Last week, I died.
While my children slept, wrapped in fluffy, soft dreams of cotton candy innocence, I invited a man into my home. A man who wasn’t my husband. Leery at first to take the risk, I had asked him not to come over several times, but finally acquiesced, expecting nothing more than some polite companionship on a lonely evening. My marriage is on the skids anyway, so who would it hurt? How naïve I was!
This man wasn’t a stranger, but a “friend” from the past, and as we sat on the couch sharing a beer and talking about old times, I found the warmth of his leg against mine comforting and familiar. The talk turned, as it often does, to sexual conquests won and lost. The temperature in the room rose a few degrees. As the beer made a blush creep to my cheeks, it seemed perfectly natural when my “friend” slowly slid his hand across my thigh and let it rest hotly between my legs.
One raised eyebrow, one welcoming smile, and he pulled me onto his lap and we were kissing. Mouths open, hands tangled in hair, my breasts crushed against his chest as he pulled me closer, I was oblivious to the car pulling in the driveway. So swift and immediate was the passion that neither of us noticed the key turning the deadbolt either.
But we couldn’t ignore the bellow of fury that emanated from my husband when he walked into the darkened living room and saw his wife, on the couch his mother gave him, straddling an ex-boyfriend, caught tongue-deep in a “This isn’t what it looks like, honey!”
I didn’t even know he had a gun.
My pacifist husband growled “What the fuck is going on in my house?” and set his briefcase down on the entry table.
I was off the couch and straightening my clothes as fast as I could. “We didn’t...I mean I wasn’t going to…This is all a mistake!” I wailed.
My “friend” looked nervous. Making the hard choice, he headed for the door.
“I gotta go….someplace…” he gestured vaguely with his hand.
I could hear his footfalls rapidly pounding the front walk as he hurried to his car.
“Honey, I didn’t mean for this to happen. I don’t want to hurt you. We were just having a beer and then, I don’t know, he smelled so good and I wasn’t thinking.” I finished with “I’m so sorry,” and looked at the floor like a preschooler caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
Eyes lowered, I thought nothing of it as he rustled for a moment in his briefcase, expecting he was digging his glasses out from under the paperwork as he often did when he got home. But when I heard the unmistakable “click” of the hammer pushing a bullet into the chamber of a gun, my head shot up.
Standing just five feet away from me, his first finger was on the trigger of a .38.
“Oh, you bet you’re sorry,” he said darkly and, before I could ask where the hell the gun came from, he fired two quick shots, at short range, that slammed into my body and knocked me back to the couch.
Stunned, I slid down until I was sitting, legs splayed, blood spreading in a scarlet letter on the hardwood floors. The room was rapidly spinning.
Where the bullets struck, my body burned and I rolled towards the pain, praying for a quick death. Praying my children wouldn’t walk in on this scene and become victims themselves. Praying God would be merciful on my soul because I was dying with adultery on my breath and no chance to make a confession to a priest.
Through half closed eyes, I watched my husband calmly busying himself with the preparations to dispose of a dead body. He eyed me coldly, carrying a roll of trash bags into the living room. Lifting me, still breathing, onto one, he placed another over my head. The inside of that black plastic was the last thing I saw in this life.
...OK. So obviously, I DIDN’T die last week. And, although my husband and I are getting divorced, he is not a homicidal maniac, and we are both committed to making this the world’s most amicable split, so there isn’t even much arguing going on between us.
However, because of Facebook, last week my mother decided I had been killed, her grandchildren kidnapped and my husband run off to Central America where he could live like a king on my insurance money.
Well, maybe it isn’t Facebook’s fault entirely.
Sooo…I didn’t call my mom for three weeks. My life is so busy lately, my head such a strange place to be, I haven’t had the time to get on the phone, nor the inclination to answer a bunch of awkward questions. I avoided her. She sent me an email…which I intended to respond to, really, but I got busy at work, and she called me on my cell one or two…ok, four times…but I never contacted her
I am really independent! Self reliant! In my head it seems ludicrous that anyone would think I can’t take care of myself – would worry if I they didn’t hear from me for 21 days. Sometimes I forget that a mom is a mom and I’ll always be her little girl though, no matter if I’m 13 or 31.
So three weeks quickly passed, and I woke to find a flurry of messages last Sunday on my cell.
“Lisa, this is your mother. I have been trying to reach you for weeks. We haven’t talked since Valentine’s Day and I am afraid you are dead in a ditch. I’m calling your inlaws to try and find you…Please call me and tell me you and the children are ok.”
Next, a message from my father in law.
“Lisa, this is Papa. Are you all right? You need to stay in touch with your mother, she’s flippin’ out and calling everybody trying to find out what you’ve been up to. Call her right now if you haven’t already!”
And finally, in her concerned Southern drawl,
“Lisa, this is Granny. Your mom is worried sick over you not calling her. We told her we thought you was fine, but you need to let her know yourself. We love you…”
MOM! Good lord!
And here’s where I started blaming Facebook for the embarrassment.
See, I LIVE on FaceBook. I update my status three times a day, post pictures, play games…I chat with my friends on there more than on the phone because on FB chat, they can’t hear my wild babies whooping it up in the background!
I have 158 Facebook friends, many of them nothing more than high school acquaintances and business associates, and for the three weeks my own mom was thinking I had died, these almost-strangers were being updated morning, noon and night on my condition.
“Lisa is glad Jimmy Johns finally delivered her turkey club sandwich to the library.”
“Lisa wants to bounce on the moonwalks at Monkey Joes with the kiddos!”
“Lisa is going to Atlanta tomorrow for karaoke. Got any requests?”
“Lisa wonders…If Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear and Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair, then Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he??”
158 random people who knew silly facts about my comings and goings, but my own mom, because she eschews all things Web 2.0, thought I was dead and dumped in Lake Lanier for the giant catfish to devour.
I have tried to get her to sign on to Facebook. Told her our relatives are on there, she might find old high school pals, I post a million pictures of her grandbabies and best of all…she could check in on ME whenever she felt an OCD episode coming on. Then she could rest at ease that I’m just plugging along, goofy me in Georgia…but she won’t do it. Won’t even look at the registration page when I come to visit her.
Now, maybe I should take a peek at my own priorities, when the entire Internet community can see my life laid bare on Facebook, where I spend hours every week reading and commenting on LJ posts, yet I can’t manage to call my mom once a fortnight. Maybe if I wasn’t spending all my evenings connecting with Internet denizens, I’d have the time, energy and desire to get in touch with mama so SHE could provide me some love and support and I could give her the reassurance she needs to relax.
Web 2.0 brings us all closer together, remember??
I’ll get back to her after I check my favorite blogs, respond to some forum posts, chat with a few friends on AIM and update my FaceBook status to:
“Lisa wishes her mother would just join the 21st century already!!”