WEDNESDAY: Jane

BY GERI LALACH

Copyright is held by the author.

 

“I WENT last week to see my regular doctor — I mean, I know you’re a doctor too, just that, well, you know what I mean. Well anyways, I went for my physical. I hadn’t had one for a few years and they said I had to get weighed first. Well I knew I didn’t want to see that number so I laughed and said OK, I’m just going to close my eyes.”

“Did that help Jane?”

“Well of course I knew it wouldn’t be good news, I can already tell by my clothes. And then she wouldn’t shut up about me losing weight and what was I going to do about it? I mean, come on, I’m not an idiot, I know what’s going on.”

“What do you think is going on Jane?”
“It’s the sugar Doctor, I can’t stop it—I mean, I used to be able to stop it. But now it just comes at me. The other day I was running around like crazy and I got home and ate five ice cream bars one after the other. My husband was doing something in the kitchen so I had to do it quietly you know, like slide the bar out of the box without crinkling the plastic, then hold it low in front of my leg so he wouldn’t see it as I walked away from the kitchen like there was something important I had to do in the other room. And then I ate it already thinking of how good the next one was going to taste.”

“What are you feeling Jane, just before you have the ice cream?”

“Jane?”

“I try so hard to be positive you know?”

“The Kleenex is on the table beside you.”

“I tell myself to plan something fun, go to the park after school, maybe take the kids to the corner store after for a treat. But they just go at each other all the time, sometimes as soon as they’re off the bus. Do you remember that old cartoon, the one where the character, I think it was a cat or a roadrunner or something, would go through the wall? You could see him run down the street waving his arms through the outline left in the wall.”

“You think of running away Jane?”

“Sometimes I just want to get in the car and keep driving. I don’t even care where, as long as it’s away. Sometimes I can even picture it. Finding a small motel, turning the key, and just lying on the bed watching whatever I want on TV. All by myself.”

“How long does this last Jane, these feelings of running away?”

“I’m not sure. Sometimes I joke around with other moms about it as we wait for the bus, and we laugh and look at each other, but sometimes, I really want to know.”

“Know what Jane?”

“I want to know what really goes on. If I’m the only one.”

“The only one?”

“I mean, look, everyone is on Facebook, especially the moms. My neighbor posted about her eight-year-old son, how he mowed, manicured and fertilized the front lawn, and isn’t that thoughtful, isn’t she a lucky mom?  And all these Moms looking fantastic, teeth brushed, hair combed, make-up on, hair done. I mean come on, what’s real and what isn’t?”

“What are you angry about Jane?”

“I’m angry that my children are bloody vampires and everyone else’s kids are perfect. And I can’t figure out why these women, these moms, ‘update’ themselves all the time on Facebook, I mean, why are they doing that?  Who’s it for?  Sometimes I just want to ask them to post a picture of themselves when they first wake up or after they’ve cleaned a few toilets. How am I supposed to keep up with their bloody perfect faces and bloody perfect lives?”

“I sense some sadness beneath the anger Jane, I think it’s deeper, and I believe it would help you to connect with it.”

“I don’t want to connect with it. I’m bloody well tired. Besides, if I let myself sink into that sadness, I’m afraid I’ll never get out of it. At least my anger makes me feel like I’m fighting, like I’ve got a chance.”

“A chance at what Jane?”

“At my own life. Jeez, I can hardly breathe from it sometimes, it’s like there’s a hand pulling everything tight in my chest…and…and it feels mean.”

“The anger does this Jane?”

“It’s not really anger anymore. It’s like I get grabbed by this wave of resentment, it catches me up, and it kind of scares me.”

“What happens then Jane?”

“I make myself take a big loud breath, and walk back and forth, sometimes I flex my hands too, make myself think of something else, something small to just change the grip, you know?”

“Does this happen often Jane?”

“It’s happened enough Doctor, it’s partly why I’m back here.”

“What do you hope to achieve from our sessions Jane?”

“I just want to breathe. Be finally okay with my own messy not perfect life you know?”

“Our time is up for today Jane. Shall we reschedule for next week, same time?”

“Yes doctor, thank you.”

 

 

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