It's not that she gave me no notice but January has been a distracted month.
All day long my brain talks to itself. I don't know if this is normal but I have a constant conversation in my background. I don't know if this is normal or not but it's my own voice, the inside-my-head thinking me talking to the outside-my-head doing me. I'm not schizophrenic (I think). (But who knows?)
This week, my inside-my-head me has been a little extra frazzled. The outside-my-head me has been playing catch-up at work and at laundry and at the assembly of E's science fair presentation, a small volunteer project whose little cells have been multiplying, at life, the dailiness of life.
She will want jewel-toned buttons. I can't find a matched set. Every time I dig for just the right one, it drowns in a sea of competition. It's hard to focus. It's been a little hard to focus.
This was my mother's button box first. I played with it for hours when I was E's age, swimming my hands. Those mushroom shapes were my favorite, and the red plastic ones that reminded me of bird's nests. I found the movement of my fingers, the sound of metal and plastic edges, shanks, embellishments, clanging in a small cacophony of possibility against each other, my fingernails, the walls of the box. A rain stick. A prayer maze. A sand garden. I played with buttons. I'm holding my past in my hands, lost worries and expired salves; and her future if only I...
Buttons are the last step on a dress whose fabric I haven't even yet cut. I burrow in deeper, looking for just the right purple.
What I need drops just out of sight. I plunge in again.