Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Labor Phenomenon, or Naked and Afraid, or Whatever!

I just noticed that Nevadanista left a comment on my last post. "I really wish you'd start blogging your brains out again," it said.

I really wish I would too. But I'm just too preoccupied right now. Playing solitaire. And when I'm not playing solitaire, I spend a lot of time standing with my feet firmly planted, arms outstretched, jaw tightly clenched, trying to stop this:

This is my life. It has no brakes. I can't stop it. I can't even slow it down. I try. OMG, how I try. 

Just last week, for example, I had an idea in the middle of the night and I jumped out of bed to make it happen. The next morning I woke up expecting to hear Sonny and Cher singing as my clock radio flipped to 6:00 a.m. 

But my clock radio was gone. 

"Uh . . . why are all the clocks in the freezer?" called my husband from the kitchen. 

Needless to say, I didn't get to live that day over again. Or any day since. And now I only have four days left to play solitaire before my oldest son leaves the nest and flies away. 

Far. Far. Away. 

I haven't cried about it. As much as I've wanted to. I think it's because I started drinking Mt. Dew again. It's supposed to take the edge off, but I think it puts the edge on. And I can tell you exactly how long it takes if you're consuming at a steady pace. Four hours. That's when the little men in your head pull out their mallots and begin pounding on your skull. 

I don't mind though. Laying in the dark with an ice pack on my face draws attention from the little men pounding their mallots on my stone cold heart. 

I swear they won't stop until they break it.

But whatever. Just don't do the Dew. That's my best advice. Even if freezing your clocks doesn't stop time. 

And never, under any circumstances, drink and cry. Or text and cry. And if possible, don't cry and cry. 

Have you ever noticed that you're more prone to addictions when your children start leaving the nest? Or when your brother-in-law gets cancer that starts at stage four? Or when your mom gets a new knee which requires emergency surgery and infectious disease specialists and six weeks of IV antibiotics? Or when your hemophiliac son gets a thigh bleed which requires a mattress in the living room and all nine seasons of The Office. Plus all six seasons of The Wonder Years. Plus Shark Week. And two seasons of Scooby Doo. Plus the Catfish documentary and the Sea World Documentary. And Food Inc

When my daughter left I got addicted to Hallmark Christmas movies. But with my son leaving I'm hooked on Naked and Afraid. It's not the nudity that draws me in, it's the fear. And the misery. There's so much fear and misery. The dangers are so immediate that being naked in front of a stranger isn't even on the Richter scale. 

It reminds me of what I call The Labor Phenomenon, which is that moment when the intensity of the baby pain makes having a needle the size of a pencil jammed into your back feel like chicken soup for the soul. 

There is something about the combination of fear and misery and nudity that brings people to their knees. All that humility man, it's breathtaking. 

All that humility makes me root for them. I want them to catch some fish with their traps, but they never do. I want them to start a fire during the monsoon so they can purify water so they don't get dehydrated, but they never do. 

But I still hope for them. I hope that they won't get yellow fever or Malaria or diarrhea. That they'll get their shelter done before dark. That the snake that just bit them will give them enough protein to create enough energy to keep their fire going after they chop off his head and roast him. 

I hope that the leeches won't suck the marrow out of their bodies. 

And that the cancer won't suck the marrow out of my brother-in-laws body.

And that the infection won't suck the marrow out of my mom's body. 

And that the bleed won't suck the basketball out of my son's body. 

And that my kids' absence won't suck the marrow out of my body. 

Okay, I take back everything I said earlier. Do the Dew! Just Dew it! There is no cry, only Dew! 

But when you're laying in bed with an ice pack over your face, make sure there's a clock in it. 

And make sure that clock says Whatever!