From left to right.


(From left to right, how the day began.)

Yesterday I sat at my desk, spinning an explanation titled The Britney Thing and I got about halfway down the page before a cord to my very spirit was unplugged. I re-opened my eyes and asked myself what the hell was going on. It eventually occurred to me: that stupid little allergy pill.

I do this thing, for better or worse, where I raid the cupboards for supplements fortified with things that will give me a boost. Or maybe just be for the better. Multi-vitamin, vitamin C, Dayquil, aspirin, fiber – these are usually what I have to choose from after I’ve run out of the regular stuff. Which is a form of ephedrine.  It comes from always feeling tired, always struggling with chemicals and feeling like I’m never getting whatever ingredient that normal people must produce in greater quantity.

I saw a pink box for allergies and thought: I had to blow my nose like three times this morning. That could clear me up, clear me out, clarity. Actually, no – soon after the initial buzz I felt that awful tsunami pushing through until it took over completely.

I was so upset because there were so many things I’d wanted to accomplish within my house and myself. I needed time to groom obsessively, trimming nails, shaving peach fuzz, plucking eyebrows and other scrutinizing modifications from the horror of my natural self left to nature.  And dammit, I’d wanted to read my Dear Diary so I could take in everyone’s world and share my thoughts because it has been so hard finding the time to contribute. I would hate for anyone to think that I didn’t care – but there I was, crashing back over the bed, angry with myself.

It was a feeling of alienation. In my head I saw everything pulled away to a far distance and I was stuck with the absolute opposite of what I’d wanted to be.  I was alone.

A few hours later I woke even without the comfort of having myself, and that worried me. I asked myself what I wanted to eat and the answer was: no food is really good. Then I asked what of the things I love to do, did I want to do first and I said: none of that matters. Well then what about the responsibilities? I answered: I feel no inclination to do any of those things. Stupid.

Uh oh.

For a while I just stood on the wooden floorboards between rooms, waiting for a brain signal.

When I finally decided to feel the sun outside, it felt like light falling over a dead battery. Everything I drove by, that I’ve known for so long, was strange. The very definitions of the buildings almost changed and yet stayed on some brink where I merely marveled and said inside:  something is not normal.

Be careful not to alter the course of history.

Fast forward to the late night when the day was spent. Brad came into the bedroom where I was curled up with a space heater hitting my legs, listening to foreign Japanese CDs through a small boom box.

“Are you feeling okay?”

I felt embarrassed not to be, as I have ever and always sympathized with my long-suffering boyfriend. He is so innocent. Every intention is good. His love reminds me of my love.

The previous day he had spent his time off taking down the Christmas tree, wrapping up little ornaments with phone book pages like I normally do, when I’d gone walking by and must have sighed. He had to ask, “Are you sad.” And he asked in that way that I knew meant: have I messed up again and missed keeping you happy?

But he hadn’t done anything wrong. I’d just gotten tired, like I was now. Scattered over the place, having spilled forth from a huge pink bag were stationary sets about a panda that eats chocolate and turns brown. Erasers shaped like desserts. Scissors with pointed handles and a red bow to one side, the blades joined by a heart that only Hello Kitty Scissors have. And there she was, Miss Kitty, dressed as a geisha, kneeling on a satin pillow in her pretty kimono. Apparently I had come up with some ideas for happiness and no way had any of this shit been cheap.

 “It’s okay,” he continued. “I unclogged the sink.”

The bar. The leftovers. The chunks.

I covered my face with my hand.

Sometime after I had fallen asleep Brad came in and scooped up the discs with photos of men and women that I had been glad were unknown, different, singing words that I was content with being unable to translate. He cleared off the bed and went to sleep next to me.

I felt him hold my hand.

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9 responses to “From left to right.

  1. This isn’t going to be in any way helpful but I read this and thought – yes! she got it exactly right, the description of the feeling, the everything.

    I wish you well.

    I want to know if it really does taste like cake.

  2. A very long time ago, in a memory that seems so faded that I might have actually dreamed it, someone who used to be a friend described my taste in music as “alienated.” I think he was right, and that the statement is still valid. I also feel like two small fragments of how I understand you have just fallen together with a brittle snap.

  3. oh man. i hate it when that happens:/ you hit it all on the head, though. i like to call them “periods of emotional vacancy”
    it’s like you’re watching some stranger’s life through their eyes but have no connection to it whatsoever? blah. i feel ya, sister.
    and unfortunately, it seems like you just have to let it settle in and leave whenever it wants to. sigh! i hope you feel back to normal soon!

  4. What makes me feel sad about reading this, is that I know this state of disconnect all too well.

    I think the hardest thing to contend with, is when the people that care do everything in their power to try and make things better…it just drives everything home and somehow has an opposite effect. Looking back now into my own sordid past, I often wondered why some of the people that had been in my life had tried to love me at all. I felt guilt ridden to see it, until I was literally kicking and screaming and throwing them out.

    Not because I had truly hated them. I hated myself too much as that violent, malevolent force and cared enough for them to not put them through it anymore.

    Finding refuge in other things is okay as long as it’s not a long term retreat…if you should ever catch yourself referring to “the summer of rum” or “the vodka years”, or breathing in the gas fumes off the stove because they make you feel dizzy, you might want to reevaluate. No one is perfect, we all have our moments of weakness and sometimes, shit just happens.

    My own current grip on the present stability is tenuous at best, much like trying to perform the perfect juggling act…with chainsaws…on a unicycle…on fire.

  5. Completely empathize with how you’re feeling. Which means I know nothing I say will really impact through that haze but know that most of us feel the way you feel and when you write this, we’re not only reading your feelings, but we’re wholly understanding them. I hope that makes you feel a little less disconnected and alone.

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