Watching From Across the Room

I’ve watched myself this time, from the chair across the room. I have watched and listened as I cried through the night. I’ve seen the sheets rumple and toss as my legs kick them, over and over. The computer is pulled toward me, the plug ripped out of the base. I’ve seen my arms get skinnier, I’ve seen my stomach shrink a little.

At night I hear my stomach growl, and it is loud. Rachel hears it, she is next to me, we are stranded and the snow piles and piles outside.

“Want me to take you to the ER?” My mother asks this tonight. I grunt. I shake my head.

If I go, I will be admitted. I can’t be admitted. I have things to do.

My body grows weaker with each bite of food I don’t take. I slide Ramen noodles down my throat, the sodium will bloat me but it is carbohydrates and I need something. Icy Gatorade is all I can sip. I bite the straw so hard. I feel like I am growing new teeth, my gums are bleeding.

I wanted to eat Christmas ham and turkey. I wanted the catered penne vodka. But we all 
have things we want but don’t get.

I’m watching this time, I am still smiling. I still feel the rush of new feelings. 

I dance across the hardwood floors to make sure I can still get up. I get my own ice. I plan to memorize the United State Presidents by date. I organize my thoughts so that they do not drift into the Bad.

I write about characters who are healthy, who swim and jump around. I write about them and for a minute, their bodies are mine.

I am watching. I am here. I am not letting go.
I will not. I will not let go.


You and Me and the Sea

It's been 80 days since I last held my breath and dove under the waves.

It was late September when I grabbed my chair and my Asbury Park teen beach badge (I look 12) and plopped down in front of the ocean.

I brought a sweatshirt that day, in case of a cold fall breeze, but the air was still. I stretched out. I looked at the children, their heads bobbing in the sea. I jumped up from my chair and into the ocean.

It was warm; over 65 degrees, for sure. I read recently that Bruce Springsteen, a fellow Monmouth County dweller, swims in the ocean until November. I believe it. The ocean is warmer in the fall than the air that surrounds it.

I swam for an hour that day, knowing it would be my last until June. All summer long, after every sick spell and hospitalization, I had gone straight to the ocean and jumped in. A baptism, of sorts. My orientation, back into the outside world.

Now that it is cold, and the New York City wind stings my face, I wish for nothing more than the ocean. For me, it is my only healer.

And so I will sit at my desk, Googling flights to Costa Rica and Miami until spring breaks and the summer sea welcomes me once again.


Life, right now.

I am late to work, so I am running out of the apartment. I am leaving behind my phone, or keys, or wallet. I am forgetting to to make my bed.

I am saying "fuck it" to the subway, I am making excuses, I am too ill to ride public transportation. I am taking cabs, too many cabs, I am telling them 22nd between 5th and 6th, YES, I said 22nd, no, not 27th. Two-two. Twenty second. Thank you. 

I am watching the meter rise. I am riding up the elevator. I am sliding into work as quietly as possible. I am working, I am reading, I am getting a headache. I flirt with coffee. I am drinking coffee now.

I'm watching the hours unfold in reverse and I read human interest stories, over and over. I update. I check. I read. I work. I lay my head on my desk. I whine. I talk to my friends, the days move slowly, I am telling myself that this is the best I can do.

I leave work and I walk on ice patches. I dash into traffic without looking up, I am invincible, I cannot move and I am throwing up now, on the side of the street. I am looked at, approached, worried about. 

I come home. I watch fake shows and I don't read enough. I don't write enough. I am worried, I am not, I am fine.

People call me and I don't answer. I write down words: asshole, inconsiderate, incorrigible, awful. I look at these words and I want to embrace them fully and become them, completely.

I am back four days and gone two. I am doing my best and failing, wildly, for everyone to see. I am sneezing into toilet paper and wishing this was fiction, wrapped in cotton, not real.

I hibernate. I put on Christmas music. I talk to strangers instead of friends.

I fall asleep. I breathe through my mouth. I hug the toilet. I think optimistically. I run out of space on the floor.

I resist this life. I embrace it.

I live it.


Boob Tube; Alternately: Reasons Why YouTube Should Not Exist, Part One

Sometimes instead of sleeping or working on grad school applications, I watch YouTube videos of tragedies/major news events from my youth.

Tonight was another one of these nights.

It all started out so innocently, as it always does. Prince William got engaged, so I was People.comming that shit and then, before I knew it, an hour had passed and I had spent most of that time watching news clips announcing Princess Di’s death and highlights of her funeral (THEY CALLED IT HIGHLIGHTS. OF A FUNERAL. AND I WATCHED IT.)

Then I moved onto John F. Kennedy, Jr. (John-John Is Gone-Gone: actual New York Post headline that I oddly remember, even though I was 13) and now I’m on 9/11 again, which makes me really sad and nauseous but I watch the breaking news clips anyway.

I’m really curious about O.J. Simpson so maybe he’s next (something about a car chase?) and I probably need to find out who the Menendez brothers are, because The Nanny keeps referencing them. I’m going to find out, and also figure out what happened in the Korean war (you know, since my grandfather got TWO Purple Hearts fighting in it), and then cry some more about Tim Russert.

And maybe then I’ll take a Xanax and let myself pass out.


My Back To Work Week, In Numbers

Welcome Back Signs: 1
Welcome Hugs: 10
Unwelcome hugs: 1 (Personal space, people.)
Times I almost cried: 2
Times I found myself in uncomfortable conversations: 2
Times I blushed so hard my scalp turned red: 3
Times I laughed so hard my scalp turned red: 5
Drinks consumed: 2
Drinks bought for me: 2
Number of people who looked at me as if I was coming back from the dead: 10
Number of people who looked at me like they thought I'd been fired: 5
Hours billable to client: Good question.
Hours I spent making my own Countdown to Vacation calendar: 1
Hours I spent enjoying "welcome back" attention: 5. Or 21.

Not a bad week.

P.S. Thanks to everyone at H&S who has been so understanding this year. Onto 2011!


Win for Bergin

Hello, disciples.

Today is a proud, proud day for Kelly.

After 18 months of ordering food online using my mother’s credit card, I have finally qualified for the Delivery.com Snuggie.

This, friends, is a moment to celebrate.

I will soon be warm, in my Snuggie, devouring chicken fingers with a big, fat smile on my face.