the insane crazy lady


this morning, i scurried around my bedroom. i combed back my wet hair, but didn’t part it. i put on perfume, and when i went to replace the cap, i had a hand spaz and flung the stopper into a tiny, dust-filled crevice in front of the heat vent. i accidentally smeared perfume all over my hands, and then wiped the dust off the stopper with my bare hand, making them even more pungent. as i washed my hands, i saw myself in the mirror. my hair was in the strange process of trying to part itself, a big loop of it sticking up, some of it in my face, all of it dripping wet. “i look like an insane crazy lady,” i thought.

it’s one of those weeks where i am especially prone to obsessive thoughts that fill me with dread, like, “will my father contact me on my birthday?” that’s a subject i can’t shake. on the rare occasions when i can push it aside, i worry that things will go especially badly this weekend with my elderly cat and the boy’s two-year-old retriever.

it’s a week where i just don’t feel right in my own skin. i want to be in a good mood for my birthday and not ruin it for myself (and others), and then i feel pressured to be in a good mood for my birthday. i spent last weekend in a stupor scarily resembling this summer’s depression, so this week i’m taking all social opportunities, which is actually working as intended and making me feel a little more lighthearted. so what if my dad calls me, emails me, posts a comment to my blog? so what.

when the woman in the office next to me starts reaching the upper registers of indignation and panic, i really _must_ put on the headphones this week, and listen to the soothing philip glass music. it almost drowns it out, if i close my door, too.

there are these photos that my mother unearthed from the attic. they are mainly of my parents, me, and some other relatives from the time spanning 1965 (when my parents first met in college) to 1973, when i was four. i noticed something when i looked through them the first time; i’ve shown them to a lot of people since then, and everyone else notices it, too.

something happened to my father in the early 70’s. i know styles change, but it’s more than that. i can see it in the expression on his face. in the early photos he looks happy in every photo, grinning. his hair is short, his clothes are neat and fit him well. the overgrown hair is no great surprise, later, but the shapeless cardigan, the untucked shirt, and the glowering expression all make for a shocking change. in one family scene at my grandmother’s house, we’re all sitting around probably watching tv and he looks like he wants to _kill_ someone. seriously.

that’s how i remember him. the smiling, clean-cut guy my mom married exists only in photos, to me.

i’ve gotta wonder what kind of difference something like paxil would have made in all of our lives. i’m not the biggest fan of medicating depression, but sweet jesus. something was so not right.

anyway. i know my . will arrive and i’ll magically feel as if all is right in the world and it’s all no big deal.