I want to blog more. I do. I used to enjoy blogging quite a bit and then it became cumbersome and I wasn’t sure how it fit into my life. Or how I fit into it. I still am not sure. I’m not a very good blogger. I don’t respond to comments, even though I treasure them. I read each comment several times. Then I sit and think about how to respond to it. Then I go wash a few dishes. Peel Simon off my legs. Change a diaper. Wash my hands. Fill up a sippy cup with milk. Check Facebook. Make mac and cheese. Put the kids down for a nap. Collapse. Recover. Write in my journal about how I have nothing original to say, I’m washed up at 32. This is why I don’t blog anymore. I convince myself before I even sit down to write that I am just another blahblahblah in a sea of voices. And that I’m washed up at 32.
Earlier this week I almost got crushed by this dark thing. I just couldn’t stand this living anymore. I couldn’t see what the fuck the point was. Medical bills, dishes piled up in the sink, loneliness, disease, absence of voice. My boys sitting around the dinner table as I looked on and tried to imagine their lives without me. Sometimes I still go all dramatic and think they would be better off without me.
No one should ever have to go without. But we do. I think this is the dark thing, this going without, that makes me weary.
I don’t mean going without an iPhone. I mean going without clarity, understanding, compassion, empathy. Light.
But I pressed on. It’s what we do, right? Even when we’re going without.
This week I put on lip gloss and my red peacoat and walked through downtown collecting job applications. Some guy hit on me at a bar I ducked into and I had no idea it was a come-on until I was back outside, application in hand. It made me smile to realize how dense I have become. And to realize that I might still be attractive despite this saggy motherflesh.
This week I read The New York Trilogy. Three books that contain different stories that are somehow part of one big narrative. Meditations on the self and what it means to watch someone else. Are we separate from the people we follow? Where does one end and the other begin? I blew through it with ease and in awe. I still have so many questions.
This week we began night weaning Simon. We’re almost at fifteen months of nursing. What an accomplishment. But you know how I mentioned going without? It turns out that going without sleep is a big fucking deal. And I’ve been going without since my third trimester of pregnancy. That’s a long 18 months. Once the darkness threatened to swallow me, I knew it was time. No more boob after 8PM. This will be the fourth night. We’re going to do this.
And because of that whole night weaning thing, I slept through the night last night. When I woke up and got out of bed this morning, it was because I wanted to. Not because someone needed milk or I needed to drive Roy to work. It was still dark in our apartment. I tiptoed into the kitchen to check the time. 6:20. It felt so delicious to know that I spent at least 7 hours last night completely oblivious to anything else in the world.
This week I read about half of this woman’s cancer blog. I don’t know why I’m drawn to those things; maybe I’m looking for secrets, insights, I don’t know. It made me just want to forget all the bullshit and try to be satisfied. I listened to The Cure’s Wish album, this in particular.
This week I read this poem:
What the Living Do
by Marie Howe
Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up
waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through
the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,
I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,
I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.
What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss–we want more and more and then more of it.
But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep
for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living. I remember you.
All signs are pointing to continuing to live, to telling my story, to wearing my red peacoat. I can do that. What are you going to do?