MOMA Nights

TAMPA MOMA

On the night that your fiancée waltzes in to your bedroom, sits down across from you, and says the dreaded four words “We need to talk.” then after much terrified prodding and the most horrible pregnant pause of your entire life follows that statement up with “I’m not ready to be married.” You will think that you’re going to die. In fact you will carefully consider that option. After all the beer bottle that you’re now drowning your sorrows in could easily be broken and you could use one of the shards to slit your wrists. But this is not really a viable option. You’re an adult woman and this is not your first rodeo. You are after all once divorced and you know that this too shall pass. That the sun will in fact come out tomorrow and unfortunately (or at least it seems) this is not where your story ends.

You won’t sleep well. This could be from the fact that you went to bed at seven pm or it could be from the fact that you’ve just lost a piece of you. It makes sense that when such a huge part of your life, something you’ve looked forward to, and worked so hard for falls apart without much advance notice, that you will be restless. This is when you must make the decision to be ok.

So you get up out of bed at the butt crack of dawn and make the brilliant decision to go for a walk. It’s not very surprising that you walk the three miles to downtown Tampa in a fugue state. You barely even acknowledged the six homeless men who yelled out to you when you made your way past Curtis Hixon Park. Even right outside of your neighborhood when you’d made it to Kennedy and that police officer had pulled you over (is that the term for when you’re walking?)  and asked where you were headed after demanding your identification; even that was surreal. Hell you weren’t even scared though you should have been; Mike Brown isn’t even cold… for that matter neither is Yvette Smith. But you weren’t, you just handed him the ID and waited patiently as he ran your name, came back, passed you the card, and urged you to be safe.

Maybe you knew that you were headed to the place where you thought you had solidified your future. You weren’t surprised when you ended up there. Was it fate that made the lights the same colors that they were when the proposal happened. You know they’ve since changed. That one night you went to the festival they were yellow and red. But the worst night of your life they were the exact same color as they were on the best night of your life. Pink and blue. Like the colors that parents choose to bring their newborn babies home in. Like the colors of Easter eggs. Like the color of your favorite sky.

And was it fate that made that damn Rihanna song come on. As you were sitting there trying to figure out if this thing that you had declared to be art on the best day of your life was actually art on the worst day of your life. As the lights changed from pink to blue and the tears flowed and Rihanna sang about how she wanted him to stay then Taylor Swift burst in saying how she couldn’t make him stay and how players were gonna play play play, was that part fate? I don’t think you ever even figured out if it were art. When you paused the song and looked it up Google defined art as“the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance”. Wasn’t this creative? This massive square brick structure with the beautiful lights that changed color from time to time. This thing that housed art. Was it in fact art? Aren’t the lights so pretty though? Even if it’s not art?

I don’t think you figured it out, whether it was art or not because you couldn’t get rid of the feeling that your heart had been simultaneously snatched out of your chest and shoved down your throat at the same time. You thought you had a partnership… That you were working towards creating/ building a life together and now you realized that you’re not. Well, you didn’t realize it as much as you had been informed of it.

Why did you come here? To bring back the memories of how shocked and happy you were when she pulled you to the front of that crowd of dancing people because your song was playing. You were so into trying to mimic the dancers moves and singing how you wanted to dance with somebody who loved you that you missed your entire family sitting all around you. Your dad was actually sitting at a cafe table right next to you when she turned you around and got down on one knee. You didn’t see him there though because you were having fun and you were in love and she, the woman of your dreams was asking you to marry her. And everything was beautiful. After you said yes and danced some more with your friends and family and you’d cried happy tears in this same spot in front of this brilliant piece of art. She’d asked if you wanted to go inside and you’d replied “No.” “Don’t you want to see the art?” she’d asked looking down at that huge diamond that she’d just placed on your hand and you’d turned her around so that she could see the lights on the building and asked “Isn’t this art? Aren’t we art?”

Now you remember why you came. When she was telling you how now just wasn’t the right time, and saying how it wasn’t you it was her, and how her job was going to require her to travel more, and her brother needed her, and how maybe one day the timing would be right, you had made the decision to come here to kiss forever goodbye in the same fashion that you had kissed it hello.

So, On the night your fiancée waltzes in to your bedroom, sits down across from you, and says the dreaded four words “We need to talk.” then after much terrified prodding and the most horrible pregnant pause of your entire life follows that statement up with “I’m not ready to be married.” When the news you are hearing is flowing over you like the suffocating heat of a hot August afternoon there are two things you can do. One, you can totally come undone. You can take out every single pin that you have stuck in you, peel off every piece of tape that you’ve stuck to you, remove every staple, and dissolve every ounce of glue that you have ever used to hold your being together and you can lose it. This is a totally acceptable option. Or Two: you can go to the place where you thought forever was cemented in stone and you can kiss forever goodbye and you could even cry but you could make a vow to not let this destroy you. Either you fall apart, or you stand up, you insert steel into your spinal cord, look over at that big beautiful piece of art and you say “What’s next cause I’m ready?”

I Deserved That and Chances Are You Did Too. Lets Be For Real.

Whenever I do something that causes me grief or discomfort I forgive myself and move on from the situation by saying “I deserved that”. I don’t do this as a way to come down on  myself or even as a way of excusing myself, but as a way of acknowledging to the Universe and myself that yes I put that out there and I understand why I received it back.

My most common misdeeds are: Not speaking up for myself or against something because I don’t like conflict. Not charging my phone when it is screaming that it needs to be charged. Being so inside my head that I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing and fall, bump into a wall, or even drop something. I’m also famous for knowing when someone is going to screw me and finding some reason why they won’t; only to get screwed in the end.

I could go on and on with examples but I’ll give you a big and a small.

My cellphone lives in my hand probably a good 8 hours out of the day. I do absolutely everything on it from reading to banking. So it’s no big surprise that my battery is frequently screaming out that it’s getting ready to die. I am also a horrible cell phone charger. My phone can be at five percent and I will be listening to an audiobook, texting my best friend, emailing a potential wedding vendor, and playing the Sims simultaneously while watching the battery percentage decrease before my eyes. Will I plug that phone in though? No because that would be the proper thing to do and I’m destined to not be proper in the most inopportune times. So it dies. Of course I can’t get mad. I just acknowledge that “I deserved that” and plug it in while shaking my head it myself.

I have an associate who did me a favor a few years ago by putting my vehicle in her name. I have always paid it and the insurance on time. Most of the time overpaying because I wanted it out of her name as soon as possible. She is horrendous with paying her own bills. I have known this for at least six years. She is also horrible with breaking leases and honoring her promise to pay. Eventually this caught up with her and she needed a place to say. Of course I feel like I owe her something and I just know that if I rent her an apartment in my name she is going to pay the bills on time and she’s not going to break the lease. NOT. Not only does she break the lease and make a promise to pay, but she doesn’t even tell me that she’s done this until after I’ve paid the car off. 1. I DESERVED THAT. 2. I will not allow her to ruin my credit by not honoring the promise to pay in my name.

You have to get to a point where you acknowledge foibles and take responsibility for the grief that they cause. Chances are if your boss is always breathing down your neck about your project being completed you may have been late with projects or caused them to question your timeliness with assignment completion in the past. Or if your children’s father sucks and he had previous kids before yours you probably ignored how much he sucked to those kids. Or if a friend or employee screwed you, you probably had previous knowledge of how they screwed other people.

Einstein says that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. All of these instances remind me of this. SO don’t be insane. Or at least acknowledge that “You deserve that.” Even if that’s a hard pill to swallow.