Dear world: slow the fuck down
It’s the eighteenth of November. This boggles my mind, as I swear it was just the first a few days ago. I know I’m not the only one in this boat, because I told Dan I needed to refill a med, and he swore up and down he just did it. I showed him the empty bottle. He was amazed.
The death didn’t help anything, I’ll grant that. Now that I’ve done sudden pet death and long, slow, anticipated pet death, I have to say that neither is better than the other. The surprise version is terrible, but it’s over more quickly and has better catharsis. The anticipated version gives you control and a clear goodbye and time to "prepare," but you really can’t prepare much to say goodbye to someone you love, and then there’s this grisly bit hanging where you’re trying to decide when it’s the right time to take life away. I had tears for about four hours, and since then I have been quietly sad and tired. In so many ways, I feel her presence more now than the last few weeks of her life. I go into the bathroom and think of how she used to wait for me on the toilet seat for her drink with sad fondness, but it’s peaceful. I don’t watch her struggling to get to the cup and worry if I’ve fed her enough, if I should force some food, if I should take her to bed, but will she be able to get down? Is this the last time? I didn’t realize how much stress I was under, how much pain I was sucking into myself until I began to go to therapy appointments. I’m just now getting my shoulders back, and they’re not even close to right. I had a misalignment so bad in my neck that I couldn’t see right. I spent days unable to respond to much of anything, and I’m still not there very well. I tend to come across as eerily okay, I think. I am okay. I’m just defensively numb and tired.
Beacuse I did a fuck lot in these whip-fast eighteen days. I’ve written 90,000 words in two different original drafts. I’ve been interviewed twice, once for StoryCore, once for the Globe and Mail. I’m not kidding you on either one, either. I threw together and hosted a nine-year-old’s birthday party. I attended several write-ins for CIAnano and I even did some laundry on occasion. I suppose one could say I’d have had better luck doing yes, but I don’t think so. Right now the hardest thing is finding the right balance of rest and motion. I need to rest, but carefully. Too much rest leads to murky thinking. I missed one day of my antidepressants last week–those pills right now are holding back more than just physical pain—unfortunately, it was the day before Anna’s party and the day we determined Mia would have to be put down very soon. It turned out to be that next day. That one day’s miss sank me into emotional mud so deep it was like the world was full of shadows. As soon as the balance was restored, I was okay. But that one dip, and the fog was back, that horrible brain stupidity that makes remembering my own name sludge. Pain too, creeping up my legs and down my arms and seizing my neck and lower back.
I think that’s how I feel right now. Like the world is a wave and I’m that guy in the movie trying to outrun it, and everybody in the audience is shaking their head going, "He’s so toast." I don’t want to be toast. I’d like to get to shore, but I’m wise enough to get that I need a surfboard instead. Because the shore is stationary, but life is motion.
I’d just like to request, please, to have my surfboard take me into a cove for a while. The fact that anticipated cat death #2 is promised within a month or two, that I probably won’t finish Better Than Love during nanowrimo and that I’m about five WIPs on fire at once is likely my clue that nope, it’s just lots and lots of waves for the forseeable future.
There had damn well better be some hot cabana boys eventually, that’s all I’m saying.