You sit down to write, an average day. You are drinking your customary thirty-two ounces of First Thing In The Morning water. (“Have you ever seen how quickly it perks a drooping plant? Think, then, on what it must do for the the more complex human body!”)
It’s just like it is supposed to be until it isn’t. That happens around one o’clock.
You fight until three, struggling to do in thirty minutes what you usually can in ten.
Your ridiculous sleep patterns maybe are harder on your brain now than when you were seven or seventeen or twenty-seven. You think a nap will help.
Your husband comes home from the road. He sees you and knows it is not physical. After you trade facts and observations about your days apart he says, gently, “I’ll cook dinner tonight so you can finish working.” You are grateful for a spouse who knows you are fighting, fighting and doesn’t make you fight him, too.
“Maybe this is me moving toward menopause?” you say, facing the wall, fingers tracing the branches of iron. (We can sleep in a tree bed every night! A tree bed! Imagine! you said excitedly to your husband upon finding it) “Maybe I’m not mentally ill.” You can’t look at anyone while you are saying it, not even him.
“It probably is.”
“It’s time to take some meds, I guess.”
“How long has it been?”
“Iunno? Four months. Thereabouts.”
“Well, get them in you, so they can start grabbing hold. Man, I love you.” Squeeze. Warmth. Safe places have elbows that jut outward for your protection.
“I know. I love you, too.”
He leaves. You dry swallow ten milligrams of Maybe.
You blurt, “I am written on the pages that nobody wants to see.” This is not some slog of self-pity and woe-is-me. It is what your brain is sending into every part of your being. Despite someone just looking into your face three minutes prior and saying I love you with emphasis, your brain tells you that you are written on the pages that nobody wants to see.
Today, today, even though you don’t mean to, you are believing it.