Sunday, June 18, 2006

Frozen

I wake up and it’s still yesterday. You had called in the afternoon to tell me what I felt and that it was time for my execution. You were precise, I'll hand it to you. You had the document. You read it out. It was much like the way people think trials work, but don't. I kept thinking, you called it in.

I don’t know how many days it will be until it stops being still yesterday when I get up.


A few hours after that, I walk to the grocery store. I focus on items on shelves as if they are an urgent math problem and world peace depends on my attention. That is all I am thinking about. That is the rule I’ve made so that I can buy things from a list I've written earlier. And just as the supermarket soundtrack spins into a song by Sade from a CD that was your first gift to me, and at precisely that same moment as a tornado is unwinding itself in my chest, a friend spots me, asking frantically, “Have you seen my husband? Have you met my husband?” I don’t know. I don't know. The talent for breathing seems to have left me, momentarily, and I’m caught somewhere between gasping for air, screaming, or laughing at the universe –
good one, universe. How about that woman-alone music? Could you get a little more cliché? - while I try to make polite conversation.

And then I go home. I tip the taxi driver. I arrange my face into a smile. I put away the groceries.

I tell myself life goes on. I start my beadwork. I hunch for over it for hours, the needle weaving back and forth and then I spend the same number of hours ripping out endless mistakes. Life is, in fact, going on, but the pattern is unraveling.

I do not drink. I have eaten one boiled egg the entire day. Some primitive survival instinct kicks in and squats between me and the Bombay Sapphire. I sit, instead, numb or hoping for it, while the sky outside goes from breath-taking blue to sundown pinks.

Today, I shower and dress. Comb my hair into a ponytail and get down to work. I make progress until I declare the work a loss and decide to try again with something else. Everything is square pegs in round holes. Nothing meshes. Nothing works except sitting and watching the sky.

I walk in the afternoon and just past the crosswalk, an invisible sucker-punch lands square in my chest and I’m focused again…breathe in, breathe out. I’m blowing air from my mouth like a woman in labor. I’m counting the inhales, willing my ribcage open. Pride, in my case, is not going to goeth before a fall. I keep walking.

The minutes crawl by on broken legs. It is 6:30 p.m. An hour later it is 6:40 p.m.
And it is still yesterday. The curtains flail in the wind. The vase of orange fabric flowers blow over. The dishes sit in a basin of cold water, all the bubbles hours gone. I observe. I don't move to change anything.

There is nothing to be done. Nothing to be done.

15 comments:

Jess said...

Oh, LJ...

herhimnbryn said...

Have never met you, don't 'know' you. But, this is not like the you I have been reading about.
Am WORRIED for you. ANXIOUS too. Hang in there LJ, get through all the ten minutes that seem like an hour.
Reaching out my hand through the blogshere.

Anonymous said...

Fucking gorgeous prose.
Myabe you embillished, but I bet you didn't.
Keep on straight-shootin'.

--S

Amishlaw said...

I hate to call this great writing, although it is, but the pain seems so genuine that it's like profiting from someone else's misfortune to read it and say, "great writing." I also really like "Ides of June," which also portrays some pain, but has delightful word play. Have you published anything? You certainly have the talent for it. I would be willing to buy it.

LJ said...

Jess, thanks.
And H, thank you. Hand welcomed and accepted.
String - Not embellished.
A - another thank you. I have published a few times. Non-fiction essays, a short story in a quickly dead ezine.
Like my friend coyo says - can't be a complete loss if you get some writing out of it.
As for me - if I didn't write then the universe (mine)might threaten not to make sense, if you can imagine such a thing.

beadbabe49 said...

I'm so sorry, lj...I wish we could take a long walk on the beach...not talking...just walking and breathing and being...

Anonymous said...

I wish I could pour out prose about "feelings" like you do, but I'd rather read your blog than ours!

--String

LJ said...

String, honey. Sometimes, having the feelings in the first place isn't so f-cking grand, you know? But then maybe you're saying you do...and can't write them down. Thanks for the compliment on the writing.

Mary said...

(o)

xoxo

Katie said...

Linda, I started reading and three thoughts went through my head: I wish I knew you in a physical proximity sense so that I could give you a hug, I feel the pain in your writing and I'm sorry for it, and lastly (and please don't be insulted) this was one of the most soul touching posts of yours that I have read yet. I wish for you that the pain passes quickly. From what I can tell you are such an amazing person and you must know that this too shall pass. Please take care of yourself, and know that there are people out here in this big blogosphere that are thinking of you :)

Hugs and love, Jamie

Lucas said...

one word: crushing.

Mella said...

Speechless...

LJ said...

Mella. Yeah. I sure wasn't expecting it.

Teri said...

Lots of love, LJ. Yes, I too hesitated to say "great writing", because it doesn't seem the point (though completely true), but through your words I feel the pain in my bones.
xoxo

phlegmfatale said...

oh my darling, I'm sorry to come back to your blog to see that you've had such a terrible blow. Sending warm thoughts your way. Sometimes, the sky has to be enough.