dead endings

I prefer rain to rays, crying to laughing, and analyzing to “enjoying the moment.”  Sunny Sunday afternoons fit in somewhere—add crapass central park to the mix, and we’re good to go, destination Hell.

Once upon a Oncewife life, I frequented the park while the Wasband was working long weekends.  I didn’t mind it so much, knowing he’d have preferred to be with me than at work.  He was sacrificing for us… or at least that’s what I told myself.  It was all about his career, and not at all to do with “our.”  Still, I sat in the park with a book and a blanket, alone, wishing my picnic could eclipse loneliness and envelop him.  Do that enough times, see enough McClaren strollers, and you learn to avoid the park altogether. That, or you link arms with a band of bikini broads and hit Sheep’s Meadow with a thick stack of magazines fanned on towels. You listen to a stranger wearing too much patchouli attempt American Pie on guitar, wishing the music really would die.  It’s so lose lose.

My mother tells me she spent my childhood crying in parks.  “I felt like a single mother.  I was always alone.”  I’d heard this for years, my mother’s unhappiness with the amount of time my father spent with her on weekends.  It felt like a warning.  I didn’t want to be alone on weekends, crying in parks feeling single either.  Of course, that’s exactly what happened.

So now, when Sam Champion says “Mostly Sunny,” I’ll elect to stay inside, clipping split ends as I create a back-to-back moron marathon of Clueless, Mean Girls, and Bring It On.  Oh yes, that’s exactly how I spent my Sunday.  I was depressed.

Upon invitation, I agreed to ball throwing lessons in Riverside Park.  The twirl of a football, curve of a rising fastball, my hand sweaty in a catcher’s mitt.  I watched a redheaded girl make piles of grass and sprinkle the blades into a nearly empty soda can.  Children with helmets on plastic bicycles with colored streamers looked back toward parents to make sure they were watching.  “Mom did you see?  I’m doing it!”  Training wheels and strollers.  Loopy headed children with bouncing clusters of balloons.  Ice cream faces.  He made it to second base.  Small uniforms with leather gloves children will outgrow and younger siblings will inherit along with reputations.  Peewee players running after the ball, leaving their assigned positions, all at once.  The rise of dirt, in a cloud, when the ball is in play.  Cross-legged men in three layers of sweater with headphones, orthopedic shoes, and oversized glasses sit in clumps sharing benches along the water.  Cigars.  Rollerbladers slow when approaching sandy patches of road.  A shirtless man walking a yellow python snake wears it like a scarf.  The rub of nylon shorts as a beginner runner stomps and pants past.  The clicks of a ten-speed bicycle, the push and roll of the wheels of a rollerblader.  Sideline remarks of coaches, in-line baby talk from a dog lover who recently lost her dog to cancer.  Stroller wheels and long thin shadows of bicycles.  I loved but mostly hated it all.

I imagined how I felt, the amazement, when I first saw an airplane.  How engaged I was with colorful balloons or a new plastic bike.  I sat on the pier, looking at the lapping water, trying to remember firsts, and all I came up with… life is so short.  We’re here for a minute, and we have to be in it, holding what we want in life.  I should have stayed home with the chick flicks and scissors.  At least there, I could rid myself of dead ends.



  1. – something brought me back to your site again today and what I read makes me want to cry. It doesn't help you directly but I empathise with your Sunday and with your alienation and separation. You are brave to write what feels so raw. You are enough. It is enough. Your mother cried in parks – she taught you to cry in parks. You learned that lesson to try to hold on to her love. You don't have to be her sadness to show her love or have her love you. You can be in the moment and in the park. You are not alone even when you are alone. You have you – all of you. I think you know that. I hope that you can find a way, sooner rather than later, to truly be that. The whole of you – happy together. Maybe you guessed – your writing moved me!

  2. If you had stayed home, you would have missed out on this marvelous introspection. I picture you, hair blowing in the breeze, pad and pen in hand, mind churning and creating. It makes me smile.

  3. just so you know, you're at the top of Gawker right this moment. i'm sure you've figured it out by now. its weird when one of the two websites you read every morning directs you to the other one (but i read yours first). happy monday.

  4. Holy Crap you are so screwed up I am amazed you can function. I think we all need to get you on the show "Intervention" and get you to check into a "self-pity, self-loathing, self-absorbed" clinic for a few months. I thought this site was a cool place to check out a hot chick's innermost thoughts and all I have found is a hot chick who is most probably clinically depressed and refuses to do anything about it. If you need help please get it, I can not stand one more post about how awful things are for you bacause of your ex-husband-boyfriends-lovers. I know this is your blog and if I don't like it I can leave (and after today I am) but please either get some help or get over yourself. You pretend to be Queen Bee with your dating standards and snobby attitude, but every post is either about how much of a looser your date was or how sad you are that you are alone. Hmmmm… And the men that comment here all just want to screw you, except for the fact that I am sure none of them are good enough for you. Is there a Prozac pill big enough for your ego? Even your book deal which would make most people thrilled beyond belief, does not seem to cure the "poor me" cries. See you at Pastis tonight I am sure… cause that is where true happiness can be found.

  5. "Peewee players running after the ball, leaving their assigned positions, all at once. The rise of dirt, in a cloud, when the ball is in play."

    It's called "magnet ball." Same principle applies in soccer at that age: Everybody runs after the ball, and there is no way that you can tell me that Jeter and Co. can make it look any better. And there's always one kid determined to make every play look like Sports Center. Even a slow grounder gets a dive and roll!

    For all your inside, chick-flik Sundays, Stephanie, you sure capture the clamoring "Thrill of Victory/Agony of Defeat" ouside days VERY well.

  6. What the hell was that? And why is Plantation smiling? All this depressing introspection, yet you have a picture of you in costume on the page entitled "the real you". The inconsistency is killing me. You should just move to Cali. Don't fight this fight – it's killing you.

  7. I saw the albino snake the weekend before and wore it as a scarf for a few seconds.

  8. Sunshine go away today
    I don't feel much like dancing
    Some man's gone, he's tried to run my life
    Don't know what he's asking

    How much does it cost? I'll buy it
    The time is all we've lost, I'll try it
    But he can't even run his own life
    I'll be damned if he'll run mine, Sunshine

  9. You do spend a lot of time in that wonderful head of yours…my question is, if life is too short, why go there so much? Introspection is a very good, and very necessary part of life, but it's not living. It's "what-ifs" and "what-nows" You've got some cuts, sure, but you have to let a cut breath, in order for it to heal.

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