It's really too bad that procrastination isn't an Olympic sport, because if it were, I would so have gold medals coming out my ears...
I say this because I'm going to such great lengths to avoid writing this. If I were just a little more dedicated to the fine art of avoidance, I would be painting the kitchen already. Instead of sitting here, making letters appear on an imaginary piece of paper, to send to some imaginary place, where other people may or may not read it...
Part of my yearning to avoid today's entry, in particular, is the fact that the past two days have been so chock-full of events, and I find it exhausting just to think about them, let alone describe each one in the detail each so richly deserves.
Of course, I could follow one of my very favorite pieces of all-round behavioral advice: If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing badly. Or, perfection is the arch-enemy of excellence. Or, le merlaine aime la friture.
So. Yesterday, I had my first dancing rehearsal with my lovely stage wife, Madison. We tangoed and cha-chaed, and the more we repeated the steps, the more confused I got. I need to write it all down, in code I'll understand and remember -- we're only talking about two minutes' time onstage anyway. But it's my character's entrance, so I'd like it to be good. Madison is an excellent dancer though, and she said it'll be fine. Everyone will be looking at her anyway...
Then, later that same afternoon, I went back to the same building -- South Orange's Baird Cultural Center -- to the opening of an exhibit by a local book arts group. It turns out that I know a few of the artists represented, and as I was already wearing a jacket and tie for rehearsal (which is what Harold would wear), I supposed I might as well get some use out of a freshly-ironed shirt. The opening was crowded, and as usual, I couldn't really look at the work, but ended up having some nice conversations, and made a date for a curator to come over to the house on Wednesday, to look at some work of mine for possible inclusion in a show he's putting together.
And, as if two events in one day weren't enough, later that evening, after John got up from his sick bed, I told him that I wasn't going into New York, to another opening, because I didn't want to leave him here alone when he wasn't feeling well. He said I was being silly, so I checked the train schedules, and had plenty of time to get myself down to the station (still wearing the same semi-dressy outfit from the morning's rehearsal), into the city, down to 14th St. and the opening at Heller Gallery, where I saw a handful of my very favorite people from the world of glass -- everyone said how great I looked, so I didn't tell them that the only reason I've lost so much weight is that I've been too depressed to eat. I stayed for about an hour, and then got back uptown in just enough time to catch the train back home again, and then went around the house, resetting all the clocks I could find. Except for the coffee maker. I don't understand how that one works.
And, today, I set out for the wilds of Western New Jersey again, but this time only as far as Madison, to be part of a reading for a play-in-progress. I was a Bulgarian cartographer who is in Antarctica with a group of other scientists, and I've come down with altitude sickness, and am comatose for nearly two weeks. Very easy to convey to the audience. Later in the draft, though, I had a lot of reading to do, in my cheap fake Bulgarian accent. The play turned out to be much funnier read live, than read on paper, and maybe it's just because I have an active imagination, but I seem to remember, not so much the reading, but the events we were reading about, as though they are now actual events in my past. Strange and wonderful.
And now, I face a sinkful of dirty dishes, and my evening medication, before going to bed. Maybe, now, this blogue entry is the avoidance, and the kitchen work is the thing I'm trying to put off as long as possible?
I also don't like going to bed. The first few minutes of lying there in the dark are often unpleasant for me -- I will feel a wave of generalized anxiety, with what I experience as a continuous reality sliding aside a bit, and allowing -- or forcing -- me to see the arbitrariness and fragility of my existence, and how little holds everything I think of as 'my life' together. A kind of coming loose, I guess.
I also have bad dreams -- or at least I used to, until the new medication that either makes me sleep more soundly, or inhibits remembering my dreams. ln the really bad ones, I tend to hold my breath, because it stops me from crying.
On the other hand, in the morning, I hate hate hate to get up. Maybe it's transitions as a whole that are the problem? And if I had an on/off switch, I'd be more content?
Well, tomorrow looks as though it'll be much less stressful -- taking John to the train station (if he's feeling well enough to go to work, that is), then doing some chores, and going to the gym (at last!) in the early afternoon, and driving down to New Brunswick for choir rehearsal at 7:30.
What would I want my life to be like, otherwise? Is this not nearly perfection? Why am I constantly filled with such dread?
Now, I think that, instead of pondering these deep thoughts, I'll go get my hands wet and soapy, and then climb the stairs, take those little pills, and lie awake in the dark for a while. Until tomorrow arrives. If, as usual, it does.
© 2013 Walter Zimmerman