The Break-Up Journal: Wilted flower

29 September—Just feed me a small amount, just a scrap, and I am happy again. P came over yesterday and was inspired to make it all right again. He came bearing gifts, namely, my birthday gifts. My birthday is in May, by the way, so I’d say he’s a little late. But, better late than never, right? He wrapped up this little jewelry box in white paper and taped a little porcelain Buddha on top. Inside the box there were silver, drop earrings with dark reddish-orange stones. I was quite impressed. He has it in him to be a great gift-giver, I thought. And then, he gave me a long hammered tin mirror with a Mexican sun on it. This gift freaked me out a little bit, because C bought me the same mirror almost four years ago that I still have hanging in my living room.

So, do I feel good about what brought him to the point of giving me all this stuff? Not really. I wish it all happened organically. Back in May. Instead it took cajoling, crying, whining, guilting, shaming and sadly, a little begging, all of which I am thoroughly humiliated about. But, like I said, I’m happy with the scraps. Wilted flowers are still flowers, right?

After the gift-giving, we went over to the flea market with the kids to look for work or pants for P. The kids were clinging to me with death grips. They did not like the seediness and grunginess of the stores and halls and people—some of whom looked like they were on crack. And I can only blame myself. It’s been a very long time that I’ve exposed them to places like this. I tend to take them to pretty places. P got down on their level and said, “Not every place in this world is clean and safe and beautiful.”

A couple weird things happened while we were out. P put his hand on my back and calmed me after a display of women’s razors nearly fell on me. Liam stepped in and said, “No P.” He then removed P’s hand and said, “That’s my job to take care of my wife.” So, P called him a little Norman Bates, and we laughed.

Then Angel said to P, “Are you coming to the party tomorrow?” And P said, “no.” And then Angel said, “Oh, and what’s your excuse this time?”

Dear Lord! I really honestly don’t know where they got that, unless they’ve heard me talk to R like that? Who knows. And speaking of which, they are constantly disappointed by R, so, it’s carrying over to other people who they fear might let them down. The same thing happened to me because of my own disappointment in my father. I feel bad for both of them.

And Liam’s little Oedipus complex is popping up later than usual most likely because he never had the opportunity to express it earlier because R and I were not together. They certainly never expressed this stuff with C. Maybe because he didn’t become as close to the boys as P. All quite interesting.

So, we came home around 6ish after an early dinner at The Steakhouse. The kids went outside and did their own thing, and P and I sat in my bed, flipping through the channels, eating cookies. At one point we kissed very deeply. It was so achingly tender and unexpected that I felt as though all the gnawing hunger for him that has been building up in me over the past several months would become dislodged and set free in one massive outpouring of emotion. In fact, I cried. But, I kept it hidden from him. And then I cried later. A lot.

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