Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Puddles

I am too old to wet the bed.

I am too young for night sweats.

I am too awake, too tired, too cold, too not asleep.

I am too wet.

Side effects catch up with me the way a defensive player catches up with an offense that has finally broken through the line and sped toward the goal.

Stopped.

Stomped.

Soaked?

One of the side effects of one of my medications is profuse sweating. I am lucky because this particular side effect only happens when I sleep--some people spend their whole day dripping perspiration. Imagine managing Major Depressive Order--feeling like people are constantly judging you and deciding for the prosecution--and walking around dripping with sweat all day.

It's not even like my body has the decency to sweat from the usual suspects, either. I think if it were just, say, my armpits I could sleep through it. No. It's my pores. Pretty much everything but the soles of my feet.

I wake up cold because of the water. I try moving out of it, but there's no where to hide in a queen bed shared.

I put on dry pajamas, or move the sheets or my whole self and wait for California dry air to do its work. It takes too long and I am sleepy and scrunched up and covered in throw blankets I stole from the couch because I want to be in the bed when it is dry again.

I want to be asleep.

If I could just sit and wait, my chances of returning to sleep might improve. But I know if I just sit my mind will start its private relay race, so I type because at least if I am writing I am productive and pouring out my words into a bucket instead of letting them seep and drip and sweat a new sweat.

I can type with my eyes closed. Thank God.

For a while, the Effexor was working. It started in the hospital, so slow on the uptake, monitored, and then ever since living here, ever since sometime around Easter 2006 it's been two giant brownish-orange-burnt-umber capsules each morning in the Cocktail of My Livingness. Now the slow decline, the side effect dodging decline, to escape the side effect of water water everywhere nor any drop to drink.

The Albatross.

Monday, April 28, 2008

It drips!

My brain apparently has a pause button on it. Unfortunately, I don't get to decide when to push it; it's in charge as usual.

Many examples, all forgotten--walk into a room, wrong one, why, oh yeah, other room, why, oh yeah, do, redo.

Justin brews the coffee. I wait, impatient for my first injection of caffeine. I watch carefully the pot and the top brewer.

"It's dripping! I think there's something wrong." A pause of silence draws out between Justin and I, until he speaks with his face still perplexed.

"That's why it's called drip coffee."

I already know and bashfully move to another room.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I have to live with a boy.

I managed to incorporate the honk into a dream--as if someone were blowing their nose in manner of fog horn.

Then the smell overwhelmed me and I had to get up and leave the room.

Justin.

I peed with my eyes closed, went back to the bedroom, was again overwhelmed by the odor and went to the kitchen for a glass of water.

We slept with the window open and a fan on because it is so hot this Santa Ana wind weekend. I thought it would dissipate.

No. So, light on. Matches and candle found and lit and placed on my bedside table.

Giant yawn. Back into bed.

He moved like a baby doing tummy-time push-ups and leaned toward my side of the bed for a kiss.

Kiss.

"I managed to incorporate the sound into a dream and think it was a sneeze, but then it smelled so bad I had to get up," I told him, figuring the flickering bedside flame reflecting on the walls should be explained before he worried about a fire.

"I farted and chased you out of the room? I have to call a friend!"

"Jason's lucky it's 5 o' clock in the morning and you're not going to wake him up right now."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Our New Digs

The Last Day of School

I really did just take photographs of Justin on his last day of school.

I can keep calling him an almost-doctor, but it's just a technicality that waits.

Graduation Day.

June 1.

Then the day that he gets his actual diploma and all the paper work complete.

He already has a contract at UCLA-Harbor to be a resident.

And I already told my orthodontist that I'll be commuting just to keep him until my teeth are straight. My therapist is already finding someone to throw me to. I should be able to keep my other doctors--all the physical ones at the Naval Medical Center because I don't have to see those so often. In this way I will manage to still see friends in San Diego. (Who?) In this way I will disconnect... mostly.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's time?

Maybe it is time to say goodbye, even though no one will hear because no one is listening.

But, goodbye all the mom's I used to know before their momness, good bye borrow babies I do not get to see or hold or know. Goodbye friends I used to have but who have faded into gone. Goodbye friends who never were so friendly.

But I will not say goodbye to some. For some of you it's see you later--I'll visit, I'll call, we'll write, you'll call, you'll visit....

Maybe holding onto his friendship means we are holding onto yours somehow. Even if you want to be alone right now, not with your girlfriends to evaluate your life and make choices about your future, I'm still here. So is Justin. We are really close by and while it's hard for me to see your other half and not see you, while it makes me miss you and makes it hard for me to say anything without hoping I'm not saying the wrong thing... I'll wait. I miss you more than I miss any one's puppies. We were just all getting to be friends. I wish I had seen it coming, but I missed all the cues you gave me. I have faith that it will all work out and we'll be double dating again, instead of ever so awkward three wheeling and wobbly axles.

It's time for me to take down the photographs of those other people's babies though. There are two families I am still, maybe three, a part of... but the rest of you have known where you could find me for the past three years. You were here, then you were gone. I am ready to accept gone, none, away, abandoned, left, selfish, alone, isolated, careless, forgotten, self-centered, too busy, too overwhelmed, disappeared.

My heart only has so much space to empty. The outline cannot expand.

Maybe we are no one's loss.

Maybe you and I apart
are my gain.

Green

The little green ones
are my favorite.

They're very good.

When I run out
the headache
the pain
the missing
the heat
the fear
the missing

Then I see one
such relief
such joy
and just a half
not even a whole
just a half but
it is worth gulping
without water


The pain
makes it necessary

The headache marches on
pound
drill
squeeze

My brain
squashes
small

It took
three days
for this madness
to attack

And the missing
is what keeps me
from getting
keeps me
inside
keeps me
from outside

So more missing

Until
I can't take it anymore
and the missing
turns into needing

So I go

the little green ones are my favorite

calm

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hiding

On Tuesday afternoons I hide in the house and wait that the ghosts might go away. Twice, thrice, today I thought I would go out, but even at the door I found a reason to stay; a reason not to have to go into the world.

Art class. No, but I painted here a bit.

The gym for yoga. No, but I needed the rest.

The grocery store for food to make dinner. No, there was enough here to cook.

Also the phone rang. Wait and check the ID. No, there's voice mail for strangers; no need to answer immediately for anyone but Justin.

On Tuesday mornings I go to therapy--harder to say than admitting to physical therapy or the doctor--and then I'm tired. Very tired.

This morning I actually wanted to go there. On the way, I felt relieved. Like I was looking forward to letting someone take care of me for an hour; similar to the way that I feel when I go to get my haircut--for just an hour I will be the center of attention and that will be the way it is supposed to be. I was in that zone when I stopped for coffee--also a relatively self-centered action--and then ran into a neighbor and fellow artist. He already knew from Justin that we were moving to the beach, and since he's a surfer too I teased him with it. Then we ended up talking about Los Angeles and moving for a couple of minutes but I had to leave to go There. On my way to my car I realized I'd just had a conversation that was "all about me." I pledged that I would never talk about myself again. That I would only ask about how other people were doing. The next conversation I had with anyone would be all about them.

Of course by the time I started driving I even forgot to make the right turn and ended up a block ahead of where I meant to be driving. I also didn't want to go to therapy anymore. Which is what I told her when I first had to start talking.

"It's funny how we shift like that, isn't it?"

"Yeah, well that's kind of my thing."

"Huh?"

"I'm always shifting," I made roller coaster hills with my hand. "It sucks! I haven't even been awake long enough to already go up and down." I fell back into the chair, sinking with exasperation.

She wanted to talk about my moving to LA, but I've been avoiding that so I kept on working at it. When she said, "Let's talk about that," I made up the antecedent and talked about not talking about myself. When she tried to push me toward the LA Subject, I moved to having friends--or not.

Eventually, we got to her Agenda for the Day (she so rarely has one, and here we were with two).

She's starting to do that thing I used to do when I was a teacher and the end of the year was coming. I'd get all sentimental about the kids, and how they were growing up, and in my own head I'd review the year and realize all that we had been through together. Mostly the kids would stare at me vacantly while they let time slip toward summer vacation, but I thought it was very important and I wanted to impart any last words of wisdom I could think of before they left my care.

So here we were, but this time I was avoiding the end (which it now occurs to me I have done intentionally or incidentally many times in my life) and she was prepping for it. The shitty thing is, I was just starting to like her and therapy. Just in time, as usual.

The breakthrough idea this Agenda was that we were coming to the close of our relationship ("unique" though it is) and even though I have so many issues with having a sense of abandonment and rejection, we were going to have to shift. In essence--and this time it is absolutely true, not just a figment of my abandoned friendless-friendship imagination--she is passing me on to another person so that they can take her place and do the job of Caring for Olaina instead.

We talked about being selfish for a while today. She said I was supposed to be selfish when I was a kid. She (and I suppose a bunch of other shrinks, too) has this theory that little kids are supposed to act like they are the center of the world and their parents are supposed to love them and support them in a co-starring role. For instance, if a kid is scared of thunder and lightening or monsters in the closet, a parent is supposed to say, "That must feel very scary, but I am here and we can listen to the thunder (or look in the closet) together and I won't leave you and we will be OK." Or something like that. I don't really get it--reason number three-bazillion-and-one why I should never be a parent. Supposedly, what a parent is not supposed to do is say, "There is nothing to be scared of," or "Don't be silly," or both of those things and cover the window with blankets in addition to the blinds so that the kid doesn't have to see the lightening. (I suppose the theory there is if it doesn't exist it can't be scary, and maybe the kid will fall asleep before the next flash and then won't hear the thunder?) The idea, I think, is that the parent is supposed to mirror the child.

I really don't get it.

I don't even remember why I'm writing about this idea. Oh, yeah. It's because I said something witty.

"I was supposed to be selfish when I was a kid!"

"Yes!"

"And even when I was a teenager?" I answered my own question. "Everyone knows teenagers are selfish--they're the most selfish of all. Geez. That's probably why they have seven teachers by the time they get to high school. None of us can stand them enough to be the only one caring for them. It's not that we're such experts in our subject, well, maybe we are, but we just have to pass them around a bit."


She also said I was on one island before and now I'm moving through the marsh to get to another island.

"But people drown in the marsh!"

I think that analogy means:

On the first island I lived behind a lot of walls and my defenses were very strong. People didn't necessarily like it any better--they often censored what they said to me, I suppose because they didn't want to feel the pain when I lashed out--but I did a lot of work and won a lot of awards and people who gave it a thought figured that I must be doing OK because of my pretty resume. No one, not even I, knew why I acted so driven to succeed and no one really cared. Success happened to me and people enjoyed that I got things done, even if they didn't like my friendship.

Supposedly when I get to the next island I will have to know more. Or less. And succeed less, for sure. Or more. In a different way.

On the next island I have to be my best friend.

Yeah, I did just look at my computer screen funny. You can too.

I have to be my own friend. I have to like me. I have to accept that I have a mood disorder (as a writer making an analogy about a different mood disorder said on NPR today: it's a disease--like pancreatic cancer. But we don't put all the people with pancreatic cancer behind a closed door so that no one can see them and no one has to deal with them.) I have to accept my mood disorder as part of me, and I have to like myself--I have to like this person with a mood disorder. And that's me. (I'm still wrapping my head around it all.) I can't call myself stupid or say that I'm wrong or dumb or retarded or anything like that. I have to be nice to myself. It does bring me back to having to be gentle with myself, but going all the way to being nice. That's a little much.

You'd think that given my drive to succeed I could follow this one direction and be nice to myself. Especially since I am being told that being nice to myself might bring me success in the one arena I have always wanted to master.

Another irony--the only thing that has ever really mattered to me in life is making connections with other people and it is the only thing I have ever tried so hard to do well at and failed. Failed so miserably. (BE NICE!) I am a person who needs connections with other people to be able to feel fulfilled, and somehow I am not very good at maintaining those relationships. (Somehow...)

She says people do drown in the marsh. She doesn't think I'll make it all the way to the new island on my own--that I need help getting there, so I have to reach up and take the hand of the people who are trying to help me.

It turns out, one of the hands I have to take is my own.

The most important hand I have to take is my own.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Two Blocks from the Beach

It's just got such a nicer ring to it than, "That place by the refineries off the freeway."

We keep saying it:
  • We're going to live two blocks from the beach!
  • We can see the beach as soon as we step onto the sidewalk!
  • The beach is as close as Henry's!
  • It's closer than Gulf Coast Grill!
  • We'll be closer to the beach than Hal!
  • I have to call Jason!
  • You can surf everyday. You can say, "I surf every day that there's good waves."
  • I can say, "I surf every day there's good waves and half the days there aren't."
  • It'll be so easy just to swim in the ocean!
  • I'm so tired. Can you imagine? When we move, I can just put my swim suit on and go lie down on the beach... in good weather.
  • And in bad weather you can wrap yourself in one of our Mexican blankets!
It's gonna be pretty sweet. Plus, I'll start walking dogs again (oh how I miss Yaz and Stan!) and we can jog by the beach and it will be marvelous. Simply fabulous. Glorious!

We're gonna live two blocks from the beach. You can see it from our house.

And I'm going to have a studio, and it's going to have a door and no one is ever going to see my work unless I want them to see it. Ha!

It's gonna be two blocks from the beach.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

You know, that place where you see the refineries from the 405

This is how Torrance--the location of Justin's hospital--and just further west Redondo Beach--the location of our next three years of life have been described to me.

The refineries.

The place off the 405 near the airport, just before or after depending on which direction you're driving.

Obviously, a hard sell for Justin to convince me that Refinery Land could make me happy. Luckily for him, Justin did not know the area very well either. We knew there was a hospital--a county hospital known for "action" which generally implies a dangerous neighborhood where action that involves violence occurs regularly. As with all things Californian, to the west the ocean. But all oceanside neighborhoods are not created equally.

Years ago Venice was a dangerous area, but apparently now it is a hot spot for young clubbers. We saw Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. The last two are more expensive than the first, and the reason was proven when we searched for dinner, moving south to pass up the places we didn't have the energy to feign coolness.

Not to mention, we wanted to sink into a quieter place, a cool beer, comfort food and drink.

So we ended up in the same area where we had stopped for coffee that afternoon, a restaurant and brewery just one block from the coffeeshop--which happens to be loaded with books and next door to a place with homemade ice cream and gelato.

Gelato!

Even better, the Riviera Village was just behind the apartment we loved best--Justin could check the waves from the living room and the sun streamed into what would be my studio. Not to mention, Justin loved the kitchen with its new appliances, wood cabinets and black linoleum faux-granite counter tops. I envisioned the placement of books on the built in bookshelves, and admired the baseboards and space above the kitchen cabinets where we could put decorative items.

We started calling it our apartment as we drove around town and needed a reference point to another location, "This place is about a mile from our place," we'd say. Then we'd catch ourselves and smile or laugh at each other.

For mental and emotional insurance, we spent today searching for "a gem" as Justin called it--something better than our beautiful apartment... maybe something that would be all that and allow pets.

We finally settled on a place not unlike this one in its Melrose Place style courtyard build. A place much larger, with almost 1200 sq. ft., and also just two blocks from the ocean. There's two bedrooms--one will be my studio. The living room adjoins a dining area and together the space is large enough for us to be able to store bicycles and surfboards inside.

Next week we take possession of the apartment and continue to maintain our San Diego home until Justin officially graduates.

Justin only has one more week of school--his opthomology rotation ends on Friday and tomorrow he has to give a presentation, so tonight will be a long night of working for him.

Once again, we did it: We found a place to live in just one weekend of searching. This time it was more difficult though, as far as clashing, since we didn't know where we were and we had to navigate and investigate the neighborhoods as well as the buildings.

Did I mention we'll have new neighbors next door too?

They are roommates--two women who are in the residency program at UCLA Harbor in the ER department. Yep, 3 of the 15 residents in the program live in my building.

Pictures posted later... so tired!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Six Feet Under and going deeper

a child knows what his parents need him to be

relating to another person is a way we relate to a part of ourselves

I went to websites and its all about what you can't do, so what can I do?
--try not to make yourself invisible
this isn't about me
--that's not a very good start, is it?



It turns out that everything I am is everything people want me to be
everything people need me to be.
They need my love and everything I have to offer that helps them
heal
grow
become whole.

Which is handy, because mostly I need to be needed.

It's why I became a teacher.
It's why honor roll, president of anything, volunteer, helper, leader, follower

and you know, when you've tried to bring it up before, or now even, it's like you've decided you should know who I am, like you're willing to see me the way you make yourself look at something horrible, like a corpse, because it's your job, your duty, it revolts you but you make yourself bare it.

--You're wrong, you don't revolt me, I don't choose which part of you I love.... it was just so much easier when you were a child and you would tell me everything and when you were upset I could always fix it. I don't know how to take care of you any more.

Let me, let me take care of myself.

--But do you? I'm afraid that you don't.

I do. I will.




Until they've had enough.
When they're fixed, healed, grown, whole

That's all.

I'm beginning to see how this little miss perfect act pays off.


Of me
tired.

--Whatever I was feeling before I'm not feeling now... it all made sense at the time. I hate this. I hate that my blood makes me crazy. I hate that I can't function without being chemically altered I hate that I fucked up your life.

You haven't.

--No, you deserve to be happy. I don't. I must have some weird ass karma. . . . I'm so lost inside. I wish that I could get out. But I don't think I ever will.


--
six feet under, season 1, episode 7 (italicized font)
Olaina (standard font)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

taxes

First,

A poem by e.e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)



I actually put my head down on my alchemist's university-office desk today and started to cry.

It's a new low. Really? Head down on a desk? But such a familiar desk. Such an institutional desk. Such a desk as the desks where I have laid me down to sleep.

It's a new high. An alchemist who lets me crumble without acting put out and who offers hope with the promise of a new glue-pill that's working for some of her patients. Really. Head down on a desk. Such a familiar desk. Such a desk as the desks where I have prayed the Lord my soul to keep.


You want to know the truth?

I hate it when rich people complain about paying taxes so that poor people can get the services they need and have the right to claim. I hate it when people complain about paying taxes so that roads can be paved and and teachers paid and swing-sets played.

So I know I tread on dangerously hypocritical ground when I dare to complain about pretty much anything in my life that is so blessed with people who do love and care for me, with food that nourishes me, shelter that protects me, work that provides for me, and the luxury of time and experience and safety and everything that is some kind of gift from God that allows me to have the life I have.

But God fucking damn it, I am so fucking tired and pissed off and tired of paying this extra tax of poor mental health for every fucking breath I take that I think I am going to fucking explode.

And then I'd have to clean up the mess.

No one in the world has the right to complain about spending time in Santa Barbara, Rome or with friends (albeit in Phoenix)--three consecutive trips covering weekdays and weekends with quick stops at home to empty and refill the suitcases before our next flight.

But I cannot do it anymore.

The best thing about my tomorrow is that I might be able to get away with not seeing or speaking to anybody until I have to leave for work at 5 p.m.

I am not a woman with the energy to spend so much time with people traveling and enjoying every little thing and smiling and being grateful for beauty or opportunity or delights of any sort.

I am a woman whose energy is spent not crying over sound-bites that perhaps no one else hears. I am a woman whose energy is spent carrying weights that no one else sees. I am a woman whose energy is spent gulping air that no one else drinks; eating words that no one else knows. I am a woman who begs for glue to hold together a porcelain cast that is bursting apart; a woman who wants to fill, smoothen, repair the cracks in the sculpture I once thought was almost finished.

So mos: No, I was not on disability. I was on a medical leave. I got sick. Again. My doctors said I could not work there. I made no money and no one, not even the state or the "amazing" company, gave me anything. Neither did you. Remember those days?

And friend: Just over a year ago you called to tell me wonderful news: you had a baby. I was so happy for you and then there were those nearly 12 silent months of worrying that you were sick or hurt or angry. You finally decided to speak and you said those horrible things, and I listened and heard and listened. Knowledge is power: I have the power to stop worrying about you now that I know that which is held without regard is in fact irreplaceable. I suppose for you (with regard to me, to our once-called friendship) the cliche stood--it was no loss. For me, knowledge is power--I was not lost. You "have a terrible memory," you say. But I remember those days.

God: I am the one you made in your image--just like the others. So what is this image? What a strange repetition for you to choose? to desire? to do? Let me think for a minute about that first one born of a woman--Jesus, you remember--born with such potential and love and hope to a world that was then as it is now, ragged with war and poverty and hate. He roamed this Earth and was counted and called and condemned and killed. Somehow though he had no children of his blood (of whom we know), yet he filled the world with his children because of the legacy of his existence, his essence, his being. But he died without the privilege of ever experiencing fatherhood as average men, men of your so-called image (or is it so-called men of your image?). Interesting that you would deny him that experience. The one experience so acclaimed by human cultures that it brings celebration. The one experience so acclaimed by others of your creation that it is the one experience each of them has in common somehow, whether it is just once, or repeated or with one or several or immediately followed by death. Re-creation is done. So, God, why not? How would he have been less perfect had he created too? I wish I could remember those days.

But yes, I know. Bad genes. Bad time. Bad disease to inflict on any other human being, be it by my presence or our genetics. Good decision. But do you think maybe you could find a way for me to be in the room just once? It's a terrible thing to be jealous of, I know. But my husband has seen you do this miracle of tossing a little being into the world, that hopeful start you give us all. I know it will not be the same; I won't be giving birth, I won't be the sister of a mother, I won't be the doctor or the baby catcher... But strange that in your image this woman would be denied as he was and graced as he was with the non-birthing parenting of some of this world.

And, God? You know all those analogies? Could I please be a different one? I do not want to be the sculpture cracking in the burning kiln. I do not want to be the "intense" (as they call me) 7000 degree heat while everyone else maintains a pleasant 350 and can bake bread. I don't want to be the wounded animal, or the raw burn-baby, or the facade of strength and aptitude. I don't want to carry around the giant yet strangely hollow while heavy heart; it's too cumbersome and I am losing it. Could I just, oh, I don't know, just be?

I am tired. So tired. Not tired like other people when they come home from vacation. Tired like people when they have been fighting a really long battle and so do so do so so so want to win and grab the weapons from the arsenal and hydrate and nourish and fight and keep on going, but all I really want to do is crawl into a corner with a pillow a blanket, maybe a good light book and a small snack and lie there quietly invisible while someone else fights for me. In my stead.

I am taxed.

Can I please lie under the desk?

Duck and cover.

Hey God? I'm not like that one you sent to live, suffer and die. I'm that girl who wants to sit at his feet and listen to the stories.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It can't be just for me

I have said these words, I should not say them again:
Living can't be this hard for other people.
Other people don't have to do this, do they? They do not have to work so hard just to interact with the world.
It can't hurt this much for everybody. Can it?
Why does it have to be this way?
What did I do to deserve this?

Woe, woe, woe is me.

Now get me a trashcan to puke into--pathetic self-pity disgusts me.

No melodrama.

No drama.

No tears in baseball.

Still, there have been a couple of observations made over the last few days about my life-experience that warrant commentary.

1) I do not have dreams. I only have nightmares.
I wish this statement were figurative, but it is literal. I do not remember the last good dream I had. Justin does not remember me telling him about any good dreams. I wake up drenched, breathless, terrified, my heart racing. In my sleep I run from beasts of many sorts: rapists, fire, attackers, killers, angry bosses, parents, customers, clients, angry people of all sorts. In my sleep I balance on ledges, walls, cliffs; I scramble up and down steep and awkward surfaces to escape I-do-not-know-what. In my sleep I dodge the ocean's tide that laps and licks and prepares to swallow me whole by trapping me between the curve of cliffs I cannot climb. In my sleep I fall. In my sleep I nearly die.

2) Exhaustion consumes me.
I wake from those nightmare nights knowing the day's tasks would suffer because I did not feel rested though I slept. Now that I realize the extent of my even-when-I-sleep sleep deprivation, it finally makes sense that a lifetime of working in my sleep followed by days spent working to achieve more than whoever came before/the day before/what "they" expected/what I expected/more than necessary has worn me tissue-paper thin. I crinkle and tear, wrapped around the gift I mean to give delightfully.

3) I power through my days.
Oh God, thank you for those days spent resting, lolling, forgiven. But even those provide amplification for my skipping-record brain. Rest. Does everyone have to concentrate on resting? On stilling their mind or watching a sitcom or movie in focus, instead of watching their thoughts
dash from friend to work to husband to family to chores to contacts to laundry to noises to car trouble to trips to movie to focusing to doctor appointments to itches to pains to paints? I work to rest, though sometimes--sweet glory--I rest. Rest: a gift. A special reservation. Real life, real life is for me to run through. Jump. Hoop hoop hoop hoop hoop. Jump. Real life is every day. Every day is scheduled. Every schedule is a goal a task a commitment. Real life requires achievements, and achievements are to be achieved.

My real life is too hard to do with such busy nights of sleeping-or-not-sleeping--the same.


No wonder I am so fucking tired and my fuse is sometimes so fucking quick to light from tiny fucking sparks.


But I deserve no special right to wallow or allow my brokenness to break anything or anyone. I grant myself no permission to inflict my wounds on other parties.

Easier to hide or avoid the task of interaction. But reality calls for power--do that job and do it well and do it with a smile or do not bother.

It can't be just me.

I shall not wallow as I carry this bizarrely heavy weight of a heart hollowed by other people's carvings that too easily I inadvertently allowed to crumble my insides.

I have no special reason to complain. No right to suffer. No gall to cry. This lot in life is not so unique or bad. It just is. What it is.

This is what I do: I go.

Just shut up and drive.

Shut up and go.

Go.




I rise, I rise, I rise.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How many hours?

According to Justin's calculations, we traveled for just over 23 hours to get home from Rome today (?).

We left the hotel there at 7 a.m. and got into the SD airport at 8:30 p.m., so it's tempting to believe it was just 13 hours, but there's the nine hour time difference and the additional time (not including the quick stop for a bite to eat) from the airport to the shuttle to our car to our house to consider.

But who am I to know?

I did not wear a watch, since I have become so accustomed to using my cell phone to tell time.

Justin, what time is it? What time do you have to be there? When do you want to meet me? How long is that meeting? When is your presentation? How much longer until we land?

Also, I had my very first ever airplane-flying-related anxiety attack today (yesterday?). More on that later.

I have no idea what time it is.... 24 hours everywhere.... kept thinking about my existentialism lesson plans for the kids and about how time is relative... but whatever the answer is, my body is convinced that staying up all night in Rome so that I could be tired enough to sleep on the plane still leaves me so exhausted that I can for sure sleep for 12 hours tonight and not have trouble with anything at all.....

she types with her eyes clsoed....closed.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

An Insomniac's Dream!

It is 3:21 a.m. and I AM STILL AWAKE!

I'm not crazy!

I'm not manic!

I'm just still packing!

Everything is so gloriously organized!

Each outfit for each day is color coordinated from scarf to shoes. They are packed gently together in a suitcase that rolls in every direction--ah, the new genius of Samsonite.

All that remains is to gather my camera, and maybe make sure that it is in working order and all the batteries are charged and that this computer is ready to go so that Justin can use it and to make sure we have some snacks and to change out of my pajamas that I just put on so that I can shower and dress for the airport (a little fancy, but also comfortable--the crossbreed that I am between traditional Anglophile and contemporary American.

Oh glorious sleepless night!

OK. I'm getting sleepy. But with just over an hour to go, what's a girl to do?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Previews

Justin and I are running around the world so much that it feels like a training session in "you do not live in San Diego anymore."

Of course, I hold great hope that when we actually do not live in San Diego we will be living in one place and not out of a suitcase; but still, this month is proving to be a pre-test.

On the downside:
1) a truly healthy diet becomes suspended as restaurant-eating replaces home-cooking
2) a regular exercise routine becomes suspended as walking replaces yoga, jogging and the gym
3) a healthy level of communication in our relationship becomes challenged as constant activity replaces a calmer routine
4) attachments to San Diego become torn as time with friends, dogs, art classes, work and home are replaced by interaction with strangers and suitcase-living


On the upside:
1) restaurant food in new places tastes more exciting than more pasta-from-the-freezer
2) walking through different cities feels like exercise and offers better views than the elliptical machine
3) when we have stolen time together we appreciate each other more than when we pass each other on the way to work
4) maybe it will be easier to say goodbye when we move if everything left behind can barely remember our presence

But this long goodbye hurts me in ways a sudden departure would not.

The insanity of my heart exhausts me.

Retrain:
A) live in the moment
B) love the moment
C) know that every place will be available later too
D) know that friends survive distance
E) remember that through it all the Center holds
F) hold
G) breathe
H) relax
I) love