Stop, Drop and Curl Up

November 19th, 2008


I’ve been lying in bed for four days with a tooth implant jammed into my jaw bone and throbbing hard enough to launch itself out of the top of my head. I considered calling my friend Joe the Contractor to come over and pull the implant out with a pair of pliers, but thank god the dentist ordered up some drugs before things got out of hand. ¬†Between doses of hydrocodone, I managed to get the cover prose written for my magazine day job right before deadline or I expired. Type type type/doze off/type type type/doze off. The art director loved it, so maybe I should always write high. I can see how Rush Limbaugh became a junkie, because I couldn’t WAIT for my next dose and I loved how slow and easy it took me under and made both my physical and existential pain go away. I cocooned in my bed with a novel by Wendell Berry (Hannah Coulter) and slid in and out of soft sleep and a slow journey around Hannah’s Kentucky farm that was so like the one I grew up on, only more prosperous and peopled with kindly characters who were close to the earth–okay, so it was more like the farm I wish I’d grown up on. Then being all doped up, I shed a tear or two about my vanished past and then got really depressed (more side effects of the drugs?) about how tractors made horse-drawn plows obsolete and then decided to text coworkers with garbled instructions about god knows what. Text text text/doze off, doze off, doze off/text text text/dose up, dose up, dose up. Today was my first day back at work, back to “normal,” and I’m grateful to feel so very much better. But a little part of me misses locking the door on the world, with no alarm clocks, nowhere to be, no expectations to meet because I was an invalid. This little interlude made me realize that I’m so hungry for a respite from the bullshit that bombards us day and night that there was an up-side to taking sick days. Just think of how many things during an ordinary day keep us running away from ourselves. Toward what? I’ve always been a ferociously ambitious person, partly because I felt invisible during so much of my life. Everything I’ve achieved had a goal of giving me an outline–“look at me, I’m here, I exist”–and of making sure I didn’t miss anything. It was the path I had to take and I learned a lot and it shaped me into the person I am, a person I mostly like. Now, though, I want to stop/slow time so that I can just sit still long enough to think. It sounds so frivolous, doesn’t it? But I am ever on the move, like a gadfly, and I crave a long stretch of time to stretch my mind. I want to light somewhere and sit a spell. Do you ever feel that way?

3 Responses to “Stop, Drop and Curl Up”

  1. m. heart says:

    i work in publishing too and have been bombarded with deadlines for the past few weeks. i am absolutely craving some time to just drop out of the routine, fantasizing about taking a day or two to do absolutely nothing but curl up with a good book. hopefully by christmas that will happen.
    your post does make me rethink the implant i was considering getting a little bit. the pain sounds intense!

  2. notmassproduced says:

    yes! all the time. what’s stopping us?

  3. Catherine says:

    yes, absolutely…but when I jumped off the GO train, the vortex sucked in new clouds of obligation leaving me wondering what happened…

    MaryAnn from LA dispatched me here…glad to read you.