04 December 2020

0 i am failing

flailing? it's quite unclear. 

nanette sent me an ornament and some body/facial glitter. i opened them we skyped with her kid on thanksgiving day. 

i spent five thanksgivings away from my parents, like three of them with nanette, so this is totally not a big deal. 

i show her kid my christmas trees. i put on a sparkly duster solely for this occasion. 

he looks at me like i am magic. in this moment, i feel like magic. 

i feel like all my people's children see me. i feel like my students see me. when i am not on camera now, i feel like a dark hole. 

i wrote a thing. it's 600+ words over the limit. but, really, is this a time for limits? i feel capacious. i feel simultaneously dead inside and capacious. i would like to use all of the words at my disposal. 

the other day, i had a therapy session with a therapist whom, as it turns out i cannot afford. openly, i wept. this felt like progress. 

today, i reached the end of writing the thing. and i sobbed. 

hard.

for multiple minutes. 

and this too felt like progress. 

this is really hard. all of it. 

claude looks at me like he wants something. he asks to be loved and then he runs away. 

nanette sent body glitter, specifically for application to my eyelids. 

i put on a sequin catsuit and a significant portion of my rings and take a selfie in the bathroom and i just look like someone who has put on a catsuit and a lot of rings and posed under an unforgiving light for no reason. 

the glitter, it is not visible at this time. 

i feel like i'm failing so many people. i am not watching marco polos. i am not returning calls. 

i am not my best self. 

and then i have a zoom with a student whose grandfather died, and she shows up thirty minutes late, and i am there, and she gives me all manner of explanations and i shush her and tell her how i think i've already told her about how ruth died in 1999, and how i got a D in chemistry and my whole world was rocked in ways that have only been brought into the light during the pandemic. and i can tell she is grateful that we are occupying a space in which she is believed and explanations are not needed and her best is not expected.

i am failing all over the place but i can show up here. i can show up for the people who show me their writing. 

i tell students at one institution that a student at another institution has covid, and i see the only person who is on camera visibly flinch. 

we are all of us connected. the tissues of experience and germs bind us in ways of which we have, previously, had the luxury of remaining aware. 

there are so many emails that have slipped through the cracks. and that is just among my students. never mind my friends. 

in the union, we're planning a party for december 18th. i sent a link to a bustle article about work zooms and remarked about the sucessfulness of breakouts in my classes, so now i'm to be made a co-host. 

it puts into perspective how much i long for the house-warming party that was meant to happen last march. the birthday spectacle that was meant to occur in may. it puts into perspective all that has been lost. 

i am aware of what has been lost. i sit with what has been lost. 

all semester, my students have been submitting weekly rants. i see the panorama. people, it is awful. 

and yet we go on. and yet, i am the cohost of a work zoom on december 18th because i enjoy rearranging zoom breakouts at random. something i'm quite sure my students detest. 

the discombobulation, it is total. so maybe, just maybe, we've come to expect it. 

the thing i didn't tell the therapist i cannot afford was that i am bracing, always. i have been bracing since 2016. not because of trump but because of immigration. 

the date passed without comment. folded into thanksgiving. 

november 29th. 

the day i left the uk. the day i repatriated. the day i became someone else, forcibly, via the state. 

the thing i wrote about, the thing i finished today which went way over its word count, was about force, federal force. and trauma, and memorialization. 

i finished it. by which i do not mean that i wrote the last sentence and installed a period but rather than i filled in the details, drew in the lines around which i'd been drawing, and tied it up in the middle so it could lead into an end. 

and i sobbed. weeping was not enough. i've wept on the streets, walking up 16th, home from the BLM memorial. this was sobs. for i'm not entirely sure what. 

for the loss of life. for mj. for burvil. for the shitshow in which we currently find ourselves mired. my loneliness. for the reality that, in living, we will all die. for the other reality that, in living, we find ourselves stuck in a situation characterized by appalling iniquities. 

nannette sent an ornament and body glitter. i put on rings and a black sequin catsuit that has yet to leave the house and took pictures of myself in the bathroom mirror in an attempt to capture an image that accurately conveyed the awesomeness of the glitter with which she gifted me. 

none of them did. 

everything is inadequate. 

nothing is enough.

i am failing. 

things fall apart. 

there are not words.

and yet............

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