don't let the darkness eat you up

January 14, 2014

At the perfect time, I would spring triumphantly back to life with a story to tell, ideally one with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The end being, obviously, the most important part of a previously unfinished equation. The middle without the end is a lonely rider all geared up with no place to go, staring out over an empty canyon and thinking about nothing much except clouds. Lately I spend a lot of time tethered inside my own head, thinking about nothing at all and a lot of things all at the same time and getting, for all intents and purposes, noplace. The end. I can imagine it. Sounds nice.

At the perfect time, I would go for a walk. That's a thing I remember doing once, and maybe as I strode confidently down the sidewalk, enjoying the crisp outdoor air, golden light would shine through the branches and a dog with a cane and a cast would appear from behind a tree up ahead and lead me in a festive country jig, because dancing is a thing I could do, once. And maybe a chicken would join us with a giant talking bear under some twinkle lights as the poors clap on in the background, and maybe now I'm just describing a scene from Robin Hood but don't you really think Clucky should stop pulling her dress up over her idiot head? The answer to all this and more of life's riddles is yes. Really, really yes.

At the perfect time, it would be a lot easier to talk about being sick. I excel at serenely gliding and  pretending nothing is wrong, having achieved grand champion status beyond all imaginings. I don't even feel bad about it, really, except when it comes time to tell someone why I can't accompany them somewhere because, "I can't walk that far," is a pretty strange thing to say, right out of the blue like that with no prior explanation.

At the perfect time, I would be better equipped to accept people's well-meaning attempts to reach out to me through various methods of human communication. For reasons I can't seem to quite pin down with my fingertips, benign comments like, "Oh I totally know what you mean, I'm getting over a really tough cold!" and, "Have you considered you may be allergic to gluten?" plunge me straight into a bucket of sticky hot rage-sweat freshly stropped off the back of the Hulk. Can't imagine why. Nope. Regardless, it's best to say nothing, make no eye contact, and carry on eating crackers as if you don't know I exist. Thanks in advance.

At the perfect time, Jude calls me Sick Mom. That is my official designation, bestowed upon me with great honors by the official bestowers of titles and surnames. I hear there was a ceremony, but it was in a place with more than three stairs. "Lay down, Sick Mom. I will hug you," he says, and climbs under my blanket and pats my arm. "Eat a snack and have water, and then take a little nap, Sick Mom, that's how you'll feel better." He's stopped asking when I will feel better. So have I.

At the perfect time, at the end of the month, I am having exploratory abdominal surgery, or as I prefer to call it, "ADVENTURE TIME INSIDE YOUR SLOPPY LOOPS, WHASSYER GUNNA SEE IN DER, DUNNO!" Should be nearly as exciting as getting to go on The Price is Right. I'm looking ever so forward to it.

At the perfect time, while the world is sleeping all around me, I stare face to face into the black. Hours later I fall asleep maybe, before waking up again in the darkness. It could be the same day or the next; there's less separation between them than there used to be. It's really all one big day with blank patches between, eerie parts of the sky obscured where constellations used to shine.

At the perfect time, I'll get my act together and start being normal, but not today. Anyways, I'm not dying so that's fine.

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