autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Down and Out in Louisiana (2003)

Subject: Saturday Thoughts
Date: Sun, 09 Feb 2003 00:34:54 +0000

Hello from rustic Ruston, Louisiana. I’m not writing for any particular reason, just to send a ‘hello’ to someone who cares to receive it and to vent some thoughts and angst and whatnot. Apologies in advance, for to be sure this will likely not be the most happy of missives.

For some reason, the process of putting my thoughts on paper helps me. I’m not sure if it is the act of doing so that consolidates them in my mind or if it is the solace of knowing you read them and feel for the moment as I do (and how terrible is that, that I would wish to share my misery with someone I like and care about… ?), perhaps it is simply the knowing that there is someone who cares to share it with me. Hard to say.

I am in a strange place mentally these days. Not quite depressed, not yet looking up, somewhere in limbo where even the effort of feeling blue is more than I care to vest. I feel like a leaf upon the wind, frail and fragile, somehow better to drift than to try and exert effort to steer a course… fearing the attempt will likely damage me more than help me. It is a curious thing, this almost apathy. I can’t say I’ve ever before experienced it.

The roomie (Chico) is a good and caring friend. I am fortunate to know him. I am fortunate to have this place to lay my head, for now, though I’m not sure it can last. Today was my second day waitressing and I am bone sore, in pain, and beginning to realize my time in the wheelchair was not without reason. I fear for the possibility of some form of relapse, though I say nothing to anyone but you at the moment.

I am angry beyond all description that I cannot even stand on my feet long enough to earn my living doing so, now, when I have no choice but to try to and when so much of my future depends upon managing it. I had put behind me the stupidity of pride and resigned myself to it… only to discover it may be for nothing… my feet and ankles are, it seems, resolute in their refusal to endure. I would call it frustrating but for knowing it would be thus. I had hoped it would be otherwise.

I put in a full shift yesterday and when I got home, feel immediately into a dreamless sleep. Later in the evening, I awoke and found I could not walk without a most excruitiating pain. Not soreness, mind you. Bone pain. I remained in bed until this morning, and rose to dress and return for another shift. I made it precisely three hours until I was to the point of being immobilized by pain. I did not tell this to the manager, instead putting forth a convincing show of illness (pain helped in this, I think) and coming home to sit and stare at the ceiling and wonder ‘what now’…..

I am off tomorrow (Sunday), then return on Monday. If I cannot make it through the day by then, it is doomed, I fear. And I do not know what to do beyond there… as there is nothing in this town to be had that doesn’t involve the same type of work.

I will tell you know, it is humbling to realize how truly helpless I am… especially when in all other ways, I am so capable. I sit here and am angry that the job in Austin couldn’t happen, that, for the idiocy of timing and money, things could be so different.

And I know you would have helped me there, but to be frank, I could not take from you that help even though I wanted it most desparately. I still dream of calling them back and, by some miracle, they still want me to come work with them… but even if so, I am in the same boat as I was when I decided to come here… and honestly, my every thought is for Atlanta and my daughter these days. I could not go back to Texas.

I miss ******* so. I wonder to myself if I have not done some irrevocable damage in making the choices I have… if there is not now some new wall between us, if she now believes she cannot count on me, that I will ‘leave her’ if things get bad in future. It may sound strange, but I recall my thoughts when I was her age… though my circumstances were much more horrific than hers. Yet, kids are kids and it bothers me that in any manner she might judge me poorly for my choices.

I don’t think I realized until this moment how much I need her acceptance. Strange that. But I suppose any healthy relationship has such within it. I’m not sure why I would consider the notion of such existing in a parent/child relationship differently. Forest for the trees, I suppose.

As always, I am horribly lonely. Chico has a mild flirtation developing with someone he knows online and he’s all giddy with it. It is at once cute and painful to watch. I wish with all my heart I had someone who thought of me in such ways. Actually, for once in my life, I wish I could be rescued by someone. For the first time, I think I would be quite grateful to be simply drawn from the storm and deposited on a island where the bruises and wounds within could be tenderly repaired. I am tired of hurting like this. I am tired of feeling alone and lost.

Then of course, there is the other half of me, the half that growls at myself and plays ‘drill sargeant’, yelling at me to ‘suck it up’, ‘get on your feet, soldier!’, and ‘move on’. But I find it increasingly easy to ignore it. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. I sit here and am hurting in so many ways, and it is a blissful defiance to simply whisper to the drill sargeant, ‘no… I am in pain, I am soul weary, I am not able to go even one step further… and I will not… and you cannot make me… for there is nothing left here to use as fuel or upon which to support the weight of all the things gone before.’

I keep thinking it will pass, but I begin to realize it cannot. And I being to realize why. I am finally at a point in life where I am truly taxed to my limits. I have no more strength. I have not even the strength to pretend to strength. And it is scary, my friend, to realize this is the case.

I do not know what will become of me. And, at this moment, I truly do not care beyond finding some way to stop the pain and ease the weariness. Anything that will do this is life. I sincerely hope to find it soon.

Thank you for listening.