Richard handed me a jar as to say, make yourself useful. I’m sure that’s exactly what he said,
“make yourself useful,” no, he said, “please help out,” they’re the same to me.
Everyone before me churned at the lid with lilting force. One woman gnawed on the corner of its opening like a dog chomping down on a bone, no, a man sucking on chicken cartilage, or like a woman snarling her teeth in frustration before ripping through her cheek. One particular woman seemed to almost succeed. But after all her efforts, she chose to leave it behind. I observed her. Her lips were small but rosy, and the quality of her teeth soothed my fear of breath steaming from the brim of the recently kissed jar. I wiped it off. Richard knows I hate social events, but here we are, entertaining uninteresting strangers who find themselves interesting. Richard doesn’t know this, but I’ve decided to be the mage tonight, I’ve decided to use this jar for scrying and looking through all the bullshit. My first attempts were benign, slow, and trying. I would never tell anyone, but quite frankly, I was ready to give up after my third arm-twist like everyone else had done. I don’t know why Richard asked me to do this, why he thought it could be done by me.
” We don’t need you anymore.”
And just like that, after all the effort and shared pain – rejection.
Granted, Richard was talking about the jarred beets, but they were quite literally a metaphor for me, weren’t they? He didn’t need me anymore, my efforts were too meek. Now I’m tempted to throw this jar on the floor, to watch it shatter until each purple glob explodes across the dining room and mysteriously finds itself on every plate- until I watch it glide down their throats.
But instead, I said okay, instead I asked what else he needed from me, and I meant it.
Richards favorite “co-worker” was in attendance tonight, remember the one with the rosy lips. Earlier in the kitchen, her hands caressed his arm in a way only a woman could recognize. I recognized it. Maybe she has halitosis, she seemed to love distracting him from her mouth in the direction of any other place on her body. I also noticed her picking at her plate and marshaling the table conversation. But I couldn’t focus on her boyish manner or lack of manners altogether, I was focused on the jar of beets sat atop the counter in the kitchen. Had anyone given them a second thought? I had. My thoughts played as the burial site for their purpose; for the 40 minutes, everyone in the room had caressed its hood and gave a damn about getting it open.
“Here lies the begotten beats of the century…”
“… the tough to crack jar.”
“… the delicious yet daunting decision not to enjoy them.”
Or more rightfully,
Which part of our heart decides to let go? Which part stays behind? I feel hurt, and yet I feel childish for contacting this hurt. But it’s real for me, letting go. What hurts the most? Having alacrity, a sort of hope, over something destined to be let go, to be forced into a re-imagination of what it means to me now.
It’s been 3 hours since everyone left. I told Richard what I always tell him when I want to keep the depths of my emotions hidden.
“I want to miss you tonight, call me tomorrow?”
He won’t call, and the pang in my heart won’t settle. So I’ll sit on the floor of the room that was most recently filled with echos and energy, now emptied. I’ll gather what I need to remember to hold on. I’ll find a way to incorporate the pain, not obliterate it so that it wasn’t all for nothing. And after I place the beets safely in the jar, after I have pushed them down and sealed them off, I’ll recognize that although denial does you no good, forbearing those emotions helps you come back alive, in a new way. Like that, I’m locked into healing, dreaming new dreams, and rejuvenating the old ones. To fermenting these jar of beets, nobody else cared about. Sometimes the function of something comes to an end, and it must be repurposed. The purpose of neglecting is so foreign to me. How can you tell the difference between letting go of that which doesn’t serve you, or releasing what could’ve served you but was too hard to open? Who knows. In a little less than two weeks, these beets will beckon me again, not in the same way, because they’re different now, but in a way that will still bring me the hope, they once did.