Do you remember when there was a website that had the URL ‘isittuesday’ dot com, and it responded yes or no, depending. It didn’t seem to lie. And somehow, Tuesday was a thing. And here we are, Tuesday.
The one thing I’ve learned from my first year of my PhD is that I’d rather be writing.
After my second masters degree, I shredded all the papers in the paperwork folder that I might ever need to apply to more school. Transcripts, proof of degree, test scores, mensa paperwork (that was sibling rivalry), and all the rest. I kept the folder and on a scrap of paper, in my jagged handwriting, I wrote: Don’t do it.
Yet, here I am. Given that I go to school every decade, it is hard to know objectively if it is better or worse than the previous time. Last time I did an MBA at Columbia, was married to an abusive fuck, and had cancer. Oh and my blood family melted down in ways I still cannot fathom. But really, all that is another story. I mean only to say, it is hard to tell if it was school that sucked.
So it is Tuesday, and twice a month on Tuesday, I show up for school, in that there are meetings and seminars and other people. And my general plan is to get out the other side of the day. Last week while in Ballinskelligs I read books on trauma and stress, they were besides each other at the airport and it seemed a good idea at the time (hash tag don’t do it could have a bigger role in my life), but what I realized is that I pour a lot of stress in my body on a daily basis by choosing to not choose.
I was up around five am most days, watched the sun rise across a hill and along the ocean and the backyard of this cottage on the edge of the world light up bit by bit, and one bunny (of interchangeable sizes, there really must have been three) would hop by for a snack, and I would be calm. The storm would rage, and I would be calm. The sea would toss itself out of the cove and up over a cliff and slam salt into the windows with a click clack and zero visibility, and I would be calm.
One afternoon following a need to stuff myself back into my body I cracked the sauna to 100F and melted my head, then put my bathing suit on and walked into the yard in the rain and laid on the very cold ground next to the bloodstone and sang songs of green and red and orange and blue. The bunnies did not return for two days after that, and I missed them, but it was weekend, and perhaps they tread further afield on those days.
F put her hands on my chest and told me to lean in, and scream as loud as I could. It was raining and sunny and we stood on a hill at the end of the yard. I leaned in, and up, and opened my mouth to scream, and nothing came out. Nothing again. Nothing again, a squeak, a few tears. We swapped sides, so I could see, or was it feel, what it would be to scream. She opened her mouth, leaned into my arms, and poured out some sound and I panicked and my arms lost all strength and she almost toppled on top of me as I burst into tears and who the hell knows what was torn down and voided and bled out in the stream. I asked her to do it again, to yell in my face, to see if I could hold strength. She was leery, and rightfully so. We did not leave until I could do it. Hold hard. I screamed too. I’ve never screamed in my life, before this. No, really, barely raised my voice, and never so close to another human.
Walking home from Tuesday school, de-souled, de-natured, in a city I do not care for, rain dripping and dreaming of writing my heart, not stilted academic posturing, I wanted so much to scream, to scream like I did at the edge of the island, to let out all the things I don’t want to name, to stomp in a puddle, be barefoot in the earth, to be as free and loud and present as I want. On a Tuesday. In any form, tearing off clothes, feeling alive and present and anything.
I turned the corner, not screaming, squeaking, quietly, squelching and suffering, and to my life, dead animals in tanks, Damien Hirst’s hellscapes of disrespect. Who does such a thing to creatures? Tromp tromp through the rain, on the cobbles, into the council block and up and up to my silencing of myself and blinking cranes and a dream of ways of being, of freedoms, of words and worlds and languages and days not Tuesday. Days of Tuesday. Days of days, who cares what day, all days are magic days, all days have earth and toes and rabbits and singing at any level and screaming and joy and rocks and blood and life. This place takes the life from Tuesdays and I have no choice but to sing it back in, as best i can, crooked lungs and dented spaces. I can sing you a Tuesday that will explode in your eyes and leave gunpowder in your mouth and you will wonder why you’ve not eaten this before, not quite like this. Eat, I beg you, it’s Tuesday, you are running out of time.