Happy Birthday


I woke up from a weird dream this afternoon at ten minutes to 2 o’clock.  The dream really wasn’t that weird, as far as my dreams go, but it was different than the usual.

I remembered it was my birthday and I wanted to go back to sleep, but  I always want to go back to sleep when I wake up, so disregard the parallel I was seemingly tried to make.

I got out of my ex-husband’s bed and groggily got into the same pair of pants I’ve been wearing for the last 3 days. I grabbed my phone from the nightstand and looked at the untouched glass of water, then  I shuffled to the kitchen.

The kitchen was bright and sunny and I knew before I even opened the door to let my dog out and go smoke, that it was a beautiful day.  Now, that is weird because it usually rains on my birthday.

I opened the back door and was met with the crisp, fresh spring air.  It was, indeed, a beautiful fucking day.  I could see people outside everywhere and wanted to immediately run back inside and grab my headphones, so I could easily avoid having to talk to the new neighbors who just moved in to the right of my house.

I’m not sure if it was because I got distracted by putting my dog on his chain or distracted by the horrible taste of rotten morning breath in my mouth, but I just hooked Ru up and hurried up and sat down on the couch and lit a cigarette.  I still pulled my phone out and did my daily ritual of playing the bonus round on my bowling game that I play every morning, or afternoon…whatever.  So, I was still able to look down and hopefully go unnoticed.

That didn’t happen, the little girl next door immediately ran over as soon as she saw me so she could show me the bandaids covering the three spots where she had been vaccinated earlier that day.

She’s a really sweet little girl so I listen, feigning interest.  I told her it sucked she had to get shots and she told me it didn’t make her cry, only one tear came out.  I guess I didn’t feign interest too well, or she could tell I just woke up, or something, and she went back to her house.  She left a few minutes later with her mother to walk down the street to attend a birthday party.

I was relieved.  I didn’t want to talk.  Not to the little girl, not to anyone.  I opened my phone and there were 14 text messages wishing me, “Happy Birthday”.


I appreciate the sentiment but I’m not even thinking about dealing with all those replies.

I  leave Rufus on his chain and go back inside to make a drink.

I come back outside, sit on the couch and then they hit me.  Feelings…so many of them, all at once…..omfg….I’m gonna start crying, I can feel it.  The back of my throat starts to ache.  I run and grab Rufus, my cigarettes, my drink and run back inside the house.

I go into the office because that’s the only room in the house I can smoke.  I opened the window and sat down at the desk.  The fan was on and it was cold and I hated it and even though I’m supposed to leave it on while I’m smoking I turned it off because it was pissing me off.

The dam broke.

I tried hard and fought the good fight that had begun the day before, but it was over and I was a blubbering, crying piece of meat.

All of those feelings that I work so damn hard fending off were beating the holy fuck out of me…making me feel them.  I had no more strength to fight them.  It was clear that the running was over and I was going to feel.

I hate to feel.

Right in the middle of all that feeling, I hear the door open and my ex-husband come in with his familiar whistle greeting.

Oh my God….no…this is my luck.  I hate for anyone to see me cry, especially me, but besides me, I hate for him to see me cry because he gets all awkward with emotion.

I tried my hardest to suck it up and stop by the time he opened the door to the office, stuck his head in to ask me what I was doing.  I just turned around in the chair, and faced him, and then turned back around.

He left the room immediately and started being awkward… all talking to my dog and whistling and singing and between the both of us, if there was an awkward meter in the house, it would have exploded.

He finally came back and asked me if I had gotten dog food for the backyard dogs.  It was hard making intelligible words come out of my mouth, but I managed to remind him I had no money, so, no, I had gotten no dog food.

I heard him leaving and found the strength to ask him to get Rufus some hot dogs and me a bottle of vodka, since he was going to the store.

The door closed and I was alone again.  I knew he would be back soon and  I didn’t have much time to pull it together and the harder I tried to pull myself together the harder I kept falling apart.  I left the office and went to go lay on the couch, under covers, in the dark living room.

My phone was lying on the coffee table and it started ringing.  It was my mother-in-law’s number and I knew it was my kids, who were staying with her for the weekend.  Their dad must have called them when he went to the store to tell them to call me and wish me “Happy Birthday”, but I couldn’t answer the phone.   I was crying way too hard.  I don’t think I would have been able to gasp out a, “hello”, much less carry on any kind of conversation.

The phone quit ringing.  I was relieved.  It started ringing again, and again I let it ring.  They called again and I didn’t answer.  Then two minutes later they called again, except this time they were calling from maw maw’s cell phone.  My ex came back right at the end of the last ring, and quite out of his character, he alerted me that my phone was ringing and was interested in who was calling and took my phone off of the table.

The phone quit ringing as soon as he picked it up.  I told him that I couldn’t answer.

He understood.

He stayed a while and I finally quit crying and he put a movie on, we watched it, then he left.

Now I am alone again and I kinda prefer it this way.








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