Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nothing, really

Every single thing we do changes us. Every step that we take, until we're so far away from the origin that we can't remember how we started, what we were then.

I was at my father's house recently for a week of semi-vacation, and my sister had unearthed a lot of the things that my late mother had kept. Things of my childhood, but mostly things from high school. Some things that just made me shake my head and wonder why on earth she'd saved these things (like letters I'd written to her during fights. I threw those away unread.), but mostly things that took me back to a past that I'd mostly forgotten. I still can't remember who she was, the girl who thought she could make music, the girl who was confident and brave even in the face of a lot of reasons not to be. The girl who had never been told that she couldn't achieve anything that she wanted to.

And I look back at that now, and part of me just wants to cringe. How could I have been so young, so naïve, so laughably confident when others must have known that the things that I wanted to do were nothing but fantasy? Another part of me, the part that I'm finding just as I write this, is angry for her, angry and sad and defensive, and mostly I just wonder what happened to her? Where did I go from that kind of confidence to what I am now? When did I stop being brave in that young and foolish way?

These days, I feel like everything is just eroding me, wearing me away until there's little left. I think often that I should just end this blog; it's lost its original purpose, and there's little left but these constant futile musings. And my sadness, which isn't exactly helping anyone else.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Failure to Fly

Sometimes I can perform that magic act, walk high on that high wire, see myself for a moment as the person I want to be. And I have this illusion that I'm getting better at it.

And then something happens, and I fall… Icarus flying to close to the sun, all the wax melting and dripping, and I fall hard and fast, and I forget that I could fly.

Things have been close to good lately. Really so close that I could touch them. Michael has mostly been feeling ok, and we've been working on the weight, and I've had the energy to work on getting the house organized… it's been wonderful getting the newly-repaired living room and dining room back to something civilized. Everything seemed… all right. Pretty good. Possible.

And then yesterday… Michael was ok; he said he was feeling happy. But I was low and sad; something set me off, and I would have been ok in a while, but right at that moment… not happy. But I forgot that I'm not allowed to be sad. I forgot that I'm supposed to be the cheerleader, the happy person all the time. I let myself be sad… and I let myself have a glass of wine while I was making dinner, too, and that's always and inevitably a problem, especially if things are already tense. And it all went to hell, quick and fast and hysterically, and you could just smell the wax and burning feathers.

I blame myself, although I'm certainly not the only person at fault. But I know that I need to keep these things to myself. I just couldn't manage it yesterday.

Worse, last night and today, I'm trying to cajole him into some kind of happy, and it's not working, and it's making me feel a thousand times worse. I thought that the balance had tipped for a moment, but it didn't… or something else set him off, and like the marble, I couldn't quite get escape velocity, couldn't quite get him out of the bowl. And so here we are, back in the bottom, clinking against each other, unable to get any kind of momentum up.

I can't bear it. It's stupid and foolish, but it just makes me want to crawl into a hole and die. I need to separate myself from all this, but I don't know how. I don't know how to do anything like take care of myself without doing the things that would sever the bonds entirely, things that truly would be a betrayal. There is nothing that I can do or say that would not make this worse, and trying is ripping my heart out.

And it's two days later now, and things are better on the surface, but they are really no better in reality. I am filled with despair, which sounds melodramatic and pathetic. But I can't find other words.



Monday, August 2, 2010


It's hard to know how to feel about anything these days.

On the one hand, Michael has been well, in a certain sense, for more than six months now. It's the end (maybe) to those years of mysterious disease, of him sleeping most of the time, the weakness, the delirium… all the symptoms of undiagnosed porphyria. On the other hand… we still are only fractionally closer to a way of eating that will allow him to lose weight without losing his mind… in this case, quite literally. And as a result, his weight has ballooned, in every sense of the word. He's about 160 lbs. above his lowest weight, and all of that in the last eight months. It is staggering. In every sense of the word.

Our latest attempt to level things out is working, in some sense… he is eating every 2-3 hours, small meals… and when he does that, exactly that, plus stays pretty gluten-free, his weight starts to go down. But it doesn't take anything much to screw it up. Yesterday, we went to the movies, shared a medium popcorn between three of us and then went out for some Indian food… and today, his weight is 5 lbs. higher. Sure, that's illusory and water and day-to-day fluctuations. But it is still really depressing. Plus the constant, constant, constant degree of vigilance required…any sort of relaxation and fun, and we're back to square one.

But what can you do, really? Except try another day.

Try another day.

It's a summer night, and I want to be outdoors, in a field, listening to a band, drinking a beer, and dancing.

I don't think that this will ever happen in my life again.

I am too old and too young all at once.