by Larkin Vonalt
I knew this day was coming. I knew even before I started this project that I would reach a point where I would want to just to blow off the writing and crash. This is that night.
First comes the bargaining: it’s okay, you can go to bed and get up early and write, who will know the difference? Then comes the crankiness: why even bother, who even cares, why do you write this crap? Then there’s the worst: the whining. I am so tired. I just want to lay my head down, I just want someone to rock me to sleep, I just want . . .
The truth is that I’m tired because I’ve been cleaning my house. How lame is that? The house is not that bad– it’s not like we’re in the running for an episode of Hoarders or anything. But there is a lot of stuff to sort through, and in the past I’ve just stuffed it in that closet or stowed it in those boxes or put it in the corner and thrown a festive tablecloth over it. It’s time to finally figure out where everything goes and put it there. We’ve been here for four years after all.
To compound my to-do list, Christmas is around the corner. And we’ve invited folks over. What is it about humans that makes us decide to replace the front door glass, paint the back door, install a new kitchen island and sort out the dresser drawers (underwear with holes to the trash, underwear with shot elastic to the trash. Hell, put it all in the trash) when we have an absolute no-fail, no wiggle-room deadline. We must be nuts.
And I am tired. My back is a little achy, I have a paper cut, I need to do something with my hair and good God, it’s nearly two in the morning again? I am peering up over the edge of fifty and I guess it’s okay to be tired.
But before I can ramp up a full-fledged pity fest, I remember. One of my friends was just diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. She’s optimistic, her doctors are optimistic, she’s going to do her best to beat this. Still, one of our mutual friends was already spinning out a eulogy over dinner.
Eulogies are being written for the sister of one of my high school classmates. She drowned last week while on vacation in Mexico, and my friend struggles daily with authorities in another country to have her sister’s remains brought back to Canada.
Last week, another friend joyfully announced her remission from leukemia and in the next breath said she was going in for more chemotherapy to keep it that way, and the way she said it made it sound like she’d decided to go to Michigan for the weekend or something. She must be so very tired, but she is determined.
The near constant severe headaches plaguing yet another friend turned out to not be Lyme Disease (her original diagnosis, which would have been bad enough) but a godawful thing called Fahr’s Syndrome. When she told me in an email that this was what she was facing, I had to look it up. When I saw what it said, I wept. There is no treatment for this progressive neurological disease. Unlike my friends with cancer, she cannot get better. She and her husband have two daughters not yet in high school.
So who am I to even feel weary? My friends are the most amazing people, and I am humbled by their strength. If they want to pitch a fit sixteen ways to Sunday surely that’s their prerogative, because life really is so damn unfair. It is not for me to whine about having all this to do, and wishing I had another week to spin my wheels. It’s not for me to complain that I can’t fall into bed because I will not be dissuaded from this relatively modest project of writing something everyday. I didn’t even say that I had to write something good.
Dear readers, please say a prayer for Audrey and Marilyn, for Stacy and for Sue. Know, too, that I am counting my weariness and minor aches and pains like blessings. Tomorrow is another day, and one of those tomorrows I am going to sort out my schedule to get the writing done first.
But for tonight, I really do have to crawl into bed. I am so sleepy I don’t think I can write one more