I woke up around 7 AM when I longed to sleep longer; my body insisted it was time. I felt a lightness and heard tiny voices in the distance. Going back to sleep when the internal clock had rung would only bring sluggishness and a headache later. The voices were not in my head. They were coming from a podcast still playing on my phone. I went to sleep listening to voices in my ear telling their stories and awoke to other voices telling new stories beneath the covers. As I stretched awake, the lightness faded as my life crept back in.
I thought of ‘me’ time as I coveted its return. A woman told me that after marrying off her daughter, she would finally indulge in me time and take a trip. I do not think she ever did that because the symbiosis with her daughter marched forward into the married life. I, however, had never been embroiled in my children’s lives in adulthood until they asked or needed me. I had years of me time with work (if you can call that me time) and home and college. Now my me time had vanished. A psychologist told me that adult children must make their own decisions and mistakes, and I agreed with that opinion. My parents agreed with that opinion as did most friends whose relationships I observed. It seemed a valid opinion. In the blinding clarity of hindsight though, I would have challenged it. Had I known that Jacob’s marriage had a third in its midst, I might have added my weight to balance that crooked, unstable scale.
After a few seconds, the lightness lifted; and I was awake to this day with that same heaviness squeezing my heart. Jacob would call early; his phone privileges are from 8 AM to 9 AM which effectively cuts off much communication with the outside world. We talked about motions. He reminded me again that the same motion can only be filed once every 30 days, and he hoped the lawyer did not refile and squander days. I said that I assumed the lawyer was aware of the 30-day-procedure. Then I wanted to suck that statement and that word back in my mouth to vaporize into my throat. I should have inculcated the error of assumption by now. How many times must I make the same error? ‘Assume’ should be expunged from dictionaries in all its forms and all its synonyms eradicated from our language and annihilated in our brains. It is the source of miscommunication, misdirection, errors in judgment and a gazillion errors. Why on earth would you ever assume?