sometimes you just can’t laugh
Sometimes, when I’m not paying attention, I have my fingers on the wrong keys and I’ll type an entire paragraph in pure gibberish. I have to be more careful about what I’m doing.
I just need to be a bit more careful in general. I feel like my emotions are a little too much exposed lately.
My aunt was pulled off life support last night.. About the same time that I was doing the show. I tried to put it out of my head while I was on stage, but it was hard. I haven’t heard from any family members– aside from my mother, who told me about it in the first place.
I haven’t been writing about it here because I don’t exactly know how to feel about it. I’m more upset about it than I thought I would be. After the show last night, I just broke down in the hallway, watching the bartenders clean out a flooded bathroom. It just all hit me.
I haven’t seen her since I was a little girl, but there’s something about the distance of my family that bothers me. We don’t try to stay close, I guess because it’s easier that way, and when I lose someone like this, I can’t help but think that I never gave that person a chance to be close to me. To be a part of my life, besides a part of my blood.
But it’s messy. Families are messy. What do you do to keep them together when there’s so much (literal) distance? They live on the other side of the country from me. How do I start a friendship now? And am I just feeling this way out of guilt? Because I didn’t know what was happening in her life until this week? Am I being selfish or stupid?
I’ve had very few exposures to death in my life (luckily). And when they happen, I never know quite how to feel. I spent most of today sleeping and crying– sadness, stress, solitude– and for the most part, tonight, I feel fine.
But last night was hard. Because I didn’t know exactly what was happening, but deep in my stomach I knew that somewhere, my family members were hurting. And I had to go onstage and make people laugh. I just told myself that I couldn’t think about it, and I had to go on– driving our keyboardist on a last minute high-speed search for a new adapter when his keyboard cut out moments before showtime, checking props and costumes, setting the stage, getting myself together, and then performing ninety minutes. When it was all over, everything that I had been keeping in the back of my mind hit me. Full force.
It was time to grieve.
And I guess what I’m grieving for is the lost opportunity to have someone in my life that is a part of my family. But, who knows? She may have not wanted to be a part of my life. Just because you are related does not mean you have to keep in constant contact… but I never got to see her again, and she never got to see how I turned out.
I’ve been told that I look like her.
I would have liked to have seen that.
I guess I’m angry that all of this happened. That it was so sudden, and that no one knows what to do about it. That it takes something this bad to bring a family back together and it isn’t just natural. Family relationships aren’t natural. They take work. It’s so easy just to do your own thing.
And when this mourning process is over, I’m sure everyone will go back to doing their own thing because that’s what feels right. You don’t want to tamper with your own routine. And I can understand that. In fact, I never really noticed it until this week. So maybe, next week, I’ll go back to doing my part of the family, and not take a step back and look at it as a whole. Maybe our own routines are important in this family. We’re only supposed to bump into each other occasionally, catch up, and move on. That in itself is its own routine.
And one I never seemed to have a problem with before.
So I guess I’m just tired. So many people close to me are going through some terribly heavy things. Lots of people sick, in the hospital, going through divorces… it’s just a really strange time around here. And the vibe is contagious.
For the past week and a half I’ve felt like something really bad was going to happen, or something strange was going on. This morning, that feeling finally left my stomach. Now, I was never a big fan of that Time/Life Mysteries of the Mind series, but maybe I still have a little bit of that psychic feeling left in me that I had when I was a little girl.
Things are calming down around here, and it’s almost time for me to go and do the show again tonight.
And when I say that I have to be careful about my emotions, it’s because I’m not telling everyone what is going on, and to them it looks like I’m just really upset about the show. Or disappointed in them, which isn’t the case. And for those who have seen me upset and I tell them what’s going on, they seem to not know what exactly to do next. Do they hug me, or walk away, or just stand there? They don’t know the history, you see, or the person, so they just end up shuffling their feet and saying, “I’m sorry,” which sounds like the dumbest thing in the world when you don’t know if you are supposed to be sorry or angry or worried or what. Death (or the threat of) is really hard on everyone, and it’s sort of raining down in multiples in our troupe and our circle of friends.
It went well last night, if you were concerned. The show. People showed up, they laughed. We had no keyboard, and it went fine anyway. I’m sure tonight’s gonna rule.
I’m just getting so tired. I can’t wait for a break. Just a small one. Go somewhere for a week and not think about the things I’m supposed to be doing.
You may have noticed a lack of the Scrabble tallies lately. After winning the past few, the game has been switched to Yatzee lately.
Last night’s Yatzee tally:
games played: 3
games won: 2
We’re supposed to go back to Scrabble tonight.