I haven’t been writing much lately. I haven’t been doing anything at all much, lately.
In fact, I’m not sure I’ve even been much aware of the passage of time.
There are markers of time that I follow, like scratches on prison walls.
Yesterday I went to Asheville, to the women writers’ workshop. I heard some good writing from other members, and I read a couple of chapters from my new-old novel. It scares me.
Saturday was Shabbat, so I know what happened then: I read the Torah portion in Hebrew, and slept.
I know today is Monday, because I was eagerly anticipating putting my new gym membership into action.
However, the channa dal tikka masala biryani whatever, that I ate from the hot bar at Whole Foods, sent me packing to the outhouse most of the day. That was terrifying as well as uncomfortable, because it was windy. Some of you may recall what happened to my outhouse last time it got really windy, but for those of you who don’t remember, it looked like this:
This is what my poor outhouse looked like when the wind blew it over the edge of the cliff that it sits on. The only way the honey-dipper (that’s what the people who clean out outhouses are called, no lie) could get to it was to haul it with ropes down to the bottom of the cliff and get it onto his truck from there.
So when it’s really windy I just don’t like to go in there.
That was the highlight of today.
There was a tedious form for the insurance company regarding the theft of my car back in August, that had to be filled out again even though I already filled it out, because the first time I filled it out I was in Israel, and the American insurance company insisted that it be notarized, but there is no such thing as a “Notary Public” in Israel. That is difficult for American insurance people to understand, that things could be different in another country, that something that we take for granted in America, like cheeseburgers for instance, do not even exist in some other countries, like Israel.
So they are making me fill out this minutely descriptive form about where and when and how much and what time and with whom my car was stolen and wrecked by this criminal with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 that’s oh-point-five, ladies and gentlemen. That is technically incompatible with life. This man was clearly a career drinker.
Thank god he did not kill or seriously injure anyone. He was too drunk. He allegedly passed out in the passing lane on the highway, and when a passing ambulance driver saw him slumped over the steering wheel and tapped on the window to see if there was anybody home, the guy stomped on the gas and caromed off of four other vehicles, the last being a rear-ender, which stopped him. He was taken to hospital, and from there to jail, where he remains.
But I was not there for any of this. I was in Israel, supposedly for the High Holy Days, but in fact I was struggling just to stay alive.
(Oh, my car, if anyone was wondering, was parked in my cousin’s apartment complex parking lot, where I have left it several times before while I’ve been in Israel. This is the first time it has ever been stolen from there.)
Just after my car was stolen and all of that madness of faxes and PDFs and arguments about whether there was or was not a notary public to be found in all of Israel, and during which time I had the horrible discovery that I had bed bugs in my new-old apartment, I happened to trip on my way into a hardware store, and knocked myself out cold. I got what has proven to be a rather bad concussion out of that.
The High Holidays came and went, and I am sure that I came and went with them, but I do not remember any of it. All I remember was an abiding sense of loss that I just could not get spiritually “plugged in” to the incredible high that has always filled me with awe during the High Holy Days. My body was there, but my soul felt locked out.
Much of the time my head felt too scrambled to manage going to services. This grieved me even worse, because my congregation in Israel is as ecstatic as any tent revival. And I was on the outside looking in, scratching off the days on the outside walls.
I think this concussion is still not quite gone. At least, I am sure that I am not quite right. I notice things about my memory that really do make it look like Swiss cheese. Holes.
And then there is my psychiatrist.
At our last visit he took an hour to examine the mechanisms that turn the cogs of my brain, something with springs and gears and levers, all run by a mouse with a spiral tail that provides the energy for the whole thing to work. Or not. More not than yes.
He (psychiatrist, not mouse) is certain that I have ADD. This makes the third time he has send me away with yet another dosage form of Dexadrine. I do not like speed. I have tried it. I have had it put into my LSD without my knowledge or consent. I do not like it, Sam I Am.
But he prescribed it so I did try it. It made me irritable.
So much so, that when my dear sweet Noga peed on the rug even though she knows very well where she is meant to, and must, pee when indoors (on her special “potty pad” from Walmart, is where)–I was so irritable that instead of merely blotting up the pee spot with paper toweling while grumbling my displeasure, instead I blotted up the pee by jumping up and down on the paper towels and screaming.
Although this was extreme, I do think that Noga got the point, and I hope it will be some time or perhaps not at all, that she thinks of peeing in the wrong place. She is a very intelligent Apso, and she knows the difference.
I think that part of my general state of disorientation has to do with my utter lack of vocation, and therefore complete lack of any sense of purpose. I am in a state of suspended animation.
If I could have one wish, aside from the wish that my child should live a healthy, long, productive, happy life, if I could have one wish beside that one, it would be: to have a healthy brain, and to be happily back at work again, up to my elbows in pediatric secretions, contentedly fixing Nursemaid’s Elbows, consulting my crystal ball and waving my magic wand.
If only. One. Wish.