Below is a day in the life of Mrs. Elizabeth Jacobs, perhaps this is a crazy exercise that will allow me to do some analysis of aspects of mine and my beloved’s lives that could be improved. We did a similar exercise at LaAmistad, and I should have had half the things I have now in this exercise, and Rachel the therapist at LaAmistad encouraged us to imagine the town of Better Life, which is something I’m going back to repeatedly, so to prevent me from going crazy, let me start.
It’s morning, I wake up. Clayton lies next to me in bed, a contented dreamy look on his face, his lips not exactly curved either way, but his nose flaring outward as if he smelled something in the air, the roses outside our bedroom window are heavy with scent. I wake up beside him and say, softly, “Good morning, sweetness.” Both our alarms chime, and we rise from our slumbers, respective dreams, whatever. Clayton smiles peacefully and says, “I slept good, and you?” I nod my head, and because Clayton’s blind, I voice that, “yes, dear, I slept fine. Are you making breakfast this morning?” He says, “I thought it was your turn.” We laugh ruefully and then go downstairs or to the kitchen, either way. Clayton finds a seat on the leather loveseat, and I proceed to the kitchen and pull out a case of a baker’s dozen or more eggs, scramble them on the skillet, and then Clayton asks, “Would you like bacon?” I say, “Why not, cook the bacon perhaps. The kids will expect that. It’s Friday.” So Clayton and I prepare breakfast, and then, an hour later, two little girls enter the kitchen, chorusing, “Mother, where’s our breakfast?” Bright smiles on their faces because of the smell fill the room, and the smell of eggs plain, eggs with cheese, bacon, and all manner of breakfast food fill the kitchen room. We all proceed to sit around and eat breakfast, and Clayton starts off the round robin by saying, “So how are you gals doing on your homework assignments from last night?” One little lady pops her head up and says, “I’m having difficulty with the matrices and I hate absolute value.” Subsequently, the other says, “I can’t stand the history. It sounds biased and racist.” All of us laugh, and the first oldest girl says, “Daddy, I have to talk to you about something. It’s been bothering me since I met this boy down the street.” Clayton lovingly looks at her and says, “Okay, when I get back we’ll talk.” So the day begins on a brighter note, and the girls devour the bacon and say, “Daddy, thanks for the bacon.” The girls then chorus, “Mama, that was delicious.” Then, I rise from the table and go, “All right, school time for both of you. Get to it. I’ve got stuff to do and your daddy’s going to do some recording studio work.” The four of us exit the kitchen, and I proceed to a basement, so I can help Clayton complete a project with vocal harmonies and such. We work together onm the track we’re working on, and then the oldest girl pops in and says, “Hey Mama, will you please look at my science homework?” I oblige, looking at the homework assignment on my girl’s little tablet, which I activate the screen reader for so I can fill in the gaps between me and what my girl knows.
Clayton takes the time to analyze my other girl’s math homework, and then says, “You can do this.” The girl apparently has a hard time with a certain absolute value equation, hates algebra like I did, but Clayton manages to get her to do her math homework without shedding a tear, gently leading her along the path of solving one word problem after another, then she smiles and screams, “Eeeeeeek. I did it.” Clayton rewards the child with a piece of candy, her favorite Reeses’s peanut butter bar. Then he gets a call on his cell. He answers, “What?” He asks the invisible silent voice on the other line, though I’m sure Clay heard something on that line. He listens and completes the conversation, then hangs up and says, “Beth, I have to go perform at CLub 9.” Just making up that name. Clayton smiles and hugs me, then later goes out of the house and arrives at the club. Meanwhile the girls and I are at home, eating dinner of chicken and pasta with or without cheese, one girl says she’s allergic to wheat, so I prepare a cous couscous dish for her, Moroccan rice being some of the best in the world to her. She squeals with delight, and says, “Mama, do you have any more couscous?” I say, “Oh no, sweetie, I just made the perfect portion and I didn’t realize you’d wolf it down like that. Honey, watch your eating, please.” Then, I get the girls and I on the couch, loveseast included, in this house we have a sectional with pink and yellow velvet cushions and a sheas on one side. I sit in the middle between the girls, one of whom has the remote in hand, and says, “What movie shall we watch tonight?” I wait for responses, one says, “The Princess and the Frog.” So the girl on my right hands me the remote, and we switch places. I scroll around using the TV’s VoiceView screenreader. I find the movie the girls requested, and we proceed to watch it all the way through. It’s a good movie, both of the girls being so obliged to sing with the lead lady as she says, “I’m almost there, I’m almost there.” Princess Tiana in the movie wants to open up a restaurant, so the girls find inspiration from it all.
The next thing I know, the movie credits scroll on screen, and I get a call from Clayton on my cell. “Hey baby,” he says gently, “I’m coming home. Please forgive me I’m a bit drunk. I promise I wasn’t so intoxicated, okay?” I say, “Clayton, darling, you get straight in here I will give you some water.” He walks in, and I hug him, he pushes back a bit, his breath smelling a bit like wine. I go, “How much did you drink, darling?” So I give him a cup of water, some bananas for the hangover he’ll be sure to have the next day, then he goes straight to bed. Any good wife does that for a man, right?
The next morning, things begin almost the same, but there are a few exceptions. Clayton doesn’t have to perform that day, so he spends his better part of the workaday schedule doing his creative work on a beat. I teach the girls some new concepts and then we move on to LGBTQIA+ history, and we talk about Stonewall. The girls are enthralled, and though it is a Saturday, we’re still working on things because Clayton has a deadline on Monday to get something done. Perhaps I and the girls have some stuff to cover in our education things. LEt me go through the aspects now.
In the town of Better Life, Clayton is a tender and loving person, with all the considerations for victims and survivors of guardianship. We barely talk about my guardianship with either ourselves or with the girls. I recall a time when I tell my two lovely daughters about a princess who was held prisoner because she was blind, and used her clever brains to sabotage her kingdom’s laws and create a better world for herself, and she used her prowess and brainpower to have her parents hanged for treason when she usurps the throne, the girls won’t know that was my story. In a nutshell. I didn’t have my parents hanged, of course, but I wanted to remind the girls through this story that all princesses have to use their heads to get out of the tower, and don’t need a prince to rescue them. I would say at the end of such bedtime story that the princess took her prince out of his castle, and used her powers to set him free of a demon that possessed his body and soul. He became a loving and gentle person, and he also swore he wouldn’t rule her kingdom, and the princess says, “You will have your own kingdom.” He does. And they parent two kids, and the kids become the heirs to the princess, now queen, and the prince consort says, “I wish I were a king.” So he becomes a king and a prince consort, lord of many lands, and the queen lives the rest of her life in the arms of her prince consort and says, “My life is the best.” Something to that effect.
In the town of Better Life, I don’t take medications for these wild accusations of being mental, instability doesn’t plague my mind, and the money problems are limited or a thing of the past. The transportation issues are a thing of the past, Clayton is connected with many a person in Colorado, Arizona, Iowa, and many other places, and in the place known as Better Life, we are both happy and contented laying in each other’s arms, not a word of hurt between us, no hard feelings, but in the town of Better Life, I don’t go to church with Biblical believers either. Because of the trauma I faced in scripture and churches abusing me in my past, the girls and I in this scenario don’t go to church, but I do sometimes, but Clayton prepares lunch if we do. One Sunday, I arrive home to find a famous filet mignon and collard greens, bacon included, and Clayton hugs me and says, “Beth, I prepared lunch. want some?”
As for the external stuff, I won’t go into it. Perhaps the world is more peaceful in the town of Better Life. Nobody has to come knocking at a door and expecting me to give up my things, and when I age to 99 years old, Clayton buried beneath the ground and long since passed on, I a widow and heir to the estate, nobody will take probate and my estate. My jealous siblings and their descendants are blotted out of my existence. My girls have kids and grandkids of their own, and there are many people in this future and the town of Better Life who believe that guardianship should be illegal for all adults, disabled or otherwise. After living about 50 plus good years with Clayton, I look back at my life and smile, peacefully and contented as my great grandkids hold both my hands. MY death is met with tears, wailing and weeping as customary of when someone goes. One lady says, “Grandma died.” Then my funeral is held at a UU church I attended, and I’m buried next to Clayton beneath willows or other Colorado or Arizona trees, perhaps a cactus stands above both of us. On Clayton’s headstone, the epitaph reads, “The sky’s the limit.” On my headstone, my epitaph reads, “Love is patient, and love is kind, love does not boast …” The whole biblical passage on love is written on my headstone. Clayton’s flower arrangements are all manner of carnation, roses, and lilacs, all manner of things. Both of us would be given proper sendoffs, the ministers not deeming Clayton to hel or anything, or saying that I was not worth it because of one thing or another. The reception for both our funerary arrangements would be met with food, comfort, music and pictures of both of us performing on stage.
In the town of Better Life, I would be able to remember things from my past not as an act of needing to, but as a sweet tranquil vision of what could become the future. Clayton remembers me as a girl who loves to sing, and suppose I go before him, he’ll probably go to a grief group and talk about me like this:
“At first, things were a bit rocky. But then I remembered she brought me coffee one morning, and said, happy Father’s Day.” I remember when she treated me to Thai food on Independence Day or we went to Panera Bread. We also both loved the music in our lives. One thing I’ll never forget is the birth of … (child’s name here) and I wept. She loved me through the thought that I was the one who deserved all of the stuff she got, but she said to me, Clayton, wake up. YOu have a promising rap career on the move, don’t blow it for yourself.” She told me if I didn’t straighten things out in my life, if I didn’t voluntarily (insert thing here, I won’t go into it), then my rap career was over. And sure enough, I got my life together, married her, and we have had such a long life together.” Here, he starts to weep thinking about how many people I touched, and then one of our kids comes out and says, “Mommy and Daddy were great parents, but they did have a troubling past. Both came from toxic backgrounds, but they managed. Mommy was a singer, she’d sing to me if I was fussy, and she would always remind Daddy that we were just kids, and if we needed arms, we needed that.” Mommy would also tell us we were beautiful, repeatedly and it sounds rather annoying, but she would tell Daddy she loved him repeatedly. HE got annoyed with her, but she would counter, “IF something happened to you, I’m not gonna be happy because I didn’t get the love in for the day.” Mommy and Daddy lived life like it was their last day each on Earth. We will miss both.” The last thing I want to say in the town of Better Life is this, in my blog, there would be happy times recorded for all posterity.
I want to dedicate this post to all of the people out there who might have been concerned about my facebook posts. I want to say I never would mistreat Clayton, and for some of you, there is more. But Clayton is worth every dollar spent, and I will continue to help him. I will consider everything said, but I want to see him succeed in rap music. I enjoy his beats, I loved the way he picked me up and twirled me around the room. As I type this, maybe the Town of Better Life will materialize, and I’m weeping a little as I do. I want to also say I may not be a man, but I don’t hate men. Men have given me trouble, but I want to say Claytohn and I have work to do. No further details, but the Town of Better Life exercise I just wrote down is a message of hope, hope for a future that includes all of the good things in life. In your town of Better Life, according to the therapeutic exercise, a day in your life is described, and so is the aspects of things. One person in LaAmistad might have said that their town of Better Life includes no alcohol consumption, no drugs, no hurt words. Ray, one of the guys at the treatment facility, could imagine a life without that Gina woman who introduced him to crystal meth. There are a myriad of things to think about, but Better Life is on its way. Better Life is waiting, and so I shall stop writing before I am slapped with a fifty million dollar contract to write further.