Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sleep is for the weak. And JoBiv.

The weak and JoBiv - not mutually exclusive.

I slept through the past week. No, really. I showed up for work here and there, but I didn't exist for anything else outside my bed. Sometimes I took off my pants before I slept. Sometimes I had funny hair when I woke up. I'm sure I had funny hair lots of times but had no proof because I was not inclined to look in mirrors. I was inclined to sleep.

Not so much inclined as fully horizontal.

Everyone I know thought I was injured or hospitalized, except my co-workers. They saw me for four-hour periods of time.

List of people who thought I was dead, injured, hospitalized, or incarcerated:

1. My therapist. I was not in his presence, where I ought to have been, the two times a week I ought to have been there.

2. My psychiatrist. But that was nearly purposeful. He thinks I'm bi-polar and I'm sick of his shit.

3. My chorus. I had a nightmare during that sleep. Someone had pooped in the bathtub and no one would clean it. I kept getting filthier and filthier and wished there were cleaning supplies so I could clean everything and myself.

4. My boyfriend. He actually yelled at me a little (in his way - he generally doesn't yell unless his brother is coming at him with a spatula.) I finally got in touch with him and he was pretty mad. He wants me to be okay.

5. Becca, English Jo, Major Healey, choir Melis, my boss... all people with whom I had made plans. All people who I disappointed.

6. My brother Tom, who has called me twice in the past month, which is weird considering he forgets how to pronounce my name sometimes.

7. My parents. They called, paged, voicemailed, messenger-pigeoned. I was not awake.

Where was JoBiv?

In my bed, having nightmares, waking for short periods of time during which I hated myself utterly for sleeping during the day, ate sliced bread, and went back to my bed. Sometimes I drank tea to wake myself up, but I'd get dizzy and my eyes would slip shut and I found myself in bed again, dreaming of research facilities where little girls forcibly underwent CPR and made papier mache collages of huge serpents, where deformed people were kept standing in stalls with blue curtains that showed their heads and feet, like dressing rooms, where a teenager had to seduce her nextdoor neighbor to keep him from kicking her little sisters' dogs, where I walked up to people who had to hear me but I would walk through them, mute and transient. Or else I was half-awake, pulling out the bad hairs and trying to distract my mind with a funny book or movie or thought - anything.

Is she back to stay?

It's hard to be back but it was hard to be there, too. When I informed my mom that I am alive she mentioned that maybe I shouldn't be working. This year has been hard, after all, and I'm not strong enough to work two jobs, earn my own rent, run my own life.

It hurts, but not because she doubts me when I need her support. It hurts in the place between my ribs and lungs where I can see myself going home to my girlhood bed, her hand sweeping my hair from my forehead and encouraging the tears.