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Tea and Sympathy

by Crystal Torres on August 2, 2016

In today’s adventures of Crystal the Wonderklutz, I made myself a cup of tea. I made myself a cup of tea because I was woken up this morning to the sound of a ceramic bowl crashing off of my mantle into more pieces than I care to count. I’m borrowing a couple of cats right now, partly because I have a mouse problem in my new place and partly because I have a friend who is in the process of relocating to a new city and hasn’t yet found a place for her and her kitties. It’s a whole lot of win-win, but this morning, a little less so. Skittish Kitty, broke a lovely ceramic piece that another friend had made and that is among my few nice things. Today, Skittish Kitty, is why I can’t have nice things.

I didn’t want to deal with it, but ain’t nobody else gonna. At the end of the day, all responsibilities are my responsibilities. I decided to give myself a little tea and sympathy before tackling the mess and then getting on with my day. Tea is one of those few indulgences that isn’t fattening, beyond my budget, or dependent on the cooperation of someone else. I try to take comfort where I can. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it fails epically. Today was an epic fail kinda day.

Shortly after pouring the hot water into my mug I burned my forearm on the hot metal kettle. This made me flinch, knocking over the mug, pouring steaming hot, not yet fully steeped, tea over my belly button. This made me cry, not because first degree burns are so awful. I have a respectably high pain tolerance. It’s just that right then, with a mess of ceramic, that used to be one of my favorite things, scattered over the living room and a mess of, just steeped enough to be more messy than water, tea poured over the counter and myself, dripping from both onto the kitchen floor, I really hated being alone.

The loneliness of being alone can strike me at the oddest moments. Still, it’s an easier pain to bear than the loneliness of being in the wrong relationship. Yeah, I have to clean it up all by myself, but at least I don’t have to argue with anyone about that, or endure lectures about where I should have placed the bowl, or the kettle, or the cup, etc. This is a simple, honest, lonely. 

Most of the time, it’s not even that lonely. I have kids. I have friends. I even have pets. I’m not lonely for a conversation, or a diversion. I’m lonely for touch. Right then, when I started crying, what I wanted more than anything was a chest to bury my face in and arms that could wrap around me. I needed a hug from somebody who could make me believe that it was all going to be okay, and maybe a kiss on the forehead. Some days, I really need a kiss on the forehead. That’s not the life I’m living though.

I want to be loved well, more than I want to be loved soon. My life is progressing by means of hard work and determination, and a whole lotta help from my friends. I don’t particularly want to be distracted from that. Except for when I do, when the cat breaks the ceramics and I spill the tea and it’s nobody’s problem but my own and suddenly it hits me that, for as far as I can see into the future, nobody owes me anything. I have to do for myself, even when I’m tired and cranky and having a bad day. It’s all on me now, and for the foreseeable future.

At least I have sangria, a gift from the cats’ rightful owner. Tonight is going to be a good night for sangria. That is, as soon as I’m done taking care of ALL the things, like I do.


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