I’m supposed to be writing, everyone says so, (all the important people, at any rate,) but I’m so dreadfully wrecked from the terrible events of the past few weeks, including my birthday, that I feel like I’m drowning every time I turn to painting it down in words.
I’ve almost been too close to everything to feel it, the way a very bad burn initially seems cold, vacillating between struggling to connect and complete and total collapse. Brittle, someone said a few months ago, and they’re completely correct. I’ve spent so long holding everything together that the barest whiff of haven and I fall to my knees, exhausted, in tears, so grateful for a bit of safety that I can barely speak. This hasn’t been the worst birthday I’ve ever had, that falls to last year’s incredible, mind bending disaster in New York, but this one won’t be far off.
I came down to Seattle last Sunday to get away from the misery of Vancouver and spend a day at Folklife, returning the next day, only to discover myself back on a bus a couple of days later, travelling south towards murdered friends. I’ve been staying with Tony this time, trying to plug into the broken community, discard my isolation, shrug it off like a jacket in the company of other mourners, and flush myself of some of this immobilizing heartache.
So far it’s been difficult to find traction. Holding a stranger tight at the Hazard Factory after party, her black clown nose marking her as one of what I think of as Us, our eyes screwed shut against the truth and the fire. Grabbing Joel into a hug at the end of the Honk! Fest memorial march to keep ourselves standing as we uselessly fought tears in the middle of the crowd. Those moments gave me what I needed, people to reach out to who met me half-way, but the rest of the time I’ve been swept along, bouncing from one event to the next, (Honk! Fest West, flaming tetherball, the Seattle Science Festival, Mini Maker Faire, anything to get me out of my own depressing head, to make sure I never stop long enough to sink), desperate for connection and failing.
Thankfully the gathering at Hale’s Palladium tonight should do the trick. I can ill afford to spend more time away from job hunting, but a night devoted entirely to Drew and Joe and their beautiful lives is something I need to celebrate.