Well, that month just happened. I am so in fear of January that I probably shouldn’t even be talking shit about it while it is still the reigning month, or it will come over here and kick the shit out of my already bruised and exhausted body.
I mean, bad things were just rolling in, back to back. Even if they didn’t directly effect me, things were happening around me that were devastating other people.
To recap: a family friend and old teacher dies suddenly of a brain tumor, my dad goes into the hospital, he gets out and my great uncle dies suddenly leaving us all wandering around bumping into each other dazed and stunned, my dad starts behaving strangely, and we think it’s the grief and the medicine, but it turns out it’s an infection (probably from the hospital) that lands him back in the hospital, B blew up the engine of his truck, a client at work cancels her project because her sister died, a friend/coworker of my sister who is only 33 died, a guy in our small town stopped to help some people in a car crash and another car hit and killed him. All this with Haiti in the background, on all of our minds, and televisions, weighing heavy on our hearts.
During all of this I had an apocalyptic cold, ear infection and sinus infection, so I am sure that if asked to remember the details of this month they will be lost forever in a strange haze. I remember driving home from the hospital one day, so sick that I couldn’t even really focus, watching the rain roll down the car window and thinking: well, fuck.
Here is what does stand out: when my mom called and said she had bad news, I thought she was going to say something about my dad, and my whole body stopped. It was the weirdest thing, like you think that your heart will beat fast or your stomach will turn, but I literally felt all my processes just come to a stop. I was as still as I have ever been. And then when she told me our uncle had died, I didn’t even cry, even though my heart was breaking, because part of me was so fucking relieved that nothing had happened to my dad.
It happened again later that week, when I woke up and grabbed my phone and saw two calls back to back from my sister from 6:00 in the morning. Everything went still, and silent, while I dialed back and waited for her to answer. Her news was just that dad was back in the hospital, and it’s like I could hear things starting up again.
The price of that stillness, of course, is that apparently it expends superhuman energy, because after that I am exhausted.
During this whole time, my job is nuts. NUTS, you guys. I am not complaining, I asked to be challenged and I got what I asked for. It’s just that coupled with the drama in life, I have been going to work, working at a Wall Street type pace, and then coming home, eating, and going to bed. B’s birthday came and went, our anniversary came and went, both with promises to celebrate them later when people feel like celebrating.
Notice there is no room in there for my resolutions. My resolutions are totally mocking me. Lose 30 pounds? Gain 5 pounds! Learn to sew? Find a sewing machine cover to keep the dust out!
So I am declaring Feb. 1st as the new start of the year. I am going to pretend that January never happened. I am going to have champagne and toast to the New Year and wake up in the morning and say things like, “New Year, New Me!”
Then, I am going to celebrate B’s birthday and the day I married him, because if you ever have a month like January 2010, you should have a B by your side.