“This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps.”
– Walter, The Big Lebowski (censored cable version)
So life took this really Kafkaesque turn the other day, and I’ve been debating about writing about it. I mean, people go through worse things than this every day, and they don’t spend all their time blubbering on the phone and Internet, right? What is my problem? I’ve written like 10 entries trying to communicate what happened and how it went down and it was truly too sad for you. Here’s the one I almost posted yesterday:
I AM NOT OKAY.
I’m feeling better today, but it was short, sweet and a great summary of where I’ve been this week so I thought I would share.
Good things HAVE happened and I’m trying to focus on that stuff instead of the bad.
I saw Lynda Barry on Monday! I love her so, so much. I’ve already heard her discuss her new book on Talk of the Nation, but she is always such an inspiration.
Lynda Barry is the only adult I have ever met who has tapped into that magic part of a child’s brain without being creepy or Michael Jackson cuckoo bananas. She knows how to play and pretend like a 5 year-old with the wisdom and humor of an adult. No one has ever been able to capture childhood the way she has – it’s a total trip back in time without the usual cheese and sugar.
She wrote this one comic strip (or should I say, Marlys wrote a comic strip) called, “How To Groove on Life” that completely changed my life and the way I write. The first time I met her, she signed it for me. This time around, I thanked her again and told her that it made me want to put exclamation points behind everything that I do. She beamed at me! I beamed back!
I had never been to the St. Louis Central Library before and neither had she. It is seriously gorgeous! She said that if she dies (note the “if” – I love her), she wants to be a ghost in that library forever. I do too, if only to hang out with her all the time.
On the way home, my friend Ted called to say he was in town. I stopped by to visit with him and his son. His mom asked me if I wanted to teach creative writing at her community college. Back in grad school, my media literacy professor told me that my presentations were great and I should consider teaching that, too. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot.
In the meantime I’ve been trying to do more creative writing of my own. For the first time in forever, there is an actual plot floating around in my head and the gears have been actively shifting to try and piece it together. I almost forgot what that feels like. It’s wonderful.
I didn’t sleep 8 hours every night this week but I’m getting there, which all things considered is amazing.
My dad is going back to the hospital on Tuesday – this time for another toe amputation. It’s hard enough to deal with that stuff, but it’s even harder when I used to have that person I could always call and that place I could always go to get away from the stress. When that gets taken away, it’s like the floor dropping out from underneath you.
HOWEVER: last night I called him and told him what was going on with my dad and he said, “Gross.”
Say it with me now: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That put things into perspective. Big time. I loved him a lot for inexplicable reasons, but he truly is the King of Sad Pathetic Suckville and I need to get over it, stat.
Don’t let me cry about him anymore. It’s time to get rid of these puffy eyes:
This week was full of unforeseen nightmarish waves of loneliness, where I really needed friends and needed to escape and I had no one to talk to and nowhere to go and nothing to distract me. Last night I was about to get hit with another one and it was unbearable.
And then… out of nowhere… Jen called me and said, “Would you like to come over and watch some Buffy?”
And I actually teared up as I answered, “That would be perfect.”
I know I write this at least once a month, but I have never had a friend as amazing as Jen. She doesn’t even have to try. She just is. I am eternally grateful that I have her in my life. This week especially, she has been the gentle kick in the ass that I needed to get back on my feet.
I am determined to have an awesome fun weekend and I hope you guys have one, too. Let’s be safe out there, kids.