(Listen to Eef Barzelay's album, "Bitter Honey" right now).
Two hours of sleep.
That is what I am operating on. It's true, and I have the red eyes, the sallow skin, and the death grip on my coffee mug to prove it.
On the surface, this may not sound so horrible, because what's one night, really? Well, it's not one night. It's several nights. I have been tossing and turning and waking up and battling insomnia with what is becoming a less and less effective sleep aid.
I don't think that it's too far out there to blame this on Utah Phillips, staring at my mid-thirties, job stress, fertility, and the general depressive anxiety that I have experienced since the age of two. Also, sitting alone in the living room in the middle of the night underneath a bird cage that contained what may or may not have been a dead version of my pet Ladybird does not lead one to think thoughts that make one's spirit take wing (I was too scared to look inside her cage, because nothing looks more vulnerable and pitiable than the curled tiny feet of a deceased finch, so I sat beneath her cage and wondered and ate my hangnails and wished that the lamplight would wake her up. It didn't).
I need you to know that, the possibility of a dead finch aside, this is good, even if:
it's awful to feel so insecure; I hate not sleeping; everything is second-, third-, and fourth-guessed; I want to be thin; I want to be chubby; I want to start wearing different clothes; I want to learn Urdu; I want to be a stay-at-home mom; I want to get my tubes tied; I want to go back to school; I want to open my own business; I want to hide out in a small town; I want to whiten my teeth; I want to figure out what's wrong with me so I can feel better; I want to take mood stabilizing drugs and forget about it; I want to write a novel; I want to know why nobody told me that adolescence snaps back on you later like a contracting slingshot band.
I imagine that all the older people I know are laughing behind their hands and saying What a card! She actually thought she was figuring things out!
But this is good, to want everything and nothing. Everything becomes disposable and yet concomitantly invaluable. Decisions must be made based on the heart, the spirit and not the letter, which is a gift from these circumstances, because we reap what we sow, and a path with heart is coloured in a way that a path of any other kind is not.
I am afraid. I feel like a crazy person.
I am afraid that I might be a crazy person and that this desire to own my own life is merely a symptom of some kind of paranoid delusion.
I wonder if I have found myself in this position precisely because psychiatrists told me years ago that anything that made me psychologically uncomfortable was merely a symptom of a larger biological problem over which I had no control. Did I abdicate faith in my right to resist? Did I abdicate belief in the legitimacy of my own responsibility? I feel like I gave myself away at some point, or through a series of points.
I am blown and dusty and scattered.
The path of least resistance is what makes the river crooked.
And again, I assure you, I need this like I need feet.
Also, I need sleep. Days of it. And not the kind of sleep peppered with unsettling dreams about catching myself stealing my own stuff from myself in the kitchen and letting myself get away through the window because apprehending myself was way too much of a mindfuck, even in a dream. I need to sleep like the dead, only breathing and with a heartbeat and better skin tone.
I need to go visit my friend's kittens before they are all farmed out. I am going to go sit in the sun after work with my camera and steal people's souls. And then, I am going to go home and carry on the longest bird conversation of peeps and meps I have ever carried on, because that Ladybird, after being inside a cat's mouth and battering herself around the bathroom, confirmed this morning that SHE LIVES.
You can't beat how the dry hollow in my chest flooded with heat this morning when she spied my shoulder in the hallway and said begack beGACK peep mep mep. Suddenly, my woeful and self-pitying waiting under her cage of the night before was laughable.
I need to remember that this place I am in, even if I have to stay here for a while longer than I would like, is not so bad as long I know that it is as transient as I allow it to be.