I mean, I wonder where it is? How long before I break like a dry brittle reed? This morning, I spent an hour with an academic advisor, and even though I had an advisor for my current classes, it seems I repeated a requirement. Even though I specifically- emphatically- stated I needed to be efficient and not waste any time or money on redundant classes. With. An. Advisor. Fury doesn’t begin to describe it. I don’t have time for this crap. I have to finish, and finish quickly, so I can support myself and my children- I am not some 20 year old spinning my wheels trying to figure out who I am…
The people- no really, the entire department- I need to speak with are on vacation, but I have to register for fall. My shoulders burn and my head swims in the July heat, and I am unsure if I’m going to puke. I got a sitter specifically so I could take care of this without my kids. Turns out I cannot be cleared for fall registration without an online formality- which has to be done from my computer. I do not have my laptop with me- so I have to drive home, then come back- a 45 minute trip.
Swallowing my anxiety, I pick my fall classes like throwing darts at a map. From my academic sheets, it looks like they count for both departments I’m courting- but really, it looked that way for summer, too.
When I get back home, I set up the Slip-n-Slide I picked up for the kids, and get everyone in their suits. Within two minutes- I hadn’t even gotten the sunscreen washed from my hands to sit down and work on my paper- Bean jumped on the reservoir at the end and blew a huge, gaping hole in thing. Now Jeff and Abby were screaming and wailing in despair, since neither of them even got a single chance to slip or slide.
Shaking and fighting to control my own breath, and heard them in the house, and tell everyone to get out of their swimsuits and back in their clothes. I yank the hose from the blown out Slip-n-Slide and stomp back in the house, while my books and computer mock me from the kitchen table. It’s almost 1:30 now, and I haven’t even started either paper that’s due by 9 p.m. Abby is weeping, broken hearted over having to come in the house, and while I am helping her in her dry clothes, the boys begin to pummel each other again. I start to cry. Now we are all crying.
The kids are dry and watching Ang and the airbenders on Netflix, and I sit at my table, spilling the chaotic contents of my mind onto the clean white screen of my mac. I have to, or I will be helplessly sucked up in the swirling vortex of my thoughts and never be able to focus on the lives of colonial women in American history. Maybe someday some grad student will be writing a paper about me. If only the leaden knot in the pit of my belly would dissolve and unravel, and I could find the surface again.