FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Kingdom Come Concepts

by MISSY BEATTIE

This cold sore is hot—a fireworks display.  I’ve named it Stupid.

For a month, I’ve made the bed usually before having a cup of espresso.  Definitely before heading out to run.  Because I’ve been prepared.  For the call from my real estate agent, “Someone wants to see your condo.”  Each morning, I’ve scrutinized mirrors, wiping at tidbits of whatever and imaginaries. Dishes clean and surfaces clear.

I walk to the center of the Kingdom of Cross Concepts and wonder what I’m doing.  Why am I leaving this city I love?  Yes, I do love Baltimore. I love the neighborhoods of row houses, mansions, fascinating architecture, funk and kitsch. And the harbor. And that huge, neon Domino Sugars sign. And the skyline.  And I especially love the grit.  Oh, how I love the grittiness.

So on Sunday during the open house, I sat on a bench outside with Laura and watched people go in and out of my place.  And I thought about taking the apartment off the market.  Thought about receiving an offer and saying no.  Thought and thought and thought my thoughts.

“We want you to be in North Carolina with us,” Laura said.

“I think I’ll just let life take me where it wants.  It does that anyway.”

“That fever blister looks awful,” Laura said, as if I didn’t know this.

Had one after Chase was killed in Iraq.  Another after Charles was diagnosed.  Another when Charles had shunt surgery.  Another when Charles had a scan to see if the shunt was obstructed.  Another within days of Charles’ death. And now this one, erupting because, well, moving is stressful—along with the angst-ing about whether or not to leave the place where Charles died.  “Let Charles die,” a friend said recently.  “Let. Charles. Be. Dead.”

And I decided I could do that, because he is.  But it’s tough to leave these rooms where we spent his last eleven months.  Where we reviewed our life together, talking about everything from meeting to dating to marrying to working through problems and having our heads shrunk to the size of lentils to having a baby to parenting to devotion to illness to death do/did us part.

At 3:00, I walked back to my unit.  “You have a full offer.  Cash.  No inspection,” said my agent extraordinaire.

I’m feeling overwhelmed.  But I’ve emptied a kitchen cabinet, wrapping breakables in protective paper. I filled two boxes.  I haven’t removed Charles’ medicine schedule, the paper with his handwriting (micrographia), taped to the inside of a door. After he died, I’d get out of bed in the night and press my palm against it.  Maybe tomorrow, I’ll sort through the files, his medical records, the tests that led three neurologists to say,  “You’re an interesting case, Dr. Beattie.”

I stare at all the stuff I don’t want to move, don’t need, care nothing for, and think “transient pleasures.”  How I felt when I acquired a painting or a porcelain vase—the difference now, each object an encumbrance.

But this is stupid.  I am stressed over something stupid.  When I know well the real from the irrelevant.

Irrelevant is Monday night’s “debate.”  I didn’t watch, couldn’t, but read about it.  One writer said our massive national deficit is not the consequence of domestic policies but instead is the result of foreign misadventures.  I focused on that word, “misadventures.” It’s a weak noun for Empire’s destruction.

Here’s MY example of a misadventure:  For almost a year I was seeing a man—someone who said we should watch When Harry Met Sally.  “Missy, we ARE Harry and Sally.”  Recently I learned we were Harry, and Sally, and Sally, and Sally.  But this is irrelevant.  No one got killed. (Even though I had some vivid revenge fantasies.)

Real is a military/industrial/security deformity committed to carnage.

Real is Guantanamo, drone attacks, the “war of terror” with an expanded kill list known as “disposition matrix.”

Real is poverty, hunger, inadequate healthcare or none at all.

Real is the knock or ring of a doorbell, a phone call, followed by words that change lives forever—words that are fall-to-the-floor agonizing.  A sick, injured, or slaughtered child. Any human being, ravaged by injustice. Really.

Missy Beattie is busy in Baltimore.  Email:  missybeat@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

May 05, 2016
David L. Glotzer
Welcome to Fortified Europe: the Militarization of Europe’s Borders
Adam Szetela
Beyoncé’s “Formation” and the Boutique Activism of the Left
Bruce Lerro
Lost at Sea: Left Liberals Have No Party
Paul Cochrane
Hot Air in the Saudi Desert: a Kingdom in Descent?
Brian Terrell
My Visit to a Las Vegas Jail
Judith Deutsch
The Military’s “Securitization” of Climate Change
Phyllis Bennis
Kunduz Bombing: Proof the Pentagon Should Not Be Allowed to Investigate Itself for War Crimes
Chad Nelson
When Compassion is Terrorism: Animal Rights in a Post-911 World
Dan Arel
Making Sanders’ Dream a Reality Through Political Activism
Kent Paterson
Ten Years Later: Reflections on the Legacies of Immigrant Spring
Serge Halimi
Why Firefighters are Against Free Trade
Andrew Stewart
Green Bernie or Green Party Machine?
Binoy Kampmark
Yuri Gagarin in Space: the Politics of Cosmic Discovery
Hayes Rowan
This Naming of Things
May 04, 2016
Kshama Sawant
It’s Not About Bernie: Why We Can’t Let Our Revolution Die in Philadelphia
Conn Hallinan
Baiting the Bear: Russia and NATO
Joshua Frank
Hanford’s Leaky Nuke Tanks and Sick Workers, A Never-Ending Saga
Paul Craig Roberts
TIPP: Advancing American Imperialism
Ted Rall
Hillary to Bernie Supporters: Don’t Vote for Me!
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton and Wall Street’s Neoliberal War on Latin America
Leslie Scott
The Story of Jill Stein: Putting People, Peace and the Planet Before Profits
Ann Garrison
Building the Greens Into a Mass Party: Interview with Bruce Dixon
Tom Clifford
Crying Rape: Trump’s China-Bashing
Lawrence Davidson
Getting Rid of Bad Examples: Andrew Jackson & Woodrow Wilson
Ellen Brown
Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California?
Nelson Valdes
Is Fidel Castro Outside or Part of Mainstream Thinking? A Selection of Quotes
Jesse Jackson
Don’t Send Flint Down the Drain: Fix It!
Nathan Riley
Help Bernie Keep His Halo
Rivera Sun
Remembering Nonviolent History: Freedom Rides
Clancy Sigal
Rachel and the Isolationists: How Maddow Blew It
Laura Finley
Changing the Conversation About “The Woman Card”
CJ Hopkins
Coming this Summer … Revenge of the Bride of Sophie’s Choice
May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail