Dangerous Compassions

you have to wear pants, trauma response, valid salad

I was feeling like the crazy lady in the attic.  “Why the attic?” Ming asked.

“You don’t know that story?” I asked.

“No,” he said.

“Can I tell you that story?” I asked.

“Is it a bedtime story?”

“No,” I said.  “But it’s always bedtime for you!”

He was looking for a snack.  He was evaluating lettuce.  “Would you eat this salad?” he asked me.  I inspected salad.  We considered possibilities.

“Salad is a special thing,” I said.  “It’s raw–you can’t cook it up.  It has certain rules.  Easy come, easy go.  It’s better to have tried salad, than never to have loved at all.  You can’t beat yourself up about salad.”

He said he wanted to pick some leaves off our tree collard, to eat, and what to call it.

“You have to wear pants,” I said.

“That’s a funny name for a plant,” he said.  “You have to wear pants.”

“No!” I said.  “That’s not its name.”

“Sounds good.  It’s a good name,” he said.  He put on pants and went outside to pick leaves off You have to wear pants, although it’s dark out.

I was telling him how it’s an itchy night.  This patch of dry skin near my left elbow is itching like crazy.  “It’s itching like crazy, so I’m scratching it, and I’m like–you gotta stop!  What are you accomplishing?  You’re just going to make it bleed!” 

I explained how I put lotion on it.  But that was a few hours ago, and it’s itching again.  “It’s the story of my life!” I said.

I was seeing my mental health like itchiness.  Trauma response that’s not helpful anymore.  My body is telling me a thing, and I respond the way I think I should, but my response just hurts me.  Life is confusing.

Ming put vegan thousand island dressing on some washed, ripped up tree collard leaves.  He’s eating up this fresh fresh salad.  He offered me some, but my stomach is still recovering.  “It’s intense, huh?  Maybe in few days,” I said.

“That was really delicious,” Ming said.

“Doesn’t get fresher than that,” I said.  He’s picking more leaves, and the door open lets in that wonderful cool night air.

“You look like you overdid it this time!” I said.  He was standing by the sink, washing lots of tree collard leaves, and they looked like a pretty bouquet in his hand.

He said no, he did not overdo it.  It’s perfect right now, I’m thinking–to get salad while the getting is good.

Earlier, he said something funny I can’t recall.  I was giggling, and he smiled at me.  It reminded me of my whole life.  “You remind me what I like about life,” I told him.

I was laughing as he shoved a bunch of salad in his mouth.  “You’re like the cookie monster for salad, honey!” I said.

“Yummy,” he said and wiped his mouth.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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