1 hour ago
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Posted by Maggie May Labels: scenes from a marriage
Greasy sunblocked skin. Chapped lips. Nervous picking habit. Swollen fingers: thyroid. Swollen toes: autoimmune. Fatigue, breastfeeding, not drinking enough water. The universe screaming and fucking and laughing and bleeding and belching and reading and sleeping and crying and killing and repenting and all of it in a single cell in my brain. The Bible is in there. I fold to my knees and pray next to the laundry machine: Am I doing the right thing? Am I good enough, strong enough, ENOUGH enough? Knowing that everyone will say yes. Not knowing what the real answer is. Asking for help from whoever, wherever, whatever. Asking for help to help others doesn't feel so scary, so ridiculous, so impossible. Remember Anne Sexton: Awful Rowing Toward God. This is the depressive's tendency, to row. Against. To think of the sharks beneath the boat, their sandy emotionless heads, the lightning hurled toward our heads, the cold salty thickness of oceanic grain against our naked flesh. To feel the world soul in a single rowboat that we are Captain. The ego. The pompastic pomposity. The trembling before complete lack of control. The stripping of all normal barriers against full realization of the entire random nature of life and that in one second everything could be anything. The circular rowing: realizing that because of this, not instead of, because of, the only answer is submission. Acceptance. This is why God was terrifying in our eyes: because life is terrifying. Illness, death, disease, disaster, suffering. Acceptance is the way of peace. I fight toward it. Trying to stop fighting and accept it. My Scorpio nature helping and hurting both. When depressive, life's hardest burdens do not only carry what they carry- that particular object, it's particular and unique length, width and area, but like Danish stacking cups, each carries another carries another carries another. In the rowboat. John Irving knows: beware of the Undertoad. It will sweep you away from the shore and you'll never be seen again. The clacking and thumping of the dryer startles me. I hear Ever in the hallway laughing, Lola responding. I am crying and thinking of all the mothers and wives and women crying in bathrooms. Holding their hands. My own look so old. I wash dishes in hot, hot water, to keep my family safe from bacteria. I think I burn myself a little bit the way that a teenage girl cuts herself. I am the mother: this is order, safety, dependability, calm, emotional harbor, all these things that houses are built on. Depressives can't mother. I pretend to myself from the moment I wake to the moment my children fall asleep that I am someone else, someone who is enough, who can do everything I am meant to do and do it very well, who can stay with her husband through all of this and hold up. Hold up. I am 37. I will be 38 on the tenth of this month. I am old enough to know that emotions pass and when they do you cannot believe what you did/almost did/wanted to do in their stead. I know not to move when I am holding my breath. It is after you are rescued and open your mouth to howl that you know what to ask for: air, a dry shirt, chapstick, water. Cracks are showing. My kitchen is so clean. My children are clean. My children are loved and their homework is done and instruments practiced and vegetables eaten and interests remarked on and jokes laughed at and their fucking out of this world beautiful faces looked into when they talk. But cracks. Lola missed school, twice. Ever kissed tears running down my face this week. I have pick marks on my face. My nails are shorn. I can't bring myself to shave my legs for weeks and weeks. I wear dirty jeans. I forget to brush my teeth. I don't drink anywhere near enough water for nursing a toddler who never tires of the breast. He and I start therapy now. It has to help. I feel sea sick and need land. This is not a love story. This is the best fucking love story you'll ever read. Both.