Tuesday, 6 August 2013
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Please don't ask me how I feel. If I answer that question honestly I will make you feel bad and that will make it worse. My body is becoming a toxic soup - and surely you can see, as I see, in my eyes...this slow decline...this shutting down. I could tell you I feel fine - and I honestly do try to say it out loud. But you know and I know it is not the truth. And if I say I feel a little better today - that would only be to help you avoid feeling something you don't want to face right now. I need to be able to tell you I am not okay - not for your sympathy, but for the sweet release of not pushing myself to try to keep up with a semblance of normal right now...allowing myself to be where I am and not to stumble through a routine I can't keep up with. How do I feel? I feel like sorting through my clothes and getting rid of everything except the very few things that make me comfortable. Ditto the shoes, the many purses, anything that resembles a life I am not living. How do I feel? I feel hot and feverish and I am losing feeling in my toes...my stomach feels like acid all the time and I wake up with a taste like the sour metal of a gun in my mouth - a taste that does not leave me. How do I feel? I feel like saying nothing but I am sorry and I love you...it is all that really seems necessary. How do I feel? I feel like throwing away anything that would remind you of me, any trace that I was here and crawling under the sheet with my books around me on the bed and staying there. I am sore and sad and scared and anything but at peace. I am jammed full of places to go and no way to get there. I am - to borrow from Marian Engel - as sharp as a bed of nails an Indian swami would lie down on. How do I feel? I am remembering everything that ever happened and seeing it spoil before my eyes - that it was too much or never enough. Like someone has stopped the music and there is no chair left for me to rest. How do I feel? Afraid to send this into the universe and afraid not to. So how do I really feel? Okay - but more importantly, how are you?