I am an iceberg. Have I used this metaphor before?
Not because I’m cold but because my pain and experience appears small, but those who pass by don’t venture too close or see the massive rock right below the surface. Maybe this is why I hate when check out women or bank tellers call me “Sweetie” or “Hon,” I’ve never really liked this but now I can’t stand it.
It’s like my body is the size of a pin head in comparison to the universe of pain that is my new home.
So I go to the DMV today to take Dan’s name off of the car title and get the car inspected. Last Monday I was going to go but noticed the agency was closed on Mondays so I didn’t go. Today of course, I forgot about that- and went.
Driving there I try to quiet Audrey so I can hear the GPS voice but she is loud, telling me she’s taking off her shoes, picking her nose, and “are we there yet?” yes- she already says that- CONSTANTLY.
While waiting for my car, I see I got a voicemail from the crazy manager of our building telling me a painter is in her office right now that my landlord hired to paint a wall in my apartment so he can start showing it. Despite giant signs in the inspection station saying cell phones aren’t aloud, I see but don’t see- I call her to find out what’s going on. Audrey is hanging on my hand pulling me. Then I realize five people, a worker and customers trying to help him, are screaming at me, “MAAAAAMM!” there are no cell phones allowed, they say. I think a year or so ago, I would’ve been so sensitive I would’ve cried. Now I think- ha. Things like this just don’t bother me in the slightest anymore. In fact, I find it humorous how riled up others get about things of such little consequence. I shake my head and slowly make my way outside while still talking and being dragged by Audrey. I’m not sure why this manager is calling me, trying to stir up consternation when I’ve already been talking to the landlord about the painter coming and given him blocks of time. Today was not scheduled and she tells me in fact, no he’s not there to do it today.
The car passes…”Camry” is all the guy says. “So we’re all set?” He grunts. I get in the car and pull around to the DMV noticing…yes, it’s closed on Mondays. I knew that.
Back home. But first I put my head down on the steering wheel for a moment.
“Where are we going now mommy!” Audrey demands.
We go to Whole Foods and later, swimming lessons. At Whole Foods, I buy two kinds of specialty cookies- your favorites. I figure we’ll eat them on Father’s Day- the only thing I’ve decided we’ll do on that day so far. I tell Audrey how one of them we tasted while we were shopping in Whole Foods at Columbus Circle gathering all the food for my “laboring.” He liked them so much that we bought them- even though I think they were $10 a bag! I buy those and another wafer kind you liked. You weren’t a big sweets guy but you liked both of these.
I notice I vacillate now between addressing you as “you” and “he,” where I used to automatically speak out most of this to you. Just as Audrey expresses the distance in calling you “my dad” instead of your name to her, “appa,” I find distance in my own words as well. Not because we want it there, but just because… it is.
Tonight I read on the FB widow group a whole thread about how the second year anniversary hits so much harder than the first. “Me too, it was definitely much harder,” they all say.