Table for One

I had Tuscan Butter Shrimp for dinner yesterday, a Keto dish I found online. I dropped Andres off for soccer practice and drove to Fred Myer. I bought the necessary ingredients for the meal and because I hadn’t eaten all day, I also bought some California Rolls. At home, I stood at the kitchen counter, deveining a pound of shrimp as if it wasn’t a burden. At least I had the rolls. Forty-five minutes later, I had a nice, creamy bowl of shrimp with red cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, grated parmesan with fresh, squeezed lemon on top and a table for one. I was going to buy wine but I made a bargain with myself and the future, to not touch the stuff. It’s been more than two weeks. I sat down to eat. My phone rang. Someone from New Hampshire. I don’t know anyone from New Hampshire so because I’m a rational person, I ignored it. It rang a lot. I admired their persistence. Important people, and apparently, someone from New Hampshire, use my cell phone number. I have a home phone I completely ignore. The only time I’m reminded of it is when it rings. It’s set on the counter, behind a small frame that reads, “Behold, Children are a Heritage from the LORD. The fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm (127:3). The phone’s real only purpose is if the kids need to get a hold of me when I’m not home. But since they’re only with me on weekends, a courteous, conciliatory gesture the result of a custody agreement, it rarely gets any use. There’s an old anniversary approaching. I try my best to think of it as merely October 4th but it’s more than that and it’s really difficult to not think of it otherwise. But nothing can be done about such things, meaning, allowing the difficult to ease into the way things have always been when things have not always been that way, seems a hopeless endeavor. But again, there’s nothing to be done about such things. The only thing there is to do is to live through the next day and the next and the next until you forget. But you never will, there’s only management. These are changes to become new roots in a new life whether one likes it or not. Resignation and defeat do not stop life. Leaves still fall. Nights still come. Pain still haunts. I think of dressing rooms and their utility; I think of the practicality and necessity of trying something on before buying it, I think of the opportunity to take things back, to shrug, to make an ugly face of dissatisfaction if they don’t fit or suit you. But there’s none of that with life. Sometimes we’re just given stuff whether we want it or not, whether it fits or not, whether it’s a color you hate or a style that’s not your style. It’s whatever. There is, I’m certain, some comfort if one holds a particular worldview. If nothing matters and everything including our existence is random and without order and one accepts that, then why complain? But if, as I believe, everything, including the hard and painful is part of God’s plan and will, then maybe the purpose of what seems purposeless will be revealed in time. If one believes.

– For Nina.