This year’s rebirthday flowers.
CW: Domestic violence
Five years ago right this instant, I was a determined, focused, vigilant, nervous wreck.
I was racing around a falling-down house, breathing heavily, blood pounding, sweating, more than one fresh bruise blooming across my skin. I ignored the mess of a broken plate, the hole in the drywall. I was trying to collapse my one-year-old’s pack-and-play and get it into the car. I was overloading his diaper bag and jamming important papers–birth certificates, social security cards–into my favorite, giant, mustard-yellow leather tote. I was forgetting to eat, as I did a lot in those days. I fed the cat, though. I swore (which I do often) and prayed (which I don’t) and obsessively checked his parking spot in the driveway to make sure it was still empty (it was). I kissed my baby, tucked him into his car seat, and darted outside to snap the seat onto its base in the back of my ’01 Honda CR-V, the first car that was ever mine. I got in, untangling from the criss-crossing straps of multiple bags hanging off my limbs, and drove off quickly, checking my rearview a dozen times before the highway, then a dozen more on the three-hour drive. More than once, I was sure, for at least a couple minutes, that he was behind me, gaining on me, about to run us off the road… Continue reading