I have a reward coming when I finish this post. The reward is a secret, but it rhymes with schmalcohol.
The days are getting cooler. It seems like a season changes every time I sit down to write.
My mother has both positive and negative cancer types at the same time which never happens or rarely does. It’s complicated and weird and she’s being advised by someone at the Mayo Clinic. She’s taking pills and feels guilty that it feels like she’s just taking aspirin. There’s a list of fifty side effects and she’s not feeling any of them. She is trying to tell herself it is working. I affirm that it is. But what do I know? Doctors don’t even know.
I was told once that part of my purpose in life was to observe the Void. Not to try to fill it, like so many do, but to acknowledge it, define it, become its High Priestess. This, I must report, is a Void. It is this space between what is now and what we will eventually come to know and there is no way to bridge or ford or otherwise traverse this emptiness. We are just inside it now until we are not. Inside, all of our great artifice of controlled environments and self-made destinies and pretensions at foresight and preparedness and self-protection are burnt away. And we just wait, we just wait and just wait and just wait and just wait. Where are we now? Here. What are we doing here? We are just waiting. What are we waiting for? When we know here is there. How will we know? We will be there and not here.
I wore a blue dress today, the one I bought yesterday. It had the softest lace, I didn’t realize that it was just so soft as it is. I wore it and my necklace and had my face made up and I felt warmly embraced all day long. I felt like I was filling the role of shopgirl relatively well by encouraging and talking to customers in a chirpy, pleasant way. You look so cute. It comes out now like a muscle memory. A woman holds a garment up to her chest, reviewing herself for flaws, performing cost-benefit analysis in an instant and before that instant is up, I have to blurt out “It’s cute on you.” and reset the entire process. It isn’t a lie. Everything looks cute on everyone to me. They were drawn to the fabric for a reason, they had an idea it could fulfill something about them, make them feel cute. It was their idea, their impulse, if it can go either way, just thought experiment it into truth.
I suspect most women don’t look at clothes shopping the way I’ve come to.
But now, my legs are tired. I want to hear from you and I won’t. I’ve watched the Olympics and sat alone in the house for a while, hearing the night noises, I’ve listened to Dear Sugar, thought about skipping visiting my mother tomorrow. There’s a Void in me that I want to fill with thought, but I think that will only spread it wider. The day has curdled in retrospect.
Now, of course, I think back at all of the people who ignored me when I greeted them, the husbands and boyfriends I smiled my most milquetoast, desexualized and inert expression of delight in servitude at so that no one would think I was seeing them as anything other than knotted entirely, as further sexless supplicants, to these women who were hunting and gathering poly-cotton blends and shiny baubles to feather their nests. The blankness they offered back at me. The rush in and the rush out to be hidden away, ensconced on this second floor, tucked behind the evergreens. A loneliness perpetuated by isolation.
I see some of my feelings reflected in my friends, some of them not. I am alright. I just, there’s a lot swirling that needs to be released rather than pickling me one more day.
Time to go get pickled in a different way.