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

More articles by:
May 30, 2016
Ron Jacobs
The State of the Left: Many Movements, Too Many Goals?
James Abourezk
The Intricacies of Language
Porfirio Quintano
Hillary, Honduras, and the Murder of My Friend Berta
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes on ISIS are Reducing Their Cities to Ruins
Uri Avnery
The Center Doesn’t Hold
Raouf Halaby
The Sailors of the USS Liberty: They, Too, Deserve to Be Honored
Rodrigue Tremblay
Barack Obama’s Legacy: What Happened?
Matt Peppe
Just the Facts: The Speech Obama Should Have Given at Hiroshima
Deborah James
Trade Pacts and Deregulation: Latest Leaks Reveal Core Problem with TISA
Michael Donnelly
Still Wavy After All These Years: Flower Geezer Turns 80
Ralph Nader
The Funny Business of Farm Credit
Paul Craig Roberts
Memorial Day and the Glorification of Past Wars
Colin Todhunter
From Albrecht to Monsanto: A System Not Run for the Public Good Can Never Serve the Public Good
Rivera Sun
White Rose Begins Leaflet Campaigns June 1942
Tom H. Hastings
Field Report from the Dick Cheney Hunting Instruction Manual
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail