I went to dinner with some dear friends last week to Camino Real in Surf City. We had tacos and fajitas and caught up with each other since it had been over six years.
I said, “That’s way past my bedtime” when referring to something I don’t even remember.
“Not the old Teresa,” Tammie said. She was right.
The old Teresa was a lot of fun, staying up until tomorrow and going out dancing. She ate cold, unseasoned hash browns at the Waffle House after the bars closed, pierced her face, and she went on dates with people not normally her age. She wore bright red heels and had money tucked into her cleavage to tip the bartenders. Sometimes she wouldn’t leave the house until after nine when the littles were in bed, but she was distracted and content with the now so she didn’t have to dwell on the then.
She was born in late 2010, about a year after Roger died. She didn’t think about the future much, and rarely took a trip to the past. She had lots of friends and many parties at her house with the big pool and tiki bar on the back deck, and if anyone said she needed to chill, she got hotter. Some people checked out, others stayed on the ride, and there were a few who were there to watch.
Sometimes I miss those days but I do like the peace of the present. I’ve gone to the other extreme, wearing sweats and watching Modern Family by eight every night while I nibble on my secret Dove Chocolate stash. I feel safe here, comfortable, but not always very alive.
Is there a happy medium, and do I want any part of it? I’m not quite sure, but I wouldn’t change any of it because it’s impossible, so why go there? I do wonder, though, if I’ve calmed because I came to my senses, or because I quit fighting. I suppose that doesn’t matter either.
She’s still in there, in here, and not in a behind-bars way, but just waiting and wondering if I will ever let her out, and you’ll know if I do.