They run through my mind in the wee smalls, racing on their wheels or chewing on the wires of my brain.  In an effort to calm them and minimize damage, I am naming them like Santa’s reindeer or the 7 dwarves, each with its’ own personality and purpose.  Cut from the herd tonight are:









Hungry appears at the fringe of the herd – a nervous critter that tries to find comfort in eating and in serving as a physiological distraction from the damage the others are attempting to cause – causing collateral damage himself.


Let’s put faces to names, shall we?


Scared – big, round eyes, semi-paralytic – what have I done? What if I’ve screwed up?  What if there’s no one to take care of me when I’m sick? Sits in a corner of my mind and races, little heart beating a million thumps a minute. This is big. Really big. I can’t take it back – not because he wouldn’t let me, but because I wouldn’t let me. But what if it doesn’t work with Russ? What does – could – my future look like? Blankness.


Guilty – troubled, downcast eyes, furtive behavior – how could I do this to Pat? How dishonorable to my 25 years of relationship with him, to leave and leap heartlong into a new relationship? I do not want to hurt him by being with Russ – but I do want to be with Russ. Talk of honor – there would have been more honorable ways to get out of this without involving someone else. But I’ve been in relationships with someone else for many of my married years. Gee, that makes me feel so much better about myself – chicken – dishonorable, weak chicken.


Selfish – narrow-eyed, crafty, cunning.  I am putting my needs before my family’s, before Pat’s (can’t be helped anymore, he’s never put my needs first), Kelsea’s – I want to be with Russ, but am not yet (geez, give yourself a break, you just decided this eight hours ago) ready to sleep with him when Kelsea is here – Pat doesn’t want me to.  Kelsea wants to get to know him.  And he is going through a hell of his own.  I want to make love with him, as he does with me, and I can’t feel comfortable doing that with her right down the hall. So does that mean my selfish needs are more important than my daughter, than having her around?  But I don’t want to continue to sublimate myself, not to her, not to Russ, not to anyone.  I’ve lived too long beneath that veil.


Nervous – darting eyes, sitting in a corner, twitching and wringing his little paws. Very similar to Scared.  “What’ll I do, what’ll I do?” is this one’s battle cry – or battle whimper. What if? What if Russ can’t deal with Kelsea? What if he doesn’t like her, doesn’t like compromising his desires for a child? What if I lose my job? What if what if what if. What if I am smothered?


Lonely – tear-filled eyes, slowly walking the wheel. Am I truly destined to be alone? Not to be old Nobody’s Girl, as she is gone – Russ has been instrumental in banishing her, as he was in banishing my red demon and the Mayan god. But I could still be only my girl, no one to love me to the core. I come with so much baggage and love is hard to find, hard to achieve. And after Russ, impossible to imagine having another.  But who will care for me when I am sick, as I get (unthinkably) old?


Overwhelmed – breathing heavy, frenetic on the wheel, unable to calm, to self-soothe. So tied to all its cage-mates, this one plays out every conceivable and inconceivable scenario in its’ little hamster brain. How do I fill out those divorce papers? What about the two therapist appointments tomorrow, neither of which I want to keep? How can I find a life balance? How will I get the Directory done – the jpgs, the index? (I want to spend time with me, with Russ, with Kelsea, not be working.) What if Pat wants me to continue to pay for his mortgage (as he said he did – that’s why we need a mediator.) I worry about Pat. I am sick of working. I don’t even have time to take my recycle to the recycling center. And what about moving to the Caribbean?  Going into debt for the house, the bar?


And on and on…


I am forgetting the Secret.


And there are some positive rodents in the mix, they are just completely overshadowed by the chorus of madness from the aforementioned. It’s as if all the blurts are front-and-center, with no affirmations as counterbalance.


But perhaps that’s for a different night’s musings.


Russ says to call him if I can’t sleep amid the night. But I can never bring myself to possibly wake him from his possibly hard-won slumber.


My Mother’s best advice was “Never think about anything important after 2:00 am.”  My footnote to that advice: that’s when the bars close – coincidence? – but she did not drink. And it is now almost that witching hour.


The hungry hamster is chewing on the ropey-slimy cords of my intestinal tract in his demands for food, but I will not give in. I will triumph.


I will miss my garden and my lilacs in the Spring. I never had time for my garden anymore. That’s why it didn’t grow well.  What a metaphor.