march 31

Are you allowed to talk about work in a public forum? Anyone can find this, so I suppose I should tread lightly. All I want to say is I’m working too much to cover Henry’s vet bills. Working after work writing articles, on the weekends. But all the deadlines are rolling up, so by next week there will be room to breathe.

I still make it to the food-line during lunch at least once a week. This time it was outside the library, a new location, so they didn’t know where to park the truck and unload. One of the volunteers said, “you’re a volunteer, right” and I had to explain, no, I’ve just come every week for two years. This week I got a loaf of bread, sourdough, with the lovely circles left from the proofing basket that remind me of new grange. My mom’s side of the family is going to Ireland this year, a trip she has tried to take many times in her life, and would be upset about me writing because she believes it’s a curse at this point to speak about it with certainty. I am ignoring the sadness. The story I am missing making, but it is still a pandemic. I also got cabbage and carrots and potatoes in the bag. It felt like a culturally curated fare just for me. Of course, a head of romaine.

Last night I finished and scheduled the newsletter for work, which sounds simple, but takes so many eyes and corrections it needs at least a week. Even though I started days earlier than usual, it was still 5:46 when it was finished. This morning I woke up at 8:30. Much later than I should have, I went to sleep at 11. The light is heavy and gray though, nothing came through the curtains to tell me it was time to begin.

In therapy this week we started doing parts work. I’m disconcerted there is a shapeshifter. A trickster. My mentor too spoke of herself this way, could see this in my work, how my speaker was formed in relation to the other characters in the poems. I took a bath that night, pulled a card that said it was time to play with my inner child—a card I have never pulled in eight years with this deck. Last night I watched cartoons and stretched, pushed my body back and forth on the foam roller, touched my toes, flexed my spine back and forth. Today maybe I will sing. Maybe I will draw. I don’t like adult narratives that use fairy tale tropes or themes, I told my therapist, even as the caretaker part maybe showed up as a chubby pink pig woman in an apron, a toy I once had whose head you could take off and fill with whatever you wanted. She saw the trickster as El-ahrairah, the rabbit god from Watershed down. And I said yes, they can be that too. Whatever works. That’s the whole point.

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