Sunday, March 12, 2006

a pot of bloody daffodils

SK is gone. SK is on a plane. Or maybe in the San Francisco airport between planes. Or maybe on the flight to (what did she say? Aukland? I can't remember...), the 18 hour flight over the Pacific Ocean. Maybe she is wearing her earplugs and eye cover, sleeping, studiously avoiding conversation with the her neighbors. SK. Staring out the window at the dying sun, sinking into the ocean. SK. Chasing a gorgeous sunset around the globe. SK. Speeding halfway across the world, into the future, losing a day on the way, traveling for 27 hours. SK. Gone for 7 weeks. SK. Gone.

I'm a shitty girlfriend. SK is gone and I have been reflecting all day on my shortcomings. Selfishness ranks high. Narcissim. Self-involvment. All that. I predicted this yesterday, when I talked about the breakfast I knew I should be making and that I knew I would not make. I did not make that breakfast. I dreaded that breakfast. I panicked when it was suggested that I start the breakfast. I was paralyzed. I thought: "Of course I should start the breakfast, I should start the breakfast, I should make the whole breakfast, and while I'm at it, I should make her avacado sandwiches for her flight. I know she wants these things, I know I should make these things." And I didn't. Paralyzed. I'm a sack of shit.

It takes confidence to do things for someone. It takes a kind of confidence that I don't have. SK has this confidence. SK makes toast for me with peanut butter and jelly, hands it to me with a cup of tea in the morning, never asks "Hon, do you want toast? Do you like peanut butter and jelly on your toast? How 'bout a tea?" None of that. I come into the room and she's got it ready, she hands it to me. She's just as comfortable in my house as she is in hers, in my fridge, at my stove. She's nor paralyzed, worrying that if she hands me the toast I'll say "Babe, I hate peanut butter and jelly, why didn't you ask?" She's not concerned that I don't want tea. She's confident that the way she does things is ok, perfectly good, and that I will accept whatever she gives me and be glad.

I'm not like SK. I have no confidence that the way I do things is ok. Why? I stood in her kitchen tending the potatoes she put on to fry and I thought "Do the rest, do the rest, put on the mushrooms, do the eggs, whatever." And I became, again, the little kid encroaching on the space of my stepmother who I hate. I have to say, I'm constantly shocked to learn how deeply that woman impacted the evolution of my personality. I stood in SK's kitchen and I heard every single criticism I've ever had tossed my way. I sunk into myself in the same way I sink into myself in my stepmother's kitchen. My stepmother, the good cook, who cooks for me begrudgingly when I come to visit and who has treated me like shit since I was four. As I write this I just want to yell at myself "Get over yourself! Jesus!" I was yelling that to myself this morning, standing at the stove, choosing not to put on the mushrooms or make the sandwiches.

Things happen. I start imagining how I'd do these things. All the variables arise: which pan should I use? Which pan would SK use? What kind of bread does she want her sandwich on? Mayo with the avocado? Cheese? Timing of the eggs? In the oven or on the stovetop? Too many variables! I'm paralyzed! I feel again like an idiot, a failure, a person who will inevitably fuck it all up. It makes me want to crawl in a hole. The longer I stand there, stirring the potatoes and doing nothing else, the shittier and shittier I feel. I think "This will never work. SK wants to be scooped up, she wants to be cared for, she deserves a girlfriend who doesn't get paralyzed in the kitchen, afraid to fucking cook some eggs! Jesus!"

We sat at the airport together for over an hour today, drinking coffee and chatting before she boarded the plane. I was still brooding over my morning's breakfast failure, though she didn't seem to notice. At least she didn't notice *why* I was brooding. Our time in the airport was sweet, fun, interesting. She thanked me for bringing her, hanging out with her there for hours. Technically it wasn't hours. She was so sweet, so supportive. And I kept thinking, "I couldn't even make you breakfast this morning!" Still felt like a piece of shit. She said "Look at you! You're sitting at the airport with me for two hours! All I did was put a pot of bloody daffodils on your doorstep!" A pot of bloody daffodils. That's Sk.

I want to be more like SK.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are no shitty girlfriend
here under the southern cross
under the full moon
the blessings of your beingness
in the hearts of one SK was celebrated

using my leather beak
i knew i had to say something

tufty - the tufted titmouse

5:53 PM  
Anonymous tufty said...

oh and the potatoes were never better

ttm

8:56 PM  

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