The Exhaustion: Living and Loving My Way Across The Pee-Pee Pajama MountainsSerge Bielanko
The Exhaustion is here.
In the night, in the middle of the night, I wake up and I let the dogs out into the pitch black yard to piss or whatever and I stand there with my head against the back door telling myself that I’m still asleep, that it’s all a dream.
But it’s not and I know it.
In the morning, as the kids fight over a Dollar Store school bus, I sit on the floor and try and talk to them out of it, about how it’s not worth it to pop each other in the skull or bite into your own arm with ferocious fervor just because the other one picked up a toy that you were playing with.
But they don’t listen to me.
It’s like talking to a couple of racoons born on the bayou. They are wild things, with wild inclinations.
And I’m just a weak flappy breeze wheezing through the trees.
At the gym, if I bother to make the trip at all, I run on the treadmill and start dripping the hard ugly sweat at like 6 minutes. The whole dashboard of the machine gets splattered with parts of me as I stare at the TV that they turn to the FOX news.
I listen to the gym radio station they pump in. Bullet Boys. L.A. Guns. Journey.
What the hell am I up to?, I ask myself between gasping for breath.
Why am I even here?
Is this a health thing or a vanity thing or what?
I look at Yoga Body on the elliptical. She’s so toned. She drops her son off over at the childcare room and she’s always smiling and so is he.
I wonder what she thinks of me. Probably nothing at all. Who even gives a shit?
In the garage, in the afternoon, I try and write stuff on my laptop as I sit and smoke between my hand tools and my lawn mower and the spare fridge humming it’s life away for a few bottles of seltzer water and some frozen peas and corn.
I want to close my eyes.
I want to sleep.
And I want to do something exciting.
I want to crash for fifty straight hours and then wake up in Cinque Terre feeling fresh and alive and I want to take a long shower and then walk down to some seaside cafe and sip a glass of wine while I squint through the setting sun at my fresh and alive wife behind her small plate of calamari.
But, The Exhaustion is here and he isn’t down with that.
The Exhaustion likes to watch you on the hamster wheel. The Exhaustion likes to sit back and chill while you stand there and stare at the kitchen wall without even knowing that you’re doing it.
I love everybody around here. They are my everything.
And there is a balance to be had, I know that. There are moments of sanity and clarity being born down beneath the piles of pissed-on pajamas and the fallen morter-clumps of instant oatmeal on the linoleum.
The thing is though, The Exhaustion knows it too and he just piles on more stuff, more oatmeal, just for laughs, and you could end up digging for days and years and maybe never find your Dixie Cup of freedom, the kind you used to drink barrels of every single day.
Still, I can’t complain, I guess.
I’m no different than any other dud, or any lady for that matter, living life with little kids. We work, we eat, we read the same stories over and over again. We look at them and want to start crying with overpowering love. We nuke their lunches. We touch their foreheads for no real reason at all.
We find ways to sneak in a beer in that time just after we tuck them in/before we slurp down our 8 o’clock dinner at the coffee table in front of the blabbering tube with our partner-in-crime.
I sling small stones at The Exhaustion.
He laughs at me; his laugh is Gilbert Gottfried’s laugh.
But, I know that sooner or later, I will catch him in his temple or the bridge of his nose and he will go down, the bastard.
He will collapse like a snowman in the sun.
And then I’m gonna laugh and laugh and laugh myself to sleep for a long long time.
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
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