Friday, October 27, 2006

Like a Jerry Springer Episode

So sometimes I just think I will never be able to escape drama. If it is not one thing, well, then it is definitely another.

A couple of months after I started my job, I’d already become good friends with two of my coworkers, Lee and Wynn. I was at a Mariner’s game with Wynn and her boyfriend, when she got a call from Lee. She left the stands, so she could hear better, and when she returned she was beaming.

“Guess what?” she gushed, “Lee’s pregnant!!!”

I clenched my jaw to keep it from dropping and pegged up my cheeks in a desperately forced smile. “Wow!” I said with all the excitement I could muster, “That’s great for her.”

“Yeah, and she didn’t even know it – she’s three months along.”

I smiled again and focused my gaze on the pitcher’s mound, trying to ignore the swirl of emotions within me. After Wynn and Freddie left soon after, I crumpled into Steve’s arms. I could no longer contain myself. I was going to have to watch my friend’s belly get larger and larger, and I was going to be subjected everyday to cheerful baby talk. How would I do it?

I made up my mind that night that I would have to tell Wynn the truth. I would have to tell her about Oliver.

The next morning, I dreaded going in to work. I didn’t say anything to Lee about the baby, but when Wynn came in, she said, “Rebecca, Lee has her ultrasound photo! You have to go see it.”

I smiled and turned back to my computer. An hour of so later, Lee went to the bathroom, and I stopped Wynn as she walked by. “So, remember how I said that I just went to London to take care of Steve’s bedbound mother for a few months?” I asked.

She nodded, her brow furrowing in confusion.

“Well, that’s not exactly the entire story. Steve and I actually were going to live there. I was pregnant. I had my baby in February. He died mysteriously after 12 days.” I looked down at my hands as her look of confusion turned to one of pity. I stemmed her words by rushing onward. “I’m okay, I’m getting better all the time, but I just wanted to tell you because I am just not quite ready yet to be happy for Lee.” At this point my eyes brimmed with tears, which I quickly brushed away. “It’s just that, well I didn’t want you to think that I am a complete jerk for not glowing over the ultrasound picture, and I know that this is just going to be a little tough for me to handle for a little while.”

Lee walked up as Wynn expressed her sorrow for my situation, and though I hoped to avoid telling my terrible story to a soon to be first time mom, I found myself telling them everything, the move to London, the pregnancy, the suddenness of his illness, and ending with the horror of the custody battle crammed on top of it all. They couldn’t believe that I hadn’t said anything before.

And several days later, I found myself sitting with Steve, Lee, and her husband Nic at happy hour in Belltown before we were to head to the Real Madrid/DC United game at Qwest Field discussing that very thing.

“I just can’t believe you never said anything before,” Lee said with awe.

I shrugged my shoulders, “It’s not exactly something you bring up in interviews. Could you imagine?” I assumed a sobbing voice. “Please hire me. I really need this job. My baby just died, I don’t know why, my ex-husband is suing me for full custody of my daughter because he is saying I abandoned her, I don’t know why and my boyfriend is stuck in London until I have an income. So puhlease give me a job!” I stopped the faux sobbing abruptly “Yeah, I’m not thinking that would have gone over too well. They might have thought I needed more mental health time before letting me step another foot in the office.”

“Or, they might have thought you were trying out for an episode of Jerry Springer,” Nic said laughing.

Steve, Lee and I joined him, but I quickly sobered up. Funny though it may seem, it was all too true. My life is a friggin Jerry Springer episode, or even a whole slew of them. He could base an entire season just on my life. And it sucks.

I wonder sometimes exactly how much of this Jerry Springer drama is due to my choices or if I am just doomed. I’m still not convinced I am in the clear, but some days, much like this one, I am sure that the powers that me are out to get me.

My brother, whom I’ve written about many times before (which reminds me, I have all of my old entries on disc somewhere and as soon as I find it and I have my computer up and running again, I edit them and get them up on the site again – I’m also going to fix my template. I hate it right now), still won’t talk to me, despite many efforts on my part to bandaid our relationship. I haven’t even a clue as to the cause of this continued estrangement, but if anyone should be mad at this point, it’s me, my brother neither acknowledge the birth of his nephew, nor the passing of his nephew. If that’s not harsh, I don’t know what is.

So I have a lot of fronts I’m fighting in my battle toward some sense of normalcy. Some days, like today, I feel light years away. Others, like last Saturday, I feel like true happiness is just around the bend. But there is always something or someone. And I am determined to conquer it all. Happiness will prevail.

Won’t it?