|Carriage house in my neighborhood|
I say these things affectionately; I like my body, I don't feel separate from it. I may impose "projects" on it but ultimately it is a meat vessel over which I have limited control. I am going to start getting back into yoga because all that running has my hips wound up like twin mousetraps. And I decided I wanted to build muscle in my arms and shoulders, so I am doing some weightlifting thing based on a program I found by Googling, I'm not ashamed to tell you, "sexy shoulders women weightlifting". That's right.
Yesterday I was seated in a chair, struggling to complete my last "seated overhead press" rep with dumbbells and I started laughing. Let's say I attain sexy shoulders (women weightlifting), but to what end? Do I commit to the maintenance of my prized yoke forever? Permit a year withering before running the program again?
Everything is half-finished or hardly begun and I don't care.
There are these undone projects suspended above my head, like the helium-light gemstones that crown a Sim. And I love them like they are my badly-behaved children. They make me feel untidy and frustrated and yet they form a shield around me. I hope for things to be unfinished, in new and maddening ways, for all my days. Without them I am a Spartan baby on a hillside: waiting, bare, nothing to left to do but die.
We have no place to store things in our apartment, so I have to look at all of our stuff all the time. One hazy task we have assigned ourselves in order to address this lack of storage is to "have less stuff". We do have too much stuff. Nick is a collector of comic books and records and a few other things that take up a lot of space. I am a collector of nothing except old homework assignments from college and pay stubs and utility bills, apparently, so I don't know what my excuse is. What are we going to do though? We can try to get rid of some stuff but as long as we live here, we will still have to look at most of it.
Our bedroom furniture is ugly and mismatched but not in a fun way. Sometimes I wish to come home and find it has disintegrated into a pile of sawdust and blankets, but it never will. It was Nick's stepdad's from before he married his mom, and it's the well-made stuff. Maybe someday we'll have a big bedroom and we'll indulgently chuck it for something cooler, or maybe we'll just not ever live in the light-bleached, minimal but cozy, bohemian living quarters in whose celebration we've birthed a thousand Pinterest boards. Maybe we will always be stuck living with our shitty stuff, with our own hair spelling gibberish runes on the shower wall, our shoes in the middle of the common area like someone was raptured right out of them.
I recently realized with horror that if I have a kid, the kid will have me for a mother. I have lots of love to give but I still can't drive a manual transmission, I can't wrap presents nicely, I can't play guitar. I can't French braid, I eat things that have been dropped on the floor. Sorry, ghost-baby, I am crappy, I am learning, I will maybe never play guitar. I think we'll still have fun. Finish your homework! Just kidding. But you do have to do your homework.
In 2012, I did a proper push-up for the first time. For years I couldn't whistle, then once as a teenager, I produced a high shrill whistle out of nowhere, like I was speaking in tongues. I am getting somewhere without trying, and for now, I am trying just to be here.
I do want the floors to be mopped, to know where we'll be living in five years, to write a book, to keep the mail from stacking up on the table. Everything in this liminal place is murky as hell, and tentative like a field reporter blinking through the broadcast delay.
But the only space is the unfinished space. The things that feel like terra firma are an illusion; our homes, our health, our loved ones. And I don't love that. Still, here we are, together for now, at loose ends, not dead at all.