yesterday, i snapped at the man working in the plant store when i came in to ask about repotting my plant and then he said i didn't water it.
i did water it. in fact i've had to water it every three days because it kept drooping. i said this to him in a slight yell and i felt tears about the stream down my face.
then i heard a voice in my head go "oooh. okay. you didn't know you were here now, did you?"
he repotted my plant for free. i apologized and left feeling like a jerk. but my plant looks great.
that afternoon, i ran errands in flatiron and union square. i walked around slowly, i noticed. people ran past me and were probably getting annoyed. as i walked, i noticed how empty i felt. hollow. numb, but like the so-filled-with-emotion-that-you-are-numb numb. i know this feeling. i know it well.
and out loud, in a whisper, i said hello old friend.
the truth is she, this old friend, has been lurking for weeks now. she's been getting stronger, letting all the food in the refrigerator go to waste, hogging all the covers at night. she loves visiting this time of year anyway so she was especially happy that my brain told her what happened and she knew she could visit earlier and for longer and really move all her shit in. she is awake before me and pokes me until i wake up and then she sits on my chest like she thinks it is funny. she gets annoyed when i get out of bed and finds ways to trip me up. she takes over my thoughts so as i read for class, all i hear in my head is blah, blah, blah. she takes a look at what i need to get done and she laughs and says there is no way. she hates it when i have to be social and so she ignores the phone calls she can and makes me forget things at home so i'm late to things. she remembers everything and so she'll whisper a memory in my ear whenever there is the slightest connection. she especially hates it when i volunteer to be social. she hates it when i forget about her for a little while. when i am with people, she gives me space but is always there, waiting for an invitation, waiting for that one thing that will allow her to be a part of the party. if i am happy, even for a second, she takes it as a personal affront and the next day i seem to pay for it with her wrapping herself around me so i have to carry her everywhere. those days she almost wins, but i don't work out for nothing... at night, she is next to me again. she loves wine and hates advice and hates the journalling and gratitude practices that i've started. she has excuses as to why i can't meditate.
and she tells me that writing about it, her, publicly will scare off suitors and friends and strangers. no one will want you, she whispers. they'll think you are broken and throw you in the trash. they'll think you are looking for pity.
when i am strong enough, i counter with well, if that's the case, then i probably shouldn't want them because they clearly wouldn't know me at all.
i also tell her that she is a bitch.
because she is.
i don't want to write what she says back. i am afraid it is true.
i have the urge to fight her and so sometimes i go to hit her and i feel the sting of the slap on my own face. she's a nimble little minx and i know it'll take more than rage and frustration for her to leave. it will take time and sensitivity and letting go as opposed to fighting off.
i get more done when i just accept her as my bedfellow, when i let her talk and talk and talk and i just say uhuh, sure, right, when i tell her thank you for her opinion, but i'm going to go do this fun thing anyway.
i remind her and myself that this is not our first time at the rodeo and that it probably won't be our last. a friend, at my housewarming a few weeks back, said "jesus, you must feel everything" when looking at my astrological birth chart. my old friend, my bedfellow, jumped up beside me and said you bet she does.
i mean did you even read the about page on this blog, old friend? i do feel everything, all the icky, painful crap, but that also means i feel the good too, old friend. it also means i feel hope and i feel gratitude and i feel excitement and i feel love and i feel determined and i feel invincible and i feel all the things you, old friend, don't want me to feel. when you are around, old friend, they are harder to grasp, but they are there. and eventually, they'll annoy you so much that you'll pack your bags and leave. you'll leave a mess, you'll leave me changed, but you'll go.
until then, old friend, i will cherish the two good things that happen when you are around: reading and writing.
at least we have that, old friend. at least we have that.