bye-bye baby

The clouds were torn bits of wool spread wide by the long, thin fingers of the sun. Flurries of snow gusted over the landscape, sometimes a light dusting, sometimes a fierce howl, then back to gentle spots of chilly white dancing on the breeze.

Amidst this odd weather — sun and snow, fierce and gentle — I put my secondborn book in a box, sealed her up, and placed her in the rough hands of a government employee. Today, she begins a four-day journey east, to a weary city by the sea.

Should she return to me, tattered and tired, covered in red or nothing at all, I will pick her up, put her in my lap, and tell her it’s all right — we learned a lot from this. We’ll take what we got from it and build something new. We’ll send her forth again, but in the meantime — life goes on.

But should she leave me a message on my voice mail saying someone loved her just as much as I do, me and my book are going to celebrate. Preferably with fondue. And a full body massage. And a copy of the new Cake album.

Time will tell. I just hope I’m ready for what it has to say when it gets around to the telling.

I’m alternating between wanting to scream, wanting to throw up, and wanting to cry. I haven’t done this in nearly a decade. Last time I did, I was proud and young, and assumed the world would bow down before my majesty.

Now I’m older, and I like to think I know better. I remember all the nights I came home after curfew to find my mother awake and waiting for me. She would call out softly to me, make sure I was all right, and then slip back to bed, silent as a mouse.

My own waiting now begins.