Sickly, squawking, voiceless week. Restless, coughing night, afraid to take the meds because my throat is so swollen–what if I suffocate in my sleep? Instead, a 4am hot toddy: honey coating the raspy bits, whiskey easing the strain, Meyer lemon clarifying the streaky tissues, steam tending to the struggling cilia. Finally the passages open and I succumb to my damp twist of sheets.
Wretched morning stinks of meat-sleep, coughing and choking on the swamp lodged in my throat, so I wake thinking nothing has improved. But it passes, and a day spent in bed doing absolutely nothing while the rain has its way with the outside is just what the doctor ordered. Voice is back, inhalation barely burns, swallowing only faintly hurts, airways are clear and unrestricted (thankyou caffeine). Somewhere over there are kitchens that ought to be cleaned, food that needs cooking, and this bed should probably be burned, but I think I’ll just stay here until it’s time for hot showers and toddies and let my body have a break. It has damn well earned it.
Harper Lee has died, gone to join Maya Angelou in whatever special sort of heaven is reserved for the women who with their words breathed compassion into the bitter, broken lungs of the convalescent South. Our mothers, raising us up, giving us life. How can these literary greats, whole subjects taught in school, guideposts which set generations of morals, not be permanent? It feels like the very rock of the world is chipped away one life at a time. Death is a consummate, constant sculptor. We are all shucked of our mothers.
Today I found out that yet another person I know has chosen to end their own life. We weren’t close friends, but I knew him, he was a person, and the thought of him so alone and so hopeless shocks me. How can people get this way when there are so very many of us in the world? How can there not be enough of us to keep everyone afloat?
I put the feelings on hold this morning because I needed to go be whole at work, but came home to find them sitting here waiting, staring me in the face. The incomprehensible permanence of the act, the violence of it, I just can’t wrap my mind around it.
But it’s done. It happened weeks ago. A whole human story, ended. Over.
My ankle still sucks, my job is still amazing and challenging, most days waking up is a breeze but the 6am mornings are brutal as mornings ever have been for me and I committed to several of them this week. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to do it or if I just can’t function that way? My personal inbox is a mocking list of important shit I have not taken care of yet. My house is a disaster because my ankle is too swole up to do any stuff when I get home and I just have to sit. Men are perpetually disappointing but I kinda wish I had a housewife or a boyfriend or some shit for a minute? Or like, a butler. I require butling. Tending to. Sometimes this shit is a hell of a lot to manage alone.
Anyways, I think I’m whining but I’m also still really happy so there’s that. My kids keep telling me how helpful my writing support is lately, all with this same surprised look on their faces. “Oh? You are good at this?” I smile and I cheer a little but I mostly keep my pokerface on and don’t let them see that I *live* for these moments where they maybe are going to believe in me and let me support them.
I have a new very-very-tiny-person friend who adores me because I have a long braid that looks like Elsa, and she loves Elsa most of all and even dressed as her for Halloween. Tonight we had a haunted house at our Fall Fest and she asked if I would take her and her two equally adorable costumed friends through it, so I did and she squeezed my hand with her verysmall hands like for dear life, these three tiny blue princesses with blinking sneakers clinging to me with widest eyes, then screaming and crying and too afraid so we had to turn around and run back out through the entrance because zombies. Elsa is perhaps many things but she is no match for a ghoul.