In which my best laid plans set a new record for evanescence

Today kicked my ass, plain and simple.

This is a hard way to start the summer.

At least, however, I had only gotten as far as the Manhattan Bridge on the B train before I realized, with a groan, that I didn't have my keys.

And at least when I finally made it back to Teaching College after another 45 minutes on several trains, the building was still open and my keys still where I left them in the bag I take to the gym and keep in my desk. But so much for being rewarded for making healthy choices, huh?

The Poet called me at 9:15 this morning about a library book. Except, as I realized later, it wasn't really about that. It was sort of a crazy conversation, and sometime in the midafternoon, I began to understand that he was trying not to come apart. And now I have a new unlikely phrase to add to my collection of sentences that I never thought would be necessary to use to describe my life, namely: my boyfriend's wife is dying. There, I said it, and it looks awful and, like so many of these things, I find myself wanting to protest, "it isn't as bad as it sounds." But this one does change the stakes in some ways. He had been at a work thing near school this evening--before the latest news, we'd planned to spend the night together. We met for a drink instead--it seemed schizophrenic, like so much of the rest of this day (did I mention that the stated project was to work on Maud?), and I could see his compartmentalizing skills start to fray, one minute talking about surfing or the contract he just landed at work or the department exam but then nearly breaking down at the bar. He says she is the woman who broke him, who made him understand what it meant to be a human being. And I hold his hand because there is nothing else I can do and I try not to be scared by how much I find myself caring about him.

None of this is, of course, conductive to a drama-free summer. I mean, there was going to be drama. But on day one?

On the other hand:

It's not that I didn't try to be healthy and productive, or even that I didn't succeed in some ways. My shoulders are still tight and kind of painfully so, but I went to the gym at Erstwhile Teaching College anyway, ate reasonably healthy food, and drank lots of water.

And it's not like I didn't get some good news along the way--mainly, that my adjuncting offer was formalized for the fall at the school that is near my undergrad alma mater. The idea of teaching two classes and doing so in Manhattan at 8 in the morning is a bit daunting--and I will actually miss my students at Erstwhile Teaching College--but I think this is the right move for a number of reasons.

And yet:

Writing doesn't feel easier like I thought it would post-orals. I still feel like an idiot when it comes to framing and I still don't think I can answer the "so what" question. Also, my shoulders really hurt, my kitchen is a mess, and the guy's coming in the morning to look at my toilet. So maybe it's about time for bed.


No comments: