I’ve turned in nine chapters of my book in under three months, maybe about four more to go.
The book is funny. I am funny. Underwear and toilets are funny. It all comes together.
I have friends who are disppointed in how I’ve chosen to use my way with words. People who think humor is a low use of my talent, pandering, and something to be put away with your Transformers when you mature. Friends more deeply rooted in the world than I am. They can, somehow, afford to take things seriously most of the time without damaging themselves. Humor is for people who can’t do that. Humor is the little bar on the side of the Pong screen, deflecting both lazy bumps and hurtling projectiles of pain. It’s not my only defense, of course. I also collapse into a fetid slop bucket of depression too, with very little urging.
Tonight. Tonight my children laid down on their screens so they could hang on my body, smack at their re-heated broccoli beef between high pitched demands for next years Christmas presents.That struck me, that they chose ME over any other option…but only in the cerebral. Only as the requisite “I should be so grateful for this blessed moment.” Should. I didn’t feel blessed. Crowded, is how I felt. Their voices invariably rising to question marks at the end of every sentence, what can I have, what do I get, what will I take from you, Mom?
They have to do that, I know. They’re children, they’re powerless, I’m their conduit to the world. But their needing and needling still seemed to eat up the little bit of oxygen in this unevenly heated shed.
Tonight I have a fine husband. Devoted to my happiness, reliant on me for his. He’ been sick and unshowered, scruffy and bloodshot. I have a shamefully low tolerance for that, considering the berth he provides for every one of my problems. Because if he is busy caring for himself, who is left to take care of ME?
Tonight I have my life-long fantasy shaping under my fingers, everyday piling closer to a hard-back reality I can heft. A dream come true with heft. Tonight the potential of 1000 dreams have passed me one by one, left and right like the reflectors on a dark road, becoming “done that!” instead of “maybe someday.”
And I’m not ok.
I want a friend, to pick one from the slide carousel in my mind. They are all good humans, good friends, ranging from 21 to 85. They are like ice cream flavors, so many, tart or light or rich but all sweet. I stay away; that is for the best because I just want to infect them with my shabby, undeserved self-pity. I want to be drawn into their clean stylish living rooms and set on their over-sized sofas. I want their faces set in sympathetic mirror to my own while I talk about how I’ve been wronged and I want them to give me love, love that looks a lot like of pity. Real pity, the good kind. The kind you have for people who did nothing to bring it on themselves. The kind for active-duty widows and sick toddlers.
It’s important to find the right words for that. That way, I can see it. And see what my great deal of therapy has taught me to recognize as a “thinking error.” Which is how they say, “That’s stupid. Listen to how pathetic that sounds? Are you that starved for love? Does losing your family of origin when you’re already a full grown adult really give you license to be that needy? Are you serious?”
Well, yeah. I’m serious. I’m just not correct. And obviously I’m starved for love. No, not starved. I have a Prader-Willi syndrome of affection, a messed up synaptic relay that convinces me I am not full, even though I am. A bulging belly but the hunger still gnaws. There may never be enough.
Otherwise I’d be writing more like those particular friends think I should, thoughtful and heady. I wouldn’t be preparing to shape the entire rest of my life around the laughter and praise of strangers. But that is who I am. I want to make them smile. I have wanted that without a moment’s pause, my whole life, and it is me. I’m not ashamed of it.
But I do get tired of being hungry.