I was reading Housewyfe Wendy today. It struck me that it’s been a while since I’ve switched voices from Madeline’s Sex Shoppe to The Real Life Bullshit of Madeline Glass. Just to remind readers that there’s a whole lotta stuff about me you DON’T know. And that I’m a real person. Fallible. Stressed-out, but with patience to spare.
Even that patience has been tested this week.
I’m chalking much of it up to the full moon last weekend and the crazy energy it produced. Suffice it to say I feel like the whole world’s gotten knocked off-kilter. My period came early, my ex didn’t come at all, and other sundry unpleasantries.
Y’all know I’m not one to bury my feelings. So, yeah, a good bit of the last several weeks has been spent crying big, fat, salty tears.
It’s good to feel sad. It makes the happy feel that much better.
But sometimes I just need to be with the sadness.
It’s been coming since Katrina first struck. Actually, I think it’s been coming since Peter Jennings died. But that fucking hurricane was the final straw.
I don’t watch television as a general rule, unless it’s college football or basketball or the food network if I’m somewhere with cable. I even get my news exclusively online ever since Peter died. I can’t bring myself to watch. But then Katrina hit, and I wanted to bear witness.
Of course it was awful. Of course it was unbearable. Of course it was unbelievable that there was absolute destruction and corpses were floating in the flood waters or lying beside the roads in my country and no one seems to have a good plan for dealing with it.
I revisit that part of myself which remembers death and the stench of burning flesh.
I try to imagine the smell--an unfamiliar one—of decomposing bodies, human excrement and stagnancy which has settled over the Gulf Coast.
I can’t watch television any more.
I have a client who can’t shut it off. It is all she talks about, what the death count will reach, how many displaced persons, how much federal money being put to the task. I tell her to give to the Red Cross and to give the tv a break for a bit. Because negative, hopeless energy is not what we need to be sending the people who have lost their lives, homes, families.
But it’s easy to start feeling that way.
Then the nightmares start. The fitful sleep. The waking at 3 AM, crying, unable to return to bed.
I don’t want to have sex; I masturbate as an afterthought, like, ‘right, I’m still here. I can still do this.’ But my heart isn’t in it. It’s just an Emotional Release band-aid slapped over what’s bothering me.
So here’s the thing which makes me write:
I believe that any emotion or sensation is worth feeling to its fullest extent. I think that to deny ourselves that is to deny ourselves the very essence of humanity.
I wanted drug-free deliveries of my babies not because I wanted to spare their little nervous systems the effects of narcotic cocktails, but because I needed to know what labor pain felt like.
I have experienced the most exquisite pain imaginable.
I have experienced joy beyond compare.
Does it not make sense to also experience sorrow that transcends words?
Because out of the sadness comes hope.
I’ve had a rough several days. My ex cancelled his visit over the weekend, which was a huge disappointment to Miles and Jack. There’s more in addition to that, but nothing worth going into.
Yesterday, I was chatting with Jefferson. Then Viviane. Then Marcus. Putting life and problems and worries into perspective. I was upset and feeling scattered.
This will not do. I am a mother to two babies. They need me to be strong and calm and cool.
I can do that. As long as, during the time I am not with them, I can be sad and reflective.
I decided yesterday to take a bath before I had to pick them up from daycare. I put on Coldplay’s “X & Y.” I remember why I am so smitten with Chris Martin.
If you don’t have this album, shame on you. Go out and buy it now. Or go to apple.com and buy it from the iTunes store. Fuck, I don’t even care if you get it from your friend who got it from his cousin. Just get the cd.
Then you can do what I have been doing for the last two days straight: playing Track Four, Fix You, repeatedly.
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.
Smiling through tears. Because in the end there must be hope.