Quicksand

I wrote this journal entry in July, 1992.

Not long after my crazy trip up North, Tom called me to let me know that he felt it was better if we took a break from our committed relationship.  He told me that after I’d left his roommates told him how “tired” he looked, how tired we’d both looked.  He also said that while my daily letters were probably my way of filling the empty space he’d left, to him they were hard to read because they were depressing reminders of how far away we were from each other.

Looking back, I suppose he didn’t just mean in miles.  My life had become so different than the one I now knew he led.  I hardly blame him now, of course, because I was very needy at the time.  I needed constant reassurance that things were going to be OK, because I had daily evidence that perhaps they might not be.  Tom was gracious enough to leave the door open to the future.  But in those moments during that hot summer, I felt truly, truly alone.

It breaks my heart to read these words today.

July 25, 1992

I am waiting for Dawn and Todd to show up.  As usual, I’m spending my time waiting.  Things are eerie here today, and my waiting is symbolic, too.  I’ve so often found myself waiting – waiting to get into college, waiting for my baby to be born, waiting for a relationship, waiting for Joe to come back, for Ray to call, waiting for grades, waiting for checks, waiting for Zach to wake up, waiting for Tom to come home, waiting…for my mother to die, perhaps.

Our next door neighbor died last night.  He died of colon cancer.  I am avoiding running into them because I don’t know what to say.  It could be a foreshadowing of my future, having our neighbors watch me at the door while paramedics take out a body in a bag.  I am so glad my mom is at the hospital and didn’t see it.

I dread the weekends sometimes, because they are so long and give me so many opportunities to think.  There’s all of this stuff in side of me and no where to put it.  All of the things I think about my mom; now this guy dying, it just somehow seems more real that she’s going to die soon too.  She can’t eat solids anymore.  Today I had to make her a shake with ice cream and Ensure.  I can’t believe this is my life.

I still don’t know how I feel about it.  I’m past sad, almost numb, really.  Thinking about morbid things as if they’re as common as any day’s events.

I feel bitter.  I feel cheated.

I am the youngest child in our family and I have the most responsibility.  It pisses me off because while I know she is going through some major, major shit…she doesn’t seem to notice or care how hard this is for me or how much is being put on my shoulders.  It feels like everything I do, it is still not enough.  I have put my life on hold to take care of her.

OK, that sounds egotistical.  How unfair of me to be mad that her cancer is inconvenient.  It wouldn’t be so bad if she weren’t so unresponsive and indifferent.  I don’t ever know what she expects of me.  I wish there were a husband, a someone else, another adult, for her.  But there isn’t.  There’s just me.

And now Tom is gone.  I don'[t know what I feel about that either.  I think there are days that I put all of this sadness and fear I have inside me on him, even though most of it has nothing to do with him.  But he’s a tangible focus; his life is so free of the bullshit I deal with every day.  I feel so far from him, from what we had.  It feels like ages since we talked.  It’s going to be so hard when I see him again to allow myself to feel anything, because if I feel anything, then I’ll feel everything.

I can’t afford right now to feel everything.  There is just too much for me to do to break down.”

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One Response

  1. […] paramedics came.   AsI’d seen six months ago when our neighbor had passed away, they carefully and quietly did their work and put my mother’s now cold body into a black, […]

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