There are many definitions to “function.”
Most days I find myself checking inside, feeling how I feel right now, and reminding myself that this is how I do “function,” at this moment in time.
Maybe in five minutes I’ll function some other way, but that is something I can neither predict nor control.
My goals are slimmer, tighter. I will take a walk. I will play with my dog. I will give a go at reading this book, and if it won’t read, I’ll put it down and try another time, or not. I will be happy if I remember to give both my dog and I our pills. I will consider it a triumph if I don’t get angry. These are things I now call “functioning.”
I used to go to work every night and save lives.
“Bye folks, I’m off to save lives,” I would say to my family. And I did. Save lives. Just not theirs. And not mine.
After the crash, it has been as much as I can manage to live from day to day. I don’t know why I do it, since there’s not much I can contribute any more.
Maybe I’m finished with the “contributing” part. Who knows.
At this point I just have to be sure I stay far away from the tongue cluckers. I’m too fucking old and busted up to let myself feel bad just because I did the best I could, continue to do the best I can, but now the definitions have all changed.
It’s taken me a long time to get this, to see it clearly. There’s a grieving process, mourning who you were and what you loved doing and how it defined you, both in your eyes and in the eyes of those who knew you then. It’s like giving birth to a stranger. Who the hell is this person in the mirror?
I guess that’s our job now…getting used to who we are, the shifting sands.
The broken shards.
I give the filthy homeless people money.
Critics disdain: why do you give those filthy people money? They’re just going to go buy booze with it.
That’s not my business, what they do with it. If booze is what they need to get from one day to the next, am I God to say that I know better than they do?
Tomorrow, that may be me standing there with a sign out. Or you.
Who knows, that filthy smelly person might be Elijah the Prophet. He’s said to take the form of a down-and-out person, the kind you wouldn’t let in if he came to your door begging.
How do you know this person’s personal tragedy?.
There but for the grace of God go I.
The longer I live in this tiny camper, the closer I get to myself. It’s not comfortable. Not the camper, and not myself. I can’t avoid the truth: in many people’s eyes I am a failure. They can’t boast about their “daughter/mother/cousin/niece the doctor.”
No, don’t. Don’t say I’m still a doctor, because I’m not.
I’m just me.
Just me, and if that ain’t good enough for ’em, fuck ’em.