Laurie Simpkinson: I Never Got to Say Goodbye

Laurie Simpkinson is a member of the Thursday feedback class. She wrote this piece in response to the prompt, "Tell me about someone or something you never got to say goodbye to."

I never got to say goodbye to the Dreamer I used to be, perhaps because I never wanted to believe that she left when Reality moved in.
 
I ask what she would do if she had my life now, and she smiles, not really understanding. She’s taking the kids into the meadow on a sunny afternoon to pick wildflowers and dance.
 
I worry about who packed snacks and water and the Band-Aids, where the bathroom is, and when to give the five-minute warning so we can make it home in time to make dinner.
 
She is down by the river, music streaming from the beaten van, toes dipped in cool water, the children throwing rocks to splash.
 
I hope that the car battery isn’t going to die out, especially without cell reception here, and check if the lights were left on. I scrounge for the bottle of sunscreen.
 
She spends lazy afternoons–late mornings, late nights–naked between unkept blankets, warm, making love to the lover her heart envelops, who she can’t live without, who occupies her every thought and leaves her longing for him.
 
I lay there under him, watching the clock as I worry about getting kids fed and out the door, how he won’t feed the cats so I better hurry up and do it. I lay there hoping it will be over soon so I can do all I have to do in my morning to finally move on to what I want out of the day.
 
She has a glass of red wine, watching the campfire, always smiling, something of a spark and mystery behind those eyes. She is surrounded by singers, guitar players, artists, and performers. This is her world, her connection, her birthright of creativity.
 
I have my list for Trader Joe’s, then Costco, Nob Hill if I’m lucky, before picking up the kids from school in time for snack then karate. I have the newspaper inserts–organic milk on sale here, Coke there, do we really need another printer even if this one is $200 off?
 
She finds quarters in the bottom of her bag and buys fresh, ripe fruit she’ll eat that day from the Farmer’s Market.
 
I never got to say goodbye to the Dreamer I used to be. I want to believe she never left, she’s just waiting until I calm down. Waiting for the kids to find their own interests, go their own way. Waiting for my marriage to evaporate, its obvious strings too complicated a matrix to invite in.
 
Maybe she’s waiting at the ocean, her feet in the warm, smooth sand, her heart slowly beating with each crash of waves. Maybe she found a job at a bakery, spending an unrushed day with puffs of flour and cups of sugar. Maybe she’s taking a long walk, so long her feet have become tender and her shoulders cold. Maybe she has become lonely, and has started to find me. Maybe she wishes that when the screaming of babies was too shrill, when the husband was too clueless, when the bills were too overwhelming, when the relatives were too stressful, when the dreams were too far away, when the cars needed maintenance and the litter box needed changing and the marriage needed counseling. Maybe she wishes that she hadn’t left without saying goodbye to me.
 
Laurie M Simpkinson holds degrees in Philosophy and Consciousness Studies, and is currently a full-time Mom to three young kids while trying to etch out her first novel. More about her art, writing, and other interests can be found at www.lauriem.com.

 

6 thoughts on “Laurie Simpkinson: I Never Got to Say Goodbye”

  1. second time around
    Laurie – I loved this piece when I heard you read it in class, and it’s even better the second time around, being able to read it myself. I think the dreamer is alive and well in your writing. I see a bit of her in each of your characters’ longings – even Martin! You are an inspiration – thank you for your honesty.

  2. Rebecca Briggs

    Wow! I’m so glad I’ve met your writing- i feel we could be instant friends, and I bet we would have been had I joined Laura’s writing group six seasons ago. I’m now in Rhode Island, sort of bicoastal, and am very grateful to still be on Laura’s email list! I loved reading your poetry and enjoyed your site. I feel the same way on so many levels. Truly love the way you express freely the intentions of your heart.

  3. Fellow Dreamer
    I see lots of other Moms and grown ups in this writing. Thanks for sharing these thoughts and giving us other dreamers some peace of mind in knowing that we aren’t the only ones.

  4. Laurie, That beautiful dreamer is more present that you know. Your kids and all who have had the pleasure of spending time with you, and reading your words are lucky beyind belief. No need to say goodbye, her heart is your heart and they beat together.

  5. thank you
    Thank you everyone for your comments. It’s an amazing experience to have my voice be a call to kindred spirits, to feel heard, and connect. My Dreamer is pretty wow-ed.

  6. Daily dreaming
    I will print this and read it to my sweetheart tonight. We are just coming out the other end of raising four children (2 each). My marriage did not survive those demanding years you describe. But with the end of child-rearing and new choices, we are dreaming again. Thank you. I appreciate this piece very much.

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