and my absence here do not reflect my desire to be present here.
It would seem to me, having written so recently, that I would have nothing else to say. But it’s not true. Not that I have anything extraordinary brimming off the top of my tongue, that my lungs are swelling and my heart is beating just for the chance and the moment to reach out and announce to the keening, desperate world. I just know the one thing that I know.
I can do this. I can write these words and maybe something happened in the whole of this day or this weekend or this week or month or year happened that has a greater meaning that I can’t see right now but if I poke at it and contemplate it and write it down so its roots are broken and placed into freer, boundless soil, it will grow and becoming something I’ll harvest later. This is nonsense, but it might bear some sensical fruit if we apply the pruning shears and the Miracle-Gro.
I could mention, I imagine, the small little egg that I took from my half-sister’s mother’s funeral and hung up on our mantel, along with many other mementos of people and beings that we have loved. This egg that my young niece – now already nearly 18, a thought that I can hardly fathom in my head as I was only a bit younger than her when she came into the world – announced we could take if we wanted. And I thought that others should get them, others who knew her better, but after a time, I recalled how much I associated my half-sister’s mother with beautiful things and how taking it could also be a reminder to me the value of such a gift. I could mention the strange surreal quality of meeting my cousin and aunt and uncle at the funeral and how the lights flickered and we discussed this with delight before my sister’s boyfriend – who has so dutifully and kindly attended all these tragic events in the last five years – said it had to have been a child flicking the switch. But I didn’t see the child in the open room of the church, the pentagon-shaped room from which a giant crucifix was held, pendulously over us all, and it happened more than once. I want to believe so I shall.
I could mention the art deco room in this hidden event center where they held the party after the funeral, an enormous stained glass door of birds that rivaled any crucifix and was spring green and held beyond its locks, a fountain outdoors where, surely, the next day some couple would be married. How lonely I felt that day to think about how I would not mind being married there, how my own mother said two different things that frightened me differently and how I told J and how he said the acutely wrong thing. But then half-fixed it and half-broke it again.
I could take just that extra little bit of time and go somewhere on paper that I need to go.
The voice went away. I hope it comes back. I can’t imagine it not even if it’s just treading water in some tidepool. I may have to find a way to coax it out of hiding. I may have to believe in it more than I’ve come to disbelieve. I may just have to caffeinate myself and fall into the page. Screeds and madness and sentences that don’t make sense. Typos that once were unthinkable, that now crop up when you stop having the word in your eyes as much as you ever had the image.
I have stayed away so long.
Can’t write it unless you open the page. Can’t magick it into being without lifting your magic wand and abracadabra-ing a bit.
Don’t mind the cigarette smoke, the man choking and dying below us. We’re not here for forever, anyway. Just long enough to catch a breeze.
Okay. Time for a bath.
Teeth are still bothering me. The muscles holding my jaw in a way that used to be comfortable do not like, at the moment, to hold them that way, but holding the closed is just as untenable. Finding it difficult to think about anything else. They don’t hurt – the gums, I guess, when I’m eating, so that’s a fun discovery. If nothing improves, I may, under pain of death, call and see if they can push up my appointment. All of this goes back to the sincere, omnipresent and seemingly insurmountable doctor fear I have – one that I wanted to use my 8 free sessions with a therapist offer from work to maybe address – but the doctors’ office that is right nearby and perfect is all full up on crazy. (That’s not appropriate, but it does reflect how I feel.) So I told them, no, I couldn’t wait, I’d find another place and now I feel exhausted about finding one, but that’s probably 50% my goddamned aching teeth talking so…
It would be nice, I think, sometimes, to just have someone take me unawares, in my sleep, and cart me off and let them them do all this pokery and fear-mongering while I am off in dreamland.
I watched 4 episodes of Dietland with my mother who actually paid attention to it – this is not always the case when I put something on the TV. She did not see the instant and painful parallels I saw in it, but she thought it was good. Worthy of watching.
…I called the dentist and at least moved the cleaning up as far as I could, but it’s still 10 days off. They are meant to call me if there’s any other slots and I am meant to call them if it becomes desperate. I am hopeful it will not become desperate. It is…pressing, but not ER-worthy.
Five hundred words is not that many when you think about it. When you speak in a casual tone, you toss in lots of extra words that you forget you use. When you write it out, you do, I think, mentally edit out these inadvertent interjections. You concern yourself with clarity and you have your face to make expressions and bridge the gap.
I just want to do a post tonight. I don’t want to generate content for it. I don’t want to fix misspellings in it. I don’t want to talk about panic attacks or stress or caffeination or dieting or boys and the shitty ways they treat you. No politics, as is my luxury, here in the west, just to close my eyes and pretend it all isn’t happening.
I just want to do a post tonight. And then sit outside and stare into space.
Isn’t that how writing works? You just blink and blink and then you’ve got your pages.
I am out here on the balcony and I am demanding, forcing myself to finish this tonight. Just like this morning I woke up with a start and drunk my shake and opened my laptop and logged on to test myself on all the countries of the world. Before 8 am I’d recalled 176 of 186 or something close to that. I missed about 10. Which does put my addled mind at ease that I am forgetting crucial and significant information all the damn time. I am – of course – pushing old thoughts out to make room for new ones, or at least, refried thoughts and this is natural and unavoidable. When you walk the rut into the road and finally make a turn, you feel a bit off your balance, you have to remember how to see the world and not just your pre-loaded, pre-regurgitated version of it. This takes brain power. I forget how I need to forget to remember the new.
Today, we went to the mall after I ate things that I ate out of emotion and not reason. After I drank a fair amount of soda. After I gave my body a hard jolt of shitty materials after being relatively nice to it. And, because I’d read an excellent essay on panic attacks, they were on my mind. So I started to have one. Which is delightful and makes everyone angry at me because the main feature of a panic attack – if you’ve been so lucky as to never have one – is that you can’t conversate and explicate while it’s happening. So while I am convincing myself if I just walk like a normal human being, albeit very quickly, I can cross this second floor skyway across the mall to get to the clothing store for heavier people. This, is, when you don’t have that information, apparently, the apotheosis of rude. And when someone’s ughing and sighing over the fact you are behaving weird because you are trying to disbelieve a head that is telling you that you are going to stop breathing and your veins are clogged and you are having a heart attack, it is very hard to, even five minutes later, when you’ve realized this is panic and not real and you’re okay and breathing normally again, go back in and explain all that.
Especially when you’ve had this all your life and nobody’s taken it all that seriously because it isn’t happening to them. Especially when you’re thinking about how you fucked up the diet just because those tacos “needed” the flour tortilla to match up in your mind to the positive memories of eating at that restaurant, just because the scale is not showing any decrease at all, is wavering around increases. Because you’ve broken your own rules yet again. And with all this in your head and having been told that everyone is desperate to hurry home having already given you your allotted ninety minutes of anxious shopping, you can’t even look at anything and leave. You lie and say there was nothing you wanted.
Weeks go by and you wonder why your life has this lag in it. Why people just go and do things while you have to negotiate with reality to get your copy, dented, slightly used, picked over from last season. Nobody has one earthly clue how to help you so why ask? Why talk about this one more time, take one more trudge around the field full of rakes?
And then you go home and watch Ladybird and are told by your mother that it is a good movie and that has to be enough.
It’s just a draft. No reason to be concerned.