D is for dysfunctional.

Main Entry: dys·func·tion
Pronunciation: (")dis-'f&[ng](k)-sh&n
Function: noun
Date: circa 1916
: impaired or abnormal functioning
- dys·func·tion·al /-shn&l, -sh&-n&l/ adjective

That's me in a nutshell these days. No, really.

The essence, the heart of what is going on is that I just plain and simple feel broken. Impaired. Functioning abnormally.

There's this line in the blockbuster flim Titanic that Rose utters early on in the film, about how she felt as she boarded the doomed liner. It puts her later suicide attempt into perspective:

"Outwardly I was everything a well brought up girl should be. Inside, I was screaming."

That pretty much sums it up too.

Every day putting on the cheerful face as if by some exercise of will I could magically bring back the energy, the motivation the spark to actually get things done, maybe even enjoy life again.

While I was in Ireland, temporarily pushing everything aside, I existed in a sense of stopped time. All around me the gorgeous scenery unfolded, an inkling of the old me came last. But still there was a cushion between me and it, a space, a distance as if I wasn't really living any of it.

The only time that cushion wore away was in select moments when fatigue would strip all semblance of surface thought away. The night when, inspired by fatigue and the buzz of alcohol, my brothers and I talked well into the night with an honesty that was almost brutal in scope. The day on the rocks, when the wind blew through me and the sun up above rooted me in a place both inside and outside of time, with echoes of my past haunting the present and dim visions of the possible future overlapping like rings left on the surface of a pond after the fish have jumped.

I still haven't paid the bills. The mountain of paperwork is truly monumental in scope.

We vacuumed this weekend and cleaned up the kitchen.

The rest of the place is still a catastrophe.

I have so much to do here at work, yet I can't seem to get started on any of it. I keep reading and reading and reading, searching for clues in all of the books and manuals that stare, accusingly at me from my desk.

Yet the actual act of opening a file and making any of what I have absorbed real is as difficult as catching fish with my bare hands.

Everything seems difficult. Even breathing is hard, as I lie awake at night, back pressed into the sweaty sheets, staring at the dim ceiling.

Last night I shed tears of frustration at my inability to sleep. A hot cup of tea and a venting into this space proved to be the solution.

But in the solution arose a different problem. The problem of sleeping too much, of sleeping through alarms and phone calls and even the door opening and closing as Sabs came home for lunch.

He woke me around noon-time, worry imprinted on his features as he felt my forehead and looked into my eyes.

As usual, I didn't know what to say.

It took me an hour to get up and another half hour to make it into the shower and get dressed.

Functioning abnormally, might even be putting it too lightly.

In other news there is a party coming up that I want to go to. Last time my reactions were mixed and warped by an overwhelming sense of fear and paranoia about not fitting in.

This time I know better.

There are no other plans on the horizon other than getting my act together. All I need really, is a bike helmet and a little bit of nerve.

At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

7.12.99 | narrative | mail | 7.15.99

little owl