PINK NAIL POLISH

I wear pink nail polish. It's what I do when I need to be humble. I go thru phases of Tahitian Orange, but it shouts and draws attention to me and then I disappoint myself, or my audience by showing my stupidity and I crawl back to pale pink, which draws no attention, and makes me invisible.

I like being invisible. I remember this fantasy as a child. Maybe I watched Topper or The Ghost and Mrs. Muir too many times. I fantasized about walking thru my life invisible, spying on everything and maybe pulling a few pranks while I had the advantage. I fantasized about having a twin no one else knew about and splitting 1/2 the school days soone of us could always be at the beach. I fantasized so I could not be me. And I wished a lot that I was dead cause then they'd really be sorry, or really miss me or something.

But none of this ever happened and day rolled into year, into life goes on and I'm still here kicking, still not sure why, other than inertia. And I am still waiting. I am. I am mother, creator, juggler, struggler. But I hate struggling when I don't know if it's for anythingÉif it's even gonna turn out all right. My husband responds, "If you knew it was gonna turn out all right it wouldn't be a struggle." He says these things lovingly but to the tune of Jane you ignorant slutÉsometimes he just says "Jane" with no follow-up and we both silently acknowledge the absurdity of whatever I've just said.

I really hate depression. I feel stupid writing about it over and over. I'm boring myself. I'm boring deeper into this hole I'm afraid I'll never get out of. I hate the way my wonderful life all hope and good things, gets looked at from the wrong side of the bed and that same life looks hopeless and pointless. And I keep waiting and waiting now for hope and excitement to come back. I'm a mood victim just waiting for the next swing. I've become a bystander watching myself. Maybe that's what survivors do. They pull out; they watch the show from the sidelines.

I've even decided this ass sucking depression is so not me I'm blaming it on hormones. I'm reading everything and anything there is to know about them. I'll find a cure and take back my life. Or maybe I'll start sounding like my fruit loopy friends who've gone from herbal to natural to ridiculous remedies.

My girlfriend told me she was under a lot of stress what with the cancer and radiation treatments and that they never tell you what to really expect. Her doctor said it was just 3 outpatient procedures. Not to worry. No big deal. And then the show started. She was spread eagle, well that's too dignified an image, more like a cooked Cornish game hen that's been cooked without ankle restraints. Anyways, legs flayed out, they shoved needles in her rectum and needles in her cervix and not just needles, fucking cylinders, master cylinders they loaded up with radioactive cesium beads and waited for them to burn the mitotic urge out of some lame cancer cell that was stupid enough to stay behind when they hacked out the rest of her uterus.

Anyway, now she's stressed and I guess she should be, but she says her herbalist is feeding her adrenal glands. "I'm sorry," I say, "but could you repeat what you just said?" I'm sitting in my chair in the kitchen, the one in the corner with the optimum feng shui. I can look thru the patio and back into the living room and see my son plugging away at his homework, though it looks more like a Dungeons and Dragons book he's reading. He never reads, he hates to read, but Dungeons and Dragons is the exception and I'm so glad he's reading anything of his own volition, I say nothing. In the background the dryer tumbles its last load of the day making the kitchen lights dim and strain like they're having the life sucked out of them. I lean on the tile tabletop staring at the grout lines separating the white ceramic tiles. 16 years of tiles that have survived acetone spills, school projects, glue guns, hot casseroles, over 13,000 meals and the fucking beagle who's plotted to steal most of them. The tiles are big; the grout runs in fine thin bands between them.

My friend says, "You know, the adrenal gland, you need it for stress. I'm taking horse adrenal gland." The grout and the tiles have become one, a field of white stretching out before me. I realize my hand has gone numb from holding the receiver too tight. I relax my grip and the grout lines come back into focus and I think: that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. But stupidest isn't a word or shouldn't be and what I really say is, "Wow, you'll have to let me know if that works."