Sunday, February 15, 2004
my ex-husband asked his girlfriend to move in with him, and i figure that now is the time for us to renegotiate my visitation rights for our dog, jake. as it is now, i see him maybe two or three times a month. i go to what used to be our house, and grab jake's leash from the wall, and take him for a walk to the park or just around the neighborhood. this is alright, i'd like to see him more, but there is plenty of weirdness involved for me to show up at the house at all, the memories are pretty huge, and jake himself can cause me to completely break down when i leave him looking out the front window standing on the couch. my boyfriend has suggested, with my best interest in mind, that maybe it's time to just let jake go on with his life without me, and i do agree intellectually, but emotionally i am having a rough time. anyfuckingway, all that crap leads me to where i was yesterday, which was the grotto, that catholic outdoor rock formation thingy with piped in chanting, and i know it's corny, but i love to just go there and be outside in the quiet. it's just a big park that isn't noisy and loud and whatnot because the signs everywhere scare the crap out of people and beat them into blessed silence: THIS IS A SACRED PLACE. HELP US KEEP A PRAYERFUL ATMOSPHERE. so i got my 99 cent candle from the mexican food section of safeway and strode on in through the drizzle and went up to the alter and lit my candle and asked the universe for some help in achieving peace with the probable permanent separation of a dog and his estranged woman. when i was sure that the candle was going to stay lit, i retreated to the pews and sort of curled up with my feet on the kneeler, and god, if my grandmother was alive and with me she would've totally flipped out about that. so i'm sitting there and watching my candle kind of stop flickering and it's blending in with all the other candles lit for loved ones or problems or whatever and i'm starting to feel a little better and this old lady in a purple jacket walks up and stands in front of the candles and starts picking them up one by one. i put my feet on the ground and immediately tense up.. what the hell does she think she's doing? i'm thinking that maybe she's just voyeuristic and is looking for the written prayer under them or maybe hoping to take some cheap rosary that may have been left behind, i mean, people collect weirder things for less reason. but then it starts to make me mad because she's actually looking under each and every one and it's taking a long time and i had just wanted to sit here and feel the serenity and space out watching the little flames lick their cheap glass containers, and this old lady is totally blocking my view of my own perceived avenue of calm acceptance and then i feel like an ass, because who thinks stuff like that? so then it hits me: what she's doing. she takes a candle that has gone out because of the weather or whatever, but still has some wick left to it, and she holds it up to the wick of my brand new, high in the glass candle and relights it. she's relighting the flames of other people's wishes. with my candle. she's using the flame i lit to help myself to feel better about not being able to see a dog to keep in the "eyes of god" the thoughts and prayers of other people, probably with way more serious problems than myself. and now i just feel like the biggest shithead in the world and somehow that feeling like a jerk makes me realize that things are going to be okay for real and that maybe feeling crappy about feeling crappy is the best thing that's happened to me in a long while, spiritually speaking. and i get up from my little birdshit spattered bench and get in my car and turn up a billy joel album really loud and sing along with it all the way home.