There are times when no matter how late I turn in, sleep seems to be elusive, catching me only for a minute and then I’m up again. It’s one of those nights. So I’m wondering if I should have bugged Fe again yesterday (she’s somewhere in the South for over a week now) like I did the other evening. We laughed and we cried together as we remembered our Dads. The tears felt good and helped to clear the air passages literally and figuratively. I just wanted to give the tear ducts a rest tonight, though. I knew it would come down to that again if I dialed her number. (I might yet give in later, since it’s just mid-afternoon there right now.)
I’ve been walking around with a pain radiating from my chest to my back for two days now. (Another nagging indicator I do need to exercise. Unheeded.) Yesterday, I wandered down to 39th street between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue in search of knitting needles — and while I found them and got some nice pink yarn to work with, my friend Lisa lectured me when I realized I had gotten the wrong length of circular knitting needles. (Part of the learning process. How was I supposed to know that the length of the tube connecting the two needles mattered if I was going to try and knit a cap?) So now I have a size 9 and size 15 circular knitting needle 29″ in length that’s going to join my knitting needle collection.
The yarns I saw were nothing like those found in real knitting stores but it helps to know the suppliers are just blocks away from work. I trudged back to the office feeling this knot in my chest telling me I wasn’t hungry. Or so I thought. An hour later (after hanging the coat and getting warm and cozy again up in my little corner in Midtown Manhattan), my stomach started grumbling. At 10 minutes before the cafeteria closed, I was going to need extreme luck to find anything close to edible, so again — and I NEVER do this on a regular day — I put on the fuschia pink puff jacket and walked to Kwik Meals, my favorite street vendor of chicken on pita, around 4 blocks uptown. It was cold but hunger carried me out the building a second time.
Lunch was done by 3pm.
I stared at my monitor (which I had been doing most of the morning), checked e-mails I was expecting which, by the way, didn’t come — then I stared at the monitor again.
Grief has a funny way of taking hold of us. Fe has been telling me that the emotional upheaval happening to a mutual friend of ours is probably deeply rooted in his personal grief over the loss of his daughter. Trust Fe to make the connection. I know I didn’t. I just sank into the pillows in bed, remembered Dad and the tears just came again. Sometimes grief has a way of making us feel alone in our sorrow. Other times, it makes us displace the sorrow, Fe said. I don’t know which is which.
I like talking to Fe when I feel I am at my lowest because she shares the same pain I feel, having lost our fathers months apart. And even if she didn’t and I did, no one knows me better than she does.
I was cursing through my tears and laughing through it — much like Sisa probably was doing as she cried out for Crispin and Basilio, Fe and I kidded each other. The laughter helped stop the tears eventually. But the knot in my chest remains.
So I walked with that knot in my chest through most of today. I slept with it earlier than usual and woke up with it just minutes back. I wish I could just let it go. Or since it doesn’t want to let me go, I wish I could just ignore it. But like I told Fe, I was surprised to find out I could actually live with it. Now I know how a hunchback feels. It’s just that my hump is invisible and it’s there in the cavity of my chest, crowding my heart. Maybe that’s why I hear my heart beaingt a little stronger and faster today — or maybe I’m just too fat. LOL
I tried to leave the office earlier but ended up going the usual time anyway, waiting for my driver to pick up the materials for the boss. It was a blessing that the boss was out yesterday when the knot was just ever present, or else I wouldn’t have had the luxury of just slumping down onto one of the cozy sofa chairs in his office, staring at the Chrysler Building standing majestically in front of me. I sat at my desk for period of time just staring at the wall behind me, or the piles of paper I need to attack and sort to file. They can wait until tomorrow. (Oh, that’s today.)
I hear Fe telling me to just leave it be. People need time and space. I guess, that’s right for me, too. We all need our time to grieve. Some people deal with it better than others. I don’t know if I fall under the category of “better” or “others”, though. I just know I woke up just before 3am and from the looks of it, I’m not hitting the sack again anytime soon.
Not good. But at least that might mean I will be able to start my day real early and get to the office way before the 9am video conference interview the boss is doing with someone in Europe. And hopefully, the craziness of the day will help me go through it, lump in my chest or not. I might yet be able to will it away.
That thought gave me pause. (A lot of thoughts give me pause these days.)
“Will it away.” I have always thought of “willing people away” and just trying to “shoo” them off my mind and consciousness — and now I wonder how many have tried to will me away.. Might be quite a list. It’s just something we never think about. It’s like “unfriending” someone, or “blocking” someone from our contact list. It CAN be done. And painful as it may be to think someone would will you away, perhaps that’s how it is. I have come to discover through the years that there are people who seem to be scared by me — although that is still something I can’t quite get a grip on. What is heartening is that some friends see me as a “just another little girl at heart.” Well, this little girl is crying like a baby and wandering aimlessly… and is wide awake and rambling away at 4am.. I’m trying to decide if I’ll brew some coffee for a change, make some hot chocolate or just go with the usual double shot of espresso.
I didn’t get any chocolates yesterday but I bet those heart shaped chocolate boxes are now on sale. Hmmmmm… (Siblings in Manila getting excited over that.. )
Another day in paradise…