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Hoop Screams

Who would’ve thunk it? The last vestiges of my sanity, stolen by a hollow, round object with orange and white stripes.

No, not a barber’s pole.

A hula hoop. It’s everywhere. Like the makeup brush, the play money, and a few other things I’ve written about here, it’s become totally ubiquitous. But Jesus. Those other items were small. This is different. You can’t have a hula hoop underfoot. It’s seriously unsafe. And you shouldn’t have to see one all the time. It’s a special treat–like cotton candy. You don’t want to eat it more than once a year.

But that’s exactly what I’m doing. Figuratively speaking. For everywhere I turn, there the damn thing is. Like a dog, but with no tail. Or fur. Or–anyway.

I’ve come to believe that the thing is possessed. It moves of its own volition. I never see Myra-Jean play with it. Never. Yet there it is, on the couch. And now it’s in the bedroom. Oh, hello, asshole hoop in the shower. And today? I found it on the kitchen floor, when yesterday I remember very clearly throwing it behind the dresser.

Because yes, I’ve taken to hiding the damn thing. Not quite being ready to trash it, I drop it, instead, behind large, mid-century pieces of furniture. Usually with a great deal of cantankerous muttering. I know, it’s the vertical equivalent of sweeping it under the rug, but I can’t help myself. I’ve also tried sweeping it under the rug. That doesn’t work either.

If I were a different sort of person I’d drill a hole in the wall, put up a nifty hook, and hang that sucker out of the way. I’d make a laminated label, too. A colorful one. In a cheerful font. “Hulas, etc,” it might say. In case other hoop-like objects came later. And there my striped nemesis would remain, coming down only at appropriate moments. Like a well-behaved object of whimsy should.

But I’m not a hook-maker. And I don’t know how to laminate. I don’t do organized. I try, but certain objects elude me. Like this one.

And most others.

At moments like this–when, say, a hula hoop has become the repository of all of my rage and frustration–I wonder whether it isn’t a good thing that I’ve gone back to work. Because I get crazy. It’s the chaos. I don’t “ride it” well. Staying at home is all chaos. Houses are chaos. Dogs are chaos. Kids are chaos. (They’re also, if they’re almost four, sort of psychotic. But that’s another conversation.)

Suffice it to say, work is the easier place. Yes, I miss MJ when I’m there–it’s like a hole’s been drilled out of my side, cauterized, and stuffed with wet hay–but at least when you pick something up it stays there. Things have places. Also, I get breaks, and wear nice clothes, and, holy Christ, lipstick! Remember that? And best of all, the toilet gets cleaned by someone else.

But tonight I’m here. And as I prepare to curl up with my laptop, and Breaking Bad, and my dear girl sleeping in the next room…the hoop gets a pass. I’ll pick it up tomorrow. Or she will. Or it’ll transport itself to the roof.

One thing that’s guaranteed?

It’ll move.