Thursday, May 8, 2014


A second after I sat down on the bus I noticed the wad of chewed up gum stuck on the side right next to my armrest. Only it was too late to change seats, the bus was moving, a woman had sat next to me, the bus was full so I told myself not to look at the gum. Just don't look at the gum. I looked at my phone, emails, HuffPo, was it going to get hot this week? The gum was blue. Don't look at the gum--god--how hard is it? Just don't look at the gum. So I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep and thought about what if I sort of shifted in my sleep, would I touch the gum? Fuck, what if I actually touched the gum? I have this irrational fear because when I fall asleep on the bus my mouth inevitably hangs open and I think maybe that someone might put a tab of acid on my tongue and before I know it I will be tripping balls on Market Street. Only this thought was worse, and I spent the next few blocks with my eyes closed wondering if the lady next to me would do that, put the piece of chewed up blue gum in my mouth. The lady was reading a book and the book looked stupid so I thought she might, I don't know, something about her canvas tote told me not to trust her.

What this has to do with anything is nothing except that it's almost Mother's Day and I have been trying to tell myself not to think about it even though I have been writing about it for work, emails, web copy--don't forget!--Mother's Day is this Sunday. Just don't think about it. My first without her. For some reason I went on my mom's Facebook page today and tonight I took out her cellphone, a flip phone. I opened it and smelled it, perfume and cigarettes and her. How long will her smell last? If I could have one more day with her, an hour, if I could just make her laugh again or hold her, hug her--god, she loved to be hugged, I would put that stupid piece of gum in my mouth and chew it. How hard is it?


Anonymous said...

Your writing is can't put words to it, but please keep doing it. I'm thoughtful and quiet after reading what you write, and that rarely happens.

And on a brighter note I have always loved the term "tripping balls" and am so pleased to have heard it from you.

Heidi said...

She felt your love then, as surely as she feels it now and for always. I say Think about it; honor her; honor the physical time spent with her; celebrate her love and life and all she did to make you who you are. Is she truly gone? You have only to look in the mirror to see her, really.

Wishing you a Happy Mother's Day. Thanks for sharing your beautiful family, your words and your stories.

Petunia Face said...

Thank you. Thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

Bittersweet day for many, you are not alone. Not to diminish your pain - just letting you know that your feelings are shared and understood. I saw a picture today of a little girl with her mother. Underneath ist said"Mom, how does it feel to have the best daughter in the world?" and her mother answered: "I don't know you have to ask grandma!"
Happy Mother's Day!

Gretchen said...

I hope yesterday was as kind as possible as the minutes ticked away. I can't imagine how hard it is missing your mom on the first Mother's Day after your loss, while mothering your own young kids. They were probably all fired up to celebrate you and you, them. The very definition of bittersweet.