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Kung Fu Hustle (Gong fu)

Best. Movie. Ever.


We went to the Marymoor dog park today and LOST OUR DOG. That's right, lost her. For like an hour. It was super fun, except for the part where it sucked donkey balls.


Sunday, May 1, 2005

I spent some time yesterday evening sitting in our backyard, after brushing the cobwebs and tree fallings from the seat of a long-unused lawnchair. It wasn't quite summery in feel just yet; a sweater was required, a pair of long pants. But the sun was shining, and the neighborhood was quiet, and soon enough the birds became used to my presence and re-grouped around the feeder nearby.

Once, it would have been just about the perfect time of day for a beer. We'd spent a fun day out and about in Seattle, had come home and worked on the yard, and now I was relaxing before turning my thoughts to dinner. Miller Time.

I think about drinking less and less. Pregnancy has done something no amount of counseling, Antabuse, or tearful ultimatums could do: it's unequivocally taken away the question of whether or not to drink. From the moment the second pink line on that stick appeared, I have not struggled with alcohol.

When I was still drinking, when I knew I had a problem, I used to feel an angry jealousy over people who could sip their drinks. Leave an inch in the bottom of the glass when they get up to leave the dinner table. Say, "no thanks, I'm good" when someone asks can I get anyone another beer. Because that was never, ever me. I monitored the level of liquid in my glass with obsessive precision: if I make it last until the appetizer is done, I can get a second glass for dinner. Four bottles sitting in a six-pack holder in our fridge would make me anxious, god that's only two beers each. With each swallow I was looking toward the next, an endless blind groping towards numbness. I don't know how I ever thought I was enjoying myself.

Now, the glass or bottle that used to hold so much power over me, that used to become the brightest glowing object in the room, with Alice's DRINK ME scrawled all up and down its sides, is just...an object. It's there, or it's not, but either way, I don't have to worry about it any more. My own sweating glass of lemonade is calm, benign, I don't feel the need to quickly suck up all its contents until there's only watery ice left, and oh, what a relief. What a blessing. How heavy those chains were, around my neck, and how good it feels now, how light and how hopeful.

I don't pretend this is a silver bullet. Abracadabra, you're cured! - well, maybe not. But I know it's been months now, months of distance that is so healing in an abusive relationship. The kind of distance (I'm not going to see him any more) that can be so hard to achieve when you keep going back (he says he's sorry, it will be different this time), distance that helps you remember that you can get by, you don't need it, and things are actually better this way. And I'm happier, in a thousand ways, than I was six months ago, a year ago. I don't want to numb this life any longer, I want to remember every moment.

I sat in the backyard and was reminded of all those times when I'd be in the exact same chair, feet propped up, book in one hand, and beer in the other, and it was like hearing an old song on the radio - that sort of nostalgic remember when? feeling - but that was it, just memories, and it was surprisingly easy to let go.


The last few months have been momentous, life-changing, and yet I get up, go to work, come home, pet the dog, just like always. Shin-rapping hurdles have cropped up: a months-ago traffic accident that threatens a nasty snarl of legal woes, a new 6-pill-a-day medication regimen, a work environment unfurling a constant stream of office drama, and at times I feel overwhelmed, the hostess with the mostess at my own pity party. Until perspective comes galloping into view and I trade all the smaller worries in the world for my new favorite wish, the one strong enough to blow out a million birthday cake candles, the one that says please let our baby be healthy.

I'm about halfway through this pregnancy, and without even having seen my child's eyes or heard their first breath of air, my heart feels expanded to tender, almost raw proportions. Like the Grinch, I've outgrown my surroundings, the ironwork around my chest is curled back and everything is exposed. The notion of loss is never far from my mind, I think how do people survive it and in the meantime my belly is growing, the baby's kicks are stronger than ever; the miracle marches on.


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