Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I still feel this way

Fabric softener -- I wake up thinking I'm surrounded by fabric softener, really it's just the residue in the sheets in the towels in this sweatshirt I'm wearing, the residue from someone else's laundry. But it's not just the residue, it's the way my face is closed off I try to feel better with music but all I can think is that I'm sinking into my own collapse. I mean everything is collapse.

One of those days when I wake up thinking oh, just another thing I'm doing to take care of myself that makes everything worse -- clean laundry to get rid of dust mites but instead. Instead it gets rid of me.

One of those days when I wish I could have my own laundry machines, Andee’s on the phone telling me I could wash my laundry in the sink and I'm staring into the cave of what I feel like, thinking: is that supposed to be helpful? Who is she listening to? Anyway it's one of those days when I feel like I need my own space I mean I guess a space I own although I don't know if I want to own a space I just want somewhere that doesn't make me so sick.

Maybe it's time to take Brian up on his offer of a free room at the hostel in the Marin headlands, gorgeous air but I'm wondering about the pollution from the forest fires and the bed that might give me too much pain, too much pain while I'm planning this book tour and then it will all feel even more overwhelming. So I don't know about Marin.

My mother's on the phone, telling me she's anxious and sad and depressed and Rose is in the hospital again, my mother thought she was going to die but now she knows she'll get better but then this will probably happen again. It's a different stage, my mother says. Kind of like she's talking about my father's cancer, except my grandmother doesn't have cancer. She's just getting old. I mean she's already old. But now she can’t eat anything or she doesn't eat anything and then she's back in the hospital again, this time I guess she's setting up 24-hour care for once she gets home but my mother says I feel like there are these expectations of me and Dad would've said fuck that I'm not going to give up my life I mean I'm not giving up my life but it's like anything I do is not good enough, there are these demands on me and sometimes I feel angry that everything is dumped in my lap.

My mother's on the phone telling me that she wants to keep the house for the family, for nostalgic reasons, she means my grandmother's house after my grandmother dies, if she actually inherits it. She's talking about the art project, the project of selling my grandmothers art but so far it's a project of paying someone to market it, now she's telling me that if she sells any of the paintings the money will go to business expenses, the expenses of selling the paintings. Originally it was supposed to be for me and my sister, now that's a clause at the very end of the sentence if there's anything left then I'll put it aside.

My mother’s on the phone saying I don't want to pay Rose’s bills, before her lawyer was going to do that but she charges for that and I don’t but I don't want to go down there just for that I feel like I'm always being tested and if I don't do what she wants that’s it. I need to make sure that there's money from the estate to take care of the house because I can't pay for it.

I'm thinking about this money from the estate to take care of the house, to take care of the art, and my mother asks how I'm doing. I don't say: who's taking care of me? I say I feel awful today, my mother wants to know if I've made an appointment with any of the doctors she called, this is after I told her how much one of them charged and she was silent. I made an appointment with someone else, the one who takes the insurance, a 30 minute appointment because that's how it works but what's the point, there doesn't seem like a point there's no point to these doctors today I don't feel hopeful about anything I hate these doctors.

My mother has to go to bed, and when I get off the phone I feel sad that I couldn't be there for her, that I kind of fell apart at the end. I know this is ridiculous -- I listened to everything she had to say; she's never been there for me; I hate that I still feel this way. I still feel this way.


grantatee said...


that is very sad. i wish you would get the support you want from her-- maybe she will never be able to listen to you, but here you are supporting her around her feelings of stress around having this abundance of money and estates and she wont even make you the account you need for your basic expenses.

love you..

oh, and loving 'so many ways to sleep badly' reading it i feel so alive, or glad to be alive... it touches some part of me that i don't really understand yet, one where i feel like my heart is involved.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thanks so much for the support, darling.

And I'm so glad to hear you're loving So Many Ways to Sleep Badly and

"it touches some part of me that i don't really understand yet, one where i feel like my heart is involved."

That's amazing to hear!

Love --