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Monday, October 15, 2012

The Flying and The Thud

It's been months of scattered sleep.

It's been weeks of waking in sweat.

It's been days, touching without connection.

I heard of a condition, this woman comes to the doctor asking if what is happening at that moment is real. The string that kept her tethered to this world has dissipated, disintegrated as she went about living. She felt like the pink balloon at a child's party, her string cut, drifting in the puffy clouds. She asked him if she was already dead because she wasn't sure, having never been dead previously.

These drugs, this disease, it turns me into something so wrapped up and insulated that I can't feel much anymore. The godsend is that the gripping and crippling depression that would creep into my bed with me while I slept and would hold my throat between its fingers went I woke, it's gone. My ties to it have threaded and we have become estranged. The horrible part is feeling devoid of all the glorious ecstaticism that existed in equal doses. The flying and the thud.

For weeks, I have moved forward, mostly out of competitiveness. The last string that tied me to soil unraveled between my fingers and suddenly I was free, but I floated nowhere. The worst of it was to go back to being poor again, unable to help those who need us, unable to help ourselves. The best part was no longer being able to buy my way out of a bad mood.

The first few days after this all began, I corralled my roommate and my son into the backyard and made hard work of things I convinced myself needed to be done - moving large rocks, tearing up hard soil, breaking my already broken back. I dug and dug until the light went out of the sky.

Weeks went by, and I started replanting, but without conviction. If it lived, it lived. If it died, it was replaced. I bought plants on their deathbeds, marked down for mere pennies, their color drained. I brought them home like rescue puppies, in equal abundance. Our watering system had long been broken by an incompetent landscaper so anything that went into the ground went with a roll of the dice.

Without thinking, I went one day and bought the few things that required me to learn more about what was buried underneath the top layer of immobile clay and unforgiving rocks. I learned where things snaked and I figured out how to repair what I did not understand. But as luck is a funny girl, I found an unfixable leak that flooded and took all the power away from everything that had been repaired. Almost no watering outlet worked just because of this one injury to the line.

I looked up different ways to fix it, all requiring drastic measures - a cut that once done, if not repaired exactly right, would damage everything and cause all the previous work to be for nothing.

I measured what was in the ground. I stood in aisles pondering over the correct materials. I scoped my options if it did not work. I did not prepare for if it did.

After sitting with the problem, watching it waste what little resources we had to keep everything else alive and going, I finally made the brutal cut. There was no way to turn back.

After only a few moments of replacing, adjusting, testing, and readjusting, the leak had disappeared. All the water flowed perfectly.

Every day since, I go out at night in my bare feet. I walk my small garden, from the front with honeysuckle, the sides with the struggling hibiscus, the back with the pink-leafed bougainvillea. I can see the thing I am carving out of air, carving with their vines and flowers. I can see the home that will be after we are gone, after another house struggles under our footsteps and weight to become our home.






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5 comments:

  1. Wow, the imagery of the cutting the strings that bind you to life was deep. Sort of a Ladies Home Journal story from Faulkner's daughter. Great title for the piece, very apt description of a bi-polar expedition. I was glad that the garden was saved.

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  2. Firstly, to Anonymous: Thank you so much for your comments. I wish I knew who you were so I could add you to my Christmas card list and be able to will you a proper Oompah-Loompah, were I ever to come into any significant possession of one. Seriously, it was an amazing way to wake up, though I'd been out of bed for two hours already.

    Secondly, to anyone reading Anonymous' comments and subsequently mine: This wasn't my mother writing to boost my ego since she's been dead since 2005 and certainly not my father since he's recovering from heart surgery and likely doesn't have lucid access to anything online. I doubt it's either of my sisters since they still haven't forgiven me for smacking them upside the head in the car when I was 12 and blaming them for making unnessesary noise while Mom was driving. (Yes, both of them; yes, at different times.)

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  3. just read it. I see what you say, vivid visuals come from your words....I like your style Cass, Betty

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  4. Thank you so much, Betty. It means so much to me to hear it from you.

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