Racing While Stuck

How is it possible to have both a racing mind and be completely shutdown at the same time?

I have so much going on that I am starting to trip over my own thoughts and it’s taking over my ability to function.

I am physically tired from all the work that will never cease. So much water damage. So much muscle pain. So much perfectionism and failure to execute to my own standards and knowledge. Great design, poor execution.

Not enough time or attention.

I am losing another person. Right now. I can’t go see him. He’s in organ failure in a hospital on the other side of the country. Quarantined with Covid-19. I stopped visiting him years ago because he was mad at me for never finishing the painting that I promised him. And because he was just so far away. There was no need to run because the distance was already so great. How wide was my comfort zone? The size of Texas, apparently. But he’s alone.

When I think about it I hear the alzheimer’s patient down the hall from my hospital room, constantly calling out, Hello? Hello? Is anyone there? Hello?

I remember when he told me what it was like to be chloroformed. It was when he was a child for a medical procedure. He said it was terrifying. He said he felt everything. He is a redhead turned blonde by the sun. From years of working outdoors. Redheads do have trouble with anesthesia. Maybe it was just a lie. A joke. A prank.

He made lots of jokes.

He had this husky laugh that always made me want to be near him. He was so funny. Funny to a child at least. Adventurous and wild. I don’t know if he laughs anymore. I don’t even know if he was even funny. I just remember wanting him to like me. Because of that hissing, husky laugh.

Of course the truth is I lost him long ago. When I stopped visiting. When I couldn’t talk. Now I can’t go. I can’t go say goodbye. No one can.

The world is racing and frozen all at the same time. Like a deer blinded by the headlights of a car. It’s just its nature, the deer. It’s not stupid or frightened. It just can’t see. There is too much light. It feels too much. And so it does not save itself. Because it is drowning in that light.

I am not drowning. I’m not even at risk of drowning. I have too much to live for, too many projects to finish. I’m just stuck. Struck by how much I feel, how loud it is. There’s too much. Too much. Too much.

I can hear it. The conflict. It’s the buzz of anger and cicadas mixed together in the confusion of so much fear and hate. What can you do in the face of so much hate?

A man in the hardware store called me a bitch for “butting in” after he cursed at a cashier. He tried to use the ADA against her. Not very well. And honestly, it was just my own disability giving me the compulsion to correct him, to protect her.

He looked at me with so much anger, there were tears in his eyes. He was watery-eyed with hate and just brimming with violence. I thought he was going to hurt me. I could see the want to hurt me. He wanted to hurt me for speaking, for knowing something that he didn’t. For daring to speak against such virulent behavior. It made me so sad that I cried as I bagged my supplies.

I didn’t need a handkerchief. I was wearing a mask. I told him he should be ashamed of himself. But there is no shame anymore. For good, and for bad. There is no truth, so there is no shame. Just so much shouting, hissing, and spitting. And it travels so much farther than 6 feet’s worth of distance.

Sometimes I put perfume in my masks so I can completely block my senses. Like they did in the first plague, a pocket full of posies. I wear my dark glasses, I put on headphones, smell the citrus scent, and pretend that I can’t feel it.

But I do.

Medication helps.

But this latest. This loss that is happening, that already happened, that will keep happening. The fear I have for his fear.

I just don’t want him to be alone.

How can so many people die alone and yet we still continue to be so petty and vicious?

The man in the store reminded me of him.

Update: My Uncle suffered up and down with organ failure and ventihilators for four more months. But in the end, he was not alone. His beautiful daughter was with him.

When he died, I reminded my mother of the time when she and her siblings were all at their mother’s death bed. My uncle happened to be in the other room when she passed, but he knew that she was gone without seeing her body. He said he knew because he saw my grandmother leave. I suggested that perhaps my grandmother saw him coming, and was there for him too.