These Are The Days For Tragic Optimism.

Viktor Frankl, finding meaning, getting through.

Mindy Stern
Human Parts


Photo of me by my half-sister.

I’m sitting on my bed, still groggy, under-rested, over-caffeinated; legs outstretched on crumpled white sheets and a grey blanket sprinkled with dog hair and gluten free pretzel crumbs. I want to be one of those people who never eats in bed, irons their sheets (has them ironed by someone else!) but I’m not, never will be. Whatever.

My back is propped against two soft, malleable pillows, one slips down, lopsided, in the space between wall and bed. Will we ever get a headboard, like real adults? We’ve been together 30 years, married for 27, weathered self-made storms and unforeseen events, paid bills (or not), raised children and canines. We’re real adults, whatever that means.

These days, I feel like the pillow, stuck in the in-between, askew, not exactly where I’m supposed to be, but near. A little lumpy, not meeting expectations. I’m not sure what those expectations are. More money? More work? Fewer wrinkles? Less cellulite?

It’s exhausting, the effort to dissolve expectations, to move beyond romanticizing the past, comparing the present, projecting the future. To be right here, right now. Because I mean, who the hell wants to be right here, right now?