Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting Better

I would like to take a quick second to thank all of you that have been contacting me; the emails, letters, cards and facebook stuff. Your overwhelming support and concern has touched me on a level that now has me feeling a little ashamed for being so glum. How can anyone be so down with all this love and support? Well, sadly life does throw some wild crap your way and this one has been of those times for me. I felt bad about dumping it all here, or the aftermath of it anyway but I have always been honest in this space. Come here to share my loves, lusts, wants, my life and real life, well it isn’t always easy and it helps me to say these things out loud. That and I can’t help but think about the others that find themselves in these helpless and painful moments in life, those times when you are sure that no one can possibly understand….wanted to nakedly assure them, I do, we all do….I just so happen to be the queen of never-keeping-stuff-to-myself and so I share, sometimes at the detriment of my readership. Oh my gawsh, I just said, “My readership”…sheesh. Full of myself much?! Could I feel like more of a dick?

I’ve been vague in my posts and I will continue to be that way. My life I will share and give but not everyone else’s and when it comes to broken hearts, there will almost always be more than one involved. Old ghosts, humiliation, confusion and the loss of hope, life and love have been weighing heavy on me and sadly, for those of you that bother to read my trivial crap, you too have had to endure it on some level. I’m sorry for that. Truly. Things are beginning to settle, slow down enough for me to catch my breath and seeing that I am sick to death of feeling so goddamn depleted, well I’m getting my RAWR back….

I woke Sunday morning feeling a little fuzzy from my night of over indulgence. Not hungover per se, but not so fresh if you know what I’m saying. Made my sluggish shuffle to the coffeepot annoyed as shit that I was up before the set brewing time and wondering how I managed to get both the top and bottoms of my jammies on backwards. Hit the “go” button and grumpily made my way to my true lover, my laptop. Opened my email only to be reminded that whatever I had been trying to kill with booze the night before wasn’t fixed. Felt that empty sink in the pit of my angrily hollow tummy. Yup, things were just how I left them….crud. Slouched back on the couch in what has to be one of the most unflattering poses I have ever put myself in, any fuzzy headed notions I had about feeling better were quickly squished by looking down at the tag of my backward jammie bottoms resting upon the tummy that could use a few more days, okay weeks, sans filler….and looking at my nearly forty year old breasts as they tried to slumber beneath my freaking armpits. Oh goddamn it. This clearly wasn’t helping….

I tried to gather my boobs first and let me tell you, trying to “arrange” a pair of forty year old double d’s, real ones….well it’s akin to trying to herd pudding, handfuls of goo that don’t want to listen. Sigh. Heard the coffee grumbling, louder than I was if you can believe that crap and made my way to the restroom to give the jammies a spin before opening the windows and heading into the kitchen for that coffee. Settled back into my perch, this time my back straight and arms tucked in trying to contain the…puddings, one more glance at the heart-sinkingly empty email box before reaching for the remote. 

My thumb just a quarter of a second from hitting the next “go” button and I heard a high pitched squeal. Turned my head, peered out the window, no wounded cat or bird flapping about in front of my window, went back to mush my mind with television and again, right before hitting the button I heard another squeal, this time followed by gibberish and then, “I found the most!”….the wee’s next door discovering all the eggs, candy and gifts left by the Easter Bunny. I didn’t need to see them, hearing the astoundingly loud voices; from those tiny people….their sheer joy and excitement, uncontrollable energy, well it made my heart swell. Dropped the remote, cupped my hands around my warm coffee cup, took in deep sniffs of the magic elixir, remembered how much fun I had hiding eggs for Jeremy, the intensity with which that little bugger would hunt them down, the moment when the money filled eggs replaced the dyed “dropped by the bunny” ones. Thinking of him alone this Easter but alone writing the last of his fifteen page papers before graduating. Some sadness but mostly joy, amazement and pride.  Better…getting better.

Lounged around the rest of the morning, finding bits of understanding and wisdom in rhythm and lyrics, the crooned and lilted voices mirroring many of the things I’ve been feeling…not alone indeed. Each beautifully strung together line landing upon my exposed heart, “Does anyone know how to hold my heart cuzz I don’t want to let go, let go, let go”…. “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain”….. “She gives me love, love, love, crazy love”…. “you and I together we could anything, anything” little bandages of comprehension, voices so sympathetic and powerfully resounding that aside from wondering when the hell Dave Matthews (Google alert goddamn it!) is going to finally realize that we are madly in love, made me remember that nothing I’m feeling right now has not been felt by hundreds of thousands before me and if the worst I have to endure is waiting for the other side of someday, well than I am actually better off than many. Better…getting better.

Readied myself for dinner at the in-laws, holiday meals always remind me of my childhood; the things my mother cooked, the smells, the perfect combination of scalloped potatoes, ham and peas balanced on my fork , the squish of rubbery cream-o-mushroom soup mushrooms between my teeth. In my better but still pouty state I thought of nothing on the drive over but the fact that this was to be one more family holiday, without any real part of me and my family there. Lamb instead of ham, no cream-o-soup potatoes, no Dugans aside from me. Tossed a grin on my grill and my loaded wine bag over my shoulder before walking through the laundry room which leads into the kitchen.

The house was still, no television, no, “There they are” voices coming from the living room, just a starkly silent kitchen full of a aroma that made me feel like I was eight years old, legs crossed in one of the kitchen chairs watching my mother set the table….roast pork. The subtle but knee weakening smell of roast pork stopped me in my tracks and much like the succulent fat on that roast, I was melting. One of my mother’s most beloved dishes, one that she did better than anyone, perfectly tender, subtly seasoned, thick slab of mahogany skin that she would thump with a serving fork to show me just how “almost ready” dinner was. 

I was speechless, just stood there, eyes closed, taking in as much of this familial aroma as I could. Opened my eyes when I heard, “Oh hi you two. I thought you were dad” my mother in-law. When her very animated face came into focus I almost lost it. For seventeen years this woman has been a mother to me, she is my family and here I was in an aromatic bringing of both worlds together in a way that made sense to me, one from the oven and a woman that made it for me. Thank gawd neither of us are huggers, would have grabbed her little frame right up…you know, if I were so inclined and probably would have been sobbing.

 “So let’s get to that Champagne!!” she bellowed. She does that, used to scare the shit out of me coming from the soft spoken home that I did. Her big New England voice, matter of fact manner of speech, exaggerated gestures and stealthy prison reach for any bit of food or bottle she has her eye on. What was once fear was long ago replaced with a certain admiration for her spunky nature and willingness to pop off to anyone, dig that about her and in that kitchen, at that moment, those smells swirling around my head and heart, my hand twisting the cork on a bottle of Agrapart Terroirs, well I loved her more than I even thought possible. Better…getting better.

She and I had damn near killed the bottle of bubbles before my father in-law got back from the driving range, thankfully my bag was well stocked and my partner in killing bottles, (that would be the father in-law) and I still had plenty for later. Kisses on my face, big smile and electric blue eyes, he jumped right into the already started party, the two of them and their banter….death wishes and love, cracking me up. My parents, Jeremy’s grandparents…not ours through birth or blood but by choice and love. Better….getting better.

I scooped broccoli salad, mushrooms (one of these days I will get that woman to tell me how she is able to coax the simple mushroom into absolute perfection) a popover and not one but three slabs of pork…making sure to snag at least one piece of the crunchy, caramelized end bit…before the prison reacher could, on to my plate. Poured the father in-law and I a couple glasses of Vajra Docetto D’Alba and before I knew it, I was eating….like a lot. Tender, subtle but, in more ways than one, powerful pieces of pork being washed down with pure, clean and perfect Dolcetto, the rich porky flavor of my past mixed with the bright, vibrant and earthy flavors of my now. Better….getting better.

I’ve been fed
In more ways than one…

Not quite full just yet but
Getting better


Lisa said...

rawr! the energy is swelling, i feel it too... wished for magic tonight (while holding my breath under a tunnel) and hope some of it comes along to you.

Valerie said...

Wish I could express these things the way you do - and pair them as well. Brave brave woman - with exquisite taste. xo, your readership

Samantha Dugan said...

It's not magic I need as much as gentle...or not so, reminders that what is lost is lost and I can't spend too long wishing it weren't so or I'm likely going to miss out on what is in front of me. I hope your magic arrives for you soon sweetheart.

You express yourself just fine! You have words and pictures and you paint stories for "your readership" with them perfectly. Man, haven't felt very brave as of late but each time I write something like this it helps a little. Hugs to you lady...

Michael Hughes said...

A gorgeous, simply prepared meal (prepared with love) can be so restorative & repairs just about anything "broken" in your life. Or at least it feels that way for awhile. I wish I could cook cook for you right now in hopes that it would make you feel better.

chris said...

I read this quote from Graham Greene last night and thought of you, and all artists...

"Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human situation."

Samantha Dugan said...

Michael My Love,
You have cooked for me before and I assure you, anything you served up would make things better. Seeing as the distance between us is too far, I'll take your desire to cook for me and it does make me feel better.

Man, that quote is exactly how I feel. When I wrote that piece about Su Casa I felt so exposed and raw but it helped to write it and made me hope that if even one other person read it and was made to feel better by it, well than it was worth it. I'm no artist sweet lady but at times I don't know what I would do without this space. Thanks for thinking of me and I cannot wait to meet you Friday!

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Graham Greene was right. Turns out he wasn't Graham crackers. Since I abandoned my readership, I mean blog, I have desperately needed therapy. I've lost my way completely, as you well know. If only Life had GPS.

Your fearlessness and wisdom are inspirational. I never had a RAWR, though I had a MEOW once. Made me cough up a furball.

Reading your post here has helped me enormously, all stale jokes aside. Thank you, as always, My Love, you have made my life a better place.

I love you!

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Next time you lose your way, just point that big, sweet, gentle heart of yours in my direction....your home will always be here with me and after I clean up your fur ball I will pour you a glass of wine, cook you something warm and soothing and remind you that no matter how lost you get, I will forever love you....

Unknown said...

Wow, Sam, I can't say anything better than what all these lovely people have already said. Your honesty, eloquence, and willingness to share - even the difficult spots - is heartwarming to all of us. No, more than that, it is a great example and comfort to all of us. We connect through our humanity with the help of profound words like yours!

Anonymous said...

Don't ever get full, gorgeous girl, so that you always have room for more to come your way.

Samantha Dugan said...

Pretty sure the stuff I write is far more prolific than profound but thank you so much for such kind words, so very nice to hear.

Another Day of Crazy,
That is yet another important reminder love. Thank you so much and I am sending big hugs your way lady.

webb said...

Glad things are a little better for you, and that you have a MIL whom you love and who clearly loves you, too. unfortunately, you're at that time in life when women go thru a lot of changes - not just the obvious "female" one, but children leaving the nest, career choices, relationships changing - just a host of stuff that makes us feel pissy. It will pass. You just have to hang in there a while. xo

Joe said...

a good meal can do that sometimes.

I wish I could coax something more profound to say...

Thomas said...

In my dotage I'm learning that sometimes doing nothing at all is exactly what one needs to heal.

Well, not nothing at all--always some good nectar to enhance the healing process, and every so often, the right crowd.

Samantha Dugan said...

Thank you for that. I know everyone goes through treacherous and craptastic periods and it does help to be reminded of that. Just keeping everyone up to date, explaining why there has been less of the fun, wine drenched and sensual posts, not feeling very sexy these days...the whole pudding episode didn't help that either, (grin). Keeping my head up and beginning to settle. Thank you again.

Sometimes it's just the fact that you wish you had something to say that helps. Big hugs to you kid.

I'm with you kid. I'm hoping to be sipping something delicious, with the exact crowd I need, in the very near future....

Marcia Macomber said...

OK, I'm all caught up. (My bad. Been just crazy around here.) And so as to not repeat what has been stated before me in the comments queue, I searched and searched for an appropriate inspirational quote, discarding many as waaaaay too sappy. This one, however, seemed to fit the bill:

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. - Robin Williams, 1951-present

Hang in there, girl! There's a light at the end of the tunnel. (Just make sure it's not getting bigger while you're standing still at the other end of the tunnel.)

Samantha Dugan said...

I think that quote might just be perfect!