I keep waiting for the fog of this nightmare to lift. I want to wake up and see her again.
I meander through my days ping-ponging between mirthless laughs and attempting mournful dignity.
I’m oblivious to how I appear to others. After going through the TSA screening at O’Hare, a man asked me, “Do you get used to it?” “What?” I asked. “People staring at you.” I had no idea what he was talking about. I thought, “Of course they are staring at me; they’re security. They are supposed to stare at everyone.” Instead, I just said, “No,” and walked away. Regrettably, it was the least honest reply. I likely did something weird when I was walking through the TSA that I wasn’t even aware of. Like how toddlers haven’t learned not to loudly discuss nose picking with strangers.
My body and soul are crushed but, like Flat Stanley, I keep moving around in the world, reporting my status as if trying to determine if what’s happening really is.
I’ve developed a kind of reckless honesty—not that sociopathic brand of honesty where people proclaim they’re just “telling it like it is” to justify insulting people. More like I just state the facts no matter how unflattering they are to me. It references the self-deprecating humor of a melancholic Janeane Garofalo. When I rally, I can pull off a manic version of Caroline Rhea.
Without the intention to do so, I’ve taken to hugging people I’m introduced to. It tends to be surprising to both of us—especially them if they’re my waiter.