I know menstruation is one of the few taboo topics on social media (cockocracy!) but today I cried over the Comey hearing, a late-’90s Julia Roberts film that will go unnamed (ok, Stepmom), a certain permakitten when she rested her chin on my toe, and the fact that my dress wasn’t ready at the tailors. Tonight’s potent full moon is not helping, nor is our massive Constitutional crisis. Overall, though, I just need to (insert verb, Mad Libs-style) already. Our periods are a blessing for which I am all the more grateful since I realized mine was an endangered species. But the period before our periods blows as hard as our alleged president–very, very hard.
I had such a lovely break from the city–sunrises by the sea, swanning on tree-laced hammocks, cartwheeling in big fields–and such a bumpy reentry. On the drive back a glass-encased candle–an uncrossing candle, no less–exploded in my car, my phone abruptly went dead and still is not fixed as I type this, and so many serious accidents took place on the highways that the normally 3.5-hour trip took 7 hours. It’s not just that my nerves were shot; it’s that I could feel everyone else’s were shot, too. Finally somewhere in Connecticut I broke down in tears–the messy kind, not the pretty kind– and had to pull to the side of the road. Aloud I said: “Okay, higher spirit. You’ve secured my attention. What do you want me to know?” In response I could not just hear but see the Rilke quote: You must change your life. And here I’d thought I already had, though I guess thus far said change has been inflicted rather than invited.
I know some of what I need to do but if the rest were obvious or easy, I’d have done it long ago. This is, after all, the human experience: We learn by expanding our horizons, by stepping out of our comfort zones, in this case literally. Living so isolated from nature drains me to a degree I only acknowledge on the rare occasions I’m by the ocean or beneath a tree by myself. Yet the craving for unadulterated fields, for the noisiness of birds and wind and crickets, pulses beneath all the decoration of my New York life no matter how I try to drown it out. It grows even stronger in the shadow of dystopia. As I zoomed back to the city I no longer love monogamously I still could the heartsong I breathed in that big air; how to return to All That now looms as my biggest question though others should take precedence. Being middle-aged, it turns out, teaches us to heed older rhythms and wiser notes than what our tiny brains can measure.
Grace is glad I’m back, anyway. My friend takes my absence so seriously that I could hear her weeping as I climbed the stairs to my apartment. Witches and their familiars should never be parted.
If the last decade has taught me anything, it’s that I can do everything myself. If the last month has taught me anything, it’s that this isn’t always the best approach.
Like most bad jokes, it all comes down to a lightbulb. I boast about my apartment’s high tin ceilings, but they make it difficult to change the bulbs in my overhead lights. For years I lured tall, handy men into doing my dirty work, all puns intended. Then I had Mr. Oyster, and for a brief moment thought I’d solved all my problems. In the long aftermath of that relationship, I started hiring Taskrabbits, but even the noncreeps proved too forward. Men really do love damsels in distress, or at least preying on them. Continue Reading →