The biggest consolation of a rainstorm is the ubiquitous excuse: I don’t have to do a damn thing.
Tucked away in the recesses of my apartment, I wish I didn’t feel so guilty about doing absolutely nothing. I know my tendency has always been to keep my hands dirty—an ironic idiom, given my childhood hypochondria. Still, the moments that are nothing but mine are a welcome addition to any day. The silent nothings are where I decompress, drink my three gallons of yerba mate, and wonder why I struggle with the things I do. Slowly, but surely, the angst disappears and I fall asleep in my bean bag chair in front of an American re-make of a decades-old Italian film.
When I’m not exhausted from living day to day, I often take up a baking project. What is it about cups and tablespoons, sugar and butter that calms my nerves? I don’t really know, save that it’s a definite outlet for creativity with immediate and (hopefully) delicious results. To boot, I always have the option of sharing what I make with others. As most people in my life know, I love to give. What better way than with chocolate zucchini bread?
But while the Italian drama unfolds in starts and stops behind me (strangely marked by high-society British accents), I think about what’s missing, what’s been done, and if, more than anything, this God-obsession is slowly subsiding.
I balk at the very thought, accidentally tossing in an extra cup of sugar. I can’t. I won’t! How could I let myself?!
But then, I said the same thing once about my Catholic faith. Where has that gone? The faith is still around, certainly, but it’s vastly different than the Catholic Church might like. Does that bother me? No. I rest assured that on some level, for some reason, I was supposed to be dipping into the oceans of Eastern religion and uncovering the all-too-exclusive facets of Western Christianity. Bah. I dropped the butter in the garbage can.
As you well know, if you’re any regular reader of my blog, I have a tendency to veer off into the ambiguous and safe haven of religion. God this, God that, blah blah, Mohammed something, Yahweh, Amen. And then it ends, in a remarkably inconclusive conclusion. But I feel satisfied that for a few moments, I’ve taken attention away from worries. No more concern about my swollen eye, my dearth of laundry money, my lack of bread, my stale crackers, my broken lights, my unlightable gas stove, my strapped bank account, my lack of self esteem, my distance from family, and the utter lack of a person in my life who, with question or pause (as Don Quixote would say), takes care of me and gives me the attention I deserve. No more sentences cut off, ideas cut short, bland and wholly indifferent responses to exciting stories in my day followed with someone else’s supposedly better, juicier, more exciting stories. There are days—woe is me—when I truly feel as though the only conversations I can have that truly are concerned with my life are the ones I have with myself, in my apartment, listening to crap Italian films while making pound cake with butter I accidentally dropped in the garbage can.
Give up the self-depracating rant, you say? Learn to appreciate yourself for who and what you are? Is that really how you would respond? Well then, unequivocally, I return with: Shut up.
If you assume I need the goading, you don’t know me. If you assume I need the grinning pat on the back, you’re clueless. And, most especially, if you believe I would benefit from a laundry list of compliments, you’re absolutely right. I may need them more than once, though. Who ever said I was low maintenance? Oh I can pretend, but when the flood gates open, I can only pray there’s a significantly significant other who can handle my crap. At the moment, Wilcox and Mooey are not doing it for me. Plus, they hog the sheets.
I’m going home early today, I think. To sleep. To sleep. Perchance to dream. God knows I haven’t remembered a dream in years. If I did, I wonder what it would be about.
I don’t really feel like finishing this pound cake. And the duke died, by the way. Saw that one coming. Or would have, if I could read subtitles on the TV screen from my kitchen.
Someday. I sigh. I sigh a lot. Maybe I’ll go for a run. And maybe I’ll just lie in my bed and wonder where all of this is going. Did Jesus do this? Hmm. It’s the first time I’ve actually seriously thought about it: what would Jesus do?
Probably go to sleep. I turn off the stereo and listen to the movie credits roll in silence. The smell of oily pound cake floats through the apartment. I close my eyes somehow. And dream.