I Can’t. . .

TBB reminds me that of the things I report that I can’t do — cry, sob, wail, scream, etc. — I’m missing the most important one, the one that has gotten me this far, the one that facilitates healing.

I can’t laugh.

TBB offers me the great and ballooning gift of getting my jokes, and not just the funny parts of them, though she laughs with gusto, but the meaning & pain that they hold within. She believes that it’s her experience of lifting herself with laughter that lets her connect with me.

That’s my life-myth, that I am too hip for the room. I was asked to do a poem in a benefit this winter, and I just responded that they were crazy to ask, that my stuff was way too intense.

Now, that’s not quite true, I know. Some people just love the roller coaster intensity, the sweep & feel of the words, separating them from the meaning within. Those people enjoy the work because it doesn’t remind them of the breaking of their heart, the severing of their hope.

But TBB wants me to come to Florida and laugh. She knows I need the laughter and beauty badly, the healing and affirmation that I can be understood and lifted by the delight & humor of a loving god/goddess (TBB says God, I say Goddess, We both say that the difference is not important).

We know how to play together, how to trust and uplift each other.  That’s good, right?

Such a loving offer from TBB, but at this point the details escape me. I mean, central Florida in July?

Still, she’s right. I need the lightening of laughter.

Desperately Lonely

“Do you want to read this one?” my father said quietly and plaintively to my back as I laid on the cement floor of this basement lair allocated to us by my mother. I didn’t stir under my covers.

He is a crackpot engineer, and he wants to be heard this year at the meeting, even though he has been shut out the past few years. He has his abstracts, new ways to say the same things, diverging farther and farther from the mainstream over time as he is longer and longer out of the industry.

But it is his passion and keeps him alive, no matter how few actually engage him.

And now, he has new work and needs feedback, has new assessments of what they are thinking and he needs, desperately needs to share them with someone, to blow his blasts at someone, to pronounce at someone.

And the someone who he has been targeting this bombast at for the last decades is lying on the floor, inert.  Yesterday he even chose to prod me with his cane to get my attention.

He is so alone, and so lonely, and even as I hear the plea in his voice, the need that kept him hectoring me until 10:30 PM the day of his failed surgery, and started him again at 6:30 AM the next morning, I can’t be there for him.

I can’t be there for my lonely mother, who sits in her recliner watching judge shows and wating to natter, even at 2:30 AM as I arranged the fresh laundry for my father to wear after his shower scrub before surgery.

Desperate loneliness isn’t just my case, it’s the case of all the people here.

And while I have been good in playing the role they need, changing their behavior so they actually connect with people, rather than talking at them or assuming others won’t understand is something I cannot do, no matter how sad their plaintive cries make me.

Living with that loneliness is living with that loneliness.

And it has killed me.