthetic.
Me: I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
14 y/o: Yes, it does, and that candle does not fit into mine.
Me: Alright, Miss Smarty-Pants. What, pray tell, is your aesthetic?
14 y/o: A minimalist neutral background of black, gray and white accented by teal and burgundy.
Me: A minimalist neutral background??? Where are you getting this stuff?
14 y/o: I read.
Me: Yeah, so did I when I was 14, and I didn’t have an aesthetic.
14 y/o: I’m sure you did. You do now, too.
Me: Oh, and what is it?
14 y/o: Suburban mom.
Me: That’s not an aesthetic! That’s an epithet or at least a moniker! That’s like me saying your ‘minimalist neutral background’ is ‘Gothic cemetery.’
14 y/o: I like that.
Me: Fine. Let me get a tombstone to complete your look.
14 y/o: As long as you admit those yoga pants and slip-on Skechers belong in the suburbs.
Me: That’s it. No more HGTV for you.
(C) Sara Ackerman 2017
“I’m sorry I’m late,” she said, removing her shawl and taking a seat at the table across from him. “I…well, I didn’t know what to wear, and then there was traffic…”
“You are beautiful,” he said. The familiar warmth in his brown eyes eased some of the nervous butterflies floating in her stomach.
She smiled and spread her fingers over the white tablecloth. “This is a lovely restaurant,” she said. “The fountain in the entrance is exquisite and the marble floors are a work of art.” She looked past his shoulder and her eyes widened. “Are those Corinthian columns? We should bring John here. He’d be in heaven.”
“We agreed not to speak of the children,” he reminded her. He smiled that lopsided grin of his, the one that had melted her insides into putty when they had first met.
“You’re right.” She attempted a smile but her lips refused to obey. Ducking her head, she nibbled on her lips.
“I know it’s been hard since they’ve both gone, but we rub along together alright, don’t we?” he asked.
She nodded and was dismayed to see the silverware, crisp and shining against the white background of the linen tablecloth, waver and blur before her eyes. She wiped at her eyes hoping he had not seen. Tears made him uncomfortable, and she had already erred once this evening in mentioning the children. She’d not risk making another mistake.
“Hey,” he said, his voice sounding more concerned than uncomfortable. “What’s this?” He passed her his handkerchief, and she took it, inhaling his familiar scent and holding it to her like a lifeline amidst the maelstrom of change and upheaval. No matter what occurred, his scent had never altered. It gave her the courage to speak.
“I don’t know who I am anymore without the children,” she whispered. “I don’t know who we are now that we aren’t parents.”
“You’re the same woman I married all those years ago.” His tone was brisk and brooked no disagreement, though a concerned frown marred his handsome features. Feelings made him uncomfortable, too.
“But I’m not,” she said. “I looked at myself in the mirror tonight, and barely recognized myself.”
His eyes swept over her, and he gave her appearance his full attention. When he had finished his lengthy perusal, he said, “You’re stunning. I barely recognized you, either, and I sleep in the same bed as you.”
“That’s not what I mean,” she said, waving off his compliment, more irritated he had not understood than flattered by his unexpected praise of her appearance.
“Then tell me.” His invitation to talk took her by surprise. They hadn’t really talked in years. Their children’s lives and their own careers had filled the empty space between them until now, nothing remained but silence.
She had never looked more beautiful or more vulnerable. When she had walked across the dining room towards him, her auburn hair piled atop her head in some artful cascade of silken curls, his heart had nearly stopped in his throat. She had always been the epitome of poised, confident womanhood.
Now here she sat, her head bowed, fingers white and bloodless as they clutched the table telling him she didn’t know who she was. Worse, she didn’t know who they were. Panic lodged in his gut, and he experienced a terrible moment of déjà-vu, a remembrance of his younger self waiting in a restaurant to ask this woman to be his wife while uncertainty and fear had plagued him.
“What do you think?” she asked, breaking into his thoughts.
She had been talking, pouring out her heart, and he had missed it. Oh, God. Everything he’d worked and hoped for meant nothing if he didn’t have this woman by his side. Fear spurred him to talk. He only prayed it was enough.
“I think you are the strongest, bravest most capable woman I have ever known. You are unfailingly kind and generous, even with those who might not deserve it. You never fail to see the good in people, and those of us who are fortunate to know you are better for it.”
Tears ran freely down her cheeks now, so he scooted his chair next to hers and grasped her chilled hands in his. “The boys still need you, and so do I. Before you were called mom, though, I called you friend, lover, and wife.”
“But who am I now?” she whispered, her eyes wet with brilliant despair. “Who are we?”
“I’m still Henry,” he said. “And you, my heart, are still Laura.”
“Say it again,” she said as she rested her head on his shoulder. “It’s been so long since anyone has called me by my name.”
“Laura.” He kissed her forehead and wiped away her tears. “Laura,” he repeated in awed wonder as he rained kisses over her cheeks and nose. This was his wife. He caressed her damp cheeks before resting his lips on hers.
“Henry.” His name spoken with reverence and awe told him she felt the same wonder and enchantment of finding each other after all these years.
They were Laura and Henry again.It wasn’t much, yet it was everything.
(C) Sara Ackerman 2017