Saturday, June 5, 2010

Full up

Ever eat so much and not realize you did until it's too late? And by too late, I mean, that food drops to the bottom of your stomach about 30 minutes post-consumption and you are left with the literal sinking feeling that it's gonna be a tough afternoon...and that maybe you shouldn't have had that second serving of, say, taco salad, or, say, coconut cake.
Or maybe the second beer was a bit much...
Well, I'm stuffed. I haven't actually been stuffed, and I sh*t you not, in years. I've never been relaxed or unharassed or happy enough to just take in the people, the food, the kids, the dogs, the sticky heat, the flowers, none of that. Before (before meaning in a former life in which my spirit was near extinction due to unhappiness and worry) there was none of the chatting...the lighthearted easy way people balance plates on their laps and catch up on kids, love lives, tragedies, separations, jobs, you know, the basic fibers of life. But "before" has leaked out of me (somewhat slowly) almost completely, so that I do smile at random and play tricks on the kids and sneak off with the old timers to smoke a butt behind someones truck.
I live for this. I need to be reminded of how sustaining these moments are. It sounds idyllic, almost cliche, and it is without a doubt. But you gotta admit there is something to be said for balancing a beer bottle on a tree stump, holding someone's baby to give her a break, chasing a bunch of rough and tumble boys and black labs through a creek, and licking the last bit of coconut frosting from a fork.
It takes the sting out of being the lone duck. I'm not talking about the whole fifth wheel thing, I'm talking about watching. Watching pairs of people watching their children grow, fixing plates for one another, sharing a beer, resting a hand lightly on a knee, whispering some long-known secret, scowling at each other for eating too much.
And as I am watching them in the the thick of their lives, taking a moment to enjoy the company of others, it dawns on me that I'm in the thick of mine and I can only imagine what they are thinking about the tattooed mother with a camera in one hand and an empty plate in the other, no shoes on her feet, smiling with abandon at this whole scene framed by love, and damn good food.


  1. Well I know you aren't talking about our gathering, you were busy dozing in the sun that day, but glad you enjoyed too much.

  2. No, Caitlin, I was writing a review for Berkshire Living. Then the sun doze. I didn't have the kids that day, so Elizabeth would've been mighty disappointed if I'd shown up empty-handed. Crepe day is coming soon.