120 pounds and falling.
I worry about these naps I’m taking, about whether they count as lethargy or if it’s just the result of getting very little sleep during the night. Last night I got four and a half, maybe five hours, sleeping briefly between ten and eleven thirty then tossing, turning, reading, writing, until just before one. Woke again at two with a need to relieve the pressure from my bladder, then asleep until the birds began shuffling about the tree at dawn, a few minutes before or after six. It was the most sleep I’d gotten in one night all this week.
A surprise bowel movement, yesterday, too. I’d been gassy all day and had an awareness of discomfort in my belly, but after a month of not eating, there’s usually some awareness of discomfort. It’s usually not worse than a rumbling gut, but sometimes it hurts a little, and – either way – you don’t judge it. It just is. Anyway, a little leaked out (disgusting, I know, but it happens to everyone some time or another) and I stripped down from the waist down and went for the bag-in-the-bucket. By no means a ‘biggun’, it was still, given the last time I’d put anything in, a big surprise. I feel altogether better, today, but still wary of passing errant gas.
Rose came to see me this morning. What a beautiful experience. What a beautiful woman. She is a dancer and she came to see me so that we could dance together while the light changed, and we did, too. On the promontory that is May’s landing, she and I danced improvisationally to the music of the wind, waves, and sun.
The effort of it almost made me black out a couple of times and Rose held me in her arms while I swooned with dizziness, but the feeling of expressing, the joy in movement for the sake of movement, the feeling of being in my body was so exquisite. At first, I was self-conscious and my hips reluctant to relax and although I never felt fully-balanced in the dance, I did relax some, and my hips and back opened up some, and I danced how I felt as the sun rose higher in the sky.
Afterwards, we spent time in the tree together, flowing across its surfaces, branch to branch, up to where we could touch the canopy, down to where we could talk about gratitude, the play of giving and recieving, the playfulness of giving your gifts, the reward of attending appreciation. And then, she directed me in giving my love to the tree. The moment was wrapped in silk and sealed with sap. And that’s all you’re gonna get.
I finally hit one hundred and twenty pounds somewhere around Thanksgiving when I was sixteen years old. That year, I’d hit five foot three inches, finally growing taller than my five-two mother, and grateful for the height advantage. Although I’d outweighed her for almost two years and although I knew her crazy little hands couldn’t hurt me, my mom still scared me. She turned into a ferocious woman when angered, and her hands came flurrying at me when I got in trouble – for staying out at night, for sneaking out when grounded, when I got caught having done drugs – and the pained shouting, the cry of the victim emerging as she lost control, emerging from her twisted lips asking me why I would lie
or how I could do that to her
. And I hated disappointing her, but I was a teenager, living in the city, with wild friends and a curious confidence, willing to try most anything, sure I’d be fine.
I was fine, too. My screaming dervish of a mother was mostly a loving, docile woman with an easy temperament, but when I pushed her buttons (every few months), she got a little slappy. I used to choke down peanut butter sandwiches, literally choking on bites that would get caught, that wouldn’t wash down with milk, that would stop somewhere in my throat and stop my breath, force feeding myself so I would get heavy enough that my mothers tantrums would seem less weighty, that the mass of me would become more reassuring to me, more resistant to her furious martyrdom.
I don’t think my siblings knew much about this side of her although I know she and my elder brother got into a couple of times. Most of the time as i went through my teens, she was a silent smiling face, reading a book on the couch, smoking cigarettes, or taking an evening to smoke a joint.
Down to a hundred and twenty pounds and the memories that come back to me are those of a teen-ager in typical battle with a parent.
If we’d done things together, if we’d spent time one-on-one outside of the little ground floor apartment we shared, I might remember other things, but those were the exciting times we had together, those were the moments that we… Connected.
How sad. Yet, I remember her fondly for so many things and loved her deeply as the woman I knew. But it’s the memoir of the scale being told and what I might want to share… It just isn’t in this chapter.