DELVING BETWEEN THE TOES OF LIFE....I AM TOEJAM


2003-02-02 - 6:09 a.m.

Yesterday, after sitting down for five hours and writing eight pages in what will eventually be my first totally completed novel, I realized that being in that space is where I am totally the happiest. Sitting in my chair, candles flickering in other rooms, no sound but the rapid click of the keys as my fingers fly over them...mind completely absorbed by the flow of words, lower back getting stiff and cramped, foot that rests under my left leg asleep and numb...

Over the past months I have, by talking with the Boy, kind of let the fiction within me take a back seat...not because I put him in any sort of priority over my writing, but because life with him is not fiction, Iíve been reading, thinking and talking more about world affairs than I have ever done. Because I am a novice, quite unknowledgeable in fact about world affairs, it takes me time to form a thought, a relevant, objective and rational thought about the state of life on this planet. So what I found last night, after spending five hours writing, was that when it came time for me to answer his e-mails from the day, I was completely unable to put my mind into the political aspect of the mails. I could not, not for the life of me, find one word to write in response to him....which scares me because I panicked.

When I was dating my ex boyfriend I took great pride in being housewifey....I donít mean that to sound like I had obsequious aspirations for life or that I didnít have anything else to offer him...I just liked making things as close to perfect for him, freshly washed sheets, neatly folded clothes, perfectly cooked food....I became such a perfectionist about it that to goof any of those things up would send me into a deleterious spiral of panic...I actually believed once, because I accidentally dropped the piping hot Sunday pizza as I was taking it from the oven, that he would leave me if I failed.....

I had the same feeling last night as I stared blankly at the computer screen and tried to find ANY semblance of rational, political mind from which to speak. And I couldnít, so I panicked...the first thought was, ďOh my God, he will no longer be interested in my if I really do make it as a writer because I will be unable to have political conversations with him...Ē and then it occurred to me, I rarely DO have political conversations with him because I am ALREADY terrified to open my mouth to speak of such matters because I am scared of making a fool of myself. How many nights did I sit around with his family while they carried on with their political discussions, my belly fully of bubbling words that just want to be released, but I was unable and unwilling to do so for fear of sounding like a moron? But I can sit on the phone with my friend Nicole and talk for hours about it because she and I are on the same level of knowing....I feel like an idiot for being such a coward, for not just saying, ďI will never have to vast knowledge you do about these things and I really donít care to have those vast stores of knowledge either...Ē

So even as I fell asleep telling myself to not worry about this, to stop being stupid about it...I woke from a dead sleep at 4 am this morning realizing that in my e-mail to him yesterday I said IRANIAN astronaut instead of ISRAELI astronaut and I was sent back into that vertiginous descent of insecurity and low self esteem that will one day be the end of me.

Someone really needs to just shoot me.

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