I spent a great part of today traveling back and forth to the fatness surgeon. The interstate was loaded for bear with giant big rigs, so, between bouts of Maximum Overdrive flashbacks and sheer terror, I tried to calm myself by thinking about the journey I was undertaking.
The first of my thoughts had to do with how I was going to greet the old me, once she emerged. We’ll call her PrissyPants for the sake of this entry. It dawned on me a while back that I was more than one person, inside. That isn’t to say that I hear voices, but I do feel the wrath of PrissyPants on the regular. She doesn’t like my hair, or that I don’t get nails and toes done every week. She thinks I dress like a slob and has no idea why I got so damn many tattoos. She REALLY hates that I gained weight, thereby, squashing her into oblivion. What I hate about PrissyPants is that she let Bennie run roughshod over her. He gave her just enough to keep her thinking the quicksand would hold and he’d adore her and love her forever and always, never mind the other women. She dumbed herself down so that she would never seem too terribly unfeminine. PrissyPants giggled and flirted her way through life and did a damn good job of it. She was stunning. And now, her memory lives in a box somewhere in a storage room. Gone, but not forgotten, as hard as I’ve tried.
For all her effort, PrissyPants couldn’t fend off reality. As it began to erode her sense of trust and love and belonging, she mostly just sat frozen in disbelief. How could a man not love her? Was Bennie blind? Did he not see how hard she worked to keep a perfect home, kids…a perfect HER? She was caught up in a war of wills, but didn’t realize it until it was too late. His will overtook her and stamped her out of existence when her resolve finally broke. That’s where I came in…
Once I arrived, I shut the door on PrissyPants. That still didn’t shut her up. In the mirror, I could see that I was the cruelest caricature of her that could ever be. She hated me for it and I hated myself for that. But even I couldn’t stop the onslaught at home. I had a breakdown…then there was a year of psych drugs. There was one shrink, then another, the latter of which fired me as a patient because I made him ‘sad’. Good. I’m happy that I made that arrogant prick sad. He deserved it. And so did the first one. She fired me for missing appointments. Cha ching! Only money gets to talk! In the years that followed, I gained more weight, a worse attitude…basically threw the last of the dirt on Prissy’s grave. Done and done!
Since Bennie died, as the days have passed, I can feel Prissy waking up again. Part of me, who I almost forgot, has been wriggling around in my soul, like a baby in the womb. On the way to the doc this morning, I realized that I may see her in the mirror again. Oh, shit! I’m older now and I don’t think I can keep up with that bitch. At times, when I think of HIM, I swear she laughs. That’s just plain wrong! When you have made a choice to fundamentally disappear, it’s a little frightening to think that you may not get to make all the decisions anymore. The person you were is still there, inside. And she wants to come out and play. But that would mean you have to throw yourself back into life the same way she did. You know that, once she’s free…she ain’t gonna let you put her in a grave again. Not ever.
Then, there’s Lil Me. The child who loved growing up to be PrissyPants. Because Prissy helped her show the people who hurt her so much that they were wrong about her. Prissy shoved it right into their faces with her drive for perfection. And they were duly impressed, as they should have been. It’s not often that the trash recycles itself, after all. Hell, that’s a downright miracle! As I drove, I looked over and saw Lil Me. She was at her tomboy best, looking out the window at the big trucks as we made our way to the warden who had the key to set Prissy free, once again. She looked over at me and smiled, then looked down, kicking her feet that stuck out just beyond the seat. She kept looking up at me, wondering what was going to happen next…wondering if her Prissy would be allowed to come home with us. I knew then that, not matter how hard it may be to face her, PrissyPants had to be freed.
And so begins the journey back to myself…to my best self. I have to try my best and make this count. Because it’s not only me who deserves a second chance. There are two others who have done their time, as well. I just can’t let them down.