it is worthy of note that i never had to close my eyes and fantasize about being free when i was with him.
two weeks ago my tooth split vertically up into the gum. the dentist said it was one he had worked on less than 6 months ago. he is charging me $1745 for a crown. that's what he said. we're doing a crown. the quick and ugly turns out that he forgot to tell me i required oral surgery. i found out about the surgery when he started stitching my gum. it is going to take 3 months of eating only jello, pasta, soups, oatmeal, and a few other very soft foods cut into small bites eaten on the other side of my mouth before i will be healed enough to be given a crown. he promised i would have it the week before Camp Widow. so i can eat, he said.
it's been hard. i've been very hungry even after i eat because i cannot eat a complete meal. my jaw gets tired.
i make quilts out of clothes of people who have died. a woman put a link to the Facebook photo album of my work to try and help me. her brief words were gracious. unfortunately i have been deluged with messages from women who think i am "feeding off the dead." that i am "profiting from people who are deeply grieving." that i should "teach how to do this at Camp Widow so people don't have to trust you." that i should "make them like that rag quilt place does - just some squares so you don't have to charge as much as you do."
somewhere along this wretched path people have gotten the idea i am from Nigeria or currently living in Nigeria. i can assure you that i live in the United States.
the messages that i have gotten have ranged from coercive to my teaching so i do not "bilk the bereaved" to hateful and saying i will surely go to Hell. i have done what my infuriated children and my husband's friend have said i should do. delete them all.
and i have. but the feeling of being whittled away lasts. like that awful thing said and one hopes no one heard, but then the echo comes around and you've heard it again. how many people have chatted each other up and condemned me for trying to make a living? yes, i charge for the quilts. the most largest and most expensive one i did was 9 feet by 10.5 feet. it had several - several - embroidered sentences and two hoodies for the little girl to be able to wear. i charged over $700 but under $800. i had only two and a half months to do it in. she had a special deadline. i worked upwards of 16 hours a day and met the deadline. i made $2.40 an hour.
i am crushed. there is nothing i can do. i have to keep my head up and try and remember that the people who have their quilts did not feel over-charged. i believe they really like their quilts. i think they do. no one has asked for their money back.
so i guess that leaves me with living inside my mind when i feel this hurt which is most of the time right now. i know it will pass. it will all go away and i will be forgotten which is not as pleasing as it sounds since i need word of mouth to let people know i am here and can make the quilts. tangible solace. or so i thought. it never occurred to me i could be viewed as a vulture.
maybe i should change my brochures. add a tag line.
Quilts and other Textile Art
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
it is the middle of the afternoon. i have had lunch. i had a grilled cheese cut into very small pieces. i am hungry again. or still. i can't tell anymore. i posted a response to the letters on my Facebook page. some people have put up some nice comments. i made sure i thanked them.
i am going to get an iced tea and maybe try to eat some goldfish crackers. if you leave them on your tongue they get soft. then i am going back to work on a quilt.
so i guess things are fine here for me, a profiteer of death living in Nigeria.
while i sew i think i'll disappear into my mind. it's the only place where everything works out. it is the only place where i am wild and free.