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@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
As kids, we had an abundant amount of energy. We were fortunate to have a decent sized backyard, with friends on our block. In all the warmer months we’d be running amuck, usually without shoes. It had been my firm belief back then that it was both better and more efficient to climb trees with bare feet, which seems rather insane to me now.
The winter months, always dreaded by all in my household, meant captivity which would inevitably lead to some cabin fever. If we got especially hyper running around the house, our parents would tell us to quit “horsing around,” which is a saying I didn’t understand then nor do I understand now. After all, we hadn’t been playing with horse toys or pretending to be horses or riding a horse. There were no horse games. In fact, I am terrified of horses. I don’t like to be anywhere near them. It is my fear that they can sense my fear, and for some reason, upon seeing my guilt that we’ve basically enslaved their species, will kick me in the face. This is a debatable irrational fear but I would rather swim with sharks than ride a horse. Riding a horse seems like a terrible idea despite many peoples loves for horses (horses kill more people than sharks, FYI).
Anyways, this one time we were “horsing around” in the house, chasing each other, running on the couches, as kids do. Despite my clearly superior dexterity in climbing, I knocked into a side table sending a Precious Moments statue falling to the floor and breaking it. And then the fun ceases. The game is over, the laughing discontinued. You know you’re going to get in trouble, but that’s not even the worst part. You broke something of moms when “horsing around” too hard (at that time, I believed Precious Moments figurines to be much more valuable than they actually are).
Not even remotely surprising, my Mom was upset. At all of us, because our behavior was “out of hand” (to be fair, our “out of hand” behavior was rather mild). At first she was mad and yelled at us. I felt horrible. This was my fault. I should have known better.
But the figurine was only broken in two places. My Mom, both artistic and handy, super glued it back together. You could hardly notice it was broken at all. Unless you really looked closely and examined it. Then you could see that cracks. Then you could see where I messed up, and my Mom fixed it. I’d always see the cracks.
Present day, I reside in a comfortable studio apartment in a cozy old building. My apartment has had many paint jobs. The cabinets of the pantry and the closet have been painted so many times they don’t fully close. On windy days, be it a blizzard or tropical storm, I can actually hear the paint cracking… near the edges of the window, the corners of the ceiling. And since I’ve lived here for four years, there has been no new paint job to mask the dozens of others. The cracks remain.
But I don’t mind them at all. In a way, I like them. It gives my home a rustic feeling. A feeling of have being lived in. A shelter for my story, at this time, and the casing of someone’s elses story. One that I will never know.
There’s a hand print on the wall above my bed. Putting my hand to it, it’s clear it’s not mine. It’s bigger. A mans hand. The remnants of a former lover. Not a churlish reminder of a failed romance, but a stained mark of a memory of a person, a feeling, a discovery that cracked you open. A memento that there could still be things about yourself that you’ve yet to learn, but to get to it, you’re going to have to crack something open. Discovery and pain seem to be old friends.
I think, at this point, I’ve already lost track of how many times I’ve cracked up. I’ll allow you to see into what that looks like through the cracks, a message I passed through writing, through jokes. But that’s all you’ll get.
And it’s good to hear from people, every so often, who’ll say, “your blog/posts/jokes seem especially down, are you okay?” And I’ve so many answers to that question, all of which would be a truth, though only a piece of the truth. Only a little sliver. If I’m completely daft then I fit in. The world is insane. How can you people watch, read the news, turn on the television and think otherwise? And all your photoshopped and filtered pictures, your plastic smiles, the games you’re playing, I see the cracks. I don’t necessarily care how they got there. It’s not my business. But you can cover it with all the layers of paint you want, post about how happy you are, trudge through life with your falsehood, covering up the cracks doesn’t mean you can’t feel them. And while I may not share with you the stories behind all the cracks in my foundation, I’ve no real desire to cover them up. You won’t see them unless I point them out anyway. Even then, you wouldn’t really care, would you?