Worked solidly, strongly, for a week. Lived through a hellish day of flu. Drove 14 hours back from Arkansas to Denver in one shot. Vibrated. Wept. Felt joy and doubt. Did not crash the rental car, not even close. Tried to make a too-tired body sleep, not completely successfully. And now I am sitting at the laptop without an ounce of me left in me.
Just once. Just once. A wish. To be weak. To be fragile. To let myself be taken care of; to let myself be less than strong. That puzzle-piece that is missing from my life. I don’t often miss it. Tonight is one of those nights.
Writers are islands. We live in a joyous place that, when it retreats, exposes a desert island beyond it. Women writers of a certain feminist persuasion have a particularly tough time allowing that place of dependence to materialize. Strong is the place where we live; less than is forbidden territory. But sometimes we wish we might be tourists there.
We write of secret weaknesses from places of overt strength. We dare ourselves. We peel back those layers of ourselves and give them to the page. Do we create those selves in the place of the person who is not there? I don’t know. I probably never will.
The one who sees me for me. The one who will bring me a cup of tea and offer me a shoulder when it’s needed. The me that will let that happen: How did that bone get left out of my head?
Some nights, self-sufficiency is not all it’s cracked up to be.