I went back to work yesterday for the first time since March 24. I didn’t really feel like going back to work, it was just that we thought it might be a nice distraction. Normally this would be quite the break, the kind of prolonged vacation only reserved for long trips or a new baby. Or a dead baby, come to find out.
I dug out my tattered jeans from the bottom drawer and slowly slipped into them, trying to avoid putting my feet through the holes in the knees. I snagged my t-shirt and pulled it over my head. Since I was planning on working the day after The Day, neither article had been washed. They smelled of sawdust and sandpaper and the rich odors of reclaimed wood and it just about killed me to realize they were, perhaps, the last tangible reminder of my former life. I remember walking home from work that day. I remember placing the clothes in the drawer and getting in the shower. I remember how excited I was for Stella to get up from her nap, to hear her say “no night night time daddy.” I remember the sweet taste of anticipation, the kind that seems to build exponentially from week 37 on. For we were having a baby girl and Stella was having a sister and we were going to be a family of four.
There are other reminders of our former lives. I look at pictures from the month before and the days before and I can see the anticipation, the happiness oozing forth in every shot. Me kissing Kari sheepishly over pizza with a friend, us holding our dear friends new baby, Kari and Stella laying together in the rocker. Or I remember events like parties with friends or moving or trips around the world or getting married and all I can think about is how innocent we were. But these clothes, this ridiculous work outfit, it's like I can physically touch and smell my past.
I practically choke on the smell. Tears burst forth as a desperate longing to rewind takes over my whole body.
This is the lay of the land these days; trying to live while never forgetting. Wake up, think of Margot. Go to bed, glad to tick off another day. Play with Stella, wish Margot was here. Eat dinner, cry over Margot. Laugh with friends, hope to get pregnant.
Go to work, remember your former life.