Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Climbing The Walls

This past year with Nancy in my life has been marvelous. In the Autumn of 2010, she moved into my flat just outside of Boston, and the unsettling loneliness and languor of single life was replaced with the excitement and terror of cohabiting with another human being. We knew a lot about each other, but naturally a lot of lessons had to be learned. We turned one of the bedrooms into an office for her to use, and it is packed with papers, folders, books and pill bottles. Shortly after she moved in, I made the mistake of cleaning her office and organizing her papers. Her reaction to this cemented one of our new rules into my mind forever; never, ever try to clean up Nancy's office. I'm not bright, but I learn lessons like this quickly. Training comes easy to me.

The year before Nancy arrived I had settled into the nadir of my life, and the end seemed to be in sight. Hope had gone out the window. The walls of my bedroom had thoughts and poems penciled upon them, perhaps because it helped me fill the empty space, like Edmund in the Chateau D'If. An ill-fated relationship with an older woman had just ended (a very poor match), and racing thoughts (a bipolar thing) which had previously been somewhat tempered with expensive but efficacious medicines, returned with a vengeance. For the first time in years I found myself banging my head on the wall for relief, the firewall, no less. A wooden wall is recommended for that sort of thing. Epileptic seizures, minor ones except for one grand mal, made me lethargic and cranky. Depression pulled me into the Sarlacc pit, despite the use of positive thinking that I learned about in therapy. It made me want to leave a flaming bag of dog-shit on the steps of my former therapist's office.

The Summer of 2010 really sucked.

As I type this, I'm sitting in the same room that had Longfellow's The Psalm of Life written on one of its  walls, along with a Punnet's square, D'arcy's Face Upon the Floor (a wonderful parlor poem), a taxonomy chart of apes, a recipe for popovers, and some random thoughts about love, illness, nature, cats, sex, and courtship. Nancy's phone number was on the wall near the bedroom door. Before she moved here, we must have spent 1,000 hours on the phone. Sometimes we spoke all night, for 6 or 8 hours, night after night after night. I had to switch my listening ear every few minutes due to the sweat pouring down my cheek.

Now that Nancy and I are here together, with a Nor'easter raging outside (rain, not snow), both of us in matching Forever Lazy pajamas (a Christmas thing...we're not proud, but they are just wicked comfortable), and an adoring bevvy of pets (four cats, of course, and a dog), this room may as well be in another flat, in a different building, on an exotic island far, far away. Nancy has made this flat a home. She is my wife now, and while we have some spectacular fights, I can't imagine ever going back to that room in the Summer of 2010. That hot room, with me going bat-shit in the middle of it. It took a slap in the face to get me out of there, and Nancy slapped me vigorously, as a comrade in the battle against ones' own mind. Then I happened to fall in love with her, and her with me. How convenient!

Some nights I awaken with a start, usually after a nightmare, to find my beloved sleeping next to me. She is often surrounded by pets, usually Annie, Impy and sometimes Ghost and Panther. It's a good thing, even if it has her sneezing and hacking like a TB victim every morning due to pet allergies. It used to piss her off, the way the cats and Annie insist on cuddling up to her tender nasal passages, but now she complains while cooing over the adorable furry little fuckers. Poor girl.

I think I'll saunter across the floor and give her a squeeze. 


Ken Gage, Witch Doctor said...

Love this!

wendy said...

Fantastic! what a great real-life story!