Friday, February 13, 2015

Give it a Rest, D'angelo (Response Letter 1)

Check out my article on three active outdoors valentines dates (and one anti-valentines excursion for the bitter, the heartbroken, or the just not feeling it.)


I can't write much of anything until I respond to you, because when I asked 'how are you doing' you really told me.

Here is the first letter to all of us. Not the last as I have more ground to cover.

Dear us,

I'm sorry they stole your wallet and used it to buy shower gel, but in a way it's hilarious, something you'll talk about at dinner parties. 'What sort of people shop at Bath and Body Works?' you'll ask, and after a moment's silence you'll stand up and shout- Criminals! Criminals, that's who!

With regards to your glorious moments, it does not concern me that they are tiny, most glory comes  small like that. I wish there was a special bank where you could put the glory specks and wait for them to accumulate into something really sparkling. Something that burns the barn down. But there's not so just try to enjoy them.

And that situation, with the fired locomotive, that sounds difficult. But the union will give em' hell, that's what they always do in the movies, and if you want to stay in the mountains then just stay, you'll figure it out. You'll build a little castle out of cardboard and boil shoes for dinner, if it comes to that, and it won't come to that, although I am speaking as someone who once gnawed on a belt to test for flavor. Cause it almost did come to that.

And then it didn't.

You with three kids at home and that empty feeling growing inside, you know my own mother had that and she was at work half her life, so maybe it's just something that's in all of us. Maybe give it a name? I named my empty place D'angelo, and when it whines and wants more I say, "Give it a rest, D'angelo, I'm doing my best." Aches and emptiness do not like to be named because that makes them finite, which they are, but they'd rather have you thinking they are something else. So, that's my advice for you.

Your optimism does not make us sick, we rather like to see that spunk in you since you've been down for so long. But I can't believe you're at a spin class at 5:30 am, see- that does make me sick. But I'm happy for you anyway, I'm just jealous.

You with the perma-grin, the pockets of stress, the whirlwind: we love you because you make it all sound like beat poetry. When my bad week becomes an actual whirlwind and not just a series of days slapping together, it makes me feel like a force. Like something out of a batman picture.

What really gets to me though is what you've told us about your dog. This idea of her snout on your palm, your whispering, how she can smell you but nothing else. When you go to walk her and there isn't anyone there to walk anymore, that hurts worse than stepping on a lego, doesn't it? If I haven't been there yet, just give me some time, because that's the horrible promise you bring home with a dog.

And yes, most of us are ready for spring. Have a drink of water while you wait and you won't be so thirsty but I hear you, it's agitating, waiting for dead things to resurrect. Less so if you're living in the Southwest under the blue skies with your heart balloon lifting, more so if your head is drooped over a desk littered with the IUPAC nomenclature systems.

So the novel has been keeping you up again? That sounds romantic but I know it's not, it doesn't matter the source, insomnia is insomnia, fidgety and unfair. You're leaving the job and moving, along with the kids and dogs, of course you're scared shitless. Now that should keep you up at night. But try and hold onto that fear a little, because everything will be fine, the fear will go away, and so often it's replaced by...how did you describe it? "Meh." Maybe it's a February feeling. Meh.

Of course if you just moved to Maine you're not Meh, you're snowed in and happy. Maine is where we all could live if we could, so do us a favor and enjoy it. And if you're truly unhappy with Moses Lake, Washington, well- maybe you could try Maine.

Some of us are so happy and you can tell just by the punctuation, like we're celebrating our ten year anniversary of the day we met and in six weeks we'll celebrate our five year anniversary of marriage and until then it's all pizza and champagne! Some of us are comfortable and predictable and running our tongues over new metal in the mouth. You'll get used to it. We all did.

But many of us are bruised (we fell off the treadmill) and we are mushrooms, but hopeful mushrooms, because after we get the apartment with the bigger windows who knows, maybe we'll grow into something kinda lovely, like moss. Something way better then mushrooms, anyway.

Much love,

Melina, and everybody else.

****
But who won the mystery prize? Well now I can tell you.

The winner is....









Blogger b said...
Things are not going the best. There have been some shake ups at work, and I'm feeling unsettled about it. It's February and our yard is covered with ice and snow. I'm ready for spring and sunshine.
February 10, 2015 at 8:51 AM
 Delete

B, I'm sorry you're feeling unsettled, maybe I can help. Email thewildercoast@gmail.com and we'll get you sorted, and congratulations! You're a winner!


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you for writing back to me, for including me in this, and for blowing me the fuck away (again.)

Ashley said...

This is so beautiful. I absolutely love your writing. You have an excellent voice. I can't help but think of D'Angelo's new album Black Messiah, that took 14 years to write, produce and release. How appropriate.

Ashley said...

This is so beautiful. I absolutely love your writing. You have an excellent voice. I can't help but think of D'Angelo's new album Black Messiah, that took 14 years to write, produce and release. How appropriate.

Susan S said...

Hey B! Congrats! That kind of shake-up stress in the work place is just The. Pits. Just sets a person's teeth on edge. Enjoy your prize and don't let D'Angelo or anybody else get you down! Susan :-)

Diary of Why said...

This reads so much like a Dear Sugar column, in all the best ways (there really are no other ways, in a Dear Sugar column). Now I wish I had participated in your previous prompt. Thanks for doing these, I love it.

Jill said...

I love this way of responding to everyone (well, almost everyone.) It's a great way to connect us in one great saga....which is what life is, huh?

Megan said...

This post was amazing. I loved the way you weaved everything together and it inspired me to go back and read everyone's comments from before. And can I just say that the community you have created here and the honest and heartfelt comments your writing inspires is just beautiful. The folks that are having an incredible time in life and truly appreciate it, and the ones who are heartbroken now but know it will pass. Thanks to you and your readers for the inspiration. It cheers my heart on this blustery day.

Aimee LH said...

Oh my gosh! Love it!!! Thank you for speaking to "us" and mentioning my wallet in the first paragraph. Made my day and I shared gleefully! Thank you for being awesome and hopeful and human and full of perspective. I will always be a loyal reader and pretend that we're friends in real life that talk about perseverance over insanely good coffee while looking at local art in Asheville.

Liz Stout said...

Melina. I LOVE this. LOVE. IT. I've been thinking about the D'Angelo quote since I sat in the ski patrol bump shack reading this post hours ago! As I read, I just got this HUGE smile on my face. If all of the other patrollers hadn't been busy heckling god-knows-what I'm sure they'd have been heckling me for my huge grin upon reading that line!! Thank you for composing this.

Karen said...

Thank you Melina! Like expensive dark chocolate, I savoured it all. Delicious!

dig this chick said...

Oh friend. Your way with words here, in this piece. I can find myself in every single sentence - what an amazing feat you accomplished. Excited to pass this one along on the www so others can feel it to. Love you.

Leah C said...

What would be the name of my voice/my edgy place? It is not masculine, it is a judging female voice. Delores..harsh, shrill, irritable, judging with an undercurrent of sadness and anger. She presents on the outside as sharp,brash but underneath is really sadness and feeling of being not enough. “Dolores” is sadness really. Naming her makes her less powerful but also allows me to love her and to be kind to her/myself. “Hush now, Delores. We’re ok”
Thanks, Melina for helping me sort these thoughts. Feeling so much better

Leah C said...

What would be the name of my voice/my edgy place,? It is not masculine, it is a judging female voice. Delores..harsh, shrill, irritable, judging with an undercurrent of sadness and anger. She presents on the outside as sharp,brash but underneath is really sadness and feeling of being not enough. “Dolores” is sadness really. Naming her makes her less powerful but also allows me to love her and to be kind to her/myself. “Hush now, Delores. We’re ok”
Thanks, Melina for helping me sort out these thoughts. .sigh..feeling much better

TRB Holt said...

SO love this!