I keep thinking I will wake up and I will be in an alternate universe. Maybe I will find some green and yellow rings and puddle jump with Polly and Digory into different worlds. Maybe I will find a machine that takes me to the other side of the rift in time and I will see my son dealing with a surreal reality because I am the one who left him … like, in The Leftovers…did anyone watch that?
There are an infinitesimal amount of universes (I feel wrong every time I write the plural form of universe however according to Google, I am right. I feel strongly that it should be universi. I have learned in the last couple of months that if I feel strongly about something, I am wrong. Whether it is the plural form of universe or my ability to complete being a mother to my son, I am wrong. According to some. Maybe I should ask Google if I am a good mother.)
In one universe I have no care in the world and I never have to question myself on things like, “Was I not allowed to complete being a mother to my son due to a callous, personal agenda-pushing judge’s selfish and illogical ruling because I am not a good mother?” In another, I was a strong, emotionally healthy young teenager who never needed to seek approval in the first boy who expressed interest. In another, I went to college in New York and became a single, starving artist residing in Brooklyn, attending auditions, living in a loft with trendy roommates, crying to my mom about never being cast on Broadway, getting drinks with chorus cast members at 1:00 am in a dive, never having children. In yet another, my son and I moved our life to Las Vegas when he was 18 months old and the two of us conquered the West together living in our two bedroom apartment and having a close bond that included smiling and laughing and pure enjoyment of each other.
There is no time rift machine and no yellow rings. Inside the only universe I will ever be allowed to see I said “yes” to abusive men who gave me attention, I left New York to come home to Texas and live with an abuser, I canceled my lease and did not sign my teaching contract in Las Vegas, I was told I am not a good enough mother.
I love my son. My son left me. In this universe.