They wake me and stand at the foot of my bed. Sometimes one, sometimes two or four, depending on the day. Lately they’ve been showing up at the same time, like 3:27 a.m. They stare at me waiting to be chosen like a team in P.E. class. They talk amongst themselves, fight for attention, argue, whine, and fidget. A couple of them wander off. These are my relatives, the Worry People. Today must be a convention, the room is crowded and I can’t breathe or hear myself think.
I do a roll call: “Money,” “here,” ”Stomach pain,” “here,”…”Plumbing problem,” “here,”… , “Friend with Cancer,” “here,”…“Overdue bill,” “here,”…Impending death,” “here.” All here, together, like one big happy family. I dread these mornings and these visits, but I realize I need them as much as they need me. Me. The Solitary Creator. A slave to my people.
I try to do the meditation thing, you know, clear mind, let go, watch my thoughts pass like images on clouds, but there aren’t enough clouds to catch them all and they collide into a huge cluster fuck of words that circle back around. It’s only eight a.m. and I’m exhausted, but the day must go on and I set out for the city, just me and my never-ending To-Do list.
Cell phone store doesn’t open ‘til ten. Off to Bed, Bath and Bullshit to buy a new dish drain. That’s all I really need, but I leave with six large bags of crap that I’ll most likely return next week and that will take half a day. Two hours to fix my busted cell phone. Two hours at the Post Office. Seven hours to do three things from the long To-Do list which is somewhere at the bottom of my bag.
Take shower, brush teeth, remove contact lenses, wash dishes, swallow supplements, study a new wrinkle, look for keys and that To-Do list, lights off, doors locked, downward dog, child pose, take throw pillows off bed, lie down next to all of my ex-boyfriends, think about clocks, stare at the meaning of life, count the parking meters before my relatives wake me again.
It could be a dream or am I still on hold with the DMV and Time Warner and T-Mobile and the Alarm company and Blue Cross and my Mechanic and Amazon and my Attorney and my Mother who can’t find a pen and I stand in line and I stand in line and I stand in line and I stand in line.