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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Baby Steps

It’s a cruel day and I am cold to the core.  The air is thick with moisture and its coolness bites into me.  Walking in the park there was no heat from the sky, only darkness, and the wind whipped through my pants not sturdy enough to fight it back.  My body is tired despite eight hours of sleep.  That sleep was filled with eerie dreams that woke me wondering what it all meant and now I cannot piece them together enough to know what they were about.  

My bones are chilly in spite of heat in the apartment.  They ache in the deepest places.  I am sleepy but cannot rest because P calls and garbles into the phone, saying he has had enough, that all of his clothes are gone again and I should wire him some money.  He thinks I am in Macon.

I am not in Macon, of course.  I am here on my Island, my retreat, but even here I feel exposed, open to the bitterness of knowing P is no better.  The weather man says it will rain on us, a thing I usually relish, the rain.  I don’t want rain now.  I want it on a day that is kind to my soul, but today my soul is open and raw and vulnerable to the chill of my own thoughts, the bite in the air.

Honey seems sad and distracted, away somewhere in her puppy-dog mind.  Maybe she feels the icy energy coming from me.  I have dishes to wash but they sit crusty and ignored and unattended.  I think to clean the kitchen but am drawn instead to sit and write.  My bedroom is a jumble of clothes and things I don’t know where to put.  Six months in this flat and I just yesterday figured out where to store the linen.

My thinking is tangential, thoughts shooting in all directions, my focus on nothing except the pouring of words from my brain through my fingertips as I type.  I like this typewriter font and find it comforting, familiar in its look.  All that is missing is the pounding of keys.  It reminds me of typing papers in high school and college.  I always loved to write papers, research and organize the facts and put them together in a way that made sense.  

Can I make sense of all this crazy and uncertainty and angst by spilling words onto this keyboard?  I feel a stiff breeze flowing through my being, clouding my mind and rendering me lifeless and limp.  Am I hopeless?  Maybe at this moment I am.  I can’t be hopeless in the face of all these demons, Parrish’s and mine.  Where is my fight, my relentless pursuit of peace, my determination to meet what life has in store?  I can't find it right now.  It’s here somewhere, can’t have gone far, but it eludes me and all I want to do is climb in bed and sleep and escape.  But I learned last night that there is not escape in sleep, not now.  

My soul is cold so I sit, wrapped in a blanket, and think and write and wonder when the warmth will return.  Maybe tomorrow, maybe sooner.  No later than tomorrow, though.  I have to go out and find it before tomorrow comes.  I can’t stay mired in this bog, but it will suck me into darkness if I struggle too hard against it.  So, I lift my feet gingerly, shake off the mud, take a tentative step forward in order to stop the slide.  Cliché alert:  baby steps, baby steps.

Copyright 2014 cj Schlottman


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