confession: i made sloppy art today with sloppy hearts drawn by sloppy markers and called it “folk art” in my head, because when i see actual folk art, i love the roughness, the inelegance, the everyday realness of its scrap materials collaged with cracking paint.
confession: i wanted to call, but i chickened out and texted instead.
confession: i slept for three days, the depressed kind of sleep to escape shame and self-hate and the world that asks me to be kind and loving. i lied when i said that i was taking a nap at 2pm. the truth is i hadn’t gotten out of bed yet. i didn’t sleep last night. i stayed awake and tried to forgive and failed and kept trying and kept failing until i finally got out of bed to make sloppy art.
confession: i’ve lost my capacity for tracking time. days disappear into depressed sleep. days lapse into sleepless hours of repetitive tasks that never end, like email, dishes, and laundry. i might begin marking time by washing my car. i only wash my car for a date, and not every date, just the dates that feel as important as the dates i used to make with my ex-wife. i’d wash my car for her. i’d bring her flowers. i loved washing my car and bringing flowers for every important date. i miss doing those things for her. my car has been filthy for the past several years. my car is dirty now.
confession: when you asked how i was doing, i lied. of course i’m going to tell you that i’m doing great. in the span of time and setting of our exchange, “i’m great” was the only polite response. besides, i earned my feelings this week. i feel this darkness for a reason. this darkness might be cold and isolating, but it is mine, all mine.
confession: there were moments last night (ricardo) when i was genuinely happy (ricardo), when i felt grateful to be alive (ricardo), when all i had to do was follow where he led. (thank you, ricardo.)
confession: a friend hesitated to tell me something unpleasant that i was glad to find out, just so i’d know. please don’t hesitate to tell me anything. ever. (i can handle it. always.)
confession: he called me vicious. he meant it as a compliment. i took it as such.
confession: i receive other people’s vanity and arrogance as gifts guiding me toward humility.
confession: luncheon. that word cracks me up. i’ll be at a reception luncheon on sunday. because this luncheon occurs in minnesota, i’ll wager that crockpots appear in double digits.
confession: in the car after picking her up from the airport, she asked if there had been any births or deaths in the weeks she had been gone. i told her there had been millions but none that affected me personally. that wasn’t true. but i didn’t have words to explain what had died inside me and we didn’t have an hour to delve into that darkness together. but she would have gone there with me if she had known. she’ll accompany me if i want a consort, if i invite her, if i’m willing to share the dark matter with her. that’s why she is my best friend.
confession: the only reason i’m admitting these confessions to you is that i know i’m not the only one who lies when i feel miserable, who gets out of bed and gets dressed only to do the things that have to be done, who fakes a smile so well that no one can tell the difference between my real smile and a fake smile. i’m not the only one. you are not alone. i mean, technically, if you want to be, you can hang out in the darkness alone for as long as you need to (i’m gonna and you can too), but you are not the only one who feels like this. we both know the darkness passes. and the darkness remains. the darkness is always waiting for us. but so is the light.