Friday, June 26, 2009

Porn For Panic

Do it again, husband. Yes. Yes, and yes.

One Chapter Heading in my life would be called ' He Tells Her In The Car, Parked in the Dark of The Bookstore Parking Lot '. The children with grandparents, myself in an anxiety ridden frenzy, literally and psychologically trembling with the sickeningly persistent buzzing of a terrified soul, trapped inside a hive, the humming in my ears, in my heart. The fear. I was working my way toward a panic attack. I've ended up in the ER with Mr. Curry twice, from panic attack. He took me this time to the bookstore.

We sat in the car, holding hands, tears all over my face, dripping onto my arms like a humid Southern night. What if we die and we are nothing and never know that we were anything? And the timeless question that most of all kept sucking the life from my life and the blood from my veins: What Is The Point? Around us, the streetlamps flickered. A car pulled up, music booming into the quiet lot, snuffed suddenly out, the loud slam of the door, laughter, footsteps. Silence. 9pm rolled in with dark plasma sky. The books stood in solemn and silent rows in the front display of the bookstore. I thought I might scream. Tear out my hair, in the old fashioned expression of the poet's madness, or cut off an ear, like a great painter, or smack myself in the face, like an American Beauty. Mr. Curry held my hands firmly.

Maggie, he said.

What?

Look at me.

I did.

He said nothing for a minute. The steam of crazy, of fear, of panic, was unbearable. I felt a sudden rush of pity for this sweet man, who loved such a lunatic, such a woman who could never ever forget the nature of existence was a parallel between horror and joy, pain and pleasure, love and fear, life and death, a woman who after the throes of orgasm is aware of what a wolf howl that bodily explosion is against the dying of the body. Why should he have to suffer because I could not escape my mind?

He pulled me close, to his face, so that I could feel his breath on my mouth. Maggie, he said. My husband is a mover. He works for Mayflower. He wears long shorts and tennis shoes and tee shirts and has a shaved head and many tattoos. He comes from a very hard drinking, hard living, very emotionally rough and enormous Irish family. He grew up hard. He experienced two great deaths at a young age. He was never coddled, or fussed over, or given any great opportunities. He barely eeked out a high school degree, befuddled at the time with drugs and drinking. He has been my best friend since I was 19. Maggie, he said,

If all there is. If all there is is THIS- you ( he kissed me ) and our children, and this tiny small life with all of us together in it, the whole way through, all of us together till the end, doing the best we can, then that is enough. That is enough.

And if I never knew what an epiphany was, I found out then. My mind cleared in a graceful curtsey, exiting the cortisol and adrenaline and gut pain of fear, and leaving the calm resolution of truth. In one small moment my consciousness talked to itself in some secret morse code, and I heard these things: I am not alone / I am experiencing life and there was one billion in a quadrillion chance that I, personally ME, who I am, would end up being born, and I made it, I did it, and in place of all those possible people who did not make it here, I will not whine, I will not worry / I am the stupidest wench ever if I cannot look at this man in front of me and spend this night loving him hard, loving him naked and sweaty and fiercely and with all of the trembling passion I was using up in this panic, and

that is exactly what I did.
Petunia Face said...

That was so beautiful.

I married a man who is 1/4 some kind of Indian. I am 4/4 white knuckled crazy. When I have my panic attacks he does what I call "Silent Indian," just sort of quiet and there and after all this time I have come to realize that is all I need.

Maggie May said...

I love it! The Silent Indian. Weird, because I wrote a poem about Mr. Curry waaay before we married that revolved around the metaphor of him being a silent INdian hunter (of course I was the prey, what else)

sarasophia said...

Maggie.
I so like your words.

I am the sane one in our family.

I am the "silent Indian".

(funny...I am 1/4 Indian---and the rest is French/Irish in abundant measures.)

My crazy--although there--pales when faced with Wolf's crazy. His Mother is a Jewish bat and....

I'll stop there.

Let's just say the love within our family is NEEDED.
support.
carry.
love.
abundance.
unconditional.

It IS all there is.
Its all we wait for.

Lucky us to have it.

michellewoo said...

WOW. This is what I kept saying while reading this. WOW. WOW. WOW.
So raw. Your words help open me up.

Lydia said...

Your writing takes my breath away, and that's exactly what I said in my latest post.

Jeanne said...

I've known the crazy whereof you speak, and Old Dog, like Mr. Curry, has a genius for deflating that panicky balloon that threatens to send me careering into space.

For what it's worth, it happens less as you grow older....

tiffany said...

Ahhh, coming from the "lunatic" in my home, we should all be so lucky for just one moment like this. One that helps us to open our eyes, when it's literally impossible to do so, and gain comfort in the new found knowledge that whatever/wherever we are in life really is enough.
Epiphanies are a beautiful thing.

Not The Rockefellers said...

You go girl!

I am so very proud of you.

The both of you.

Peace - Rene

Badass Geek said...

This, like everything you write and everything you are (inside or out), is just beautiful.

Irish Gumbo said...

I found that once (and will again), holding hands and breathing in the mountain air...with a friend.

Peace and blessings to you and the Mr.

BeautifulHonestReal

Sharon said...

Thank you Mr. Curry:)

Ms. Moon said...

Maggie- A lot of people who respond to blogs claim they made them cry. This one did make me cry. I have had that panic and my man has sailed to me across the water to save me and I know.
In a book I wrote once, a woman looked into her lover's face and said those same words you said. And he took her not to a hospital or a book store but to an old woman who grew things in the dirt and made her mint tea and the man went out to look at the garden while the women talked and then came back and put his head on the woman's head and her soul was calmed between the words of the old woman, the tea, the man's touch.
That woman in my book had had loss too. And so had the old woman and she knew you went on and lived. And you have suffered such loss and you are finding your way back to life and meaning.
Sorry for so many words. You moved me, you reminded me.

Ms. Moon said...

I am linking this today. I hope you don't mind. It's too beautiful not to share with everyone I can.

honeyluna said...

My mama, Ms. Moon, sent me over to your blog and I have to say that she is absolutely right- your writing is wonderfully beautiful. I also really love your blog page. Your photos and artwork hit me in just the right spot. Thanks for writing!

Dana's Brain said...

So lovely. Although I don't go into panic attacks, I have a tendency to focus an awful lot on things that are done and over. Why bother? Nothing I can do to change those things. I'm really trying hard to keep today and tomorrow in my mind instead.

And to remember that those things, our love and family, are enough.

Captain Dumbass said...

Thanks, Maggie. It's 8:05am and this has made my day that much more special.

Hold on to Mr. Curry.

krista said...

i kind of love it when people know what they've got. when they see the ugly parts and they love them, sweaty and naked and with a bit of panic.
i really felt this one.

adrienne said...

gorgeous

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

This kind of reminds me of a giant thunderstorm I saw roll in last night. I was very moved by it. I waited outside in the parking lot as lightning and thunder crashed all around me while my wife ran into the store.
It was very beautiful.

Maggie May said...

i get THE best commenters. ever.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Piercingly expressed.

YES Gallery + Studio said...

Beautiful, Maggie. I suffered with intense panic disorder for many years when I was younger and even succumbed to "nervous exhaustion" from time to time. I have been panic free for a long, long time and have learned many tricks and techniques over the years. I would be happy to share some with you, if you like. Most importantly, breathe.

May said...

This was goddamned beautiful. You and your family are goddamned beautiful. You write an honest thing in words that build a show don't tell. I am sorry for your loss, and I am glad you are strong and you have words. Thank you.

Lola said...

Amazing post, and you do have the best commenters!

I can't say that I've ever had a panic attack of that magnitude, but I can work myself into quite a state over things beyond our control. My husband is always the one to talk me down, too. We're very lucky women.

PurestGreen said...

I just adore your writing, for it's honesty no matter the pain, no shield from the joy. Everything is full-on, without barriers. Raw, raw love. So gorgeous.

anna said...

you love and you are loved, it's what it's all about. it's the most important thing in the world. great to hear you 'expressed' your love too, it's just the best way to bring you back into your body. thank you for your honesty, thank you for talking about the important stuff. blessings to you all xxx

Valerie Loveland said...

I'm glad you two have each other.

Woman in a Window said...

You live well.
You write equally.
Both are understatements.

Shari@aPsychMommy said...

What a beautifully written post. Your husband sounds like he is such an amazing man

Petit fleur said...

Good for you. He sounds like a very sweet soul and loves you very much.

raining sheep said...

I read it and then ... I took this deep breath because the words are so beautiful. Sometimes words are just so totally enough.

the watercats said...

Hi there, I found your blog via Lydia and I am honestly blown away by your writing! You reach inside my guts and rearrange them... Thank you so much for sharing your depth, you make a little part of the world so much richer for it... thank you, thricely!

Heidi said...

I could feel the edge in this, the panic and then the exhaling that comes with calm. It's breathtaking.

Collin Kelley said...

Mr. Curry is an amazing man.

Holly said...

i agree w/ mr curry <3

Jason, as himself said...

This husband of yours is one of a kind.

And so are you.

Both in a very good way.

Owen said...

Like the Watercats here, I too found you via Lydia... and am speechless, breathless. So rare to encounter writing that thumps the solar plexus so hard it leaves one practically gasping for air in great heaves of the chest. Thank you for the wake up call.

PS your piece about the kitten here is also just incredibly beautiful writing...

Maggie May said...

well thank you so much. that is awesome to hear. i'll be visiting you.

Laura said...

Maggie... I can relate so much to this post. I haven't had a panic attack in a long time. Infact the last one I had was shortly after my miscarriage. And it was my husband that calmed me, that made me feel better, that brought me back. We are very lucky to have someone that can do that for us. Your writing has brought back alot of memories for me, sometimes they make me cry, but mostly, even though they have been hard times, somehow they still hold some beautiful memories as well. I love your writing, I am so glad you found my blog and have shared yours with me as well.

Heidi said...

Maggie you write so eloquently, so beautifully! You convey your passion, your heart, your truth. I love it! Thank you for that. Hx

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Beautiful, Maggie May. Thanks for sharing it.

My best regards,

SB

CMe said...

i've been questioning the same things, dealing with my own family hospital crisis, and found this quite inspiring... thank you

Lady Lemon said...

Ms Moon sent me here. That was amazing. You and your husband sound perfectly matched.

I am so very sorry for your loss.

Miss Grace said...

<3

hoppytoddle said...

My husband just hands me the rescue remedy & walks away. He never says anything that beautiful. But hearing your husband say it helps me, too, because it's true. Beautiful. Glad to know he has some great words for you, too.

Kirie said...

Some seriously gorgeous writing. You are awake, and so very present.
As someone intimate with get-to-the-ER-level panic, I feel it with you, that tension between the island that is you and your man and your family and the raging sea all around, encroaching.

K.

Bonbon Oiseau said...

amazingly amazing....i am speechless...thank you.

Kristin Dodge said...

Mr. Curry is an amazing man, and you both are fortunate to have each other.

Jenn said...

Bravo for embracing your passion in every possible way. Every time I read you it is so clear that you feel with every molecule in your person. That is so awesome, you two are perfect. Your epiphany moment brought tears to my eyes, seriously! But the happy kind :-)

Starlene said...

Some of us seem to born for the sole purpose of REALLY living. We have the widest range of experiences, emotions, heartaches, and coincidences. We get to know boundless joy and bottomless grief, and every shade of content and miserable in between. It's lovely and it's terrible. It makes us strangely wise but strangely anxious.

Glimmer said...

This post tapped a vein in me and I wrote a couple of entries about what I feel in my bones about this question. I am not preaching (don't even go to church at the moment). I just have this knowing, for some reason.

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