1012p 1st march 2021

I miss you.
I’m trying so hard to not miss you and I know that isn’t the point
I am trying so hard to be independent and stand alone on my own two feet even though it is clear that I cannot

when it seems that I have finally gotten my footing underneath
after that terrible summer
i have gained my balance and then I meet you.
you who sweeps me off my feet and takes my breath away in one fell swoop.

I know that you are coming back I know that I have nothing to fear and yet all I have is fear.

I take smiling pictures of myself to prove that I am happy, prove to whom, prove to myself? but the smiles don’t come easy.
crooked smiles, nonetheless.

I think about what you might be doing while I am sitting here and I know that doesn’t serve any good purpose but I do it anyway.

I watch the waning moon rise higher in the frigid sky,
fingers turning white with cold.
clouds moving with the slow scud of a Star Wars sequence,
branches in front of my windshield frantic and terse.

It is finally too cold to sit out here any longer but I am not yet finished.
I do not feel anywhere near able to sleep.
I am missing all of the missing tonight.
All of the missing who mean anything.
Even the ones I don’t want to miss.
The ones I would rather the missing be inequal.
I wish they would hurt like I hurt. I wish I knew they did.
That isn’t very gracious.
I don’t feel very gracious.

614p, 26th february, 2021. hope.

a photo of me with my unwashed, tearstained face, in front of a wall with a laser-cut rising sun sculpture, a photo of me as “Rosie (the Riveter) Revisited” by my husband in 2002, and an exhortation to “cheer up honey pie” .
there is no filter on this photo.

I am driving and I am listening to the President and I am crying
I am crying and I am crying and I am crying and they are huge ugly tears
“A dose of hope”, he says and the tears flood down my face “a dose of hope” he says

Hope is something that I never ever had.
It was never even on the list of things to look for.
Hope was for the foolish and the losers and the suckers.
the idea of hope was as painful as the reality of unrequited love, a crush that goes nowhere, being ghosted by someone you really, really thought you liked.
Hope was not for me, not ever.

but maybe,
maybe now it is.
maybe I can have some for myself, just a little.
I’m not asking for much.
Just a little.

Hope.
The taste of it, the texture.
rolls around in my mouth, between my fingers.
hope.

I draw my hand back, my heart back sharply from the edge of this hope
too sharp, this edge, too unknown.

My chest tightens, my jaws clench, my fingernails dig into my palms.
breath shallows, and hitches as my eyes darken, kohl smudging my cheeks.

“Guess what!” the President says, excitement clear and bright through the speakers
“We landed a rover on Mars!”

hope.

1116a 27th january 2021

it is elevensixteen now but at 1111
(waiting for the strike?)
so much flash of anxiety flash of panic
i learn have learned to keep track to
watch
to pay attention to monitor
to see what
i mean it is always as it is happening
it is always in the middle
although
increasingly it is on the way up
in
out.
it is no longer as the smoke is clearing
it is no longer when there are horrified faces

there is actually (sometimes)
(sometimes)
time to stop it before i
before without i cannot without
without
without distressing to the point
of disintegration

so it is an hour later and it would seem
that I was unable to stave off this
this disintegration
this dysphorically manic tumult

yet another hour later
i know it is having an effect,
taking the sweet
but i really just don’t want to be right now.
not at all.

146p

there shouldn’t be this much rage
there shouldn’t be this much pain
it should have eased by now i am trying
i am trying everything to be eased.

another hour later
chest tight
shoulders tight
jaws tight
there are two and a half hours to go
before I can go
core tight
i feel frozen, stiff
as if the only parts of my body i can move
my left hand to write, move across the
page, turned forty five degrees to
not ink up my hand

another hour gone
anger, still
no patience, rattled
i need sublimation
i need to be underneath and out
i need to be out and gone
one hour eleven minutes to go.

twenty minutes left.
almost there.
almost there.

waiting to inhale. 713a, 3 january, 2020

I hate this. All of it.

I hate this president, I hate the people who elected him. I hate every single person who voted to put him into office in 2016, and every single person who voted to try and keep him there. Zero exceptions. I don’t care about anyone’s misogynistic, stupid, idiotic reasoning for voting for him. If you voted for him I hate you. I don’t care about you. I want you to disappear off the face of the Earth. There is no amount of apologizing, bargaining, begging that will help, that will ameliorate, there is no remedy. this is what you have done, this is all your fault.

I hate everything about him, everything he stands for, everything he is.

I hate. So much hatred that is dissolving me from the inside out. And goddess help the idiot who tells me that I need to let go of that. What the fuck do you think I’m trying to do here. there is no letting go. There is only purging. There is only excision. There is only vomiting up volcanic toxic spew. There is only violence and wrath and rage.

I wake up and cry because there is nothing I can do. I wake up crying because it wakes me up in the middle of the night.

All I can do is wait and hope that I don’t get sick and that I don’t get anybody else sick.

I wait on tenterhooks to be able to spend time with my partners. To kiss B, to snuggle with him and spend the night with him. To wake up with him and kiss him some more. I spent more time with him yesterday than I have spent with any partner in over a year. It was about twenty-two hours, total. I have no idea when we’ll be able to do that again. No time soon. No.

I cringe every time someone touches me accidentally without meaning to or just pushes by and touches me. It makes me want to hiss and bare my fangs. How dare you when I cannot?

I flinch when people reach out for my hand and I don’t want them to touch me because I don’t want to get sick.

I am sitting outside in my car, the engine off and the windows open with a rapidly cooling cup of coffee writing this so that I can watch the sun come up. It is somewhere south of freezing and I am waiting to calm down enough so that I can light my pipe and give myself some comfort.

I want to live in a no-news bubble where I don’t hear anything at all about how much he is fucking up the rest of this for everyone. All I want to hear is nothing. nothing.

I can’t wait much longer.

924 am Friday December I don’t know whatever today is

i am so incredibly manic.
my eyes are wide and wider
surely looking like the stereotypical “crazy eyes”
i feel insane, my brain on fire, wide open.
everything all fight and flight and run and scream and panic
cold and hot and fire and ice and death

the only things that I know will help the only things that I know will sate this I cannot have
smoke and sex and sleep
comfort and softness
hard and fast.

so I do what I can
I medicate as much as I dare
I empty this out into here
I prepare to fight.
but already I am losing.

it is 10:18am and i
I can feel less tight
less clanging less
Panicked.
less of a horse caught in a burning barn, less a wildfire
my shoulders lowering
My eyes softening.
I find smiles there, and here, too.

i broke my own heart, leaving you.

620p 18th july 2020

do you ever think of me unbidden?
do i ever cross your mind? i wonder.
does my voice pollute your day as yours does mine?

does my face interrupt your thoughts?

i know better than to ask
i don’t want to know, i think.

i finally felt safe, home.

i broke my own heart, leaving you.

i can’t stand to talk to you anymore
the pity in your voice is palpable
i have no idea if it’s real or not
only that it feels real.
desperate for comfort.

so when I think for a second that i want to hear your voice
when i am craving the security I once felt
i do better to remember
that it doesn’t belong to me.

634p 3rd july 2020

I want things.

There, I said it. I want things.

I am so tired of wanting and wanting and wanting.
I am so tired holding my own hands and hugging my ownself.
I am so tired of being exhausted at the thought of cooking a meal for one person.
I am so tired of all of the things that I am supposed to be doing filling my head to the exclusion of all else almost all the time.
I am so tired of the noise.
I am so tired of being woken up in the middle of the night by my own sadness.
I am so tired of being so tired.

I want things.
I want to not be so tired.
I want to not worry about all of the things all of the time.
I want to see a request for penpals in a nursing home in North Carolina and not burst into tears at the thought that that will be me someday,
alone in a nursing home,
begging for a penpal.
That everything about me will be written on a piece of poster board,
begging for a pen pal.
“Lysa loves cats,
existential conversation,
the color purple,
and monster trucks.
Won’t you please write to her?
Please?”
the hopeful smile on my face
plastered there for so long
(no one wants to be friends with a mean old lady so i smile)
no matter how hard it is
no matter how alone i am, have been.

I am so tired.
I am tired of knowing that as much as everything is already crashing down around me
that it will only get worse for the ignoring of it,
the putting off of everything possible
and many things that are not

i am so tired of faking pleasantry and ease
i am exhausted dodging “how are YOU???”
sidestepping directly into “what can i do for you today?”
avoiding, bobbing, weaving
slipping out from under the hammer of
HOW ARE YOU.
my extended silence and thrumming tears not enough of a delicacy for some
HOW
ARE
YOU
.
i’ve said this before,
my pain must be delicious.
michelin quality.
galaxy class.

pandemic diaries: 10:55p 6 may, 2020

in desperation I tried to not be desperate.
(I do not think that I was successful.)

to your infinite credit you did not shy from my touch
you never do.
I stroked your cheek, your chest, your collarbone.
watched you inhale
exhale.
I tried to be in the moment, to get out of my head and simply feel.
Wanting to swallow you whole,
to be swallowed. Whole.

i could not.

breathing through my open mouth
so I would not sniffle
so I could control it (could I? Girl.)
so my breath would not hitch
so you would not know.
Right.

I had to stop thinking about
about not touching any other person
until I see you again
having not touched any other person since the last time I saw you
And the time before that.
no other physical contact no matter how wholesome.
None.

I am hoping that the intrusive, inconsistent noise from overhead isn’t disturbing you
anywhere near as much as it is clearly disturbing me.

i cannot sit with these thoughts anymore so I turn away
pushing myself back up against your hip to hide the inevitable tears that
are
Falling.

you know.
you just know as I just know, always.
You curve me into your embrace
resting your head on mine
dear, sweet thing.

You have given me exactly what I have needed
And for a while, it is enough.

pandemic diaries: 3:53p 26th april, 2020

i took two showers yesterday
one when i got up, thereabouts
another after i knew for sure that i was going to see you
brushed my teeth, twice.
(nothing is sure anymore.)
i hate having to keep putting myself out there to ask
hate being the one to put myself out there to everyone
this isn’t about you so much as it is about me.

i reach out tendrils
lengthening, sometimes to the sky, it seems.
feeling so very pushy, always
but now even more so since there is literally no one to talk to
every in-person conversation, interaction feels precious
hoarded.
turned over, inspected. saved.
i don’t want to waste any of it on anyone who doesn’t matter.
screens are one thing but it is no substitute,
so flat, so
cold.
so not real.

i had hoped for more skin time
more actual face time.
more hugging
more snuggling, curled up.
more of your hands in mine.

patience is something.
i know i cannot push you, you will stand firm.
and there is only so much that i can say.

i am thankful for you
as i know you are thankful for me.

as always.