Sometimes--more often than I care to admit--I imagine myself recreating the last scene from Thelma and Louise. The one where Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis drive off a cliff in the desert.
The thought isn't suicidal in any way, since I don't actually fantasize about being dead, nor do I want to be dead. What I want is to just be able to say, "fuck this shit." Like decide I'm finally ready to say "fuck this shit," maybe with another "I'm-finally-ready-to-say-fuck-this-shit" friend, shoplift a pack of Marlboro Reds and a half dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, jump into a convertible, and just gun it into forever.
I had that fantasy again last night when I came home to the dreaded "Email-From-Kid's-Teacher," in which Isaac was being gently reprimanded for something that prompted other parents to complain anonymously. The thing itself wasn't a big deal necessarily, and it was arguably even kind of funny; but it wasn't model behavior, and it was embarrassing. Therefore, it triggered that familiar series of thoughts in my mind that I need very little help triggering:
My child is like little Steven Avery in Making a Murderer. Haven't you seen the cover art for that show? Where half his face is his sweet baby picture and the second half is his rapist-murderer mug shot? Think about it. No, really. Every rapist and murderer starts out as a sweet baby! I knew I was a bad mom. This is proof positive. I literally hate 70% of this job. Who keeps a job they hate 70% of the time? And that they are this bad at? Answer: a mom! A bad one! Isaac is going to grow up to be a convicted felon and I will bankrupt myself on his futile defense. What will everyone think? What DO they think, even NOW? Why do I care? I shouldn't care. Not about what other people think, anyway. This was supposed to be my New Year's resolution. And here it is, still January and I'm already worrying about what unnamed people think of me and the mini Steven Avery I'm raising. And why am I even thinking about this at ALL? There are parents out there at this very moment who have REAL problems to worry about! They'd trade you for your stupid, petty problems in a SECOND, I bet!
It wasn't long before I was crying into my pillow. Geoff appeared in the doorway and said a few tepid words, attempting in vain to comfort me and leaving the room with a roll of his eyes and an exasperated sigh at my irrational, disproportionate reaction.
Predictably, this triggered another series of thoughts, in which this entire incident--this feeble straw--breaks the proverbial camel's back of the carefully and effortfully-constructed house of cards that is my life. That's when I come full circle to the final scene of Thelma & Louise. At that point, a resonant verse of the Simon & Garfunkel song "Slip-Slidin' Away" pops into my head on cue and won't leave:
I know a woman, who became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life:
She said a good day, ain't got no rain
She said a bad day is when I lie in bed
And think about the things that might have been.