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4:53 p.m. - March 20, 2003
I think the Counting Crows redid Joplin; how easy to be erased, isn't it?
Mowed the back lawn and lay in the middle without a blanket though my shirt and jeans became damp before long and thought about Janis Joplin and the song Big Yellow Taxi Ė they paved paradise and put up a parking lot Ė and the longer I lay there, the less I thought about getting up. How easy to remain still and listen to dampness, those slight turns and pops strumming individually like a symphony lacking a conductor, a free for all.

I went to the garage for the hoe and soil, the trowel, dropped them on the ground. As soon as the thought manifested, I was tired. I looked around and didnít know where to begin with this monstrosity; Iím not going to bother and of course, now I feel bad, as if Iíve reneged on a promise. I have, in a way, I suppose; I tell myself mind over matter, mind over matter, go outside, talk to strangers, go into a store for no reason than browse, invite someone out to eat at a new restaurant, buy a book or two, and not one activity appeals. Not even going for a drive or hiking into the hills to my secret spot that is always best this time of year. It isnít apathy because I want this, I am terrified by this fog that convolutes my days and nights and Iíve spent more than an hour looking out the window and writing these two paragraphs.

An hour and I thought I sat down a few minutes ago.

I feel needy, want to talk with someone who wonít fall for obfuscations and redirections, will anticipate the ways I manipulate conversations that free me from having to say much at all. I want to go on a long walk and talk; I donít want to listen. I want to cry. Do you know how pathetic it is to realize that the bright spot is a guy who hits you? I know we will fight this weekend; Spec is angry and irritated and I am apathetic, not responding to his prods the way Iím expected to. And I want to fight with him, I want to argue and yell and it is a sick thought to wonder perhaps Iíll wake up if he hits me. I donít understand whatís happening.

And on the outside, I perform well, talk to a friend whoís divorcing, talk to Barbara-the-Editor, send a card to my grandmother. Decline offers to go to a friendís house for dinner, tell the agency that Iím unavailable to work tomorrow. Iím doing fine, I smile and can play the part well. And inside, I turn the music loud so I canít hear myself think.


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