Our outsider artist is in the living room, making valentines for his teachers and classmates and singing along to Looney Tunes. His drawings have the childlike quality that grown artists strive for; simple lines and vibrant colors that send a direct, uncomplicated message of genuine affection. These are the moments we never want to lose, where the gifts so thoroughly eclipse the challenges that we are not even sure they were ever there at all.
The best way to chronicle my slow descent into madness on this day that I would rather not remember is to list what I ate, and where, in order:
- 2 cups of strong coffee – home after rising at 5:30 to see husband off
- 1 large cafe au lait – in a cafe while meeting with a School Committee member about Special Education transportation contracts and budget
- 1 slice of whole wheat toast with cream cheese and smoked salmon – home after picking up sick kid
- 1 bottle sparkling water – car
- 2 large white chocolate macadamia nut cookies – parking lot of Whole Foods after another kid has a panic attack in the coffee section of the store
- 1/2 of a pulled pork sandwich on a white roll – standing in kitchen at home
- three bites of buffalo chicken pizza – dining room with sick kid who thought that this kind of pizza would taste good
- the rest of the buffalo chicken off of the slice of pizza – dining room
- 1 large white chocolate macadamia nut cookie – in front of computer
- 6 ounces of green olives with garlic and lemon – in kitchen while making a burger for kid who would not eat anything from Whole Foods
- 1 bottle sparkling water – in bed.
There is this ache, this sense that there is a song inside but that the melody cannot reach the vocal chords or the fingers and that all that is allowed to emerge is a monotone or a scream. Sometimes it’s the child, sometimes it’s the parent but the pain and the impotence are the same.