Tuesday, September 22, 2009


“Snickers!” Did she really just call him that? I can’t breath, my face flushed. Can she tell, can he see? I turned away and laughed as if I was enjoying the same joke they were as she jumped up on his back for a horsy ride. Snickers was what she used to call me – that and Tootsie-Roll, Butter Finger and any other yummy, sweet candy she could think of.

This was before.

Before she started spending all her weekends in Pennsylvania with him. Sometimes leaving on Thursday night and coming back early Monday morning for work. Before she began sitting at the table behind the couch to watch our favorite shows instead of sharing the cushions with me. Before she started going to her room right after dinner with the phone – leaving me alone with the sound turned down low on the TV – listening to see if I could hear her maybe mention my name in her conversation on the phone.

She never did.

So I started spending weekends alone for the first time since moving out of my parent’s house and making the bold move to DC. When I made my decision to go, I called her right away in Scranton. Guess what!? I’m moving to DC! I was watching CSPAN with my Dad and saw Steve Roberts speaking to a group of kids my age -”Campaign Management School”. Right away, I said, Dad I’m going!

She said she would call me right back. The phone rang two minutes later and she said “I’m coming with you!”, and it was done. I hung up excited and nervous. My heart ached. What was I going to do with this? Especially now that we would be living alone together – far away from every body and every thing we knew. All through college in the sorority house I could manage these feelings – sort of. There were people every where and just when my feelings became too intense the school year would be through and we would spend our summers apart; her in Scranton and me in Harrisburg. I wasn’t out! It may sound like I was in the way I talk about it. But I wasn’t. I just knew that I loved her and thought if I could just keep some distance between us, I would find the right man and she would find the right man and it would all be normal. Maybe we would marry brothers and we would raise our kids across the street from each other. But it wasn’t happening like that because me “finding the right man” was about as likely as Martina finding the right man and she was falling in love and was calling him “Snickers”

It was my third weekend alone. She had left right from work, so when I came home on Friday night to an empty apartment I had a six pack and a pizza. I flipped channels until it got late and my pity party got old and I went to bed lonely. I woke up lonely; reminded of my pain by every piece of particle-board Ikea furniture that we had picked out together. I watched TV for a few hours going deeper into depression as every commercial made me think of our relationship. How she had accidently put her Snuggle fabric softener in the same bag as some muffins from her mother. Later to get sick from eating the perfume flavored treats for breakfast. That little Snuggle Bear looks harmless, but beware.

As it began to get dark out, I flipped it to QVC where the two happy sales people became my saviors. Sure, I needed hope. I needed to believe that I would recover and have friends again some day, so yes... I was susceptible to their spirited message. And YES that message SANG TO ME! I was pulled in by the promise of the portable party machine. “You will be the life of any party with this Karaoke machine”. A multi-cassette boom box with microphones that came with several tapes of your favorite tunes. You could sing to all the best songs and even make recordings!

Waking up Sunday I was determined to get out, so I got in the car and headed over to the movie theater and bought tickets to back to back movies, a large popcorn and some nachos. I brought my own can of diet coke in my bag and made my way into the fist movie. Sitting down, I popped open my can and went to set it into the cup holder. Not realizing that it was made for a super sized movie drink, the can slipped right through the plastic ring and down on to the floor. I scrunched down in my seat… balancing my food as heads in front of me turned around – row by row and my soda rolled to the front of the room.

Leaving the theater I felt invisible; having spent 4 hours in the dark gorging on snack food on a beautiful sunny day. I squinted. I felt bloated and pale. Like a dead fish lying on a lake side beach. A woman in the parking lot startled me by asking me what time it was. I was shocked. Was she speaking to me? I had a hard time speaking – my voice sounding strained as I had my first human interaction in 48 hours.

Monday I got up and went to work. Every one was taking about their weekends; the parties or brunch with friends. Could they tell?

The karaoke machine arrived the following Friday, just in time for another lonely weekend. I got a six pack and ordered a large pizza and sang my heart out in front of the mirror. Then I packed it back up to return to QVC on Monday.

1 comment:

jblend said...

Kelly, I love this! Reminds me of the healing power of karaoke. Remember the song that Kermit used to sing? "Sing -- sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong. Doesn't matter if it's not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing -- sing a song!"