You know, I was okay once. My girlfriend went out one night and came back… married. I told everyone that I didn’t care, and then I fucked five women in three days, flipped my car on an on-ramp, beat a suspect unconscious, got suspended… but I was “okay.”
-Detective Michael McCann, The Thomas Crown Affair
“I’m okay.” I’ve been saying that a lot lately, motivated by my need to assuage the concerns of those around me. As it slips out of my mouth throughout the day, I’m aware of how flat it sounds. “I’m okay.” I’m more worried about making others comfortable than my own feelings. In truth, I’m a mess. And I SHOULD be a mess. My mother just died and, like a cherry on top of this grief sundae, my ex-love just committed suicide. Why can’t I tell them honestly, “I’m a wreck right now and I’m struggling.” My sister would say that this is a perfect moment for Wellbutrin. I don’t agree. Why must we medicate our grief away and forever pretend we are sunshine and light? It’s only been a few days. Don’t I have a right to grieve and suffer? I’m not always sunny. I just lost two people I loved and I’m sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but I want to be true to these feelings and just “be” with my grief for a bit.
I want to cry until I can’t catch my breath. I want to laugh about stupid things. I want to be silent. I want to be a chatterbox. I want to eat a pint of Haagen-Dazs mint chip ice cream for dinner. I want to spend all night fucking until we fall asleep from exhaustion. I want to spend all day in bed alone. I want to watch a movie marathon. I want to dig in my garden, planting beautiful thing. I want to forget. I want to remember. I want to get drunk with friends. I want to get drunk alone. I want to take a road trip and escape. I want to hear from you. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I want to grieve – in my own way and in my own time, I want to grieve.
I’m sorry if you’re not comfortable with that.
Grief is perfectly natural. It’s like farting in the bathtub: it bubbles to the surface and eventually the water become semi-calm again.
Big bubbles, smaller bubbles, and then yet still smaller bubbles … until only a few bubbles pop up every once in a while sporadically and without warning.
It’s just a bit disconcerting for the other people in the bathtub, but hey! that’s life … or farts … or bathtubs … or something like that.
Ross – Your profound orphic wisdom leaves me awestruck…and giggling.