We had my cousin come by this morning with coffee and huge bags of hand-me-down clothes for Audrey. Audrey especially loved trying on all of the shoes. It was a good way to pass the morning.
For lunch I made A. and myself grilled cheese sandwiches. I thought about cutting them into puzzle type shapes the way you did, but decided against it. Audrey talked about you a lot at lunch today. She said, “Appa died.” and then “Picture appa!” because I think she gets that we just have the photos now. Then she looked at your picture on the kitchen table and said, “Thank you Appa!” I asked her what she was thanking you for and she thought for a moment, “Cookie!” You even got fed a little bit of her grilled cheese.
She said she was going to get “bigger and bigger” and “look like mommy.” Then she said she was going to go on a “honey mooon!” and she pointed to her finger and said she’d get a “ring!” I told her to find a good man and she said, “marry mommy!” and then “marry Appa!” I told her that would be very nice.
Unfortunately, A. didn’t sleep at all today. I’m not sure why but maybe she just wasn’t tired out enough since we stayed in this morning. It made for a long day so after an hour or so of trying to get her to nap unsuccessfully, I decided we’d go shopping. I wanted to find something suitable to wear to the benefit on Monday. Also, I felt like getting out. It was my first time driving since July 4th. It surprised me though how it didn’t really feel strange- once I adjusted my mirrors- it was just driving again.
We looked around in a few stores and I bought a pair of jeans in the Gap. I’ve had the same pair for …let’s see- four years. So, I treated myself. Then I tried on a few things in Anthropologie. Audrey was getting cranky by then so I kept feeding her snacks. But still she was getting a little loopy in the dressing room, putting my shirt over her head and just being silly…but that kind of overtired toddler silly that could turn into a meltdown at any moment.
In every store I went to, I felt like telling everyone that I was a new widow shopping for a dress for my husband’s memorial concert. You know how women get- kinda crazy pushing their way through the sale racks. Dan used to hate that, and I’d tell him- “See, this is why I hate shopping.” But I wanted to tell those women- I’m not just doing some frivolous shopping here OK? This is important. Get out of my way.
I gave myself free reign over the dresses at Anthropologie- a luxury I know, but I told myself that since it was for your concert, I should look nice- for you- so I should just find something nice. Even with that justification, I found a hard time finding anything. I kept imagining what you would say to everything I saw…”hmmm…kinda tacky,” you’d say, or “hmmm…it’s too much no?” I wanted it to be something you would’ve said, “That’s really cool. I think that’s one of my favorite things on you.” Even though you said I looked good in everything, at the same time you were pretty picky.
I decided to buy one dress but may return it. Then as I was heading to the car, I decided we should just eat at Panera. I’m tired of eating reheated leftovers at our small and lonely kitchen table each night. I got A. mac and cheese and shared some of the chicken from my sandwich. We came here a lot together- so that was hard. Logistically, it’s so much nicer to have a third person. I’d get the booth while you wait for the order to come up. I left Audrey sitting in the booth while I went to get the food, not taking my eyes off her…but still. I wished you were there. I was tired by now so everything started to feel dream-like. I put your phone up to my ear and listened to the voice note of you interviewing that Korean soccer player. When you answer the phone and say “Hello?” in my ear, I can almost believe we’re having a conversation. Everything else in Panera was surreal. Again I had the visions. I could see you coming back from the coffee cart sipping your coffee, walking your slow walk, smiling at Audrey. I could see it so clearly. Maybe I overdid it. I was wondering how I’d actually get up from the booth, get us in the car and get home at times.
I guess I did, and when we got home, Audrey was clearly tired. She was asleep by eight after a few bedtime stories which is rare these days…now I’m feeling the quiet. The weekend is still the worst. No one is online- I’m sitting in our messy room with no TV, typing and trying to figure out what I’ll do for the next couple of hours. I feel a panic and sense of helplessness similar to that feeling I had right after the phone call when I ran around our apartment in a wet swimsuit trying to figure out what to do- calling people and leaving messages, running downstairs with audrey to my neighbors and knocking for a while, throwing off that wet swimsuit and putting on some clothes…
I miss the richness of our conversations at night. Or even the richness of a quiet room where we both sat doing our own thing…but together. Remember how you’d interrupt me sometimes if I was working and I’d get so annoyed, but then I’d constantly interrupt you to tell you something or show you something? Sorry about that.