Friday, December 01, 2006

Leftover Stew

Leftover Stew: When you’ve run out of time to write a good piece and instead have to pull yesterdays moments from your head, scrambling like you do for a matching pair of socks when you should be out the door, hurling undies and bras and stories out of your drawer, out of your head and over your shoulder like some cartoon character

Here’s what you remember:

1. the slight lilt of guilt and pleasure you catch in your friend’s voice on the phone this morning because you know and she knows that your husband is on his way over to see her right now so they can get in their hour or two of sex because her children are at school and her husband is at work and because you saw your own boyfriend the other night and might even see this same friend’s husband next week.

2. how California that sounds.

3. how you will have to tolerate the little smiles and nudges these two give each other tonight when she comes over with her kids for dinner, and even though you love them both and are happy they are lovers, you don’t, just say it, take pleasure in witnessing their little moments of reverie. You just don’t. It’s a private thing and has nothing to do with you.

4. the pleasure, the thrill, the shock of being 46-years-old and having a husband and two lovers and how sometimes you have to say that out loud, sometimes to your friends, which might annoy them and which should embarrass you because you’re bragging, but really, you say it because you can’t believe it, because down deep you still feel like that fat, squat little girl standing with her legs together at the dining room table letting her father check to see if there’s a space between her thighs, which will dictate whether she can have dessert or not.

5. there has been so much dessert lately; the apple pie and the pumpkin pie and there’s chocolate in the freezer. You feel your tummy rolling over your jeans. Everyday is a new scheme to stop eating, to trim yourself, to reduce, especially with Hawaii coming up, and next weeks date with your friend’s husband. Trim, reduce, deny.

6. the shock and the surprise of listening to your 8-year-old in therapy yesterday talking about her own tummy rolling over her jeans, the way she sat there looking straight at Steve, her therapist, telling him what it was like to wear daddy’s shirts to school because then her tummy wouldn’t show.

7. how you told Steve that thing about your thighs and your dad at the dinner table. The way, when the session was over, Steve looked you straight in the eye and said, “there is nothing wrong with your body, your body is fine,” like he was trying to cement that in on your last session together, like if he said it real nice and slow like that you might hear him, and the way you looked back at him, appreciating what he was trying to do, but didn’t smile in agreement, didn’t shake your head wearily like a dope, just looked at him from a million miles away, from a place he could never imagine.

8. no one believes how small you feel sometimes. You compensate so beautifully.


la vie en rose said...

wow. this was powerful and gut wrenching. too many women (myself included) have shared a similar experience to yours which is heart breaking. and there are too many women who feel small.

Stef said...

you write so damn honestly and i love, love, love that about you

Alison said...

Hi Laurie,

My tummy is rolling over the waistband of my jeans as I write this :) Time to switch to the velour sweatpants--it's that time of year. My ex-husband used to say, "Skinny women give skinny ove." That's my mantra. (Apologies to all the skinny women out there!) And it's funny that you soeak of feeling small when the tummy thing is about feeling too big. You know what I mean? Fat is a feminist issue. But it's real. Meanwhile, keep enjoying your delicious life as I continue to eat up your blog.


Burning Woman said...

blessed synchronicity. as i guiltily ate a bite of toffee chocolate, (thinking of another man i'd like to flirt with) thrummed up your column and voila' - a chime all the way to the belly. fuck, honey, you are so in it. keep saying it. i need to know these details. these words affirm my sanity.

Dale said...

It took me years and years to realize that nothing I could ever say or do would reach the misery. There's no way to say "your body's fine." No way to make that statement believable that wouldn't make the misery worse, because only desire is believable and desire is just wanting and wanting makes the body into a cipher that represents anything -- everything -- but the soul.

Am I bitter? Yes. I don't want it to be this way. But I've pretty much given up. It just is this way.

Kathryn said...

i love your POSTS!!!