Cripes, it’s hard to reanimate a habit once it’s gotten rusty. Such is the case with my online communications. I find I am thinking about drawing less and subsequently writing about it less too. However, I am still drawing. In fact, I am doing big splashy colorful spreads in my journal — but so far, they are just for me.
While my life is reasonably normalized — working, making sandwiches, vacuuming, chastising Jack about his homework — when my emotions occasionally overflow, I pour them onto paper and seal them between the covers of my Italian watercolor journal. There’s not that much to talk to people about anymore anyway. I so want not to be a draggy, whiney bore, and frankly that’s not how I feel most of the time anyway. But when I do, I’d rather just hole up and draw or write than drag others under my black cloud. My misery doesn’t really love company.
It’ll be seven months next week. Seven months. Shit. It seems both a lifetime and a blink. My wound has turned to a scab to a scar. It still affects my vision, still wakes me up in the darkness, still trips me up when I least expect it, and it has probably changed me utterly in more ways that I can bother to list. But I am still me, a more tentative, insular version perhaps, but still me.
I’ve stopped waiting for it all to pass. (Though, even this morning, it occurred to me yet again that the whole thing could be joke, a test, and Patti would suddenly roll out of the elevator, telling me she just wanted to see how we’d cope without her.) I’ve stopped goading myself with ‘Life goes on’ pep talks. I just know that some days I’ll feel fine, some days I’ll feel awful, and there’s not much one can do or say about it.
So far a day has yet to pass in which I don’t think about Patti, don’t see her in my peripheral, don’t wonder what she’d say I should do about some aspect of our lives. I worry that I am becoming what she prevented me from slipping back into: misanthropic, withdrawn, judgmental, timid, narrow. I tell myself I should do more, should organize the pantry, should call the friends who don’t call me anymore, should indulge myself, should cut loose. Or at least update my blog.
But my life is so full of stuff. I do my job, I do hers, I try to keep Jack on track, and the dogs from peeing on the rug. I collapse into bed each night and sleep till 5 a.m., then stare at the ceiling for an hour or two, and drag myself off the pallet.
In profound ways, the world ain’t what it used to be. Sure, sometimes I have the urge to seize the day, drain it to the dregs, paint the town red, and dye what’s left of my hair blue. But more often, I think my dogs are right, that it’s a good day to lie around in the sun instead of pushing the limits. I don’t think it’s depression but pragmatism, a sense that whatever force seemed to be watching over me, tapping its foot and checking its watch, has drifted away rather than remind me that I should check off my entire to-do list. The scoreboard is down, the crowd has drifted off, and I am okay with what is.
Our microwave died last month; Patti and I got it second-hand from a friend in 1988. I replaced it with virtually the same model just so I could soften the butter when I make Jack’s sandwiches. Our big living room TV died last weekend — we bought it when Jack was two. I am sorely temped not to get another one; let’s see how long ’til Jack rebels.
This rumination makes things seem sadder and smaller than they are (another reason not to blog too often). The fact is, there’s a fair amount going on. Jack’s soccer team is about to wrap up the season and he is taking two AP classes. He also has a growing business making custom iPhone cases and has a dozen commissions in his backlog. There are a couple of things stirring in the publishing department; I’ll write about them when they become realer. Also I was just profiled in a book about advertising, and I’ll be in Cathy Johnson’s new book and then in Seth Apter’s. And, I continue to exercise and lower my dress size —though my feet remain stubbornly 11 1/2.
Thanks for hanging in there. I will try to get back into the habit of sharing something here. I like formulating my thoughts in a digestible way and I like hearing from you.