An Amphibious, Alien Creature

I am not sure where my attention was when the last two weeks passed by. I’ve been sleeping a lot. Often pinned under an 80-pound dog. I have been unraveling in a good way. Dinner with friends. Lazy evenings. Daily yoga sessions that have become more meaningful with a renewed attention to breath.

Finally answering emails. And realized I have three weeks to write some kind of mother/father of the groom speech on behalf of my ex- and myself. It’s awkward inviting someone into “the family” when the family is split. Not that the situation is unusual, and not that it is contentious, but how to spin it in a meaningful way? To tell the truth when the truth sort of flies in the face of the sentiments appropriate for a wedding.

I will just continue to spread out flat, letting all the knots work their way out of my body and mind: a pretty little map of thoughts, lyrical as loops of string caught in school glue.

School glue in an amber bottle with a rubber tip, that would open like an eye when pressed. Or a mouth. Or a seal’s nostril.

There was a smell that I can’t quite remember, no matter how hard I try to conjure it.

It is inexplicable what sticks in my memory and what doesn’t. Last night, trying to sleep I remembered when E. was small – three or four – and while his older brother pinned my legs, E. sat on my chest and leaned over my face, inhaling so that his nostrils pinched shut again and again, like some kind of amphibious, alien creature. I laughed until I peed my pants a little.

Isn’t that something? How a memory of uncontrollable, full-body laughter can make you cry?

That school glue I used in elementary school didn’t work well. Nothing ever stayed put. I’d get home and the string had come loose in spots and created its own patterns. I guess it was an early life lesson: everything unravels, falls apart, and reconfigures according to its own mysterious will.

Unraveling isn’t a good theme for a wedding speech. Maybe reconfiguring?

Maybe amphibious, alien creatures who torture humans who can’t catch their breath for their own laughter?

We should all be so lucky to have memories like this stick.

Leave a Reply to Ann E. MichaelCancel reply

%d bloggers like this: