I like the taste of blood in my mouth as I rip the skin from my bottom lip. In some way it’s soothing, familiar, it’s not a particular good taste but not a bad taste either. I don’t consider this self-harming. I do it more in the winter when my lips are particularly dry but the dryness is really just a prelude to an activity to be performed. You really can’t lose in this game.
It’s been far too long since I have left my house for “socialization” purposes; I am a gorilla needing social training. I think I’m starved for people, conversation, maybe conversation over food. I haven’t had that for the last four weeks. It’s almost like I’ve lived like a monk. A monk and her dog.
I have tired myself out today and tonight by cleaning things. We have buckets that are still not unpacked from the “construction site project.” I don’t know if we will ever get to them or just put them aside in our already over-cluttered basement. In cleaning things I find relics from when my children were very young; my daughter’s tiny, faded, soft, pink ballet shoes, my son’s five-year-old’s beaming face on his baseball photo, a radiant smile of my husband and my fake “engagement photograph.” We did not want anything formal so we had this amazing, fun photo taken of us, full of hope, flirtation, tenderness and surprise. We were looking forward to all the possibilities in our future, our informal wedding, places to travel, maybe babies some day. It’s so lovely to be young and in love.
I sit tonight among boxes and huge plastic rubber tubs, some filled with paper, some empty; my answer to organizing is to sit in the middle of all these items, surrounded by my past. I try to throw out as much as possible but I don’t get very far. I do know where I have been but I have marked that in a box labeled “SENTIMENTAL.” A big achievement for me.
Now, I need to look forward, beyond the blood of the bleeding lip, beyond my daughter’s wonderful acceptance to colleges. I need to stop feeling old and tired and worn out. My heart and head haven’t caught up yet but I know they will. Perhaps when the forsythia blooms bright yellow and the crocus’ peek out from the ground and the weather warms itself up like a buttermilk biscuit melting with butter. I, too shall start anew.