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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sylvia Plath and Some Other Stuff

My Kindle Paperwhite came yesterday, and last night I started reading The Bell Jar. Honey got me up at seven-thirty this morning, and I started reading it again, amazed that I could read without eye strain.

After about an hour, my eyes were fine but I was wake until a little after eleven. We started on our walk, but a storm was brewing and the wind nearly blew us over before we could get into the park. Honey did her business and we hustled back inside just before the rain came. It was a hard, wind-driven rain that came into the east window, and I had to close it. Honey hunkered down with me on the sofa but it was clear to me that she would rather have been in bed.  

I was tired of being in bed and wanted to read my book here in the good light. I never read The Bell Jar before. No, it’s true. Why? I just never did. I seem to remember being in college or maybe it was after college, that  the title didn't appeal to me. I suppose now that I’ve read the book, the title was off-putting to me because of my own bell jar.  

I was already depressed by then.  It started when Parrish was born. I had postpartum depression and no none knew what the hell it was. My doctor didn’t turn a hair when I told him I was sad all the time, just suggested that I get a hobby. What the hell did that mean? I already had my hands full with a colicky baby, and even with a great deal of help from Mama, I was barely coping. I ended up teaching myself to do needlepoint but it would be years before I could enjoy the art of it. My first pieces were as sad as I was.
I was miserable and couldn’t eat and couldn’t concentrate on anything. I quickly got back into my pre-pregnancy clothes because I couldn’t swallow food. I remember what a challenge it was to cook a meal. I remember feeling guilty because I couldn’t breastfeed. Nobody showed me how and I thought it was something that just happened naturally. Boy, was I naive. I think it was about that time that I started drinking alcohol. I liked the way it made me feel - still do. 

The depression deepened when I left Lawrence, even though I was sure I was doing the right thing. My appetite dwindled to nothing and I ended up weighing less than a hundred pounds. I worked through it, though, and was able to move forward with my life

Where did that come from?  Oh yeah, The Bell Jar. It’s one of the most incredible books I’ve ever read and I want to read it again. I may just start over tomorrow. I downloaded a book of Sylvia Plath’s poems tonight and started reading them. I’ve tried to read her poems before but never got into them. Now I think they are incredible. All of a sudden, I can read them with some understanding that I suppose has to do with me reading the book. I want to read some of her short stories now. I just went to Amazon and none of the are in Kindle edition. Maybe some day.

I finished the book this afternoon. It’s unheard of for me to read an entire book, even a short one, in a day.  My eyes get too tired and my vision blurs. The Kindle allows me to crank up the font to a size that doesn’t cause the crippling eye strain I get when reading hard copy. I only put it down every now and then to do some small chore, like clean up my room since Lawrence is supposed to bring over my dock box some time this weekend, and since it’s going in the bathroom, he’ll have to go through my room with it. I made an half-ass attempt to start cleaning the kitchen from Wednesday’s dinner with Bob, but I only managed to put the dishes in the sink to soak. I didn't give a shit about anything but that book. 

Tonight I started to think about arranging P’s room. The carpet is filthy on the side of the bed where The Famous Writer sat and smoked weed and spilled the ashes on the carpet. I suppose I should be grateful he didn’t burn it, but I’m not grateful for anything about him except the fact that he is gone. I’ll call a carpet cleaner to scrub the last of him out of the room. And I need to hang pictures and buy Parrish a decent chair. I also need a room divider - a handsome screen - to wall off my office and bedroom from the great room. And I need a storage unit of some kind for the garage. I need a lot of stuff, but I don’t want to spend money right now.   

The rain didn’t last long and by mid afternoon the sun was shining, so we got in our afternoon walk, actually extended it by making a loop around by the slave cabins after we left the park. I feel stronger in my legs and today there was no pain, even when I woke up. I wish I could figure out what makes the pain so bad at times and nonexistent at others.

I called Sophie last night, and she’s not coming. She says her brother is sick. I’m terribly disappointed but I understand. I called Melvina and left a message for her to call me back but never heard from her. I can do Parrish coming home by myself if I have to but I’m not looking forward to it. 

I’m unsure about P’s dismissal. It’s supposed to happen on Monday, but my understanding is that we are to have a family meeting with the Dr. Snow and Wayne, the social worker, before he comes home, but no one has contacted me about that. I called Wayne yesterday and today, left messages to call me both times but never heard from him. What’s with that? He threatened by an involved family member with guardianship? Just sorry-ass and not concerned? I really don’t give a shit. I just want him to do his job.

Parrish is still intermittently confused, which is a worry, but he is so much clearer and present than he was a week ago, I can’t complain. Maybe he will continue to be more in the here and now as the Clozaril takes effect. God, I hope so. We could have a pretty good life together if he can stay on his meds and stay sober. Anyone with half a brain and one eye can tell I want to live alone and unbothered by another person in my flat, but this situation is what I have and I will deal with, and I can make the necessary adjustments if P continues to improve and doesn’t throw crazy and chaos all over the place.

Copyright 2014 cj Schlottman

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