“Perfect. Absolutely perfect” my jaw tight as I saw the folded paper that I had fished out from beneath the coffee table with my toes. The jury summons, or rather my extended jury summons, (the first one I pushed back due to my trip to Italy in February) that I was supposed to return like ten days ago….mother fucker. My morning started with watching my son fold and place his washed laundry back into his suitcase, a feeling that sinks deep into the pit of my stomach and brings with it a sadness that no matter how irrational I know it to be, simply crushes me. I do what I always do, what any mother does, I make jokes and only allow myself the relief of tears when I am sure he won’t see them. The day before Jeremy leaves is always the hardest on me…I wish I were better at just holding on to the few remaining hours feeling the joy and peace that comes with his presence, from him just being under the same roof, but alas much like being a responsible adult and attending to my civic duty, I, have, failed.
The next little piece of crappy was getting a call that shook me with that, “Oh shit. Did I screw up?!” the kind that makes me shake and floods me with panic. Again not terribly rational, and this time it wasn’t my error but settling down after that took some tantric like breathing, the rubbing frantically of my un-made-up face and a glass of Chateau la Canorgue Rose. Settled back into my day off, the last day with the kid then I opened an email that ended up taking another crack at my spazzed out and crumbling heart. Closed the email just in time to look at the clock and see that it was just about time for my beloved Amy and Roger to board their flight back to their exiled home of Texas. More muttering and expletives before opting to just lie on the couch and try and rest my frazzled head, quiet the aching and loneliness in my heart.
“Bang! Bang! Thump!” the maintenance men pounding, sawing, ripping out and making all the ruckus that comes with replacing the entire restroom in the now empty apartment above us. Great, no nap and now the worry about dealing with new neighbors. Got up from the couch and shuffled to the kitchen for another glass of Rose. Needed something to get lost in, refresh me and help un-stick my jaw. Pouting and a tad pissy, a favorite combination for me, especially when I know just how very lucky I am most of the time…..
I ran my fingers around the cool and sweating bowl of my wine glass. Made myself focus on the pale pink color, the herbal and mineral aromas, the electrifying thrill of cold liquid hitting my wanting, needing palate. Found comfort in my connection to the flavors and began thinking of all the moments where wine has been at my side, my partner of sorts…with me through the laughter, tears and discovering of myself along the way. The trips out of the country, the trips to our very own wine country, the faces I’ve met, kissed, caressed and spent hours with, our love for this one thing, this thrilling liquid, bringing us together and making each and every one of those moments possible…and it was there, at my side, through it all.
I thought of the past week, the time spent with my beloved son, chatting, just sitting in the same room watching television, being in separate rooms but still close enough. Wine in my glass to share the elation I feel at these times. Taking Jeremy to his first wine and food pairing event and feeling my heart swell as he spun his glass, buried his nose, took that first evaluating sip, the biting of my lip as he described the Francois Chidaine Touraine Rouge….perfectly. Wine and Momma will forever be linked in that young man’s mind and memories and for that, I am so very proud.
Piling into the car on Monday afternoon to travel south and nab a few hours with our friends escaping the oppression of the Texas sun. Wine, or Champagne more specifically, ignited our friendship, introduced Amy and I but our journey was just beginning. Been through a lot since the nights spent on the back patio of their home, (aka The Vortex) in Long Beach popping bottle after bottle of Champagne, getting to know one another and learning, for the first time, what family really means. Jeremy in Louisville, Amy and Roger now in Texas, Merritt leaving The Wine Country and moving forward in her burgeoning career in the growing beer business. Seeds scattered but roots forever intertwined.
Driving past the sights that I had ingested hundreds of times before, Camp Pendleton, The Giant Boobs in San Onofre, the windmill that once belonged to Anderson’s Home of the Split Pea Soup and has now become a T.G.I. Fridays. The landmarks that once signified that my mother and I were almost home after visiting Long Beach, now connected to walking onto the patio of a resort, my son, husband, Amy and Roger…..a coming home unlike any I’ve known before but just as soothing. Amy and I sipping away on a bottle of Saint-Chamant Blanc de Blanc while opening our hearts and taking a few moments to just look into the eyes that, no matter the pain, strife or struggle, see you as the most beautiful and compelling person on the planet. My glass cold, laced between my fingers and at my side.
Here I sit, just hours before I have to “man up” and hold back the tidal wave of memories, snuggles, kisses and overwhelming emotion that comes with saying goodbye to my baby, the child that is now a man, that changed my game and in turn changed my life. His roots still twisted with mine but needing less of my nutrients to get him through. The last ten days not nearly enough time for me to express my love, gratitude and astounding pride. My living room silent, the kid out and saying his goodbyes, the Texas crew back in the blistering heat, my soul feeling their ache to be closer. My heart full but at the same time…as lonely as it has ever been. Life is forever changing, shifting and spinning our seeking souls in directions that find us looking for footing and a safe place to catch our breath. I find mine here, in my late nights, heart raw and exposed glass of something cold and familiar in my hand with all of you. Thank you. Thank you for being here, listening and feeling me….
Scores, alcohol levels and the relentless ranker about both mean…dick, when I think about what wine has brought to my life. I have a partner that sweats and bleeds beside me while I spill my guts and expose myself for the failed and fragile woman that I actually am. I can rant, piss and moan, ooze my femaleness all over these pages but in the end, I am just a girl, in love and wanting more than anything to be heard…..felt and to share that all with you.
Wish me luck with my goodbyes
Hope that I can find peace in my glass when I come home to a quiet house
Walk past that room and feel my heart sail with the emptiness of it
I still have wine to whisper to me
Those of you that are still willing and wanting to read me…
I’ve got this glass of wine and just a few more hours….