Thursday, February 10, 2011

He's not here

I walk to the back door
from unattached cement garage
rolling school case squealing while zig-zagging behind me
I reach for the knob and then remember:
he's not here

so I grab my keys, unlock  the door, and kick the warped, stubborn wood open
 I gingerly step through so as to not trip over two crying cats
he's not here

we look at each other
"It's just me tonight ---sorry--the big guy's working in Cinci."
I say as if they can understand

poor George--he misses him much more than Scruffy does
Scruffy is my buddy
George is Mike's
but Scruff isn't pleased about a long day in the dark, cold basement
which is what happens
he's not here

I lug my gear up the faded, scratched, creaking steps
the rolling case bums a ride on  the stair-seat (it came with the house)
once again I'm careful not to trip
while eager cats vie for first in the kitchen

the house is slumbering
he's not here

I stroll to the front door and unlock it with the ancient key
venture out on front porch for paper and mail

odd how quickly a person becomes accustomed to certain tasks being done
like the mail and newspaper waiting politely for me
nestled on my chair

not tonight
he's not here

supper alone
I rest in recliner and nod off

eventually the routine kicks in
and I'm up preparing the coffee for the morning
packing my lunch
laying out my meds
putting my outfit together--
even jewelry
(I'm not a morning person),

tonight I hang everything on the back of the bedroom door
instead of the hallway closet
I won't have to worry about being quiet and not disturbing his sleep
in the morning
he's not here

missing the big guy
but am okay
for I know he'll be back in two days instead of two weeks
so no melancholy
just definitely aware
he's not here

Pictures showing life with the big guy:
George enjoying the attention
from the big guy

Scruff has this fixation with laundry baskets and boxes---she loves to roll around in them
Here she's having fun with the big guy.

I don't like to peel eggs---I will, but prefer not
So he sits and peels and swishes
all the while
scrutinized closely
by intrigued cats who wonder if this is a new game
(he quickly informed them it wasn't)

My guy settled in with his buddy, his head phones so I can grade papers without noise,
and a basket full of folded clothes
(another task that I don't favor--
I like doing laundry and don't mind hanging clothes and putting them away--
just not folding)
This will be the scene this weekend
once again
he's here


  1. i hear that older eggs peel easier :-)
    fun post, beth

  2. Thank Goodness that your sweetie will only be gone a couple of days this time.. I know you really miss him--and so does George!!!!!

    Hope school is going well this week.

  3. I feel his absence in your words and your anticipation of his return.

  4. aw friend, my hubby's not here tonight, either. he's at a teacher's convention, and i miss him. there is so much love in this post... beautiful.

  5. A moving post. Last year my husband was away in Italy at this time for two weeks, which often happens, so I cherish the moments when we are together.

  6. Glad he's coming back that photo of him with his buddy.

  7. Made me grin in bits and pieces. And it's been about 20 years since we've had cats [too much travel to keep things less than crazy and my husband's moderate allergy]. I really miss them... but what I DON'T miss? Not trying to be sure I don't trip over one when going through the house or up and down stairs.

  8. "tonight I hang everything on the back of the bedroom door
    instead of the hallway closet
    I won't have to worry about being quiet and not disturbing his sleep
    in the morning
    he's not here"

    Thank you for sharing a sample of Rod McKuen’s poem from Stanyan Street and other Sorrows. And now I offer the words preceding those you sent. Like you, I went to my bookcase and found my copy of the book. He definitely had an impact on my writing and oftentimes I walked the streets of San Francisco during some very dark hours. I took this and other books as I teased myself with the Golden Gate bridge.

    Stanyan Street and other Sorrows

    "You've filled completely
    this first November day
    with Sausalito and sign language
    canoe and coffee
    ice cream and your wide eyes
    And now unable to sleep
    because the day is finally going home
    because your sleep has locked me out
    I watch you and wonder at you.

    I know your face by touch when it’s dark
    I know the profile of your sleeping face
    the sound of you sleeping.

    Sometimes I think you were all sound
    kicking free of covers
    and adjusting shutters
    moving about in the bathroom
    taking twenty minutes of our precious time.

    ~Rod McKuen~

    I pray that God will watch over you during those moments of depression when all seems lost. Also for your mother-in-law and brother, that they will be safe under the protective hand of the Shepherd. As you said, bipolar and depression are not easily
    understood illnesses. People don' t respond with the same compassion as they do with other illnesses.

    A decade ago, my sister, also bipolar, took her life. We never knew out parents (grew up
    in Mills Home, a Baptist orphanage in North Carolina) and suddenly, my only link to the world, to humanity was severed.

    "tonight I hang everything on the back of the bedroom door
    instead of the hallway closet
    I won't have to worry about being quiet and not disturbing his sleep
    in the morning
    he's not here"

    I was an ocean away on the night I got the call about my sister and yet somehow, immediately, I felt as if I needed to get there—to catch the next flight
    from San Francisco to Raleigh-Durham. It was true… I hung everything on the back of the bedroom door getting ready to leave, not worried about being quiet and not disturbing anyone’s sleep…I would go in the morning knowing she's not there…(thank you for putting it in words, though for a different occasion.)

    Tonight (technically this morning) I read that my poem drew you in and caused you to look inside for that young woman who loved poetry so much. That you are getting in touch with her more and gradually the artist is reemerging. If my poetry has that impact to even 1/1000th of a degree, then I know I am blessed.

    Thank you for writing and may God richly bless you, your husband, and the life you share. I will visit again and reap the benefits created by the emerging artist…

  9. What a heartfelt and clear picture you've painted with words!!! Love the repeat and rhythm of "he's not here"

  10. i love the pictures of the cats and the eggs...reminds me of the kitties i grew up with and the mischief they liked to cause. :)


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