Through the Dog Door

Today I want to go back to the dog door and the day I crawled through it to get back into my house after my husband locked me out. I would have left him if I'd had the money but I was broker than broke at the time which my mother said the next day was a blessing just like in that concentration camp story about the girls who thanked God even for being flea infested and then were passed over by the guards who didn't want to become flea infested too. Just hours before I'd read my little boy Hush Little Dragon sobbing through every refrain, wondering how a mother could read a book to a child she might not be waking up next to in the morning. I felt sick and diseased and branded- and I was, with shame and a misguided rental home- a shack really, in the swamp where I'd rented out my heart. Pawned it. Traded it in for a big pile of fool's gold that turned out to be horse shit once you rubbed off the veneer. My husband didn't exactly seem to me like Prince Charming at the time but he also was never cruel, or excited by emotional hostages or verbal sword fights that felt more like warfare like the online affair I was having at the time. Looking back I can love the broke and broken girl crawling through the dog door of her lifelong home. I can see the depths she needed to plunge, recognize the strength and power of her descent, the lessons she learned, the bottom she hit stone cold sober. But only because she didn't die, she didn't even go anywhere, except across the street to her mother's house, sleeping for a night on the couch, sneaking out to smoke underneath the deck in the morning. That girl came from divorce and affairs and addiction and her mother had warned her that she would, at some point, have to take the world apart before putting it back together again, before finding her way back home, whatever door it was she had to crawl back through..