Drinking: Diet Coke w/ drops of vanilla
There’s nothing wrong.
Nothing to speak of. Nothing to report. No waves, no storms, no unpleasant events scheduled.
It makes me nervous.
I have a natural affinity for the wrong kind of goings-on. Tragedy, trauma, terrible news. I know what to do when the bomb drops. Know just how to curl into the self-preservational fetal ball. Know how to fling my forearms in front of my face to protect the eyes from flying shrapnel. I know how to drop and roll, how to crouch and cover. I know how to hide.
It is the standing tall in the daylight that sometimes causes confusion.
Happiness is not my natural state. And yet…
And yet. Here I am. Boy. Dog. Fog. Nice home (no picket fence though, thanks.) Nice job. Nice friends. Nice clothes. Nice shoes. Nice etcetera.
Boy sometimes accuses me of manufacturing unnecessary drama just so I can feel like something is wrong. Just so I can feel comfortable again. He may be on to something.
I have had so much going on peripherally for the last 9 months or so that I haven’t even realized how happy I was in my own life. I was distracted by the terrible news of my sister’s fiance getting suddenly shipped out to Iraq, distracted by her subsequent sudden wedding.
I was distracted by two friends who suddenly bottomed out, teetering on the edge of total, damning destruction. Distracted by their agonizing, inch-by-inch individual crawls back to safe ground.
I was too busy helping. Fielding middle-of-the-night phone calls and siren-sounding emergencies. Passing out bandages and crash helmets. But it’s quiet now. It’s very calm.
And I finally took a good look around me and damn. Life…it’s good! It’s full just to the top of the glass. It’s busy enough to keep me from boredom but lazy enough to keep me from stomach ulcers. I’m writing. I’m creating. I’m working. I’m playing. I’m, well…I’m great. How fucked up is that?
Long ago, when Boy and I started doing the dating dance, I warned him that I wasn’t sure I knew how to be happy. And yet here I am, doing it. Not enough paying enough attention most of the time to notice that that’s what’s going on. I’ve just been strolling along on the tightrope, not even noticing that I’ve stepped off the platform. Not even looking down.
Well. Until now. And that’s where the trick comes in.
Now that I know. Now that I see, I’ve got to resume the stroll. I can’t keep looking down…I won’t be able to move. It’s eyes up and forward. Over and out.
Maybe that’s it. The trick. The secret. Looking out, away from myself. Oh, I’m all for introspection. God knows I do that well. But people like me, we stare to long in the mirror and we start to fall apart. So I don’t think I’ll ever be in any danger of not paying enough attention to myself. I’ve got a degree in self-absorption.
But now that I’m all grown up, old enough to see beyond the glass, old enough to know there is real darkness out there that makes mine just look kind of pale grey. I guess the trick is that I’ve got to keep looking. There’s so much to see outside of me. And so I’ll resume my stroll.
Eyes up and forward…
-Lo, who thinks that mirrors can sometimes be kryptonite.