Susan's Blog

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lonely Orbit

The ragman he draws circles

up and down the block

I’d ask him what the matter was

But I know that he don’t talk.

Bob Dylan

I come home and the street is covered with pale blue and pink drawings and signs. Big fat chalk stubs lie next to the curb in a pastel stupor. There are tons of powder-faced little kids in the street, balls bouncing, plastic scooters fallen over, and some of the kids I think I don’t know, and then I realize they are the neighbors’ babies, but now they are little people on legs. They’re drawing with chalk on the street, just like Max and Ben used to do. Selling cloudy lemonade and colored rocks. I am so old, I’m standing there in high-heeled boots and a handbag, while everyone else is in crocks and sneakers.

Nat is with us, walking back and forth, shaking his fist back and talking to himself. The baby, a neighbor’s kid, looks at him and says to my neighbor, “He’s funny.” And so it begins again, the long process of the next generation of children, understanding about Nat. I guess it’s human nature to notice what is out of place and talk about it. Or at least it is neurotypical human nature.

We had just gotten back from Nat’s house. Nat’s new roommate moved in today. We went to the house to have pizza with everyone and to bring Nat home for the night. I think it was a good idea to take Nat home and let him decompress; it’s a lot to suddenly have a new roommate and all the families there visiting. Plus Nat’s new roommate is extremely active, maybe even moreso than Nat. I think he and Nat will have a lot of fun together because they are so similar. They even eat pizza in a complementary way: Nat pulls off the cheese and eats the crust; his new roommate eats everything but the crust.

But Nat was very quiet. He and his caregiver had gone on a huge walk today, and he was worn out. I, of course, read into it, because I have been down lately, and so because I still haven’t detached completely from Nat, I assume he was, too. And maybe he was. Maybe he was mixed, because although his new roommate is great, it is a change.  I’d ask him what the matter was, but I know that he won’t talk.

But I don’t know. As I said, I’m in one of my phases where I feel outside of all my worlds, floating. I don’t know where I fit. I’m feeling like I’m orbiting around everyone else, except I feel connected to Nat, except that I don’t know if I’m right about him. Max is off having the time of his life. I am continually struggling with how much distance I’m supposed to give him. I’ve overthought it so much that nothing comes naturally.

Things are a lot more natural with Benj, because he is so forthright about his feelings. When I’m bugging him, you know it, he gives me a look or tells me. When he is feeling cuddly, he finds me. I wish the other two were like that. But right now Max and Nat are so apart from me that I feel almost done as a mother, and I don’t want to be done. Yes, often I love this new phase of life where I’m free. So free, I can ride my bike for 2 hours every day and still get all my work done. But I’m not happy today, or yesterday. I’m eating way too much, because there’s that empty pocket inside my gut. I don’t know how to fill it. Chocolate? A doggie? Ned and I went to look at dogs today, at the MSPCA, but I wanted all of them, not just one. So we came home with none.

Came home with our tall drink o water son, with the innocent eyes, more innocent than the boy-baby who pointed at him.

I tell myself this is just a feeling and it will pass, but I wish it would. I wish I was back down on earth again with the rest of the humans.  I’m over here, with my damned laptop, my addiction. So I look over at Ned and he says, “What, Susie?” as if all is well, as if all it is is that we’re just home in our livingroom while our sons live their lives, whatever they may be.

And kind of just like that I’m reeled in. For now, but now is good.



I wish I had magic words to soothe the ache which rings so loud and clear through your words. All I have is the tears I am shedding at my laptop for your feeling of floating outside it all. I don’t know the experience of which you write, but I understand the feeling of being apart-from. And I am so grateful for you that Ned is there to reel you in so you don’t drift too far. I would miss you. 🙂

— added by Niksmom on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Thanks, B.

— added by Susan Senator on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Susan, please don’t get a dog yet. I’m afraid Nat will think he has been replaced at home. With the new roommate and Max away it’s too much change at once.Plus he hasn’t been in his new place for very long at all.
If you ride your bike for 2 hours a day I say you can eat all the chocolate that you want.
Thank you for your writing.

— added by DeeDee on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Dee Dee, you are right, of course. If we get a dog, Nat will be a big part of the entire process. I just wanted to look and dream and feel better.

— added by Susan Senator on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Oh my heart is hurting. Thank you for sharing all of these feelings. I feel very lucky to have friends who are going through things before I am, so maybe when I am untethered I can remember that it is just a part of this process.

— added by Jennifer Byde Myers on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 12:27 am

May I recommend the escapism of curling up with a great book? Carole Kings memoIr came out last week, I’m pretty sure you will love it.

— added by Eileen on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Eileen, my dear, you are so sweet.

— added by Susan Senator on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

%d bloggers like this: