Friday, August 10, 2012

Dumpster Rat Has Nothing On Me

I have been making trips to the dumpster, throwing out - all through the night. The air is so warm and thick, it feels like velvet. It gives a false sense of safety, out here alone in a parking lot at 2:00 AM.

I carry a box, stuffed with a feather bed that has, at one time or another, kept all of us warm. Inside the box are photos, old, that no one wants. There too, are the three small pillows, hand sewn and embroidered with each of my girls' names. There is the big pot that offered batch after batch of vegetable soup, always eagerly received; and cup cake pans that once held ladybug treats for a classroom of first- graders.

I drop it all in the dumpster, the noise of the pot and pans, muffled by photos, feather
bed and tiny pillows. The history of my life, in a nondescript clankety- clank. I am dizzy from the heat, dizzy from fatigue, heartache.

I wobble a little, backward and look down, seeing that I have stepped on a stripped ear of corn. I think of the rat that had been dining before I interrupted.
"Is this your home?" I whisper into the dumpster where I know she is hiding, corn in her teeth.

There is a soft rustle, a burrowing down. Her answer. I imagine she has lived here all her life. And her mother before that and her mother before that...

"Lucky you," I tell the rat, meaning it.

I walk across the courtyard up the stairs, jealous of a rat, unseen. 

I curl up on the floor of my apartment, furniture all gone, knowing it is one of my last nights here. I am out of tears.

 I steer my thinking away from a decrepit car and a nowhere job. I let my mind wrap around my family, all that I have. I think of my parents, ancient and wonderful.  I see my dad's face, handsome still at 88, pride etched in every crease. I see my mom, and the softness in her gray eyes. My girls' bright smiles, sparkle at me, as if in a dream, but I know I am still awake; sleep doesn't come this easy. I reach for them and their genuine devotion. My grandbaby scampers by in these thoughts, wearing that look, that shows she knows it is her divine right to be adored. 

I am so tired. I find the thin blanket on the floor next to me. I pull it up to my shoulders, tuck it under my chin. It is familiar and welcoming and comfortable, like love itself. It is where I live. I have lived in love my entire life. Lucky me, so very lucky me. I rest my head on the one pillow that hasn't yet hit the dumpster. It is so soft; it cradles my head, like I am somebody.


  1. This reads like the moment before the big breakthrough, the night before the sun comes bursting into a New Day ripe with wonder and beauty, into the New World that's waiting for you.

  2. Oh Wrinks, at first I yelled out NO! don't do it..not the pictures, not the featherbed,not the cupcake pans
    But reading further I got it, the neccessary scraping off of what weighs you down. Heartache ... so hard to read...because I really care about have entered my mind and heart through your wonderful words these past months....YOU are wonderful.
    Someday I hope we meet. If you ever need to get away....I'm here waiting to giggle with you and lift a few glasss of wine..I'll risk drug interaction for you. book...think book...I'm an old lady, I can nag....but I know these things....the world awaits
    your voice
    Now let go and embrace your new life at your new place of dwelling


    1. I hope if I am ever near your neck of the woods, or you, mine, that we can get together and talk about so many of the things we love. You are a good soul. Thank you.

  3. I am with Suz. At first I was thinking that no, don't throw away all those treasures but then I remember tossing things that I never in a million years thought I would get rid of. Sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes all the stuff suffocates.
    And so, I wish you Godspeed on this new journey.

  4. I feel your heartache. Letting go is necessary sometimes. But not easy. Love is easy to carry along, Warm and strong, but weighing almost nothing. Thinking of you.

  5. Like the others I too wanted to be like "NOOOOOOOO"
    After years though, our stuff can begin to define us, and control us. When heading into a new future sometimes we need to make space for it!

    Out with the old (good and bad) and in with the new!

    PS I have not reached this point in my divorce, I am still holding on to everything. I want to idk scrapbook some of it for myself and my son. I am not sure what to keep and what to give away. My infant son never knew his father so i want to give him some of that but even that I am unsure.

    its tough tough tough

    1. Thanks to all who took the time to read, and to send good wishes. It means so much