today is one of those days, the kind where you drop the piece of bread peanut-butter-side down on the kitchen floor. i picked up the bread, folded it over and ate it anyway, figuring the floor-germy peanut butter was stuck to the floor and the peanut butter left on the bread was fine to eat. today is one of those days i woke up with two swollen mosquito bites on my ass to match the five mosquito bites on my left tit that i got two days ago. today is one of those days that i can’t find my wallet because unlike my phone, i can’t use the land line to call my wallet and follow its ring to find it. today is one of those days when i’m listening to a beautiful song that sounds sad even though the words are sweet because the chorus is about rain in a minor chord juxtaposed against tender lyrics. if i didn’t feel peanut butter full and numb, i’d feel sad.
he turned six years old on saturday. he turned six without me. i almost forgot his birthday. i remembered at 8:17pm. i went all day forgetting his birthday, feeling like i was forgetting something, and only remembered the thing my brain tried to protect me with forgetting until i was drinking alone in my parked car, trying to create a tequila shield before i walked into a ballroom full of people.
the day after his birthday his mother, my ex-wife, texted me the precious thing he said about himself on his birthday, about his six-year-old face that he’d have to get used to. i was walking as i read the text. i doubled-over for a moment and lost my breath, gut punched by a text message. after choking back a sob that didn’t make a sound, i kept walking, tripped, skinned my knee, bled.
yesterday i was looking for a book in a bookcase and found books i had hidden from myself, books i’d bought for him and his little brother more than a year ago and had never sent. i mailed the books to them last night at the post office’s self-serve kiosk at 1:30am since i couldn’t sleep from thinking about them. i’m hoping someone else will read the books to them since i can’t. at six, he might be able to read them himself. i don’t know. i don’t know those details or developments about the child that keeps growing up without me.
i could have seen him this year for his birthday. his mother asked for me to return to them two months ago. i could have colluded in her denial and showed up with books for the boys and flowers for their mother and we would’ve hugged and kissed and cried and tried to say and do the things that give a fragile sheen to the distorting mirrored surface of things that will never be safe or healthy. i don’t think i made the wrong choice. i don’t think i made the right choice.
in general i live according to the philosophy that as long as i’m learning then i’m not fucking up my life. but i fucked up with her and the boys and i knew at the time we were fucking up and i kept hoping we weren’t, that things would get better, that we’d all be okay. i don’t know what to do now, what there is left to do. i busy myself trying to help people out of situations like hers because i can’t help her. i pick the scab on my knee from where i fell two nights ago while reading the text message about his six-year-old face he’ll have to get used to. i’m bleeding again.