Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Boil, My Self

The wound is now almost healed. What was once a seething, angry, pus-filled mine of misery is nothing more than a small scabbed patch of tenderness. I now understand why a boil is a misfortune of Biblical proportions. How could this happen to me? I am a clean, young American. I exercise and take my vitamins. I show up to work on time and smile at old ladies on the street. I even recycle . . . somewhat. But no, here I am, in the prime of my life recovering from an infection deep within the skin. Oh, the shame. My very own literally dirty secret. I pass people on the street and wonder if they can tell I am secretly oozing puss and blood under my shirt. Someone invites me up to their apartment, and I have to decline, scared they may discover my secrets buried deep within. I call sick into work, my private frailties invading my professional life. Do I have a fever? Am I nauseous? Fatigued? Dizzy? Fizzy? No, no, nothing actually keeping me from working, other than I am a open wound, spewing DNA. I settle into my bed and begin the draining. My bed becomes my fortress, my home. Food is delivered, bandages are changed, and Hulu and I begin a fast and intense courtship. Resigned to a state of sloth, I go on autopilot, putting all calls of ambition on hold, watching the clock for my next round of antibiotics. I settle into this new slow-paced pattern, exchanging my harried, frenetic routine for quiet . . . And then one day your boil is nearly gone, and it is time to return to life.

I have not written in this blog in a long, long time. Not long enough that it or I have been forgotten, but long enough to lose one's immediacy, one's flow. The past few months have seen my whole life jumbled, new job, new apartment, relationships tested, some surviving, some dying, slowly. I have been busy, or keeping myself busy, trying to hide from myself, my thoughts and worries, my sadness. Little stories about trips to the supermarket, the show I just watched, the visitor I just had in town are not what lies on the tip of my tongue. Mostly I have been awash in anger and sadness. What were once waves, coming up from the deep, at times unannounced and unprovoked, now are in the forefront of my psyche, staring me in the face each day, daring confrontation. I suppose my general state could be described as "Surfacing."

Grief is a funny thing. It twists your words and alters your mood. It gives you license to act like a perfect asshole at times, given the circumstances. You can be at once overly sentimental and the next minute cold as ice. It hangs in the background, following you around, a shadow on the sidewalk. It can make simple questions about your family, your home, your faith seem like assaulting and creeping monsters. When it takes over, you can find yourself acting the monster.

I have decided to end my battle with grief. Yes, I will always miss my sister. I will probably relive those awful days in the hospital a thousand times in my head. But I have decided to choose life, to continue living my life, to seek out the good things that are yet to come. While Jessica's life may be over, mine is not. There will be good days ahead, as well as some bad. There will be new people, new family, new love. I am just now returning to myself. I feel like I have been away on a long, long trip. Or perhaps I have been in deep, deep slumber, having the most bizarre dream. The star fell ill, and it has been my understudy you have seen on the stage these past two years. The star has returned.

What I'm Listening to: Drake Take Care, Feist Metals, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Bangles

What I'm Watching: Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, American Horror Story, Once Upon a Time, Up All Night, Mary Martha Mae Marlene, The Fisher King

What I'm Reading: When You Are Engulfed in Flames

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