“She was feeling the pressure of the world outside, and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be reassured that she was doing the right thing.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, from The Great Gatsby
Saturday afternoon. Partly cloudy, 63 degrees.
Well a front moved through yesterday, and temperatures are more like April. However, the bouncing temperatures are wreaking havoc with my head. I just haven’t had any energy at all in the past few days, but today I was feeling a bit better, that is until my mother called.
Apparently someone called her number looking for Corey and me, and my mother went off the deep end, and now she thinks that the police are going to show up at my door and haul me off to jail. It does no good to try to explain things to my mother because she makes up her mind, and always, always, it is in favor of whoever is not me. So I have to listen to how I’m a deadbeat, and so is my husband, and what in the hell are we doing anyway.
It’s unfortunate that these people called my mother, especially because she has an unlisted number, because she thinks that I gave these people her name and phone number. Like I would ever be stupid enough to do that. I tried to explain that Corey will be in port on Monday, and we’ll talk to the bank then, but noooooooooo. Not good enough. Consequently, the almost better mood that I was cultivating when I woke up has fast fled the premises.
I really, really hate days like these. I hate bill collectors. I hate everyone. Well, not everyone, but definitely bill collectors, especially as we have made a true effort since Corey went back to work to get back to erasing our debt. Nothing is worse than trying your best only to have it boomerang and slam you in the face.
“—tomorrow is our permanent address
and there they’ll scarcely find us(if they do,
we’ll move away still further:into now” ~ E. E. Cummings, from “all ignorance toboggans into know”
E. E. Cummings is appropriate for my mood: convoluted and obscure.
I just don’t know how or why or who or what. I just don’t know. I only know what I don’t know. I feel like I’m drowning here. I feel so overwhelmed and so tense. My neck is hard with knots. My shoulders hunched and hurting. Yesterday afternoon I tried to read a book of poems that Brett had lent me, but I couldn’t because of the spots in front of my eyes. They’re still there, but it doesn’t matter so much when I’m writing because I don’t need to focus on anything, not the screen, not the keyboard, nothing.
I realize what’s happening: I’m going into insular mode, retreating into myself beneath my invisible protective shell. It’s probably a good thing that invisibility cloaks are only the stuff of fiction, because if I had one, I’m not sure if I would ever poke my head out, choosing instead to remain cloaked and therefore, safe. So instead I’ll just hide here in my corner of the room in my corner of the house in my corner of the world, trying very hard not to draw any attention to myself.
Who have I become?
“I somehow have a feeling of being senselessly drawn, wandering senselessly through a senselessly obscene, absurd world.” ~ Virginia Woolf, from a diary entry dated 12 March 1928
I’m not at all certain that I like this woman, this person I am describing, the one who cowers and hides instead of facing things head on, shoulders back, an imperious glare daring the world to bring it on. What happened to that person, to that woman?
I feel so beaten down, so powerless, and it’s so much more than the telephone calls and my mother. I mean, it’s almost mid-April, and what happened to my big plans for the GRE, for my graduate school application? Is my desire for the doctoral program only so that I can retreat into the world of academia once more in order to avoid reality for another prolonged period?
I’m sorry if I’m not making much sense, but I’m not making that much sense to myself either, if that helps . . . Hell, I don’t even know what I’m trying to say here. I feel like a walk-on player in the theatre of the absurd, one of Shakespeare’s fools, except the fools were the ones who actually saw what was going on and dared to comment on it. The fools, the japesters, the clowns—they sat back and observed and then pretended not to know or understand when in fact they saw things more clearly than the greatest kings and queens, but their lowly stature kept them in positions of obscurity.
So probably not a fool or a jape, or perhaps a fool or jape but without the wisdom. They had the wisdom but none of the power. I do not feel wise or powerful at the moment.
for one hour, let’s sink into
the mercy of being irrelevant.” ~ Rane Arroyo, from “Surviving Utah”
It’s as if I’m standing on the bow of a ship facing the wind head on, and the only thing keeping me from being tossed overboard is a very thin tether, and I’m dependent upon my knot-making for security, and, well, my knot-making is limited. I wouldn’t want to bet my life on it, let’s just say.
Who is this person I’ve become? I honestly don’t know any more. All I can think of are nautical metaphors: lost at sea, thrown overboard, jettisoned with the waste, tossed in a gale.
When you have spots in your eyes, it’s hard to see what’s in front of you. Couple those spots with a tumultuous soul and a racked body, and the resultant being is hard to identify. Indefinable, nondescript, untethered.
Perhaps I have become the living embodiment of a 404 File Not Found. I would laugh if it weren’t so close to the truth.
“The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd—the longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.” ~ Fernando Pessoa
I just took a time out to play stick with Tillie and take a shower. I didn’t realize just how sore I was until I threw the stick. Man, my body feels like it’s 80 years old.
Speaking of bodies, and I was, you know how I’ve always said that I don’t believe in plastic surgery? I think I’ve changed my mind. I cannot stand my bat-wing arms; they make me so self-conscious about wearing anything sleeveless. I don’t want bigger boobs, and I don’t want a nose job. I don’t want a butt implant, and I think my ears are just fine the way that they are, but seriously? I’m wishing I had the money to do something about my arms.
Vain? I know. I also know that fixing my arms won’t suddenly make me write better and won’t get me published. Fixing my arms won’t fix my relationship with my mother, and fixing my arms won’t make my kids decide what they want to do with their lives. But fixing my arms would make me a little more comfortable in my skin. And precisely because of this unbalanced list of pros and cons, without even going into the money that doesn’t exist, I will never get my arms fixed.
But I thought that I needed to end this post on a completely different note, not necessarily a positive note, but a different one.
More later. Peace.
Music by Birdy, “Terrible Love”
I have a word for it —
the way the surface waited all day
to be a silvery pause between sky and city —
which is elver.
And another one for how
the bay shelved cirrus clouds
piled up at the edge of the Irish Sea,
which is elver too.
The old Blackrock baths
have been neglected now for fifty years,
fine cracks in the tiles
visible as they never were when
I can I can I can
shouted Harry Vernon as
he dived from the highest board
curving down into salt and urine
his cry fading out
through the half century it took
to hear as a child that a glass eel
had been seen
entering the seawater baths at twilight —
also known as elver —
the word begins
a delicate migration —
a fine crazing healing in the tiles —
the sky deepening above a city
that has always been
unsettled between sluice gates and the Irish Sea
to which there now comes at dusk
a translucent visitor
yearning for the estuary.
~ Eavan Boland
- Quotables (fleetingandwild.wordpress.com)
- “I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money. I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down.” ~ Jack Kerouac (poietes.wordpress.com)
- A Collection of E. E. Cummings’s Poems (antoniomathias76.wordpress.com)