It’s been a few days of working on projects-in-process, spinning my wheels, frustration. Of feeling inept, inadequate, insufficient, empty. Then: An argument, a mild disagreement really, with a family member. I hate these. They sink me to the bottom of the muddy pond that is my life some days. Neither of us meant to offend; we both offended, both felt offended.
The result of this very mild disagreement: I can’t bring myself to work on any of those projects-in-process. Nor can I bring myself to look for new projects. I can’t bring myself to do anything.
I have this thing though—have always had it, but since my little dance with cancer, even more so—today is what matters, right now. It’s all any of us ever have, and I want it to be good. I don’t want to cry over spilt milk, or buried pain, or my dead-and-gone ovaries (good riddance, they were malignant, but still, they used to give me wonderful little chemicals that made life sparkle). I don’t want to delay gratification or relief. I want to enjoy this moment. I need to get out, I decide.
So I contact a couple of friends; one of these efforts lands in their junk email. Nobody else seems to be available. I have a moment of panic: just me again, my little world, my ghosts? I don’t want to face them today, and I especially don’t want to face them alone.
So I start grasping. Lunch. I eat scrap of leftover steak and some cold roasted cauliflower from last night’s supper, and have a cup of coffee. Food and caffeine have some antidepressant properties, I discover again.
I take a Scrabble turn. (Yes, I’m still dabbling with that love affair, which began in earnest with my cancer treatment two years ago.) I’m losing this particular game by a lot; there are two tiles left in the bag. I stare and stare at the board, determined. And then I see it: BOUQUETS. On a triple, and it is, for 131 points, perhaps the nicest bingo I’ve ever played.
Then, a text message from my daughter: do you have time for a cup of tea? What was it I was trying to make headway with earlier? Nothing important, I decide. I walk to Elm Café, which I didn’t realize was a take-out place mostly without seating, but we sit on the hard backless metal stools at the counter meant to be used for the length of time it takes them to make a coffee, and talk. Conversation, and walking, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise, are excellent antidepressants.