Hard thaw

Bramhall Square
By CAITLIN SHETTERLY  |  April 12, 2006

Either I have an angel looking over me or someone is trying to kill me. I told my therapist this and she said, “Seems like it.” That’s it. Just “seems like it.” Isn’t it her job to find some spin that makes me feel better? That makes it all somehow worth it? Can’t she find a way to make me driving into an eighteen-wheeler on the highway while changing a CD somehow a learning experience? Can’t we look at my car’s black scar and smashed light from the truck’s huge spinning wheels as a sign? Or that flat tire I got the same day on the Tobin Bridge? Can’t this be a lesson from some recess of my life experience? No, just “seems like it.” A near miss. The fact that I’m still alive is a mere coincidence. And I’m still here to tell about it and still here to write a check. Seems like it!

Despite a bout of what my mother calls “poor man’s manure” last week, we seem to be hurtling toward spring. Spring brings up all this weird energy and I become even more outrageously accident-prone and frantic. I’m dropping stuff. I’m tripping. I’m leaving things all over town (and then calling all over town to find my stuff). I’m destroying my car and resenting my therapist. I think this may be what it’s like to thaw. For a tree, I mean. Crazy feeling. Yes, my sap runneth over. Or something like that.

It runneth so over that I can’t sleep. I’m wide-awake until 4 am. And this is no just lying there inconsolable doing nothing insomnia, this is productive insomnia. This is clean my closets, organize storage, rearrange my bedroom (my neighbors HATE me by now) insomnia. This is make spring puree soups and do long face masks while reading entire novels and eating gluten-free bagels with lots of Earth Balance fake butter until I see the rosy-fingered dawn reach my windows and will myself to sleep insomnia.

I’m not the only one who’s got weird erratic energy. Cowboy spent an hour trying to break my new desk chair and yelling, “This is the fucking stupidest design,” before he figured out he was shoving something into the wrong hole. Men. They get so confused by all the orifice options in their lives.

I know it’s spring because Cowboy is yelling at chairs, I feel like a tree, and my mother hangs up on me every day. This is the time of year to stay away from all Aries. My mother is one, so this is difficult, because not only does her birthday arrive, but also Easter in one long mother-heavy clump. It’s like clockwork. Aries rises, the ground thaws, and my mother suffers from some form of phone Tourette’s.

So, I’m cleaning. Rearranging. My friend Bling tells me that this is “cleansing” for my liver. I’ve gone through my papers, my sweaters, my shirts and shoes, my books. Everything must go. This feels like a closing sale on my life. I’d like to start all over with white walls, clean floors, and ... nothing. Maybe that’s what the truck accident was all about: I’m trying to get to a pearly white nothing of a space where I can finally relax and my mother won’t call me at 7 am to hang up on me.

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