I hesitated: will they be tired of the ups and downs? Then an evil glee: a validation: imagine if you so .00000001% are tired or a little annoyed by this square dance, imagine how the dancers feel, swept into the middle of the field with hands on their backs and jaws clenched, gripping the fabric of their lives with as much dignity and grace as such a graceless disease allows for.
It's interesting how trapped human beings crave such different things to feel free. Some crave ridiculousness and escape into Disney tee shirts and figurines cluttering their houses well into middle age. How lovely the lines of a cartoon, how hollow the deaths of an indestructible animation, falling to the rocks to spring back up, flowers in hand, birds aflutter above their overly round heads. Some crave seriousness and lose all sense of humor: they are dictionaries, studies, psychologies, theories, abstractions, suffering, a mouth made old. They are disapproval. Some crave highs: sex, drugs, Everest. Some crave to forget themselves and fly like a ghost into the bodies of others: perpetually giving, modest, filling mouths that never fill.
What do I do?
I answer that every day. I write. I mother. I run at night. I feel self-pity and cry in the bathroom, howling into the white towels that I bought on sale at Target that smell like the chlorine bleach I use to remove butt stains, or floor wipings. In the car alone, I scream. While screaming, I start singing opera, and laughing hysterically, then catch sight of myself in the mirror am mollified. I am supposed to be ashamed of this behavior but I am absolutely not. I am embarrassed though. If anyone sees me, they won't know I haven't lost it. They will wonder, is Maggie safe to be around my kids? Is she really someone I want to hang with? I don't know. Am I? I cook dinners with organic foods and spices. I practically make out with our cat Maybelle, a feline love of my life. I belly laugh with my children. I work my ass off. I do squats and butt thrusts and other overly aggressive maneuvers to hoist my ass to a place that makes me feel strong, like a bull. I like to feel my ass working while I walk. I like to feel the power of my own body carrying me through this life. I talk to friends. I help anyone in front of me I can help. Strangers, friends, whoever. I try to smile at every person I see. This can be extremely annoying for me, which then makes me laugh at myself. I read books. I stand in an empty line at the checkout store when I was supposed to be getting toothpaste and toilet paper, and read US Magazine and eat a Snickers bar. I work on my novel. I masturbate, but much less than all the befores. It's crowded in this house. No place for a plump banana. I like to make perverted jokes. I like to be infantile when I can, and completely responsible and adult when I have to. I like to listen to comedians and laugh until I am red. I like to flirt, but nicely, almost gently. I like to probe minds like Martian Manhunter. I like to communicate telepathically like Wonder Woman. I walk in nature. I wash my bedding once a week and lie down after a run and a shower and think what a lucky bastard I am. I pray. I take care of my kids. I mostly take care of my kids. They are everything. Rachel Zoe says that about clothes, but she's all wrong. It's kids, man. It's the baby pulled from the rubble of the earthquakes, his fat tiny arms under his chin, eyes shut, held in the hands of adults who would die for him. That's everything.
That's what I do.