I’m sitting here in the cafe of the small technical college where I am studying for a degree in business. Due to some circumstances within the community, I have asked my instructors to allow me to take my exams early, and all of them today. Human Resources, Organizational Behavior, and American Literature. I am ready, no problem. I know the stuff and have good grades in all classes. I am also a little in awe of my ability to compartmentalize.
See, today is also the 30th anniversary of my marriage to Himself. I am having some issues physically, but able to keep the mental part clear enough to be calm and take the exams. One is done- made a 100% on it. The next one is in a couple of hours, then the third is whenever I finish with the second one. So, clear headed and cheerful, reading over my notes on Tuckman Method of Group Behavior and Z studies and Conflict Resolution, and it seems to be sticking. I’ve read over writing styles and Puritanism, American Renaissance, and Transcendentalism and am comfortable with it.
Only there are black spots floating in front of my eyes (high blood pressure), and I am clumsy and dropping things and have to correct every 3rd word I’m typing because of an apparent inability to type.. Why is that? Why 70wpm then all the letters seemed to have moved to different keys?? The future’s looking ok. It’s just…you know…there. Like an invisible ogre sitting inside my head, but not in the thinking part. In the motor control and autonomic systems part. Screwin’ with the blood pressure and digestion and coordinations.
I got myself (what I thought would be) some comfort food from the cafe’. Meatloaf (too salty and had ketchup on top…what was I thinking?), mashed potatoes (the fake kind with brown gravy from a mix…what was I thinking?) and canned peas (I don’t even like peas) and now the indigestible blend of What Was I Thinking is sitting in my stomach like a big ol’ lump of disappointment. What was I thinking? I have plans, when all done (maybe 4- ish, depends on the Am Lit exam and how Mr. Most Irish Man Ever is feeling..Seriously. He has red hair and his last name is Murphey.) to run up to the liquor store (we live in one of those quaint South Georgia dry counties, where one is required to go to the next county over to purchase liquor) (because, you know…having to drive 15 miles for booze is a GREAT WAY to prevent alcohol-related misbehavior.) for a bottle of decent rum. I want to make the much-required-in-the-Summer mojito. Hopefully the Big Ol’ Lump of Disappointment will have moved on and make room for something a little more celebratory, or at least, more comforting.
I guess a big part of the problem is that I’ve been so comfortably self sufficient, so Strong and so Doing Well that when a time comes along where I’d really
like love desperately need to be able to collapse in a heap and have someone pat my back or make sympathetic noises, everyone thinks I’m fine, and is busy doing their own thing, dealing with their own problems (the ones they haven’t brought to me, which sometimes it feels like that’s what I’m here for) and I don’t really HAVE anyone to refill the wine glass and hand me tissues, and on top of that when I start wishing there were someone there to do that, my head goes “tsk, get over the pity party.” and I feel guilty for being weak.
How to make a Great Mojito 2 sprigs of fresh mint (not tiny sprigs either. At least 6 leaves per sprig) 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, plus 1 slice jigger of good white rum (a jigger is 2 ounces) 2 tablespoons of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heated until the sugar is dissolved, then cooled. Make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. it won’t go bad and it’s great to have. Go ahead and make at least a cup) crushed ice club soda
Now, technically you’re supposed to put the mint and slices of lime in the bottom of a fancy glass and ‘muddle’ them- smash them in the glass. But, I don’t do that because I’m lazy and I can’t ever find the lovely muddle (like a long handled pestle) Dad made me. So, twist up the mind with your fingers, rip it a little, smush it around until it’s really fragrant. you’ll know, because you can smell it. Drop that into your tall glass. Add the lime juice, rum, and simple syrup. Give it a good stir. Add a good bit of crushed ice, and top off with the club soda. Give it a stir so it’s all nice and cold, and drink slow in the company of a good friend or two, perhaps on the patio or in the shade somewhere. You can garnish it with the slice of lime or another sprig of mint or both, if you feel fancy.
So, for the time being or at least until the Am Lit exam is done with, the delicate feelings caused by grief have been set aside to be fondled by the invisible ogre who’s screwing with my cerebellum, while I keep the thinking brain focused on taking tests, being cheerful and There For Everyone Else. Then I’ll go home and collapse in a heap. Privately, of course, because I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or anything.