Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Entitled to her arms here in this moment

First it’s the cat hairs sticking to my lips, brushing against my nose and I have to get up but it’s already 4 a.m. I don’t want to get up I need to sleep but then I have to get up but I don’t want to get up until eventually I do. I put the comforter in the dryer, hoping the lint removal screen will do the trick but it doesn’t do anything. But the food is comforting, buckwheat rolled in nori seaweed and I actually feel calm, back in bed just after 5 a.m.

Just after 5 a.m. -- that sounds so sensible, until the sound of the heat going on wakes me up, that means my sister just got up so maybe I’ve slept a few hours. Then my sister and her boyfriend are talking back and forth in the hallway, I can’t hear what they’re saying because of the white noise generator but their voices vibrate against my head anyway. Outside, someone’s TV is shaking the windows of the room where I’m staying or at least that’s what it feels like. There’s construction in the building next door, maybe 10 feet from where I’m sleeping, but the worst thing is the sound of the hot water shaking the pipes, an intermittent shriek while I keep turning from one side to the other when the first one hurts too much, second, first.

Then there’s something awful, for a moment I think maybe it’s the spy satellite everyone’s talking about, it’s off-course maybe it’ll crash in LA and President Bush says we’ll shoot it down, maybe we’ll hit it and maybe we won’t. I’m kind of relieved that I was finally sleeping, I mean it’s the shrieking pipes again, but then I realize that means I’m awake again and it’s back to the side one, side two, side one and then I’m out of bed and everything’s awful, especially my walk at 6 p.m. when it’s like someone sprayed fabric softener outside I can hardly make it two blocks. Yesterday the walk helped me, but that was later at night and maybe it didn’t really help if I ended up falling asleep around 5:30, I mean just after five, so sensible.

My sister and I are getting ready to go out for dinner, she says something about how my bag is heavy do I need all that and I just start crying because I’m worried the chairs at the restaurant will hurt my body like last night when it was so hot I kept going to the bathroom to stretch but it didn’t help. I don’t know if everything is getting worse or this is just because I’m traveling and whether I should ever travel again I feel doomed to like I’m going to plan a book tour even though I know it will ruin my life and outside there isn’t any air inside it’s hot too I’m sweating just a few minutes ago I was freezing I can’t go back outside into that fabric softener I can’t stay inside with all this heat.

So I’m sobbing and Lauren reaches down to put her arms around my neck I don’t know how I feel about this touch, this touch right now when I’m worried soon I won’t be able to take care of myself and it’s my mother our mother who could at least make it so that I don’t have to worry about the financial part, I mean to create the account I asked her for, the one that pays my basic expenses, and my sister told me she didn’t believe that’s something I should have, a sense of entitlement. Apparently I’m entitled to her arms here in this moment trying to comfort me, shoulder against my head she says I’m probably messing up your hair. I say you’re right, we both laugh. I go into the bathroom to cry some more, and then at least I feel like I can face the world outside.

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