This Is the Night
"Assimilate My Purse," Maximumrocknroll, March 2009
This is the drill
So here's the thing: I always say that when I'm in DC or when I see my mother I sink into this deep, dark depression and I start thinking that's the only reality I should just stay there who am I kidding by trying to find anything else? But then once I leave it actually clears, even if I don't believe it will clear it does or maybe it doesn't clear but it gets better. Which happens right when I get off the train in New York and immediately I'm all excited I guess New York is exciting, exciting upon arrival, and then I actually sleep pretty well so the next day is smoother than I thought but then there's today, after waking up in the middle of the night without a way to turn without pain, this drill right in the middle of my back between shoulder blades it's worse when I'm on my side, either side but it's not so much better on my back either. Usually I talk about sinus pain as a drill through my head but this is a different kind of drill: turn, no, turn the other way, no, get up? I don't want to get up.
Then the next day it's hard to do much I mean I don't want to do that much anyway but I don't want to feel like I can't do anything. I’ve banned myself from craigslist because in DC I went there when I was so tired I couldn't function and that didn't exactly help me to function. Usually on tour I go to a lot of sex clubs but this time I've been too tired or maybe it just seems like a distraction or maybe I'm too tired and it seems like a distraction. You know the drill between loneliness and alone, that one hurts too. There's nowhere to go in New York, anyway, nowhere that would be fun except maybe a few places with too much smoke and I'm not going to risk that.
Of course there's that other kind of drilling people talk about, on knees or bent over and I wouldn't turn it down if it were approaching me on the street sometimes I see it in people's eyes but then there's the cold and everything else and I don't know if it's really what I'm seeing anyway.
This drill comes from inside, in the middle of my back it's strange how, as soon as I mention the construction metaphors of sex then this pain sounds funny too but it's not funny so I'm going to have to go back and think of different words or make them work in a different way. It almost seems like everything I can do aggravates this pain, sex too I'm certain though I'm not certain I can do that. Definitely when I'm sitting at this table or holding my shoulders up high in the cold, or sleeping I guess, sleeping seems to aggravate it the most and I'm thinking of going to a movie except I think that might be just as bad, I have to sleep but I don't have to go to this movie. Or not now, anyway. Although I'm not sure what else to do. Here I am trying to catch up on writing, but really I don't have enough energy for writing either.
This is the night
There's something so amazing about that moment when I get in bed and think oh, this is what I should be doing all the time this is the best thing I've ever done in my life this is what I need thank you thank you thank you. Sometimes that moment even lasts into sleep that comforts and when it's interrupted I sink right back in and think oh, this is the night, this is the night when everything.
Except. Except it's not that night, because then I'm turning back and forth and at first that's okay too I just tell myself I'll fall back asleep soon, soon I'll fall back asleep it's okay I'm just awake for a moment it's okay. But then there's that pain in the middle of my back, that pain between my shoulder blades and then. And then. And then there's that pain, that pain between my shoulder blades. And then I'm awake, really awake and thinking about everything that's gone wrong just little details every little detail and it all leads to how the hell am I going to leave to go back to San Francisco on the train when I'm already in all this pain how the hell am I going to get back to sleep with all this pain how the hell am I going to get back to San Francisco?
So then tonight's the night well now it's day I might as well admit it’s day it's day it's day! It's day and I get out of bed to take amino acids maybe amino acids will calm me and then back in bed to call Gina to say not today, today I can't meet I can't meet today even though it's the only day to meet and edit our movie there's too much pain. And then I'm laughing because I'm delirious and I can't form full sentences I know what I want to say but it doesn't come out right. Delirious is better than panic I’ll take delirious any day oh it's okay in this big white bed white sheets white comforter white walls white shutters and not too much light because it's raining and it's the ground floor this is New York there's not too much light anyway and on days like today that's comforting.
Oh, but I can't meet today I mean I think I can't meet no I can't meet I mean what am I saying? That's how my sentences go, eventually I'm talking about that moment right when I get in bed and I think oh this is everything I've ever needed everything here between my body and these sheets my body in these sheets sometimes I even like my body in that moment but I don't say that. I say and then it never lasts, it never lasts it never lasts it never lasts.
And then it takes me a few moments to notice I'm not just laughing I'm crying too, crying in with the rhythm of the laughter the laughter the tears and the white sheets the comforter too warm except now it actually feel comforting.
I’ll keep trying
I decide not to take the train. I would like to say that I decide to take the train at a later date, a later date when I might feel better, but that's just not the case. What’s actually true is that I decide not to take the train, I mean I decide not to take the train because it's not an option, other than on the date when I'm scheduled to leave, until after the holidays, because sleeper cars on the train are fully booked until after the new year. And I can't take the train now because of this back pain that wakes me up in the middle of the night and then I'm destroyed, every night it seems now, and it's pretty likely that this pain would get way worse on the train. Plus I'd have to wake up earlier than usual to catch the train, which always means that I don't sleep because I keep worrying that I'm sleeping too late, then I would arrive in Chicago at 9:45 am which is like arriving at the end of the world, and then stay in Chicago for only two days to somehow get groceries and cook for two extra days, and then get up too early again to catch the train with probably more back pain and who knows what else.
So I decide not to take the train, and I guess you probably know what that means. I'm having trouble saying it, because when I say that a plane destroys my life for two months I really mean it, really really mean it and. And I'm taking a plane. A first-class seat, just in case that helps, but still a plane and I want to think it will be okay, I mean I'm doing it so that it won't cause me more pain, I want to feel great on the day that I get on the plane, I want to feel like maybe this time will be different and when I get off the plane it will be like nothing bad has ever happened to me, blue sky inside and outside or maybe that's too much I'm getting carried away I just want to think that maybe it'll be okay. I thought that last time, two years ago when I got stuck in Chicago and ended up taking off in a plane and even when I arrived it felt relaxing I thought maybe this is the answer. And then. And then.
So it's hard not to feel like it's the beginning of the end. I have a week to rest, and I'm hoping that helps, but it hasn't helped yet I mean maybe it would help if I could rest I mean sleep without interruption that's rest, right? I'll keep trying.