“When you look at someone’s life and see things that they can’t see, sometimes that can hurt a lot,” I said. “I’m not sure why.”
This morning I was crying.
“What’s wrong?” Ming asked, half asleep.
“Not sure anything’s wrong,” I said. Death, loss, miscommunication, vulnerability, time, fear, the fragility of bodies. “There’s just a lot to feel.”
Yesterday was intense, and in the evening, we went to a party. Part of me wanted to attend the party and meet beloved peeps of two local friends. But most of me was like–no way. I am not strong right now. I don’t have it in me to encounter a bunch of people and keep myself.
So I told Ming I wouldn’t go to the party, and explained why I couldn’t go. Getting that conversation out of the way, I could then go. Sounds weird, right? But that’s happened before, over the years. If I can explain really well why I can’t do a thing and get that out of my system, it can clear the way for me to do the thing.
Then I got a stressful email, and Ming had a difficult conversation with a relative. Things are changing with a couple of my relationships locally. And things shift also with friends far away. There’s too much newness right now. I can’t take it all in.
I asked my dear housemate friend to come to the party with us. Seemed like a good way to get myself to attend. I could just bring the Holy Spirit. But bringing a friend seemed smart too. He could bodyguard me; it would be somehow safer with him there.
I’ve been loving him a lot. A few weeks ago, the dear housemate and I were at a place where I was deciding how to move forward in the relationship. There was a moment where the fragility of life was so stark before me. Death was so real to me. I could see that the time to love is Now.
People go around pretending they have a lot of years ahead of them. But you know bodies fail in countless ways. I can see it. Mine can fail–my housemate friend’s can fail. Ming’s can fail.
Bunny is pretty safe. He can’t die, as he was never alive. Otherwise, death is right here with us, all the time, a shadow stuck to us.
Housemate friend said yes, so we three went to a bar for tater tots. “We’re pre-loading,” Ming said, which made me laugh and laugh.
The tater tots felt like a bribe. My mind offered tater tots to my body, and my body would bring my soul. It was a way to make myself show up.
Deep fried potato matter is an appropriate response to mortality, right? I can’t think of much better. Tater tots are delicious and affect my serotonin, dopamine, or some happy chemical in my body. I love potato comfort, and we need to eat anyway. A pound of tater tots split three ways was a good investment.
The party was great, outdoors on a patio–I didn’t eat the tacos at all. I brought my own water. I skipped the absinthe and vintage Martinelli’s. Others drank out of plastic cups and mason jars. There was no music. I wanted to dance, but the conversation was good.
We stayed an hour and a half, which is longer than I intended. I was happy at the party, with hugs and togetherness. But you know me. I feel it beforehand–I feel it at the time. But mostly I feel it afterward.
There’s a lot to feel. I’m paying attention and loving everyone. Even people I don’t like.
In bed as I tried to sleep, my mind wasn’t thinking anything real scary. My body was just freaking out on its own. You know how you put your body through a lot, and it just can’t do that anymore. So a bunch of fear arrives, an uninvited guest, and you have to move it through somehow.
I tried to handle panic on my own with Bunny. Self touch, and telling myself sweet sentences in my head. I imagined the rainbow goddess touching my back. I explained to myself why I’m ok.
Then more panic arrived, and I was really losing it. So I woke up Ming. He did a reality check with me, went downstairs with me as I used the bathroom, and we talked about the stress of the day. I didn’t realize how upset I was about a few things.
“I’m giving too much,” I told Ming. “I need to stop. This isn’t possible. I need to keep more for myself.”
A week or so ago I texted a bunch of friends, asking them to pray for me and hold me in the light, that I keep myself for myself. Lately I’m giving too much away. It’s hard to find a sweet spot. Kind reader friend, please pray for me also. So I can keep my soul inside my body.
After the party, I txted my housemate friend, “Thank you for letting me love you another day.”
Yes, the fragility is too vivid. It’s about missing my parents and needing some sense of safety in the world. Those are ok things to ask for–seriously. I don’t need to pathologize my needs, feelings, or impulses. I can just panic and cry.
Sometimes a panic attack is the right response to the world. Verily, there’s a lot to feel. If you’re not panicking, you’re not paying attention, etc.
Thank you to Ming for showing up for me, every day and every night. If everyone had such a kind partner as Ming, the world would know peace. Thank you to housemate friend for receiving me patiently in so many ways. And thank you to party makers.
Thank you to Mother God for blessing our little carload and helping us behave according to our values.