Thursday, June 11, 2009


Still what feels like an ulcer on my right tonsil, still an ache in the muscles that V around the adams's apple, the SCMs (I've been stupid about sitting semi-recumbent, holding my head up: that ache has far less to do with illness than with bad posture.) Still a pounding headache if I stand up too fast. But I'm nearly better. I walk at a normal pace from room to room, rather than at a slow hesitant shuffle. And I've washed and shaved, which feels wonderful. I wonder whether this was the swine flu? Who knows. Today is a quiet white day, a new day. I take a deep breath and it feels good.

Still. The leaves are motionless on the trees. We're at the bottom of a deep well of air. The occasional car going by is distinct, coughing and hushing its way to the stop sign at the corner. The clock ticks, and I can hear the refrigerator motor from the other side of the house. Pretty soon I should decide if I'm calling in sick to work again. Probably so. Give it one more day.

Nothing to say: only the blind impulse to reach out and touch. Thinking of the long-ago and far away: the encounter group in Bethel Maine; girls with long straight hair, the sunshine, the world according to John Lennon; discovering other people who loved Tolkien, back when not that many people did. Somehow being ill always draws me back to that pivotal age, thirteen and fourteen, when my life broke into pieces and was painstakingly reassembled into what is recognizably the Spring of my life, now, the same one sailing into early Autumn.

As always, I have only one wish, when I think about the past. I wish I had been kinder. Everything else, all the other ambitions and desires, fall away, but that one remains active. I did my best. I don't think I ever wanted to hurt people. But I was so wrapped up in trying to make myself into a person, trying to find some solid ground to stand on, that I know I hurt people along the way. I'm sorry about that. I don't know that it was possible then to do anything but what I did. But still.

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