I can’t find mine. I’ve fallen into the habit of not being able to settle down to write until after 10 or 11 at night, and not finishing up and being able to try to sleep till after midnight or 1 a.m. And then, sometimes, not even then. It’s wreaking havoc with my daylight hours; I am drowsy and nod off at my desk, I nap at lunch, I am bleary and unfocused. I yawn all day. I want to train myself out of it – make myself go to bed earlier, forsake my laptop, do all the things they say you’re supposed to do for good mental and physical health – but then I won’t get any writing done, and now that I’ve started again it’s like a flood of words in my head and I Have To Get Them Out. Or what, I don’t know.
Part of this is because there are so many things I want to NOT forget, and if I don’t write about them, I am afraid I will. No, I know I will. W used to say he took pictures so he wouldn’t forget the things that we did; I wrote words. So many words! Furiously, as fast as could get them from my brain to the keyboard. So I wouldn’t forget.
I was reminded of that tonight, when I read an email from a friend who is writing a book on sex and grief, and wondered if I would be willing to contribute a few words. In her email, she pointed to several posts I had made in the days after W’s death, and just before things got “real” with Viper. I was a little hesitant when I saw the posts – could I go read them without feeling all those feelings again? Would it still hurt? Like photos, I’ve been very careful with what I go back and read. V had had me promise him, actually, to give him a heads-up if I was doing so, so he could prepare himself for the fall out, whatever that looked like. We never knew what it would be – sorrow, defeat, bitterness, withdrawal, despair. Even anger.
I didn’t feel any of those things. Well, sadness a bit, yes, but it was a gentle kind of sadness – but more than that what I felt was…gratitude. To my previous self for leaving those words there for my now-self to read. I had forgotten those feelings. No, I don’t want to feel them again, I don’t want to relive them, but they are part of me, and I want to know them. I want to remember who I was then, and know who I am now. And I want to give that to future me, too.
So I sit here, watching the clock as I pound away at the keyboard, knowing I will be wiped out tomorrow, but unable to contemplate sleep while I have all these words clamoring to get out.