Did I tell you my husband left? Oh yes, the great Bubba, that thespian of thespians, left the day after the New Year dawned to go to Utah to play Macbeth for Utah Shakespearian's educational touring company. January through April, he'll be running around speaking antiquated language and trying to avoid Mormon beer.
So that leaves me, alone in a room in Hollywood. Okay. So it's not exactly Hollywood, it's Miracle Mile, but Hollywood, with its impressions of dashed hopes and misplaced dreams, sounds more relevant to my tale of faux melancholy. And it's not exactly a room, either. Not by LA technical standards. It's a bachelor apartment, in this case meaning it's a room with a little alcove, sink, bathroom, and, for the gourmand in me, a hotplate. All this finery to the tune of $800 month. Out here we call that a steal. Back home in Toledo, we call it ridiculous.
Before we left our 2bed/2bath $1500-a-month steal in Hollywood, I asked myself, I said, Self, how are you going to feel as a full-grown woman living in a bachelor pad with your full-grown husband and no room for the dog you dream of? So far from the house with the sunroom and the garden that you so righteously deserve? My best friend of 25 years tells of a friend who uses the terms High Mind and Low Mind. Low Mind is the mind of judgment and victimhood, High Mind is where you want to be. Thank God High Mind answered me. It said, You're going to feel just fine, if you remember you're there for a reason and act like it. The reason is, ironically, for me and Bubba to live our best lives. I had Schmin real young and so he is old enough, and young enough, to be finding his own path. We are entering the friendship zone, where I don't tell him to wipe his nose or what time to get up, but instead I ask about his day or tell him how much I'm enjoying knitting or how much I'm missing Bubba. Along with raising the Schminster, I have gotten as much education as I have a mind to get, so there are no more rumblings about whether to fill in the gaps in my life with graduate school -- been there, finished that, twice. And jobs, of the full-time, brain cell maiming nature, are not on my to-do list, though I will likely someday take my aforementioned education and do more teaching at the college level. These days are all about writing, something I've longed to find the space to do forever. (And knitting, 'cause I just can't help myself.)
Funny thing about when life finally opens into what you want it to be. You get scared. Start feeling like people who claim to love you have left you on some strange planet where you must survive by wits you're not sure you've got. You also start feeling guilty, because who are you to be finding a way to live only what you love? Then there's the crazy. You're, like, 50 million years old, aren't you supposed to be living in a house and counting the hours until you can piece together enough years at sundry jobs to retire? Or shouldn't you have enough sense to subvert your own identity to the point where you can take on a corporate one? Should you really be living in a room, excuse me, bachelor apartment, without, as my Big Mama used to say, a pot to piss in or a back door to chunk it out of?
But most days I can put the guilty and the crazy and the fear aside. Agape, my church, is helping me learn to do this. So are my friends, who are walking love and inspiration. The Bubba I love more than I can begin to express and if I ventured on to tell you how he has lifted me, even when I demanded to stay down, you would cry tears and maybe never be able to stop. I look around this place and I see I have everything I need, literally and figuratively. How I use what I've got is up to me.