Okay, whoever said “Survival is a series of near misses,” should be shot at–and missed, of course. As long as they hear the bullet whoosh by their ears taking a little hair with it, being missed and having to live with the wet pants and the Niagara Falls heart is the entire point.
To totally freak you out, my least painful near-miss of the day was the 45 pages of text I’ve written in the last week–yes, 45 pages–that I thought my computer just swallowed and shit out as a low-rad radiation burst. When the Yarn Harlot talks about ‘black spots in front of her eyes’ and ‘have me a little lay down on the kitchen floor’ that just ain’t bullshit and chocolate sauce, that’s literally what it feels like… those 45 pages were some of the most painful, the most intense I’ve ever written (and yes, even that horrible event, the one no one talks about at the end of the first book, that counts!) and the thought of having to live through that again was like… it was like having to go back to my best freind’s funeral in the seventh grade, that’s what it was like, and I didn’t think I could do. I honestly saw all five-hundred pages (so far) of the entire book being put into storage while I went back to the Cory-verse and licked my wounds.
So now you’re all asking what in the name of Honor, Compassion, and Joy could top that little almost-disaster?
I’ll give you four guesses…odds are, you only need one because he’s done it to me before, on this very blog.
The Cave Troll. Holy Goddess, my sweet little Cave Troll went missing in Wal-Mart today, and…
And I did not keep my cool. I’m famous for keeping my cool–no shit. We lost chicken when she was six at the San Francisco Zoo–my friend said, “It was awesome, man–you sent the boys on a search pattern, you sent me on sweep, and you went off on the weird-ass tangent that she was most likely to follow and you found her!” Of course, my panties had a very bad day that day, but my friend didn’t need to know that. When we lost Cave Troll at Monterey Bay Aquarium, I kept my cool. I sent Mate one way, the older kids the other way, and we all met at the information booth downstairs, where he was drawing pictures. Another bad day for the panties, another day where mom looks like she’s tough as nails.
Today I lost that whole rep for keeping my cool. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s because I hate Wal-Mart. Maybe it’s because I hate THIS Wal-Mart–it’s the Wal-Mart near where I work, and it could be I just have a mucking buckload of crap feelings for the area because I hate my school with the burning passion of a thousand suns. (I expect this feeling to fade by August. Really.) All I really know is, the minute I saw the little badger hauling ass for the electronics department with his usually on-the-ball sister NOWHERE NEAR him, my stomach dropped to my bowels, my bowels turned to water, and my internal panic alarm began to deafen all reason. When I went up to the customer service people to have them help me, the greeter had found him.
He was wandering outside as she snagged him.
When he saw me, he ran up and I picked him up and hugged him fiercely, and he smiled at me–“Mom, I was lost!”
And I burst into tears–not ‘Oh thank God!’ tears, more like, “Oh, Holy Heaven, I know you almost let the big bad happen to me and I can only sob in relief” tears, and suddenly he wasn’t smiling anymore. Cave Troll ain’t stupid–he knew that mom was UPSET, all in capital letters, and that running away from his sister was a baaaaaaaaad thing to do. And all I could do was hold him and cry.
And again, I can’t explain it. Maybe it was lack of sleep. Maybe it was the familiar surroundings–bad things have happened to me in this community. Sometimes the people are the best in the world, and, as I learned this year, sometimes they are the type of people who will let a toddler wander into traffic while they sneer at the parent who let him get away.
But that wasn’t who they were today, and I can only be grateful.
Now excuse me, I seem to have soiled my armor.