Like a willow, I can bend
No man calls my name
No man came
So, I walked on down, away from you
Maybe your attention was more than you could do
One man did not call
He asked me for my love, and that was all”
I think that’s how it is supposed to be, whether you are able to achieve that naturally, or if you need medication to achieve that effect. No matter what, you’re kept somewhat in check. Maybe the occasional dizzying high and terrifying low, but a lot of creeeeeeaaaaammy middles. Upper creamy middles, I like to say. That’s how this week has been. That’s how this new year has been. Upper creamy middles, I say. I find that I’m not in any kind of dizzying highs, and not too many terrifying lows, but I’m at a functioning level. Nothing is too deep or wide. Sometimes, I’m even funny. I’m not terribly emotional, but I’m not robotic either. I feel only slightly compromised to find another Thursday night of writing, and the song isn’t truly taking my breath away, and maybe I’m slightly satisfied. There’s no racing heart or racing words or poetic and twisty and joyful words. Every now and then, though, it gets me. Working things out. Working things in.
Last night I had dreams full of fail. So vivid and deep and swirly. I actually took Melatonin before bed and I don’t know why I did that because somehow I slept terribly, with deep and twisting dreams in between deep and twisting wake ups. I dreamed about a crazy wild west city full of skyscrapers and sepia tones. Cassidy was high on hallucinogenic drugs and it kept nagging at me that I had to tell him I was hurt that he’d do that without telling me first. That he would be indisposed as a parent in a wild west, sepia-toned city. Later, in maybe the same city and maybe somewhere else, I was walking in a giant pilgrimage of people seeking employment. I was me, but I also wasn’t. We were headed to a hotel or bed and breakfast or compound or I don’t know what! I was interviewing with the employer, while Rider played under one of the place’s beds, and then I realized I had left Sawyer at home alone. He was napping, like every late morning.
It was such a strange mix of normal me, with a husband at work, two kids at school, and two young kids at home. And yet I was also part of this pilgrimage. I was back and forth in the place of employment, picturing Sawyer sleeping alone at home, and also in this large group of people looking for a better life. We walked the crazy sepia streets and I was weak. It’s like any anxiety dream in which you can’t walk. Your legs work, but somehow there’s a disconnect and you’re stuck. Finally, I panicked and tried to get in gear. I grabbed Rider, who was Rider but also not, and he had been playing with tons of choking hazards. I couldn’t find my shoes. Over and over, I tried on ill-fitting shoes. I tried to call our friend and neighbor, Jill, to tell her to race over into the house, because surely Sawyer was up by now. Screaming and alone. I was in the least about 40 minutes from home. No shoes. I couldn’t find Jill’s phone number. I could barely move. My baby was home alone and I couldn’t do a single thing. And there was this strange indulgent feeling.
I woke up before anything could get resolved, and the lingering aftereffects weren’t terrible. I still bounded down the stairs, excited to see everyone. Cassidy was not on hallucinogenic drugs, and the babies were sleeping peacefully, with no idea of my dream-life betrayals. And the week went on, in its weird pace. Des only had one full day of school all week, due to unscheduled half days, a skipped field trip, and two days off. Every other plan was canceled. Cassidy went away.
And I find myself at weird crossroads, stuck between having control and letting go. Maybe it’s all about holding on tightly to the right things and at the right times, and it’s ok to let some things slide as well. It’s hard to know which way is the right way, and I put pressure on myself always, and for everything. And it’s strange to be more confused than ever, but also feel like I’m getting closer to who I am. I’m hard on myself, and often frustrated with others, and with technology.
And it doesn’t have to make sense right now, or even soon. It becomes more clear, and then gets murky, and then gets sharper than ever before. So I get up in the morning, often with a spring in my step, My purpose is clear – to love and be loved – and it gets overcomplicated by exhaustion and work and wondering what my missteps are. Many things don’t come easily to me that seem easy to anyone else. Literally, anyone. I put pressure on myself. There’s no room to have the kind of anxiety I’ve had in the past. There’s no room for the short bouts of situational depression. At my age, there’s no room for the kind of lifestyle I’ve always had; it’s of midnight chocolate (and ice cream) and limber limbs. I only feel older, when I let myself feel older. I only feel overwhelmed, when the words and questions don’t connect from my brain to my mouth. Or worse, they don’t even really connect with my brain. It’s too much and not enough, and only sometimes, just right. I worry that the difficult is still coming, when all it ever really has been is difficult. And there’s no room for that either. So maybe the hard is good – it’s productive, see.
Cassidy is away and both babies wake up at once, and I don’t want to make one of them cry (or stay alone in a crib, alone in a house) so I change two diapers and deftly pick one up in each arm. They’re delighted by this, and we become one giggling, three-headed monster, making our way downstairs. Cassidy texts beautiful music from a beautiful place and I enjoy the aching indulgence of love and overwhelming fear and vulnerability. It doesn’t have to be too much, too fast, too wide. We can start with Mickey/Minnie Mouse waffles and see where the day takes us.
Well, he asked me for my love, that was all
Stand back, stand back
In the middle of my room, I did not hear from you
It’s alright, it’s alright
To be standing in a line (Standing in a line)
To be standing in a line
I would cry”