I got lotion for Christmas. I'm one of those women who uses lotion constantly. The kids kind of overdid it this year, like 5 bottles of the stuff, but it was good. There was one I liked especially, some kind of amber something from bath and body works. Not the typical lavender or vanilla.
I decided in December to use it exclusively for a while. There was a peach vanilla one I liked a lot too, and it was my back up, but that amber stuff was my favorite. I threw it in my bag and took it with me when I substitute taught in the near-north county district. I wore it every day when I did the long term sub job out in the next county. It was art and I was always washing my hands and drying them on paper towels. Scratchy. Lots of lotion.
It got forgotten in favor of lighter scents for the summer, at the bottom of the bag I took teaching. This fall came around and I saw it at the bottom there, and tossed it in my side desk drawer. It's not desperate lotion season for my skin yet, so I ignored it until the end of September. My hands were dry and I pulled out the amber lotion from my drawer and slathered my hands with it.
And it almost made me start to cry. It smelled like loneliness. Amazing loneliness. Sadness and desolation. I tossed it back in the drawer and went down the hall to the bathroom and washed my hands.
Last fall? I didn't get that job at the kids' school. I spent last spring reorganizing my expectations for my life and my near future. Scrambling to find the girls a new school. Debating what to do with Billy. realizing that my neat and tidy plan for myself had nothing to do with how reality was turning out.
Then this summer happened. I reconnected. I sat on Zelda's porch for weeks at a time. Troy and his son moved in and made my life busy and full. I fixed the school problem. I got a job. I connected with my dad's side of the family. My brain handled all sorts of people and all sorts of problems. I remembered who I was and how it had nothing to do with what I had been trying to do. Push push push. Or just turn the handle and open the door. Open the door.
And say goodbye to the lotion of loneliness.