Writing Life

April’s Fool

Today I come at you like a bull. Hoof ripping apart the dusty, dog-haired floor. Head hung low to abate a cough-that-won’t-stop. Ears pushing out steam and liquid (remnants from the congestion). Throw open your red carpets, friends, and let me barrel towards you with my hearty bitchiness.

Remember how my ‘words’ for the year were ‘enough’ and ‘refine’? Well, I’m feeling like – eff these words. Eff what they mean.

Enough? I’m feeling ever more like I’m not enough these days. I’m busier than ever. How the cuss is that possible? I feel like everyone in the industry (writing/teaching writing) is taking technology by the bull horns (not mine) and creating virtual classrooms, adding how-to videos, sharing non-stop about writerly things and prompts and books to read and so.on.and.so.on. Refine? I’ve cleaned out every drawer, dusted every surface. A new website is nearly done. I’m making lists and checking them twice…but none of it feels better.

I don’t want to teach on-line. Sure, a one-to-one session with a writer via skype or facetime, I’m into that. It’s still intimate. I still feel close to the writer, to his poetry, to her heart-felt creativity. But I’m sitting at my dining room table. There are dishes in the sink. There is dog hair on the floor. I more than likely have not brushed my teeth. I may or may not be wearing a bra. It feels like cheating. How could I possibly set up a workshop and do that for three hours? It just doesn’t feel right. Does that make me a bad small business woman? I feel the burn of nearly fully stopped income but I just can’t put my face into a video to teach anything right now.

I feel bullish in a way that surprises me. When I receive a ‘virtual hug’ gif in my messenger I want to poke it in the eye and flick it away. Tagging me to post a picture of my ‘isolated, natural self’ so I can support women supporting women being nice to each other as we’re being ‘natural’ at home? Um, EXPLETIVE NO. Why are these things bothering me to no end?

My son told me I ‘had to’ watch John Krazinky’s ‘Some Good News’ network/online episode. He said it’d make me happy, but also make me cry. *HEADS UP* EVERYTHING MAKES ME CRY. We watched it together. Damn right I cried. I sobbed. Snotty-sobbed all over myself. My emotions are bat-shit crazy. Watching good news gives me joy but more than that it makes feel…like, what am I doing to help people during this pandemic? Little.Old.Me? Nothing. I can’t do anything because nothing I think about doing feels like it measures up. It’s not authentic. Because authentic me, right now, is a hot-flashing bull, remember?

I seriously contemplated stopping our daily school/work schedule so we could, as a family, come up with some cool song/video we could make that would go viral so we’d get just a little famous. Maybe John K. would notice us and add it to his Good News Now network. I watched a (nother!) shared video of a woman and her husband (I assume?) doing a workout video clad in cheesy, shiny 80s work-out clothes to coughing into arm bends, scrubbing hands, spraying disinfectant. It was well done. Funny. Hilarious, probably, but do you know what I was thinking? I was thinking – damn, that woman is so thin. Clearly, she’s not on the eat-everything-in-sight isolation diet I’m on. Definitely scrap the workout video idea for our go-viral, get-famous video. For balls sake. I can’t escape my body issues ever.

My comparison monster is at the top of her game. She’s dressed like a bull and daring me to step in the ring with her. Today, I’m in the ring, baby.

I want to stand in the middle of a g-d Roman-empire-esque ring (wait, isn’t that what Facebook is?) put my hands to my cheeks (yes, I touch my face! I can’t stop freaking touching my face!), and scream STOOOOOOPPPPP!

Can we just have one day with no live ‘breaking news’ from Prime Ministers and Premieres, Presidents and another government ‘p’ word that fits? Can we just have one day with no ‘sharing’ of creepy gifs and pass-it-on emails meant to spread love and hugs and joy? I do not want to be a part of the virtual koombuyah (spelling?) that is spreading across the world. Not. Today.

WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. ME?

I feel so guilty.

A million voices in my head telling me how to think, how to feel, to give up my privileged complaints, to stop my first-world panicking, stop eating bread, exercise more, be grateful for frontline workers, sidewalk chalk my driveway, clap for doctors and nurses, read the news, watch the news, wash my hands, cough into my elbow, keep working, work harder, fit in, be like her, do what he says, be a good mother, do yoga, don’t forget to breathe, pick up the dog poo, what the hell is for dinner, pay this bill, don’t pay that bill, apply for EI, be put on hold for three hours, eat another Cadbury Creme egg, feel fat, feel ugly, feel sad, sad, sad…don’t feel sad, be brave, share the love, show my support, donate here, don’t leave the house, I miss my mother, I miss my grandmother, we’re all in this together…but it is different for each of us, her father died of COVID and she’s not allowed to see his body, she needs a mastectomy but surgeries have been put on hold, more beds, more masks, Elon Musk is making ventilators – but don’t put them in a warehouse if you want them from him, my chest hurts, this cough is bad, it’s not COVID, what should I write, what do I have to say, when will this end, what does it mean, who am I?

And that…is like, one minute in my head.

It’s April first and I feel like a fool. And I love the word fool. It so perfectly fits what it means. My lips and tongue like saying it out loud. Go ahead, say it out loud. Fooool. See? It’s a great word.

This post is not what I wanted it to be.

I was going to show you pictures of food, art, me and Miller’s shaved heads. I was going to tell you all the amazing things we’re doing to stay healthy, happy, educated…

But no.

I’ve turned into a raging bull.

And there are only two Cadbury Creme Eggs left in the junk food bowl. This is a problem. This is not a problem.

Excuse me while I pause to dance to ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ with the family.

Okay. That was helpful.

Last week we danced so hard for so long, my calves were on fire for four days post. #complainingaway

I am a mess.

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