The toilets in my house are really clean. Like seriously clean. Eat off me, rest your cheek on my seat clean. Disinfected, gloriously shiny and smelling like the janitor just came through clean. Why? because I cleaned them. Because it was mindless. Because it didn’t involve facing anything. I can’t face it. I can’t face finals, I can’t face surgery, I can’t face the impending doom that is my personal life, I can’t do it. I don’t want to. I won’t. I’ll tell jokes, I’ll laugh, I’ll act casual. Hell, I will even clean toilets giving you the most luxurious throne for shit you’ve ever seen, but face this? My life? My crap comes at you from every angle and just when you think you’ve figured out how to pretend long enough to laugh genuinely your heart stops you in your tracks life.I can’t face that. Sure there are moments of compassion. The students telling me I will be okay, thanking me, ME, for teaching them. It’s astounding, humbling, flattering. Then there are the friends that walk to Starbucks with me in the cold, let me selfishly complain, talk, gossip, chatter, never telling me that I am too obtuse to ask about them. Those are true moments of me, the old me, the pre-Herbert, never considered my mortality, lived to help others me. Then I come home, to my reality and I’m just damn pissed.
One week from today I will be super nervous, trying to go to sleep, trying not to think about it. Trying not to focus on surgery. What’s funny is I don’t feel scared right now, distracted? Yes. Scared? No. Super distracted. Yep. It’s the last week of courses and in the mad dash to get everything done in time to leave for Arizona with a clear mind I made the slightly awkward decision to throw a party. For Herbert, to get rid of him. You know, because I hate him. But the thing is, I don’t, you can’t hate something that is a part of you. You can’t hate yourself, something grown from you. Hating Herbert would mean hating myself. I can’t do that. I just can’t. So I pretend that I can’t hear him, swooshing around in there. You know all things need rest, so give it a rest man! Please! I pretend that brain surgery is the same as going to the park, or meeting up at a Starbucks. What are you doing Tuesday? Oh, huh, really, uh huh, shopping, eating, dinner date. Oh yea, me too, that plus brain surgery. Uh huh. No big deal. Ugh. UGH. I talk about it like it’s commonplace, try to normalize it. I joke with near strangers about it. The people closest to the situation really don’t seem to think my apocalyptic turn for the worse sense of humor is so compelling. My, I hope I don’t have a Quasimodo face after surgery jokes shifted to a dark place. I start sentences with statements like, “If I live to my birthday…” and end them with things so casual that it throws people off, “…we should get pie!” I would like some pie, though, seriously.
I am super excited for my party. Perhaps the only silver lining I can see right now is after the hell that will be the next 48 hours of final writing, I get to have a party. An act I have never undertaken in a home of my own. Herbert made me grow up, socialize, maybe have a beer. Plus, I am assuming that in not being able to face ANYTHING real happening in my life I can fill my days with idle distractions. Pretending that okay is the norm. Never making it quite to great but never reaching bottom. I can do okay for a few days. Then, I’ll get my skull sawed open and see if things change. Or if I change, and instead of cleaning toilets, I clean up my act and be the woman I know I can be.
Peace and love – and shiny porcelain seats…