The World's Biggest Roller Coaster! The highest of highs and the lowest of lows, faster than a speeding bullet. Ride it if you dare.
I did. I didn't buy the ticket, but I took the ride. It was the craziest of days.
I'm trying to make sense of it now, but there is no sense to be made, really, just an assemblage of actions and reactions.
I wonder at myself, my internal gyroscope. I may need a hospital and a priest. Or an assistant. I remember now. . . I was thinking of getting an assistant. Things come back to me slowly in the early morning stillness. By and large. Yesterday was fragments. . . like looking through one of those multifaceted lenses that is suppose to show you what a fly sees.
Gyroscope wildly wobbling. . . .
As you might know if you read yesterday's post, I woke up in a dubious state of mind. It got worse. My body followed. I was ready for the end. Not ready. I could just see it from where I stood. I couldn't rally myself. I couldn't focus. I would have to make a day for my mother, but I didn't feel up to it. I went back to bed, but it didn't help. I thought about the pills.
Lying in bed, I thought of something I had been thinking about for a day or two. I was working it all out in my mind. I got out of bed, grabbed a camera, did what I had been thinking. I took the card from the camera and put it into the computer. Part one looked good. I cooked up some images the way I had been thinking. Oh, my! Oh, yes, that is like it. That is very like it. Yes.
After a few images, I thought I might be on the right track. I was excited. I had my Mother's Day card at the minimum. I needed more, though. I would have to see if I could do it again. . . and again.
Still feeling physically done for, I did what I have always done. I got dressed, put on my running shoes. Oh, god. . . no. . . there was not going to be any running, but I needed to walk. I needed to move, try to sweat, breathe. I got into the car and drove to the exercise park.
My knee is swollen and stiff. It hurts to bend it like a normal knee. But the more I exercise it, the more I can do. Stretch. Walk. Push ups. Walk. Sit ups. Walk. Knee bends and twists. Walk. Dips and rows. Walk. Half mile done, do it again. And again. And again. My mind was swimming with it. It was the first continuous two mile walk since Thanksgiving.
What would my knee feel like later?
My last lap was with my camera. I was trying out my new thing to see if I could make it work. I had worked out an idea in my head as I walked. I was excited. It would take more chutzpah than I have shown in years. I would have to not think too much. I would have to quit fearing failure and rejection. Oh, sure. . . it would be a hundred times easier if I were younger, but I'm not. So what? An assistant! That is what I need. I need an assistant. A young woman, of course. Sorry. Fuck you.
Back home, I showered. I expected mother at two. I had just enough time to get things ready. Clean things up. Make some order. Chop the little red potatoes and throw them in a bowl. Kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper, olive oil. Stir so that all are coated. Wrap them in foil. Chop the thick asparagus. Throw them in the bowl and roll them around until they are coated, too. Wrap them in foil. Now here comes something new. How to tenderize steak? Last time I cooked them, we talked about how the good steak restaurants do it. I used The Google. Something I had suspected. Baking soda and water. I thought I'd give it a try. Fifteen minute soak, it said. Then rinse. I dried them, then salt and pepper. Nothing more. Or should I cover them in olive oil? That helps, too.
Mother comes just as everything is ready. I open the wine. I give her flowers, a popup card. We sit and chat. That's a lot of mother's days, I said. And you probably don't remember any of them. She began telling me Mother's Day horror stories. The first was when I was just a baby, a few months old. My father did not get her anything. She was hurt. "You are not my mother," she reported he said. It seems an inauspicious start.
There were others. I guess the bad are more memorable than the good.
I start the grill. I use an internal timer, so I am always nervous. I do it all by intuition. I put the potatoes and asparagus on the upper part of the grill. I heat the oil in the pan on the stove. In a bit, I put on the steaks. I drop the garlic and mushrooms into the heated oil. I flip the steaks that are being seared on each side. I stir the 'shrooms. I turn off the middle burner on the grill and turn the two next to the middle down. I stir the 'shrooms. More wine. I ask my mother to come outside and decide if she wants to eat in or out. The sun is shining on the deck. We will eat in. Nervously, I begin to plate the food. My timing was good. The potatoes and asparagus are perfect. You can cut the steak with your fork. The texture of the mushrooms is just right. The music on my eponymous Apple station is perfect. We are both too full to finish our plates. The last of the wine. We sit in comfortable chairs. We turn to after dinner drinks and sit outside. I am fading. My mother has drunk me under the table. She says thank you. I walk her to the car with flowers. The kitchen is a mess. I can't do it. I lie on he big leather couch, the music playing gently. I float for an hour, maybe two. I wake before the end of the long day. I wake but don't move. I think about my exercise walk with excitement. Maybe I am good enough for a trip. I think of the photos. I will clean up the garage. I will have an electrician come in and wire it for brilliant lighting. I will do what it takes to turn it into a real room instead of a garage, a workspace for art. I will buy a new printer. I have the space. I just have to do it. A workspace that doesn't have to be cleaned up every time, a place I can stop in the middle and come back to it when I want to. I think about walking. I draw myself to a sitting position. The kitchen. Shit. When everything is clean, I remember I am out of coffee. I pour a drink and sit on the deck. The cat ignores me. She has been cool. She climbs a tree and gets on the neighbor's roof. She doesn't care to stay with me. My phone has been quiet, too. People are busy doing the things they should, flowers, dinners, posting on social media that they have THE BEST wife/mother/husband in the WHOLE WORLD, pictures of food and gifts and family selfies. Even my hillbilly relatives do it. They think everyone on FB or IG sees it, I think, as if they are famous. The world will be envious of THE BEST.
I start to get low. I drive to the grocery store with camera. I take no pictures. I am still excited by the photos I made, but I am beginning to crash, even with the nap. I watch t.v. I've had too much to drink. I am agitated, but I want to sleep. I'll need help. I take a Xanax, brush my teeth, climb into bed. Half an hour later, my mind is racing. I am jacked. I get up and take ibuprofen and Tylenol. Oh, what the hell. I eat part of a gummy. I think about my intended project. I'll need to build a website. Or have it built. I think about getting an assistant. My mind is twirling. Nothing has hit me yet. I get up, take the card out of my camera, go to the computer. I try one of the new images. O.K. Not quite it, but I know what is wrong. It is late now. The drugs are finally getting to me. I turn off the computer, the light. I stumble through the dark and go back to bed.
Manic dreams all night long. I am working on the project. There is a party. All my friends are there. I am making photographs. I have a pretty young Asian assistant. She is perfect. I'm nervous about the photos but deranged with excitement, too. People want me to photograph them. They are crazy for it. I'm a hypnotist. They do what I tell them to. The photos are just like the ones in my dreams. I wake up laughing. It is becoming light. I have good coffee waiting to be ground and brewed. All the mother's are waking from sugarplum dreams of loving families. It is a good life, they say. Everyone is somewhere else. I remember that I checked out flights to NYC for early June. I will have three friends there then. It might be a good first trip attempt. Perhaps I will be able to walk, at least enough. And photograph. I will try walking far again today. Then farther. Further. I won't drink today. Not much. I will walk and drink less. I will get thin and beautiful. The world will open its arms to me.
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