The weather has turned cold again.
Every day, a single male mallard splashes down into the pool, paddles about in the murk of thawed snow and dead leaves, shits on the deck, flies away.
I almost give up on this 1500-piece puzzle of teddy bears having a picnic. All the pieces look the same, and there are so many of them. After seriously contemplating tearing it apart, which is entirely unlike me (I like to finish what I start), I instead leave it alone for a while and then attack with renewed vigor and a sense of purpose for this stupid, superfluous task. I will conquer this fucker. I will.
I apply lipstick. It looks clownish on my otherwise unmade-up face but it makes me briefly happy.
I have a headache for three days. Shaking acetaminophen into my palm, I realize how easy it would be to overdose. If two doesn't work, maybe four will. Maybe six. Maybe eight. I take two; they do nothing. I try one acetaminophen and one ibuprofen, despite the warnings; they do nothing, either. I drink a Coke. I take some Anacin. The next day I try an oxycodone left over from a surgery. It gives me a not-entirely-unpleasant buzz but still does nothing for my headache. I sleep all afternoon, though, and then I go back to bed after first dinner. The following morning, I feel the headache lurking like a shadow in my brain, but the pain is gone.
I finish reading A Prayer for Owen Meany. I finish A Boy in Winter. They are both about death and hope and sacrifice, which seems about right.
I play Madonna's second and third records. I don't need to think about these songs; they are a part of me. I get up again, over and over, she sings. I tear up during "Love Makes the World Go Round," which is ridiculous.
There are things I want to do, small, easily achievable things, but I also don't want to do anything. It is a disconcerting feeling, this simultaneous desire to do and not do. I lie down on the couch and hide under a blanket until the feeling goes away.
I play online poker and sing happy birthday during a zoom call and video chat with my girlfriends and drink a glass of wine and watch a DJ friend play records on facebook instead of shuffling cards and eating cake and going for lunch and drinking and dancing. I want to go to the mall, and I hate the mall.
I am tired of updates. Tired of politicians and predictions and other people's impatience. Tired of tirades.
But I am so, so grateful that I have money in the bank and food in the pantry and a dude who makes me laugh and books to read and CDs to listen to and a strong internet connection and friends who humour me and wear lipstick for our zoom call and a couch to nap on and a government that is trying and a pool for ducks to shit in and a cat who doesn't know that anything is wrong and still purrs and demands to be let out and then let in again and I'm even grateful for that impossible puzzle of teddy bears having a picnic.
I am grateful to have words as a way to help make sense of my thoughts and emotions and experiences, even if they don't mean anything to anyone else. And I am grateful to you for reading, always. It's comforting to know you are out there, probably feeling simultaneously shitty and grateful, too. xo