I’ve been avoiding getting back to this.
Alrighty. It’s getting closer to the two year deathiversary (thanks Dyane) and it is, of course, causing some pain very deep in my gut. Heart. Soul. Feels. Whatever. Nextofkin was here last year, this time it will be me and the dogs. And I think two of her friends will remember.
The only escape left to me is sleep.
A kind of laziness brings me back to normal life. I am like a prisoner who is enjoying an imaginary freedom while asleep; as he begins to suspect that he is asleep, he dreads being woken up, and goes along with the pleasant illusion as long as he can. – René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy
Is sleep a little death too? I can never remember if la petite mort is a sneeze or an orgasm. I googled. It’s orgasm. For the past two years, I’ve begged for sleeping pills in early December, so I could chase oblivion when things got too shitty. I’d do almost anything to avoid feeling it. Sleep, distraction, busyness – those seem to be the defaults. Even when I write about it, I spend as much time getting sidetracked as possible. Obfuscation is the word.
I don’t sodding well want it to be true. I hate it. I miss her. I regret stuff. I know that the word justice doesn’t apply, so I don’t scream it at the universe, but I want to. It gets in the way, this grief. I don’t howl and sob the way I used to, but the weeping comes from a very deep, dark place. It rips right through me, punching my ribcage, kicking my heart and then stretching out to twist my jugular. I cry much, much less.
The thing about death, said my friend, is that it’s so final. Then she drew breath to qualify it, probably thinking I was about to say well duh; it’s true though and what’s more, it says pretty much everything that needs saying about the shittiness of death. It’s final. That’s it, door closed, no do overs and no, you don’t have time to say that one last thing. It’s over, there’s a hole where she ought to be. It’ll always be there.
I projected all of it on to cancer for a while, railing and raging against it.
I am still shocked by the speed and violence of it.
I was manic while she was dying. It was the best and most welcome and productive shape I’ve ever been in. And I thought it was recovery from ptsd and that it was a deep and permanent change. No matter the fallout later, I am still damn glad and grateful for the rocketfuel that got me through those weeks. Two fucking weeks, that’s all it was. And I handled it like a jet fighter pilot. I was invincible.
The narrative grows increasingly irrelevant with time and the telling of it. The wound is the loss.
Swearing helps a little bit. It’s my version of dispelling emotion by having a drunken brawl. Early on, I felt so much rage and hate and I hadn’t a clue wtf to do with it. I cursed and cursed and sometimes, when I was driving and there wasn’t anyone else around, I’d scream. I thought I would let out a scream loud and powerful enough to shift the earth on its axis (lol), but of course what happened was fairly brief, not incredibly loud and it hurt my throat. it helped a lot though. I think I screamed at the sea a time or two, when the beach was deserted. I don’t need to scream anymore.
Brain zaps beat me up a bit sometimes when I’ve been pondering it all. Dzzzhhhhht … that sick feeling, as though my brain shifted slightly in my cranium. No psychosis for over a month now and it’s month 18 or 19 of depression with intermittent agitated depression. I don’t research suicide obsessively now, I spend less time reading Rilke on death, I can read again. Progress.
Fine. Progress. I’m on track. I am still miserable, angry and sometimes disbelieving. That’s fine too. Everything. Is. Fucking. Fine. I’m tired of whining again, I’ll get back to it … soonish. Right now I am passive aggressively throwing a sulky tantrum at the universe. It doesn’t give a shit.