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Therapy

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730 Days, Mercy, & Creme Brule

 

—I told my readers to ask me a few questions & by golly
Miss Molly, they did.  Thank you, dears.

 

I shall waste no more of your time…. Lets begin.

 

 

 

1. Keeping Time

Emily: I’ve
always been curious about your writing. I know you’ve mentioned a book before.

K:  I am in the process of putting a book
together about Kay.  It is called  “730
Days.”

Continue Reading

In Memory of Kay

APPLE PIE THERAPY

~Apple Pie Therapyapple-pie (apəl pī′) adjective:  The treatment of infection, mourning, or some sort of disorder that relieves tension and insanity as by rehabilitation with apples, cinnamon, sweet butter, flour, sugar, and love. It helps to include a best girlfriend to bake these pies with.  Warning: This therapy may save your life.

~Four words that have absolutely and indisputably pissed me off since my sister’s murder have been: “It. Will.   Get.   Better.”

Please suck those reckless, thoughtless words back into your mouth and keep silent until I ask for your counsel…

Unless, of course, your soul mate has been assassinated, as well. Only then will I consider listening to what you have to say. Only then, will I know you truly understand how one lives with an incomplete heart.

But I have stumbled upon certain activities to distract me in the midst of my sorrow, to divert me from my insanity.

What a relief—when one can take a break from being crazy. What a release—to become removed temporarily from one’s suffering.

For example, the day before my birthday, my girlfriend phones and says,

“Clear your day tomorrow morning. I’m teaching you how to make apple pies.”

In other words: You Will Be There.

She has the centers prepared and organized in her enormous kitchen when I arrive at 9:30 am: the apple peeling center, the crust making center, the flour, cinnamon, sugar, butter, and the  measuring cups all accessible.

“How about a Margarita before we start?” She asks.

I inhale…exhale.

“It’s 9:30 in the morning.  Are you serious?”

“Believe me, you need a Margarita. BAAAD.” She smiles.

I look at the clock. Hesitate. Feel a bit of guilt. It passes swiftly.

“Well, it is 5:30 in Kenya.  Sure, why not.” 

We sip slowly.  We gossip voraciously.  We cry because Kay should be with us. Kay would have never missed a bit of fun and folly with her best girlfriends.

We begin getting serious about apples at about 10:30.

She has one of those incredible gadgets that peels the apples, removes the core, etc… I could’ve peeled those red and green babies all day long.

Speaking of therapy; there is something quite pleasurable about watching the skin of the apple unwrap and shed its body falling to the floor.

Something revealing, comforting.

But preparing the crust is the ultimate.

Sifting the flower, cutting in Crisco, wrapping your hands around the soft pillow of dough.

“Don’t be afraid of it,” My girlfriend says.  “Pound it. Push it. Press it firm.  Pretend it’s the murderer.”

“Take that ASSHOLE!” I scream.

 I punch the soft dough with all my might, then I take both fists, beat the dough harder and harder…

 “That’s what you get you murdering, good for nothin’ BASTARD!”

“Hey, let me help,” she demands.

We both begin thumping the hell out of the dough.  We begin laughing.  We begin weeping. 

We are exhausted.

“Oh, god, why didn’t we do something?” I scream.  Why didn’t we break his legs when we had the chance; break his fingers so he couldn’t pick up a gun? How are we going to live without her?”

We sit in silence for a long time. The aroma of apples and cinnamon playing in air; Lady Antebellum blasting from the countertop.

The ticking of the clock is deafening, perpetual.

Suddenly, my girlfriend spurts out, “We still have the apple crisp to make! Get your ass up, Kimmers.”

She throws a handful of flour in my face; waits for a response.

We begin giggling until our sides hurt.  We begin dancing and twirling to Antebellum’s “Need You Now.”

Sometimes all you need is a good girlfriend, a sugary strawberry margarita, and love, love, love.

Sometimes all you need is the interruption of apples and cinnamon to survive–One. More. Day. 

My Best Friend.  The other part of my Heart.  Murdered on May 26th, 2010.  I shall NEVER release you. NEVER.   My dear Until we meet again with our Father.

In Memory of Kay

MY MOTHER BAKES CAKES

We will drink red wine together and remember leaning back to back against each other—laughing, dreaming of being beautiful old ladies charming gray-haired men”–Marian Aitches
 

~~Everybody has been coping with my sister’s murder in different ways.

Me? I wail, scream, lament, and moan like a wounded dog. I awaken in the middle of the night to moonless skies and dark waters. I dream fragmented dreams that terrify me.

I asked my sister in one of these nightmares , “What the hell happened?” And she responded, “He shot me three times.” 

I despise the murderer, but I don’t spend my time hating.

Generally, I spend my days and nights drenched in tears; so many tears. I spend my moments trying to find God again. I spend my minutes thinking about what my sister’s future might have been. I contemplate how I will move forward without splattering all over the floor again and again and again.

And I get aggravated effortlessly.

Yesterday, somebody stated stupidly, “Oh, my knees hurt.” I spurted back at them, “I don’t give a shit.  My sister is dead.”

I’m not enjoyable to be around these days. The man we ate Sunday dinners with killed my sister. Did you expect me to stroll around talking about the fucking weather or your idiotic sore knees?

At any rate…

My brother copes by working out.  He sweats. He pumps iron.  He goes to the spa to set the treadmill on fire. His smile is not the same. When I look inside his eyes, I see the pain, the loss, the absurdity of it all. I see my sister’s face. I see myself.

My dad lifts weights, too. Sometimes he sits on the oak swing in his back garden staring into space.  He plays golf with my sister’s boys. He wraps his arms around me and says he loves me more than usual.  When I look into his sweet, dark face, I see a 70 year old man who has lost his daughter. I see the child he once was. I see myself.

    Lost.    looking.    Longing.

My mother washes clothes, waxes floors, vacuums carpets, cleans windows, but mostly, she bakes cakes. She uses buttermilk in all of her recipes:  chocolate coffee cake topped with old-fashioned cocoa frosting, rhubarb cinnamon cake, banana cake smothered with philadelphia cream cheese icing.

She is a Goddess. She is our Mother Theresa. She is the Glue-God that keeps the family moving forward, onward, functioning.

“Sweetheart, did you know that I can make four cakes from a half gallon of buttermilk?” she says.

When I walk into my mother’s house on Seaver Avenue, the scent of chocolate fills the air, cinnamon lingers, sugar and cocoa simmer and bubble on her twenty year old stove.

It all appears so normal. So utterly ordinary.  Unchanged.

I almost expect my sister to be sitting at the kitchen table with that pink-lipsticked grin on her face playfully teasing, “Hey, Kimmy, split a piece of mom’s low fat cake with me, will ya?”

But she is gone.  Gone. Three gunshots. Then gone.

 I am gone.

What remains is an empty chair, a flower left out, and a void so massive that I gasp at the size of it.

When I think about the horrific change in our family, sometimes I can’t catch my breath. I am forced to fall to my knees. I am forced to cry out to my silent God.

I look at my mother’s appearance as she serves me a piece of chocolate cake;  her bottom lip begins to tremble, her brown eyes fill up with moisture, her mascara begins to run.

She squeezes my hand and whispers, “Honey, I have a little buttermilk left, I think I’ll make a cinnamon rhubarb cake tomorrow.” On May 26, 2010, our lives changed forever…forever….forever