Pyramid Lake, Nevada

Pyramid Lake, Nevada

As it happened, the flossing lecture was delivered at the same moment that my lovely hygienist decided to run the motor that powered the grinder that was scaling eight months of debris from my less than pearly whites. So I never heard it.

I didn’t need to. After the final polish and rinse she told me a few other things about the state of my gums that made me hang up my attitude. And since I don’t want to be known as ‘Mimm the Toothless Yoga Teacher’ I decided ’tis the season to take action.

So this year, in negotiation with the Big Man in a Red Suit, I received my presents early: a new Sonicare Toothbrush, a Waterpic Flosser and a 12-pack of extra-soft toilet roll (what can I say – I was at Target and it was on sale.)

I’ll let you know in June if my diligence pays off.

Moving on to other things.

Five years ago I was in an unfortunate living situation. After dating a man for a few months and then choosing friendship over romance, we decided to help one another out by moving in together. My instincts told me it was a bad idea but I did not listen. A person’s instincts aren’t always right, are they? Besides, I wanted to help out a friend.

We moved into one of those beautiful but hermetically sealed apartment buildings. The kind where you never see nor hear your neighbors unless you happen to check mail at the same time. Even then, your eyes won’t meet and a mumbled “hello” is all you might get.

The problem with this situation was that the man – my new roommate – was a troubled bully. He used words, mostly.  He thought it was funny to say, “When you write your ‘to-do’ list don’t forget to put ‘be stupid’ at the top.”  Sometimes he threw things.  Once and only once – as the situation was moving toward a resolution – he threw me. 

Within a few weeks it was clear I’d made a horrible mistake. According to him I was now an ugly, fat c*nt. I would amount to nothing. I would never write. I would never paint. I didn’t have what it took. I was a failure.

Why didn’t I leave? Why don’t we leave? Part of me thought I could fix him or convince him that nothing he said was true. Part of me wanted to win him over. And part of me was terrified. I began to believe everything he said. Still, after two years, somehow I found the strength and resilience to understand that if I wanted to live I had to go. I began to make my plans.

I didn’t tell him I had found a new apartment because I knew something bad would happen. I was right. For the next few weeks, until I received the call that told me my studio was ready, I stayed at work or in my room. As soon as I could, I was gone.

Since 2009 I’ve created the new and improved ‘Mimm.2’. My heart no longer pounds a panic alarm when I see him (we live in the same town). While I have no intention of interacting with him ever again, I feel sorry for his situation – for the darkness that prevents his heart from seeing any light in the world.

But I am not to blame. I was never to blame. He was an angry soul long before our paths crossed.

Where I failed was not listening to the voice inside that told me to walk away the moment we met. I didn’t listen to the voice telling me “you deserve more than this.”

I’m guilty of not taking better care of myself. My whole self.

And so – in 2013 I resolve to take better care of my teeth. And my heart.

ps…Sheesh!  This was NOT what I intended to write as part of my Daily Twenty Minutes or Two Hundred Words Holiday Challenge…it was GOING to be about the lack of sound in a hermetically sealed 28-unit apartment complex compared to the tiny, six-unit building where I live now. I have a new upstairs neighbor with a heavy foot fall, a loud voice and an even louder girlfriend….thank goodness they don’t have cable!

40 minutes/685 words/about 20 minutes of revision