Friday, January 03, 2014

Longevity and brevity

Buying a new bedspread. Why? Because the current quilt has stains of depression all over it, literal and figurative, blood and tears. How do you explain that to the next man you allow past this threshold? Ha, like you'll be around long enough. Just make a gesture to live cleanly, away from these things. But what's the point? It will come back, in a fierce wave. It always does. Don't spend too much, because you may need money if you are to continue living, possibly without much income. Might as well get a nice one, though. the softness on your skin... that will feel good. In the moment. They're always saying to be in the moment. Don't be reckless. Don't screw yourself. Take the next step, knowing there are millions more to take. That's right. Don't do anything to alarm anyone. Act as though you're planning for life, for living. Just act, in the moment.

Buy a calendar, at least a new insert for your daily planner. To pretend to be living? To plan what you have so far. January work dates. Should you really be working? Yes, I guess... it makes the moments pass. Makes days pass, little breathers from solitude. You could sustain that! Maybe you could sustain that! But maybe you can't, and a little kid would be depending on you. A family would need you. Being needed sucks. Being needed is salvation. To be saved for what? Buy the damned calendar. Live and plan and see it all visually stretching out. Birthdays in April and May and July... Of people who keep forgetting you exist. Stay forgotten. Don't let the roots grow. They want me there for birthdays and graduations and weddings. I should be there for celebrations. Artificial celebrations that are actual torture. Does any day matter more than any other? Make it matter. It's on you to make it matter, to notice the bigger patterns and consciously enter into them. It will be easier once you decide to join in. Easier for a while, but the long-term always disappoints. I always disappoint.

Make dinner, enough for leftovers. Seriously? Why? You need to eat something, even if you don't feel like it. Sure, cereal maybe. Why cook? You need meals for the week, especially if you're feeling this way. I should just use up what I have. A cup of Rice Krispies is fine. But you should eat something green, something with protein. Why? To nourish a body I don't want? To encourage this disgusting mass to keep growing? I don't think so. Your nails are splitting. Your hair is falling out. You can't keep this up. I'm not planning to "keep this up." I'm not PLANNING. You should be. Just let me get a handle on the current moment. Let me breathe a little bit and see what it's like. You let a whole year pass while you were trying to breathe. It just passed, and you're still struggling. Start with something little. Make yourself dinner. I can't. I need to breathe. You can. Make some pasta, something easy. I can't right now... just for right now, I think. It's so easy and small, considering things you've accomplished, things you WILL accomplish. Just boil water and you'll have food for the week. The whole thing strikes me as pointless. As pointless as putting one foot in front of the other.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Home is where the ______ is

If I tell you about my annual journey home for the holidays, I will:

1. Cry
2. Hate myself for crying
3. Feel terribly guilty for any written attacks (direct or subconscious) that would inform you on the difficulty of being around my family

Instead I will tell you things (hopefully benign) that I remembered while I was home.

1. We used to have nougat at Christmas. Apparently this is an Italian thing, according to shops around Boston. My parents don't remember.

2. My mother developed a brilliant system for socks and hand-me-downs that she should have patented. It's not too late, actually.

3. Sunday mass, and waking, dressing, and getting there on time, was a predictably epic battle of Kids vs. Dad. Dad always won but he fought dirty. (So did we.)

4. Our phone would ring off the hook on holidays. Relatives and friends would call and whoever had the phone would call the next person into the kitchen to take a turn talking. It was torture, but it was explicitly forbidden to dodge the two-second conversation. Reluctance was tolerated. Hiding was not.

5. After we were already off to school, Mom would make herself a mug of tea with milk and a little sugar. Presumably she would carry it around the house while she put away laundry or cleaned, because we would find it on a closet shelf or a windowsill, half-full and cold. I use to love sipping it before I brought it downstairs to the kitchen.