April 30, 2011

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished; if you are alive… it isn’t.”
~ Richard Bach

As with every major hurdle along this journey, I finally had my moment. I had to sit here a minute to see if I had some hyphenated run on of words that could fully define that moment but the truth is, its absence of words is what is most defining. It is that sound you make when you are about to throw up and really don’t want to. It’s that feeling that you cannot possibly curl up into a tight enough ball or that no one can ever wrap themselves so thoroughly around your body as to make you feel you are an important part of something larger and far more stable. It is the immobility you feel in your seemingly sodden limbs as the ticker-tape of to-do’s that spit from your brain goes haywire – the endless recitations of expectations and failures. “You have not filed your taxes. You have not paid your bills. You have not opened your mail. If you lay here, you are not living thus, you are dying. You have not responded to any email. You are unprepared to die. Where is your cell phone and why don’t you care? You have not paid to lay here. Your taxes are unprepared. Your cell phone has died. There is too much to file. If you cared you would respond. Are you going to lay there, opened, not caring? Every action is the opposite and equal reaction to something that was. What was that something? Did I not slam the door for each time I closed it gently?”

It is the taste of tears in the back of your throat.

I made it to the shower where I sat with shower nozzle in hand, warm water over my head, and finally cried. I had no desire to terrify sweet Larry with the vision of me so consumed. Nevertheless, because I had not yet showered alone he was quick on my trail and seemingly less surprised than I at the meltdown. All brewing teakettles eventually whistle I suppose.

What I sometimes forget is that, unlike most humans I know, Larry knows that which is truly terrifying. Fortunately, the sight of a misshapen, pale, fleshy and shuddering woman, tubes of tequila sunrise colored liquid snaking from her torso, head bent to her knees under a shower of water is not terrifying. Fortunately, Larry possesses what may, at times, be an unhealthy disregard for his own emotional safety. Fortunately, his emotional safety was never in danger but his tenacity was needed as I eventually so very ineptly tried to give it a name.

After, I slept. And though brief, I slept well. Waking later that evening I found that while nothing had changed, somehow it was all transformed. The pile of familiar belongings that becomes a closet monster when the lights are turned off were revealed again to simply be shoes, boots and a fallen sweater.

Yesterday, the heavy batter of cake became light by baking.

And today, it is all already difficult to imagine.



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