Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Kicking Up My Heels

Yesterday I said, no more sadness. I’d felt the familiar throbbing pain in my shoulders and said, That's it. I’m done. 

The sadness reprieve lasted until late afternoon when the show Claire and I were watching was interrupted for a special news report. There was the congressman from New York, confessing to sending a photo of his bulging penis in a pair of grey boxers to a young woman in Seattle. The week before he said his Twitter account had been hacked. He was crying during the confession, but not overly so, not a steady stream of tears down his face like the current Speaker of the House. 

Claire and I were momentarily transfixed by this man speaking about his lies, I take full responsibility for my terribly destructive actions and want to apologize first and foremost to my wife. Cameras flashing. He didn't flinch; he looked straight into the faces of reporters and continued confessing. 

"Gosh, this is sad,” I said. 
"He was sexting," Claire said. 
"I guess you're right, sexting."
"But at least he's admitting he was wrong."
"Yup," I said.

It's sad how people make such a mess of things. Everyone does, at least once or twice, or a hundred times.

But it was the ancient-looking woman, with the see-through skin, at the community acupuncture room who got me. I watched her, eyes closed, resting in her chair. When her daughter came in and gently pulled white tube socks over her mother's old feet, I felt it rise up.

It = tender connection to other living things?

I'd hoped the acupuncture treatment would poke holes in my sadness but all I could do was twist and turn in the chair while the guy with the Jerry Garcia beard snored, blissfully. I had to bite my tongue to keep from shouting at him, must you do that? Here? Another man came in and sat in one of the leaning-back chairs. He appeared to sink quickly into a peaceful state. His eyes were closed. Mine kept opening. People were resting. I was restless. A Herb Alpert song kept looping in my head.

I keep thinking that my sadness can be massaged away, or needled away, or therapized away. If I slap it around enough, it will leave. But this would be like asking my child to go, nice to know you, kid, but time to move on! My constant attempts to disown this part of my nature, which showed up, a stray dog at the back door, when I was around nine, is a bit like saying the earth is not three-fourths water. It’s dirt and rock, there can't be that much water! There is. 

I thought, what's the big deal? You're watery, fluid.

Which is why by the time I'm done this, I could be swinging my arms out to my side, kicking up my heels.

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