Thursday, March 20, 2008

Days when everything feels toxic

Today my jaw hurts from eating wheat, it was after a reading and I even got to choose the restaurant, the only place to get anything edible in the Castro, except it was noodles and dumplings. It tasted fine, but today my whole face hurts, it's like I've been clenching all night but I'm not sure if the allergy makes me clench or if it just makes my face feel bruised. Meanwhile, my tongue feels like it has sores on it -- that's from eating garlic -- when I look at my tongue there's nothing to see but I can feel a raised portion every time it brushes against my teeth. The area from my neck to my chest over into shoulders down into back -- all of that feels torn, jutting out -- I don't know if that's from allergies or my jaw or sitting in uncomfortable chairs for too long, oh the dangers of sitting!

It's one of those days when everything feels toxic, and all I want to do is read, but I know that I can't read because it will hurt my body too much. I open a book anyway, the one I got last night, and the smell of newsprint surrounds me I have to push the book away.

It's times like these when I think the most about the preservation of my own self-image. Maybe it's redundant to say my own, but somehow it feels right. These little things that make me look in the mirror and think okay, something's fine, I'll be okay. Like when the sun makes my skin glow, but not when it frames dark circles under my eyes -- since the time changed the light became more shadowy, I mean since 3 p.m. is what 2 p.m. used to be and the sun at 2 p.m. is more shadowy. So I start obsessing about 5 p.m. sunshine, that's what softens my expressions, but usually that's when I'm taking a shower or trying to get out of the house, not sitting on the fire escape trying to absorb joy.

Lately I've become paranoid because my hair’s become brittle -- it's probably just because of all the hairspray I use, but I start thinking maybe I'm losing my hair I can't lose my hair it's what makes me feel sane. Of course I know it's just a surface, something to texturize that frames my face, but it's one element that helps me deal, someone will say did you just get electrocuted and then I know: my hair’s working. Because obnoxious people will always say obnoxious things, but they bounce off me except when I'm ready to fall down, I mean really ready. Like today on my eight-block walk, eight blocks felt like a lot but for some reason everyone wanted to harass me. I hadn't eaten enough, it was too early, it was hard to deal with everyone's snide laughter, a group of teenagers turning around and pointing.

Times when I arrive somewhere and someone says how are you doing? If I answer something other than achievement -- new books, new writing, new thoughts -- something about how I'm actually feeling, often that person will say well you look great. I'm so addicted to that.

3 comments:

filthyhot said...

did you every try that dr. frank's? i know it's supposed a magic cureall but it's worth a try

or (i know this may sound even crazier) natural, south american remedies? i can't think of the name offhand but there is a south american herb that grows in the rain forest that heals inflamation (sic) and fibromyalgia.

hope you have a great new day of endless possibilities and glamour.

Joan Kelly said...

well, I realize this is not exactly a transmission of positivity - but if possible can you send me the latitude and longitude of those teenagers, as I would like to go kick them in the shins.

Sorry to hear that it is a hard day right now. I came here to say something else, too, which is that I am finally having time to read my copy of Nobody Passes, and I am loving it, and right now I am immersed in your piece at the front of the book, and I know we're strangers but damn I am ever so fond of you.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Filthyhot, I've tried all sorts of herbs -- some are helpful, some are not. As for Dr. Frank's, I haven't looked it up yet, since I'm scared of the magic cure-all type things that are usually scams, but I will look at up, I promise...

Joan, who needs a transmission of positivity when I have you kicking people in the shins for me!!! And I'm so glad you're enjoying my intro in Nobody Passes -- there's no need to stay strangers forever!

Love --
mattilda