At some point in every day, usually when I first wake up, I will have the thought that I have irrevocably fucked up my life. In fact, to call it a thought is like calling a Great White Shark a fish—factually correct but deceiving. Us writers tend to be obsessed with calling things what they are, really burrowing in and putting words to things other people can’t. At that point we don’t even care if other people can’t express things, it becomes a matter of urgency to name what we want to name at any cost. And thus, I inadequately call what inhabits my mind a “thought,” but it is really more like a shark. A ferocious killing machine, intent on taking a chunk out of both my day and my life, content only when it tastes blood. Perhaps that is why I rarely use the phrase, “Good morning.”
I live in my ex-husband’s garage. Technically, I suppose I co-own the garage, or the bank co-owns it, nevertheless I have chosen, for reasons becoming increasingly unclear, to stay in this place, though it has no bathroom and renders me completely dependent on my ex. Okay the reasons are not that unclear—I do not have the means to support myself, I am incapable of figuring out how to support myself with my art, and getting a ten dollar an hour job so that I can pay someone else to raise my kids does not make any sense. I have failed in such an unspectacular fashion that I am woefully unqualified for decent employment, so I continue in this purgatory, this hell’s waiting room on a hill, trapped as I was when married, by a golden cage.
I expect by now you are crying large salty tears for the attractive woman, lying in her home in Malibu, unable to leave the house and go into the sunshine. (Go trolls!) I lie in bed in my pajamas for days, or until literally the last second before I have to go pick up my children, paralyzed by failure. Even as I know that I am lucky to have a bed, and pajamas, and a shower (if I manage to take one) that gratitude does not eradicate the doom in my brain, any more than you could rid yourself of a shark by spraying it with RAID. Continue reading