Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Going Nowhere

It's getting harder and harder to leave the apartment. Not "leave" as in "move from" but, rather, "leave" as in "walking out" the front door and crossing the patio to the gate, opening the gate and walking out onto the street and then, from there, making it to wherever it is I'm wanting to go.

The building's maintenance men have been here every day, all day, for weeks now, painting, hammering, sawing, and killing time. It wouldn't be so bad, but their main man is a friendly talker. If I so much as crack an inch in the front door, he can hear the scratch and will immediately wrap me in a monological headlock I haven't learned how to break out of. The other two don't help much because they enjoy my panic. I look at their eyes and I can see the implied message: Brah, just walk on out. You don't have to listen to his shit.

But I just can't break the chain of manners forged over a lifetime.

(I sometimes recollect myself in a previous life as a young man atop one of the great temple-pyramids of Mexico.

"You want me to lie down here on this stone table while your friends hold my arms and legs and you take that stone knife and rip my beating heart from out my chest? Of course. Oh, pardon me, I didn't mean to step on your toe. Ah, here we are. Like this? Oh! That smarts.")

And yet I manage to get out eventually.

Then I have to contend with the guy who plays guitar on the sidewalk in front of the building next door. He's a friendly fellow, but I don't always understand what he means when he talks about a new way he's found to keep his guitar in tune without always having to turn the knobs.

Once I manage to move past him, there's the lady across the street who sells junk jewelry and expresses concern that I haven't seemed so carefree lately, and did I know she just moved down to the Quarter into the Cahn building on the corner? And I wonder, Can she see me from her balcony when I'm in the patio reading?

The Korean ladies at the foot-massage parlor are always cheerful, too, greeting me with smiles and birdlike chatter in the ultimate hope that I will surrender my left sole to them.

Yesterday, I had my regular check-up with my doctor. He swept into the examining room and rattled off the test results from my last visit and congratulated me for passing every battery with flying colors. When he stopped and turned to me and said, "And how are things with you," I stared to cry.


  1. That first paragraph made me wonder if the last paragraph might be something along those lines. Say more? It might help. xo

  2. What I've written here is a bare report of what my current daily life is like as it appears to me as I experience it. I don't often write about these darker things since more people have started reading this blog. I don't want to present myself as a pitiful whiner. I hope I'm not that anyway. I was simply struck by the wide divide between what I'm feeling and what has been happening to me this year alone.

    Things have been good. My blogs have gotten some nice attention, both for the writing and the photography. My theatre work has been rewarded with favorable recognition. Yet my reaction to all this has been to withdraw. Why is that?

    After starting to cry in my doctor's office (how ridiculous is that?) we talked about possible causes. It may all have to do with my body's chemistry. Who knows? So we're back to testing.

    Also, I think I write from a position of peeking around a corner. I look at my world a little bit askew. What I leave out is as important as (maybe more than?) what I put in.

    I don't know what I'm trying to say. My mind is not as sharp as I sometimes like to think it can be. But don't worry unduly about me. As I assured my doctor Monday, I am not suicidal. I've been through these things before, and I will get through them again. Remember, too, he and I are working to find a cause and treatment.

    Oh, and don't dismiss the little picture accompanying this essay. That's Buster Keaton in a still from Steamboat Bill Jr. The front of his house is falling down on him, but he will remain standing as the second-floor window swooshes past him.

    "Every little movement
    Has a meaning all its own ..."

  3. Oh, sweetie, I can soooo relate.

    I look forward to my weekends off and all the possibilities that my free time holds. But I end  up never leaving the house (or backyard). The idea to get myself "presentable" to encounter other people (the public) is unappealing.  Then the "cloud of grey" starts to descend.

    There are no pets, children or family to occupy my time. It's just me & my favorite husband, which is concerning.  Am I  intentionally becoming a hermit? Yet, get me in a social situation, and I am social animal. Weird. If something happened and I was living alone, I am afraid I would become the cat lady of my neighborhood.

    Upside, you are talking/writing. It would be a totally different story, if you hadn't posted your thoughts.

  4. I'm glad my mood didn't drive you off. And it's true. The writing helps immensely.

  5. Oh, sugar, you couldn't drive me away. I feel you are my "southern brother from another mother".

  6. LOL, now you watch how you talk about my mama. (She always wanted a daughter, you know. I did the best I could.)

  7. Whatever it takes to put a smile on your face!

  8. You're not whining.  Your readers care about you too much than to walk away when you talk about emotions.   I hope you and your doc find the right mix to make you feel alive again!

  9. Thank you, Judy. I haven't given up yet ;-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...