I want to tell you about Maui . . .

I want to tell you about Maui. I really do, but I just can’t.

sand

It was just too much, all of it. Too much. The resort. The water. The waterfalls. The locals. The fantastic coffee shop where we had breakfast everyday. A spinach frittata topped with soft feta cheese served with fried potatoes and thick white toast, the butter still melting. More bread than toast. The only real meal I would eat to soak up yesterday’s alcohol before I started drinking Mai Tais again.

If you're ever in Kaanapali go to Java Jazz. Best coffee and food, ever.

If you’re ever in Kaanapali go to Java Jazz. Best coffee and food, ever.

The family from our hometown that we met, that took us in as daughters and bought us drinks at the pool. They offered us their paddle boards and stayed up late with us until the sun set over the pool and we all wandered off laughing hysterically to our own rooms with dinner plans that never materialized because we’d all pass out. The palm trees. Our room, a giant two bed, two bath suite with a dining room, kitchen and wrap around deck overlooking the ocean. How I pulled all my bedding out there and would nap to the sound of the ocean.

nap

The sushi. The fish. The Mai Tais.

Cafe Mambo in Paia.

Cafe Mambo in Paia.

happy_hour

The early mornings watching the sunrise on the deck together drinking coffee and laughing. Always laughing. I swear I had a different laugh in Maui.

The view from our room. Yeah, that one still hurts.

The view from our room.

The sunsets every night, replace the coffee with wine. The way that my hair looked so amazing on that island. My hair, it wanted to live there. My skin, a perfect golden tan.

The fruit stands on the side of the road where we bought banana bread, too buttery and good, feeding it to each other and laughing while we drove down the road. Every few cars getting honked at by Hawaiian men who apparently have a thing for blonde women.

 

Iao Valley

Iao Valley

The cab driver named Kioni who wouldn’t accept payment because “spending time with two beautiful girls” was enough. He looked like a twenty-five-year-old Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He was forty-seven. Showed us his license to prove it.

If you ask me what we did there you’ll be disappointed. You’ll expect me to riddle off a long list of tourists spots. Did I see a volcano? Did I go snorkeling? Did I go surfing? No, no, and no. I’ve done those things before. You know what we did? We laughed. We laughed until we cried and then we laughed some more. We drank. We laid in the sun and perfected our tans. We had so much fun we forgot to eat. We woke up at dawn because of the time change and found our clothes were too big. We put on bathing suits and went to breakfast.

Ho'okipa

Ho’okipa

 

We.

Did.

Nothing.

We discovered what kind of friendship we have when we’re together without kids around. Everyone on the island thought we were sisters. We let them think it, because we discovered that we are. We hiked three miles down the beach to look at some sea turtles that were being shy that day. We marveled at the turquoise of the water then called a cab and got sushi for lunch. We ate the sushi while repeating, “This is like the best day ever. This is the best vacation ever. How will we ever go home after this?”

I’ve been home a couple weeks now. The guy working the desk at the gym daycare looked at me and said, “I’m jealous that you’re already rockin’ a serious summer tan.” I tried not to let out a deep sigh. Because that’s the thing about a break. It rarely leaves you refreshed and ready to get back at it. It just makes you wish for a longer break. Every few days one of us will text the other, “So when do we go back to Maui?” Some evenings she just texts me a picture of the sunset over the water. The view from our deck. We wonder how we could buy that condo and spend one week out of every month there. And of course, I want my babies to see it, to run in the sand. I also want to go there alone with my husband so he can watch the sunset over Molokai.

But I’d be lying if I told you that being there with my girl wasn’t the greatest damn thing ever. She and I, we’re dynamite. We vibe. We laugh and laugh and laugh. We felt young again. We didn’t talk about our kids. At all. We didn’t discuss motherhood.

We pretended we were other people, or rather we were the people we were before we became mothers. At the gym today I overheard a woman explaining to someone that the most difficult part of motherhood is that you’re “always a mother. Even when your 2000 miles away on vacation without them. You’re still a mother.”

I used to believe this too, but she’s wrong. I wasn’t a mother on that trip. I was me, separate from everyone else. 3,424 miles separate. Me calling to check in at 2pm as happy hour started because it was already 6pm at home and I knew by the time the alcohol took affect my babies would be safely sleeping in their beds and I could actually relax. Slipping into a warm fuzzy haze as the Hawaiian sun disappeared behind the ocean.

 

When Trying to Write a Novel . . .

I am held together with butterfly stitches
Pulling at the seams

Starving, striving, bone tired, ragged

I swallowed a piece of bread and grew two sizes

I awake to the skin peeling from my breasts
My dream of you interrupted by a little boy who is always whining
Ill tempered
I get cruel
I need black coffee

I need the Atlantic air
Silence

to climb into a dark cave and pull the covers high up over my eyes

To cover my eyes like it was all a dream
A most beautiful nightmare

I want my old skin back
The skin that didn’t require so much maintenance
The skin I rarely had to think about

My skin
it is getting older
It droops down my face like a sculptor ran his hands over soft clay
Thumb and forefinger
Pulling down down down, from the corners of my mouth
Gravity sculpted me angry and sullen
He pulled hard on my thighs and made my flesh dimple
He played tug of war with my breasts

He laughs

He thinks he’s funny

The sink overflows with dishes
The counter produces more paperwork to ignore
To feel guilty about, always tugging at my brain
Boxes to ship
School paperwork to fill out
Laundry that reproduces like rabbits
Exercise
Children who need to eat something, anything other than refined carbohydrates
Novels that beg to be written
Words that whisper themselves into my ear when I’m driving, or yelling
When I am always a million miles away from pen and paper
I sprint to find some
I hold it in my hand trembling and ask inwardly “Now, what was that? Please tell me what you said?”

But the bitch keeps silent

She is temperamental

I am enveloped back into the velvety folds of whining, crying, demands and more laundry
I fall backward into it

I pull the dirty covers up over my eyes

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Why I’m Up in Da Club

Lately I don’t want to write.

I feel as if some of the things I’m writing are too personal. I’m supposed to do cathartic writing, let it sit, revisit and revise. But I’m strapped for time. More and more the revision is little to none. That’s right folks, you’ve been reading a few diary entries. Ok, not entirely true. I mean, we all know my diary would be way filthier than anything on this blog. Classy bitch alert, right here folks.

It’s just that lately I’m having to choose between my body and my brain. Do I write today or exercise? And frankly, at this moment in my life sweating it out to dirty rap music feels much more cathartic. I huff it on the treadmill, staring out at the mountains as Missy Elliot chants in my ear, “5’2” and wear my jeans real tight” while Nicki Minaj spits, “All these bitches wanna try and be my bestie, but I take a left and leave ‘em hangin’ like a testi” as Jay Z reminds me “Ladies is pimps too, gon’ brush your shoulders off.”

In my writing I fear repeating myself, repeating themes, and in doing so revealing too much. Like an old man who keeps telling the same three stories over and over. You sit there thinking, “Damn, that really made an impression on him. He’s still talking about this shit.” But that’s the thing, right? It’s not that the story is that important, it’s that he has nothing else going on. He doesn’t have any other stories.

I have other stories, lots of them. Stories I can’t post on the internet.

So I write the other shit. I write about my babies, about motherhood, about marriage, autonomy, the beauty, the everyday drudgery. I write every week and sometimes I feel like a broken record. Sometimes I get sick of my own words. I go back and read my last few posts. I try to make sure I’m not repeating myself. I sit down to write something new. I don’t have the time to fully develop my thoughts. The same old, same old comes out all over again. I close the laptop. I’m done.

But let me tell you, in case you hadn’t picked up on my most recent theme. It’s autonomy.

I should stop here. I shouldn’t keep repeating it. But lately I want to be left alone. The other evening after the kids were in bed I actually heard myself say aloud, “Yeah, I’m kinda over having kids right now.” When my husband brought up having a vasectomy the other day my response was a swift, “Yeah, go ahead and book that shit whenever you’re ready.”

I’ve been scheduling appointments for some, um, (cough cough) cosmetic work (cough cough). I feel old. I feel a different clock ticking. A much louder clock. I look in the mirror and feel like I’ve got a good ten maybe fifteen years of “youth” left.

I’m trying to seize the mother fucking day.

I’m saying weird shit to my husband while he drinks his morning coffee like, “So, we gonna hit the club this weekend when we go out with your friends, right?”

“I hope not,” he says, “you know I hate that shit.”

“Cool, you can go home after dinner and we gonna go get krunk in the club.”

He thinks I’m joking.

I’m dead serious.

bar

If you’re reading this and you’re older you’ll tell me I’m too young to feel my mortality. That’s the way it always is. We always look back and say we were so young. Maybe you’re my age and you still feel young. Good for you, but you’re not me. You haven’t lived my life. Maybe you haven’t experienced death in the same way I have. How it comes in like a thief in the night, and your security system won’t save you. You’re not special, and you’re not immune. We’re all going to die and I’m at peace with that. What I’m not at peace with is getting old.

There I said it.

So I’m going to do what brings me some sanity and right now that’s a physical catharsis. I start another writing workshop soon. I’ll be writing a novel over the next six weeks. So don’t be shocked if this blog sits stagnant for a bit.

But I’ll be back with a smoother face and a firmer ass. For now, just remember this, Yoko Ono went clubbing until 3:00am on her seventieth birthday.

We should all aspire to be Mother. Fucking. Yoko. Ono.

Rage rage against the dying of the light, and all that shit.

I think that’s how it goes.