Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Partying with the dead--reefer and potato salad


The spread from my mom's birthday party in 2012. I think there's potato salad in one of those bowls.


 A dream: Dan's daughter came to visit. I was living in a house on a hill, not unlike the first house I ever owned in the Sliver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The slope down to the sidewalk was so steep that when people walked by you could only see the tops of their heads.  "Hey you're in town!" a friend of Dusty's said to her as he looked up and caught a glimpse of her through the open window. We cranked the window fully open and sat on the window seat as she introduced us, describing me as the woman who tried to keep her father alive. Tried and failed, I thought.

Later more friends came over. Friends of Dusty's, friends of Dan's. People I knew and people I didn't. They talked about a house they were buying together. You have to come see it, someone said.

But first there were guests to feed. Dusty went out to buy potatoes so we could make potato salad. I already had two bags of potatoes, but that was okay. We'd make a lot of potato salad. We piled the potatoes into a pot and put it on the stove on low and went out to look at the house. Dusty explained that when Dan was alive I wanted to buy him a house so he could stop working. (In real life, back in 2010 or so,  I thought about buying  a loft downtown near little Tokyo and figured he could live there if he wanted.) The house that Dusty and her friends were buying was not a house exactly. It was a former event venue. The bathrooms were huge with numerous stalls. The women's bathroom was painted fuchsia and silver. "Great for parties," someone said. Next we squeezed into a room piled high with furniture. "This could be our dining room table," someone said as we edged around a dark carved table big enough for a dozen or more. On top of it were two ornately carved boxes with dragons rising up from their lids. "This is where we'll keep the reefer," I said. (Really, I said that in the dream. Hahahaha.)

Back at my house, we checked on the potatoes and took them off the stove to cool. People and more people. Drinks in our hands. And there he was--Dan, sitting next to me. No one but me seemed to notice him. "You're chewing gum," he said. Your brothers must be visiting. You always chew gum when your brothers visit. (God, dreams are weird.) I reminded him that my brothers lived far away and almost never visited. 

"But they did visit recently," I said. "When our mother died." Dan's mouth opened into a silent O. 

"What!?" he said. "Oh dear you, come here so I can hold you." He wrapped his arms around me, and I tried to figure out how all of this worked. Was I supposed to let a dead loved know when another loved one joined their ranks? And how was I supposed to do that exactly? How did moving from the land of the living to the land of the dead work? Who could I ask? Meanwhile Dan held me, and the sensation of his black polar fleece jacket was so familiar that it made me sad, remembering when he wore it when he was alive. And that was a mystery too. How did he get his jacket back? It was given to me after he died and I wore it under my coat last winter in Minneapolis. I lost it on a bus because I got too hot hurrying to the bus stop and tied it around my waist beneath my wool coat. A block or so after I got off the bus I noticed it was gone. I went back to look for it but never found it. I am puzzling through all of this reality about the lost jacket in the dream, and I can't figure that out either. There are all these things I don't know--- the mysterious world of the dead and how they are notified when others die. How they get their lost clothes back. How they come back to visit. I can't figure any of it out. 

"I wish you'd come back more often," I said. "Come back to visit because I miss you." My face was wet with tears. (And indeed it was when I awoke.)

Friday, April 9, 2021

Full-immunity day


I'm now as immune from Covid-19 as I can be. It feels great. It will feel even greater when everyone I love can say the same.

My new immune life will not be like my pre-Covid life. I have no plans to fly or go to the theatre--the idea of doing those things makes me profoundly uncomfortable right now. I have no plans to dine indoors until Minnesota has reached full herd-immunity, and sadly, I won't be hanging out in a bar right now--unless there are sidewalk tables--or maybe if everyone is older (and presumably vaccinated)? But, I'm gonna do a lot of other stuff. So much stuff. 

And in case you're wondering if I make any happy collages, I do. See above.

And here's another one. But I'm posting my 33-divorce collages on Instagram one at a time. It's the final purge of all that.






Thursday, March 25, 2021

33 Collages....about my divorce

 


I've been over the break-up of my marriage so many times I've lost count. Over means over--until that feeling is over. And then there you are again. In it.

When I found out that the Someone intended to terminate (in fact had terminated) my alimony at the end of 2020, I dropped into feeling it all again. Add in a pandemic, a quarantine, and a recent interest in all things book arts--and here you have it. One collage for every year spent with someone I never really knew. 

These individual collages are not meant to each sum up a particular year, but simply reflect my thoughts and feelings in the moment of making them. 

And  of course, “These are works made of paper. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental.”  I might add that life often feels as fragile as paper and seems quite dependent on coincidence.

In a day or two I hope to sign the official paper that says I expect no more alimony. It turns out that the Someone is not only completely retired, he's in ill-health. 

As this final collage of the series reflects, I'm ready to move on.

Light a Candle and Move On


Thursday, March 11, 2021

You can't always get what you want


This squirrel wants birdseed. 

I want some more years of alimony. 

Neither is going to happen. 

My bird feeder is a Brome Squirrel Buster Plus. The Ferrari of bird feeders.

As for the alimony, once upon a time it, too, was pretty high-powered. Now it's sitting in the junkyard. 

I'm okay with it. Really. (No, this blog has not been hacked. It's me. Denise. The person who ranted all through her 41/2 year divorce proceedings and beyond.)  I'm glad I bought the spendy bird feeder before the Ferrari ran off the road. 

And here is a postcard from Divorceville (No, it wasn't a wonderful time and  I don't wish you were here.)

Expulsion (5x7 original collage with magazine papers, handpainted paper, and construction paper)