Just a bit encumbered at the present moment. Buster, our red tiger-striped cat, has loadged himself on my crossed legs, for his evening visit. And as I'm so flattered when the cats show any interest in me, I'm willing to type with one hand, while he purrs gently and makes my thighs warmer then usual.
Today, I've kept myself busy. I think it's a form of denial. I made many semi-unnecessary trips here and there -- all the way to Jersey City to get a flu shot; over to Union to pick up some embroidery floss (who knew?) and then to do some grocery shopping; into downtown South Orange to hit up the bank account for a little cash to have on hand. In case I leave the house again in the foreseeable future...
And when all this to-ing and fro-ing was done, I busied myself in the den, working through the remaining steps necessary, in my opinion, to finish the vibrant polar-fleece scarf I'm making for the lady at the reception desk at the Summit YMCA. She's the one who exclaimed over the original scarf (made for me by the then-thirteen-year-old Sadie Dame as a Christmas gift some years ago), and quipped tht she believed she would even commit murder for a scarf like mine. Well, at our age, incarceration isn't a pretty thing, so I thought I'd spare her a life of crime (am I repeating myself here? I've got that 'haven't I written this before?' feeling...), and give her a replica. I'm not sure my version is as good as Sadie's, but it's made with the same hot-colored fleece, and I think that's what makes the difference. It turns out, though, that I can't sew things in a straight line, it seems. Maybe, if she keeps moving, no one will notice?
But all this doing is really a socially sanctioned diversion from the hollowness I'm really feeling, in response to the recent deaths of friends. At the odd occasional moment, the ache will make itself felt, and then I see myself laying out a layer of newspaper just ahead of me, as I go about these elective chores, so I'll have something to walk on -- because just beneath this thinnest and flimsiest of surfaces, there's a great void, howling with its own emptiness. I feel as though chunks of my life have been nullified -- as though, without the other players, the dramedy retroactively disappears. To all appearances, I'm the same person I was two or three weeks ago. While in fact, from the inside, I seem to be a kind of hologramatic projection -- the 'real me' standing off to one side, stunned and incapable of making a movement, or saying a word. I think I can feel, behind my sternum, the welling-up of something awful, like a kind of psychic grief-laden vomit, but for the moment, I seem able to keep it down. How long this avoidance or repression will continue, I have no idea.
I do find it interesting that I've been going on about my needing to 'be dead', as a kind of... spiritual discipline? Is that what I mean? Or is it more a matter of being pragmatic and distinctly non-spiritual? Whichever is the case, I can't be blind to these two examples, jumping out at me from what I usually think of as my stubbornly unremarkable, event-free life, of how real-life dead people impact their survivors and their estates. i keep thinking that I want to erase myself before death shows up; it may already very be too late.
For now, I think I'll spread that metaphoric path of newsprint ahead of me, through the kitchen and up the stairs, into the bathroom, where I'll take my evening medications, and then across the hall and into the bedroom, where I'll make a little newspaper coverlet, lie down on it, and then try my best to resist falling into the helplessness of sleep. Within which there's nothing at all to keep me from rolling too far, one way or the other, off the edge of my little paper shell, to fall into the waiting, indifferent, implacable abyss.
Tomorrow being, as someone once said, another day...