It’s finally December.
It snuck up on me without warning, at the end (or beginning, if you’re a Sunday starting person) of a hectic week. I spent my holiday with my boyfriend’s family, which was okay. The night before my nerves got the best of me, as well as regret and grief and whatever emotional baggage I’ve been dragging toward Thanksgiving. Simply put, I didn’t want to be there, feeling awkward in his house with his sister and her boyfriend and his mom. They’re not bad people, though I’m pretty sure his sister doesn’t like me. But it’s a bearable passive aggressive, “You’re a stranger and you’re in my house all the time” kind of dislike. In fact, the same kind of dislike I’ve projected on more than one occasion, I’m sure, and one my boyfriend keeps as a default when someone makes a shitty impression in the first five minutes of being there. I’ve been bumming there on weekends and for a whole six weeks when I first got back here. I’m pretty sure everyone knows more than I think they know about me, including all the bullshit that’s happened this year and maybe even my high school drama, because his sister and I had a mutual bestie once upon a time. But my point?
It’s an awkward I could have brushed off, I could have been normal personable, talkative me. I could have ate, enjoyed the food and the parade, I could have just been normal. And if I couldn’t be normal I could have at least left the room for my boyfriend’s sake, so he could stop feeling like he had a negro bed wench in his room. But as I spent Thanksgiving Eve drugged up and not leaving the room, not eating, not peeing, not showering. I looked for that Kourtney, high school Kourtney, five year Kourtney, who loves people and talking and parties and holidays, and she had hung an out for lunch sign that’s been there for a very long time, and I freaked. Because besides that, there’s not much. The night ended in the ER, crying and angry and sad because my boyfriend didn’t understand and still doesn’t, because I’m still too tired to make it to Akron to be there for my cousins and my uncle, because I need money and I need all kinds of shit but I am at a stalemate. I can’t move forward, I can’t move backwards. I don’t know what to do. I felt like screaming and I haven’t been able to. I am never anywhere that feels like home, my cousins are dead too early, and it feels like it should have been me, and I know that if it was, life would still go on like it is now in the slow drudging way it has been going for a long time. And it brings a pause, a silence where I don’t know the answers, where no one does, where your parents and the adults in your life and your heroes become human, flawed and breakable, where success is not inevitable, and the possibilities that there are no answers or solutions for the hurt that no amount of affection, of fun, of medication, of drinking, of eating, of anything, stops nowadays.
But nonetheless, the shot in the ass of Ativan helped a little bit. I didn’t sleep but it did take off the edge. I muddled through Thanksgiving, tired but not tired enough to relax. Missed the parade. I slept a straight twelve hours the next night, and went onan Adventure to make myself feel better. My boyfriend and I went to the library, which was fun (Nerds). I got some Toni Morrison books, and he got some weird book where H.G. Wells and Dracula team up to do change history or some shit. We got a CD or two, and just drove, and stumbled on a Christmas fest in Sharon, PA and had dinner in a diner. Here’s a nice picture of my boyfriend eating chili, and a shot of my buttery but otherwise, whatever, mac & cheese.
Just about everyone was a blue collar white Christian that knows everyone or knows of everyone within a 30 mile radius. All of the cities cops I’m pretty sure were strolling around being talkative, asking about people they knew. We stood out like a sore thumb, but no one was hostile. Just curious. And all the craziness, the racing thoughts. The fear. They quit after a while and I enjoyed it all, wishing life was simpler for me, that I could settle for simple, for kids and motherhood, snow and small town Midwestern-ness.vI even started wishing I could blend into these lily-white crowds of red faces.
But I think I know too much of pain, of wanting more, of unfairness that happens when curiosity and ignorance breeds hostility and violence at the blink of an eye to be okay in Sharon or anywhere else at that. No, I couldn’t settle for something like that, not with the constant diet of ‘better’ and hope I’ve been fed and then started feeding myself. But hope is intangible; a bridge that stops midway with only fog ahead. Just like everything else. Any suffering I’ve ever been through has always had a sure, if distant end. Why doesn’t this kind of pain have an ending?
How can there be closure without an ending, happy or tragic or somewhere in between like most things? Is there ever any closure to realizing that no matter where you go, that those who have died cannot be found? That someone you just spoke to yesterday has disappeared into nothingness, nowhere, and all you have is unfinished plans and the stories you were planning on telling them hanging on the ends of your lips like chapped skin? If they hang long enough, for ten, twenty, thirty five years? Will they drop, unheard, no longer a burden. Why doesn’t knowing how’s and when’s of after-death for the living make it easier for us to suffer them?
The silences, the empty parts of what was a full life, the way Christmas music hurts like a bitch and there is nothing you can do but deal and try not to let your relationship with the concept of death and the dead themselves cloud your relationship with the living world, and the ones you love who are still, miraculous, ticking away, even if you know that one day, at any moment, they could stop, with no epilogue, no closing act, no reprise of meaning.
So this is how I enter December, with no closure for anything let alone this deplorable year, which I’ve never liked anyway. I usually spent it sleeping or reading because school was finally over, and I guess I’ll keep doing that, since that’s all I’ve been doing lately anyway. I was planning on going back to school but I’m not sure if that’s the best idea anymore. I was thinking doing some math, some science that requires methodical, right or wrong, kind of thinking or simple memorization, would be a precious break to having to think about intangible ass shit like feelings and themes and interpretations that always end up in the air.
But I don’t know what’s a good idea anymore.
I read this article of grief but this woman who calls herself the Intuition Physician because she actually is a doctor along with a semi-life coach, but she said the grieving process is more like surrender vs. resistance, and that grieving just exists as a tug of war between the two, that never ends, that’s always pulling in one way or another. I thought it was a good metaphor.
It hasn’t help know since getting words for how I’m feeling doesn’t and hasn’t helped how I felt about it for a really long time, if ever.