What do you to relax or do you even know how any more?

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I remember the first summer before graduate school. I read in a hammock. I lay in the hammock that my boyfriend strung between two trees. I read Clarissa, Brothers Karamozov, Anna Karenina. I read books, and I drank wine. Also tequila. I went dancing in the evening with my friends. I had a computer, but it was 1988, so I had no internet. I tried to never answer the phone. I cooked bacon for my boyfriend and laid the bacon out on paper towels. My boyfriend would eat the bacon while he worked in the back yard. He planted trees and I planted flowers. I liked calla lilies, especially pink and orange calla lilies. I liked the way their delicate blooms opened in the early morning. I liked the white calla lilies too. They grow wild all over San Francisco, but they had to be coaxed along in Los Angeles heat. I planted bougainvilleas along the front fence and they galloped over the yard. The pink flowers trundled over the brick fence in front of the house, into the yard. I read while the flowers bloomed. My boyrfriend ate his bacon and in the evening we went out to sushi.

I relaxed. I taught dance in the afternoon, and I gave French lessons. It was just one peachy summer. By the next fall, I had a baby, and then I relaxed even more. I sat around in the sunlight and nursed that baby. I took her out into the back yard and let her crawl around. She crawled in the grass and I turned on the sprinklers, and she got muddy. I taught one or two days a week, but I didn’t stress about it. I thought I would work more later. When my kids were young, I was in the yawning yellow space of summer heat in Los Angeles. I was very young and very much in love with my children. I remember many evenings of just playing with the kids. I remember taking an hour to bathe them and letting them play in the bathtub with their letters. We made puzzles which took forever. We colored, we played with play doh. And then they grew up. They were growing and I was driving them. Driving them to school, to practice, to see relatives. The hot air sizzled. And then they were growing and I was tired and working all the time.

Now we never breathe. Now we never breathe once. We simply work all the time. We simply work. What do we do to relax? We have the internet. We do not breathe. We do not know what we do to relax because we do not relax. We cannot.

Published in: on May 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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