- The chest-sucking, deep-in-my-meat knowledge that I will die, and all I have known will cease to be.
- The fear that cancer will come back. I was going to write "my cancer" or "the cancer", but that gives it too much power. It gives it a singularity, a character, an ongoing will. It does't get that power. It was incinerated as medical waste years ago.
- That I don't know what's next.
- A sudden feeling that my late grandmother is near and I don't understand why she would be here.
- A cat foot planted squarely on my nipple with the terrible force of which only cat feet seem capable.
- That I will not only never find my narrative arc but also that there is none to be found.
- Dreaming the solution to a design problem and needing to go over it consciously to check for validity.
- Thinking about the environment and how sometimes it seems like we're all basically screwed. My first thought is always that I hope none of the truly bad stuff happens until after I'm dead, and then my second thought is to feel terrible that my kneejerk reaction is to wish for my own relative comfort while everyone after me suffers.
- Creeping doubt that life has a purpose.
- The kind of hunger that needs a pound of my mother's cream cheese mashed potatoes.
My shameful secret is that it is very difficult for me to enjoy live theatre. I can feel myself slipping into the skin of the actors, and if they behave as though they have any awareness of being watched, I become all too aware of my watching and our false interplay of pretended ignorance. Basically, my suspension of disbelief tanks, and I feel terrible that we all have to play act story belief. It's icky and shameful.
I think I've been subjected to too much bad theatre.
Venus In Fur, though? It is fantastic. My disbelief was suspended! It had twists. It was sexy. It was fun. It even had violent tension. I would see it again, and I mean that. Venus In Fur saved me from a life of theatre hate.
If you're in Regina or nearby, Venus In Fur is running at the Artesian on 13th until March 22nd. If you, like me, have been burned by bad theatre, this is your cure. Go!
Earlier, Onion and Oskar tried to guilt me into feeding them spicy Thai chili tuna, which didn't happen, because my cats + hot peppers = death litter. Also? That toy mouse in the upper right of the photo is jam packed with catnip. What is wrong with them? I would cuddle up with the drug mouse over tinned tuna any day.
I guess that's why I'm the sober human with addiction problems and they're the cats with a hankering for fish.
After the play, Aidan and I walked home through night air lit up with sparkling ice crystals and took photos of an old, lit-up truck instead, because have you ever tried to take photos of ice crystals suspended in the air at night? Cameras have a hard time documenting tiny, frozen light sparkles.
I hunted through my Flickr archives today, hoping to find a collection of photos I uploaded on various March the 4ths over the years, but it turns out that I have only ever uploaded one photo on any March the 4th since 2003, and that is this one from last year:
It turns out that the snow last year on this day was as tall as Aidan in places.
I have been moping around, thinking that this is the worst winter ever. I told Aidan yesterday that I was having dangerous thoughts and I might need an intervention if the cold didn't let up. I considered buying a plane ticket and disappearing like those people who go out for cigarettes and never return. I ate everything that I could eat at the extreme ends of the salty and sweet spectrum. I was certain that this might be it. I would spend the rest of my days in a nightgown staring at pink walls in hospital slippers.
When I look at this photo, though, I feel a bit more hopeful. I got through last year's mountain of snow, and I was pretty sure at the time that I wouldn't.
I remember that midnight walk. Before I took the photo, I looked at Aidan standing next to that giant pile of snow, the one I had been cursing earlier for existing, and there was now something beautiful in it. He was pale under streetlights making absurd sexual jokes about a tree, and all the bits of human existence that make life a full and beautiful thing fell into place as tumblers in a lock. The high snow had become a marker, a brief monument of sorts, and I wanted to remember us standing there forever like those pictures of soldiers during World War II. There I was wholly at peace with the business of being alive, knowing that I would die, and so grateful to have this time in this way.
That was this day last year. I was hopeless until I wasn't anymore. I think I can make it through winter now without an intervention or running away. Spring is coming.
Thank you, Flickr.