I’m stumbling home in a February spring, coat open, gloves off, a warm wind winding in and out and around me. I am half-happy, half-mad, all-exhausted. Each step takes effort, is so slow—I want to want to run—but I can’t—I can barely walk—one foot in front of the other, and suddenly, dizzy, I stop…
I’m tired. I’m so-to-the-bone tired, an exhaustion I’d tell you I can’t describe except it would be a lie, because that’s exactly what I’m doing now. I’m so tired, I can barely walk, I can barely think.
I’m stumbling home…
I’ve spent the morning writing and juggling. First, loving the morning-loving-Ender, negotiating with him my need to write Morning Pages as soon as I wake up no-matter-what-no-I’m-not-going-to-build-Kapla-or-make-you-an-omelet-here-eat-an-orange-when-I-am-done-I-will-make-you-eggs-what?-yes-I-can-get-you-cold-spaghetti-from-last-night-but-you’ve-got-to-let-me-write…
Then, walking, so very quickly, to a café—I cannot work at home today, it is oppressing me, squeezing me, reprimanding me with all the things it wants from me and I hate it, I need to run away, will-you-watch-the-children-thank-you-I-promise-I-will-come-back.
Coffee. “Dark? Medium? What size?” “Surprise me. I have no superfluous decisions left in me today.” And it’s only 9 a.m….
(She gets me a large latte; I feel bad I don’t have money for a tip.)
You come to visit me for a while, and we talk about EVERYTHING, and this time, neither of us cries, and we laugh about it. You’re my fix of… what? Something undefined, but needed. I appreciate it. An injection of energy that gets me moving, and after you leave, I write.
I’m writing about a woman who’s going to change the world. As I write, I believe it. I love her, I envy her. When I finish, I despair. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to let her. They’re going to destroy her.
(Can I stop them?)
I have more to write. Difficult things, technical things, uncreative things, necessary things.
I’m suddenly tired, uninspired and I don’t want to.
A text. “Can you be home by… I need to…” “OK. I’m done writing anyway.”
In a minute, in a second, in a moment of time shorter than that, this happens: I switch from writing-producing-thinking-happy to… fallow-done-exhausted-barely-alive. The fog envelops me and deepens as I walk towards home. With each step, I get heavier. Slower. More stupid. So tired. Where does this exhaustion come from?
I stumble home, into the house, crawl up the stairs—I have a window of perhaps 20 minutes before kids—I fall into bed. Eyes closed. So-exhausted. What do people who cannot nap do?
I don’t know if I sleep. I simply don’t move.
“Dropping kids off at the top of the hill, can you meet them?” “On my way.”
I am still tired. Stupid. I think, the thing I wrote this morning? Worthless. The things I still have to write? Pointless. When will I do it? How? Despair.
I stumble out of the house. One foot in front of the other. February spring, wind.
One foot in front of the other up the hill I see three little bodies, arms waving, legs and arms pumping, oh-the-energy, infect me!
We walk home together. I am still tired. But I am not stumbling. I am not stumbling.
There is food on the stove (I text: “Thank you, my love”). I do some things. A request: “Sit beside me, Mom.” I do. I open the lap top. Caress the keys. Maybe what I wrote this morning wasn’t so bad.
Maybe what I write next isn’t pointless.
“Hey, Mom, do you want me to make you some green tea? You look like a zombie.”
I am, just a little, tired.
But no longer so-to-the-bone tired I can’t walk-or-think.
Still. I am looking forward to bedtime. Immensely.
P.S. You really liked this post: Dear un-Valentine: the way you talk to your partner tells me more about you than the way you kiss. Thanks!