The thread I hold on to is service to others. I deny myself, but help them.
And now, when my parents are on the road between Fayetteville NC and Savannah GA, there isn’t much I can do for them. That doesn’tmean there won’t be to do for them tonight — last night, I had to try and understand what my mother’s camera was doing when it had words on the screen (it was asking her to set the time and date).
I know they will call and I know that their son has to be here to take care of them. I can’t really immerse in my own stuff, losing that servant.
But I also know that if I am going to survive I have to face myself. And the first step of that is literal. I haven’t shaved since last March. Oh, I buzzed the length off in June when it got hot, but didn’t shave. Now, long and white, children identified me as Santa in stores this Christmas.
All that time, all that hiding, and it has to go. Pity.
But the true pity, I fear, is what I find under there, the blemishes and bumps, the longer nose, the worse teeth, the thinning lips, the age and decay of a year in a life of denial.
And then, beyond that, I remember how hard it is to cover all that again, to box it up when you have to show your mask to the world, the hidden face they find comfortable.
Today, I have to face myself. My neck tenses and aches, my head hums, and my infections flare.
But it is Saturday night, the ritual night before Sunday morning, a night I have always opened, and then stayed in.
Time to face myself, after a year.