It has been five weeks since my last post here. Five weeks of being completely lost.
Grief is strange like that. It polarizes beauty and emptiness in ways I could never have imagined. It stripped away the labels and the crazy meaning I had put on my time. In some ways, it was like I had reached my most perfect balanced state. I had outsmarted the constant rush and the ego-driven quest to do, do, do. The only problem was I didn’t really want to do anything.
I take that back. I made a piñata. I wasn’t about to shirk my promise to make a homemade piñata for my favorite little girl’s birthday party. I’m sure I could have gotten away with bringing a candy-stuffed, classic store-bought donkey but I needed the distraction. I needed to stop running from the all-too-quiet evenings at home.
On the Tuesday night before the Saturday afternoon party, I decided it was time to inflate my punch-balloon and start piling on strips of paper. I had plans of keeping it simple – making a blowfish that didn’t require much more than my globe-shaped balloon base. But while grabbing the flour from the pantry for the glue, I noticed I had Dixie cups. But I didn’t just see dozens of little paper cups, I saw udders. And right then a cow was born.
Throughout the process, I miscalculated a bit. I underestimated how much work I created for myself by fully inflating the balloon. I overestimated how much progress I could make in a few hours and how quickly my flour-water glue would dry. I ended up putting 20+ hours into the creature I lovingly dubbed Moofasa. I stayed up until nearly midnight every night, layering on strip after strip of paper. On the party day, I got up at 6 a.m. to discover a far from hardened heifer. I alternated blasts of heat from my hairdryer with sips of coffee for two hours.
And then it was on to the fun part – decorating. As I spray-painted a white base on the entire construction on my front lawn, one of my neighbors walked over and asked me if it was a sheep. I politely introduced him to Moofasa and explained that the pink udders and black spots were coming soon.
Luckily, the paint coats were super fast drying giving me just enough time to stuff the piñata one hour before the party. It was then I realized that the stuffing hole would be the balloon knot, which happened to be placed on the cow’s rear right under the tail. So yes, I felt like a pervert jamming in the Twizzlers and Tootsie Rolls but my best friend assured me the adults would love this inside joke. I then had to make a cow harness out of twine because Moofasa had become far too heavy for any other type of suspension.
With great care, my boyfriend escorted Moofasa to the car, dangling and bloated with legs that had somewhat collapsed in under its massive weight. As we drove to the party, I wondered if maybe this project wasn’t the best idea. What was is going to be like watching the countless hours of careful construction get completely destroyed?
It was absolutely wonderful watching 10 excited children batter the piñata. Even when the final blows busted Moofasa open and the candy rained down on the crowd, I stood mesmerized by shrieks of delight and the dives for the goodies. My piñata of grief had turned into a piñata of joy.