This is the REAL Chapter 11. Thanks for waiting.
Ch 11 The Hairpiece
The road rolls under me, mile after mile passing beneath my tires without seeming to get me any closer to Tucson. I think of the miles I’ve covered in the past eleven months. Have they brought me closer to being enough?
Now that I’m in this car driving, choking down contractions, I wonder why the Maleah of ten months ago was so bent-out-of-shape about being left at the table. She was so consumed with being left out, with not being noticed, with not having something more significant to contribute with her life. Ha! What I would give right now to be left alone sitting at a table with no where I had to go, no deadlines, no appointments, no last-minute crisis calls needing my attention, no all-nighters proof reading to make print deadline. If I could I would march right back through the chaos of the past ten months and tell that version of Maleah, sitting alone at the banquet table, to just stay put. “Honey, if you knew everything you’re going to do in the next ten months, you would sit right here, soak in the stillness, and not move one muscle more than you have to.” I would bask in being left alone. I would bask in sitting at a table. I would bask in sitting. Period.
If I had had a fraction of an inkling that starting January I would be selling advertising for my own magazine, and that I would be doing it pregnant, I would have never said YES to all the other things that came first.
But I didn’t know. I didn’t have a clue.
That version of me, poised lady-like in the black cocktail dress, was only concerned that her life was too unremarkable. She wanted something bigger, something more noticeable. Something more noteworthy. She wanted a change, and Honey, change was coming.
So enthralled with my new scars, I hardly noticed that the Awards Banquet also left it’s mark on Aaron. In the months following the table incident, while I was ruminating about how I could squeeze more impressive endeavors into my life, Aaron was looking for an exit strategy to leave Goodwin all together.
As long as I’d known him, Aaron was always on the hunt for new business opportunities. Usually I listened to his latest brainstorm, nodded at the right places, and anticipated a different new idea the next day. So I didn’t pay much attention to how Aaron was becoming increasingly restless with work. He made passing comments about how moving people’s money from CDs to Mutual Funds, from bonds to Insurance annuities, wasn’t stimulating. “I’m not challenged. I get paid a ridiculous amount of money for the little work that I do.”
At heart Aaron is a builder. He’d built this business, started from scratch, labored to get the flywheel turning. Now that the machine was rolling, he didn’t feel motivated by the day to day repetition of making dollar upon dollar by rolling over IRAs. All day for eight hours he did little else than converse with gray-haired people about facing the end of their life, about death, grief, and trust funds. The job was old.