Thursday, July 29, 2010

notes from the ice floe

Feeling fatigued today and achy. I can't seem to motivate myself to do anything. I should clean the house. It's getting grimy and dirty. I used to enjoy housekeeping, in Brooklyn anyway. The place was smaller, I was younger, and every once in a while I'd call in sick just to give the place a thorough once-over. I think I may be depressed, but then I think of people I know who really were and I don't know. I think I'm just bored and I'm tired of not having had sex in years (mostly). I'm a vampire. I need it like vampires need blood. I haven't had blood in ages. Is that so bad to say? Oh probably. I don't care. I did have a friend, in college, who went through a really bad depression. Actually two, friends that is. One, my freshman year, threw herself out a third story window of the dorm and succeeded only in breaking her feet. Poor girl. The other, different college, we were roommates one summer at a frat - she drank way too much (mornings) and could hardly get out of bed at all - she was a mess. I always looked like the strong one in comparison, and I did try to be supportive to my friend but she was inconsolable. She did finally get treatment or snapped out of it, I don't remember the details. She got better. So I'm not that, not clinically depressed I don't think. Listening to the audio commentary to an episode of Mad Men, Season 3. The theme is about decay and disintegration - the old Penn Station is about to be torn down to make way for the new Madison Square Garden. The series director makes an excellent point that the destruction and loss of the old Penn Station was a terrible loss, of course, but that it wasn't just that the developers were horrible, evil capitalists - New York was in decay and they believed they might be offering something better, a new, clean vision. According to him, there had been other iterations at that site before the old Penn Station, that had burned down, so there was also this genuine faith in mutability and change. I found it useful to hear the director say that, because these days I do find myself feeling a little too binary for my own taste, good vs. evil sort of stuff - maybe it's good vs. blind faith in the ethically dubious.

I dreamed about you last night, that's as close as I get. That's pathetic. At the conservation area someone who once came on to me gives me the cold shoulder and calls his dog by its full name to get it away from me. The neighbor woman is at the moment with my husband, her useful hero, while she gives me the cold shoulder. Am I such a monster? Honestly, personally, I don't think so. I think I look all right. I might be a little depressive - sorry, not all cheers & smiles & bonhomie all the time - but I don't believe I have a negative energy, that saps happiness out of a room. That guy's dog likes me, by the way, not that I care. Oh, and yes I admit it - I have a sex drive, and a desire to be kissed and to be loved and touched, and I desire in turn to kiss and love and touch - is that so bad? Of course not. What's "shocking" is my admitting it so starkly especially after over 20 years of marriage - I've lost count now - 23 or 24 - the first 20 of which were perfectly happy and I was in love. But when your partner for whatever reason systematically mentally withdraws from you because he himself is going through an untreated depression, over a period of years and with other triggers, it is too much for me. What am I to do? I'm some kind of purebred useless European who's found herself alone and unequipped here. And I'm no David Foster Wallace or Sylvia Plath, I simply cannot do that (call it characteristic lack of resolve). I don't know what would help. I was talking about that theme of decay before. We bought this house, a fixer-upper if ever there was one, and I had a genuine hope at the time that we could bring it around and turn it into a clean, decorous space. But we've been here over five years, the nest egg got depleted, it's grimy, dirty, and ugly, though we did plant trees. In the meantime I became achy, tired, and angry. My father, an old school bastard, shuts down points of view from women he doesn't want to hear by dismissing them as "bitter." I suppose I'm bitter, in that horrible nasty monster sense I grew up hearing about in my nasty family whom I wish nothing to do with ever again. And where are you? You seem to miss it when I miss posting for a day. How do you suppose I feel when you miss refreshing my site on your iphone or however that works? As much as I know how busy you are with so many souls relying on you. So it's not really about that. It's about feeling really stuck and alone and not knowing what to do and not feeling psyched about very much anymore and yet completely unable to end it at all while at the same time dreading the coming long winter. I wish I could get it back for D, it was nice the 20 years while it lasted. I'm kind of amazed it did last as long as that, though there were weak spots at the beginning, especially when I had to spend some time with his mother, a sweet gentle soul but boring as all hell and it just made me miss hanging out with your mother, and all those high-flying literary talks - that all ended for me a very, very long time ago and I sensed it - bitterly - in the early days of my marriage. But I got over it, there were other compensations, D was sweet, attentive, bright, funny when happy - we had a good time. We were truly happy - or I should speak for myself - I was truly happy with him. But the matchbook got wet.

He kidded himself (and me) about his ability to bring this house into nice shape. I know he didn't do it on purpose - it was denial, and hiding - we should have bought a smaller house, with less land, in not so rough shape. Though I'm not sure that would have helped. He got bummed out after his career tanked because the whole music industry tanked. He didn't know how to restart so hiding in the endless fixer upper was psychically appealing to him, even if unconscious. Trouble is, I didn't get the memo til too late. And I'm - not infirm exactly, far from it - but isolated, very much. I like solitude. But there's a thick bright line between solitude and isolation and I'm well onto that latter archipelago. Like a polar bear.

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