Sunday, November 14, 2010


I want to curl up in a ball and just stay there.

For a week, I was sick.  I have lupus, it's a fact of life, blah-blah.  I couldn't concentrate so I struggled to be just a little behind on school work (technically, I'm not behind in the two classes that I dreaded it most in...I just feel behind).  My professors for the two classes I most worried about were great--understanding that it's a chronic illness, and if I could manage my work, so be it.  In my 3rd class, it hasn't been an issue.  It's just once a week on Mondays--I am a paper behind, but I've been averaging an A and the last class was canceled anyway.  Now worries...

...X's "stomach virus" put him in emergency surgery to remove his appendix.  (I wrote that and remembered this is not my journal and not everyone reading this knows that X is my husband.  Now you know.)  It was horrible.  I was a little scared by the time that I got him into my brother's car to go to the hospital, but at that point, it was 1am; I needed to get my daughter and nephew to school in the morning and get myself to class, and I still believed that he'd get IV fluids and better meds than I'd gotten him over the counter.   He called at 5am to tell me that his appendix had burst and they were about to prep him for surgery.

I was so not going to class.  I explained the situation to the lovely two professors mentioned above with my assignments attached.  They were great about it.  So I foolishly didn't think to get anything on hospital letterhead explaining what happened.  I was worried about how weak he looked, how I needed to feed him. They only kept him one more night, but he was so much stronger that I didn't question that.  All I cared about was what I needed to know for his post-op care.  So guess what Professor #4 wants to not smash my grade over my absences?

Hopefully, it will be easier to get in touch with someone who can give me something on hospital letterhead once the weekend is over.  My bitchy-self says, "Or I'll just show her all the post-op info sheets and she can take 'em or leave 'em."  My regular self is tired...tired from being so worried about my partner...tired from being worried about my grades...tired from my lupus flare...

I want to call in dead for the rest of the semester.

And I want to write.

In all the stress, I turned to fiction.  Having read an *almost* satisfying novel, I want to put my own words on the page as though I might make a million and one mistakes, but I've been inoculated against those that made that piece of work *almost*.  And that fear from suddenly learning that X was going into surgery and the awareness of what can go wrong even in simple procedures is with me in a little ball that I can't throw away despite it all ending well.  I want to fictionalize it so it has a place outside my body.

But I can't phone the semester in so I'm going to hit the books.

...Screw it.  I'll hit the books after writing for half an hour.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Strange young adult kinda dream

I was young, pretty, white.  I loved him and he was gone, my only lead--only REAL lead--a phone number.  So I dialed and found this weird network like nothing I ever experienced before.  And it wasn't him, but I was closer.  I dialed again and again, til I had to take a break.  I didn't like going out of his room, seeing his family trying to be normal while I was a stranger in their home so nothing could be normal.  Mom cooked, twin boys tried to play only to freeze when they saw me.  He got his parents to say yes to my coming by promising I'd stay in the kid sister's room, but I haven't done that since he disappeared and she looks at me with this longing like I'm still supposed to still stay up late braiding her hair and whispering Older Girl secrets.  Kid brother's worst of all cuz he's just a couple of years younger than us, all punk rock/skater hot and getting closer to me while we looked for HIM.

I'm getting out of that house and freeing us all, but just one more round of calls.  I hide out in the bathroom upstairs and dial.  There's an answer, it sounds like a party, and I thinking YES!  I'll be pissed when he answers, demand why he didn't just say that things were too intense...or no, I love him so much I can let him go without that scene if he just picks up the phone....But I see IT, one of the visions I'd had through all the phone calls, this a repeat of the first where he's walking along the shoulder of a dark road and van pulls up, he gets in, and vanishes...

There's a clicking sound on the phone and the party noises disappear.  The phone pressed to my ear rings as though I'd just dialed a number, and I can hear the echo of a phone ringing somewhere in the house.  My stomach seems to drop, an shadow of the sinking feeling felt throughout my soul.  Both rings stop and I'm already moving to hang up before I hear the little sister answer the phone.

There's a knock.  "Come in."  I'm scrubbing at my eyes when kid brother walks in, seriously hot, but not the one.  He holds up a portable phone.  "Were you...calling the house phone from a house phone? How is that possible?"

.....That last bit's not true.  It's already morphed in the recording.  It WAS the same number, so the best I should have gotten would have voice mail, but that's not what he said.  It had been something about Lucy thinking I might need something...I said, "Um?  Toilet paper?" and we both looked at the roll--not full, but full enough so that if I needed more I was probably about to go through something no one wanted in their bathroom.  I shared a smile with him, but it was almost like there were two of me--the one sharing a moment with him and the one still totally engrossed by the search for HIM.

The dream ended with flashes of vision and...a Damien Rice song playing on loop. 


The dream that I had left this page open to write about was kind of like that.  In a way, it was totally different--the woman I was in then was more solidly grown, a woman of color.  There had been less urgency with no missing lover.  But it was the sort that, upon waking, I knew was a story, not some sort of working things out from real life.  I'd gotten up from that dream and wrote about it in a hard copy note book.  Then, I'd set about trying to build a plot around the character study I'd been given in my sleep.

That was about two weeks before NaNoWriMo had started.  We're a week into and I'l still trying to build a plot, plodding along well behind writing schedule.

There's still lingering urgency from this morning's dream.  I feel like I could figure out what was up with that phone network, and spend the day writing the book, each bit missing from the dream unraveling as I reach.  Reality's throwing cold water on that fantasy.  Having a lupus flare, I phoned in all of last week, so I cannot skip class today.  If I did, I would probably end up spending hours just trying to make sense of the phone thing alone, hours writing the opening (if I dove right in rather than hours spent outlining), and I'd hit the middle and run out of steam.

But it's recorded (shifts in tense and any other flaws) so I can come back and revisit this if I ever need/want to and you can see how this kinda, sorta works for me.  Sometimes.