Limbo (Latin limbus, edge or boundary, referring to the “edge” of Hell)
The edge. Peering into the abyss. Singeing eyebrows but without the risk of falling in or melting my cheap sunglasses. Makes my eyes water. A lot. I swear it’s the heat. Um, yeah. The heat.
If it was pleasant, it would be a sensation of weightlessness except, well, it’s not pleasant and it’s not weightless. Rather, it’s more reminiscent of dreamlike slow-motion free fall combined with an elephant-sized pressure somehow not slamming me toward the ground but making its presence steadily implied.
Firstly, there’s the amazing sensation of middle management. No real power, all the responsibility. Yes, bills are being paid. Yes, I can finally buy a round for the others. Yes, I’m actually doing something respectable, honest and full-time which keeps me out of bars (and bottles) until the appropriate hours of the weekend along with everyone else. Pressure and frustrated restlessness are starting to creep in mainly because it’s physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually impossible for me to phone in a job. No matter how much I hate it or love it, pay scale has little to do with how I approach my work. Onus (I love that word) is big for me, I need the knowledge that something is being affected by my presence. I have that in my work in all aspects but for the usual foil – owners. Unfortunately I work for people who have never owned restaurants and it shows. I’ll leave it at that. Dangerous territory, me without positive accountability. Every email begins with “you’ve done a great job, thanks!” and is then closely followed by a list of things to do differently or improve upon, mildly absurd suggestions, and the reminder that I am not in a position of management except between the hours of 6:30am-10am after which I surrender the option to run my specified (and hired-for, I might add) domain the way I see best as I am the one there all the time. That’s middle management if I’ve ever heard it but to see it in print…Ouch.
Ok, maybe that’s too much me. A little paranoid, perhaps. I brought my own bags along on that trip. Fair enough. It doesn’t diminish the feeling, but the feeling vacillates between a slight tickle to a full on right cross.
There’s the hum, crackle and buzz of the restless, bored desire to move. Well, not just stemmed of boredom but also of the very real desire to live alone again. To not live above complete insanity (honestly, I live above a crazy person. I can tell you stories), to not have to tip toe in at night or out at dawn. Not cursing a dirty dish in the sink unless it’s mine. Solitude. Lack of clothing, if so desired. Visitors. At the moment, my apartment has a dishwasher, a washer and dryer in-unit, is cheap and close to transit, has a pretty lax landlord, parking for friends with cars, proximity to my favorite haunt and is in a neighborhood which is really very quiet, crime-free and friendly. Yet, in spite of all these holy grails, lies the at-times overwhelming need to get my own space. I have a roommate who is, when she’s not working long hours, always home. It’s not her fault, she’s not underfoot (after all, I live in my bedroom for the most part), I just miss my space. I’m a space person. I need it. So even when I’m home, I’m waiting for something… in a sense of stuck.
Then there’s the downturn of the most significant relationship. I can’t say too much about it lest I go on for eight pages and upon re-reading in the morning, writhe horrified at the emotional vomit covering my screen. Suffice to say, it has changed and I am going through something I have to assume is similar to heroin withdrawal, roughly day two or three, from all that I have heard. Aches, pains, tears, misery, can’t eat, can’t sleep and nausea along with the debilitating urge to relapse and make terrible decisions combined with the ever-present knowledge that that would be a bad idea (as well as the annoying awareness that kicking is exactly what needs to happen in order to get back to sober).
So instead, I watch stupid cable programs on the couch and start cooking dinners for myself again, clean my room occasionally and think about doing something creative. Just think about it, though. Really I’m in the middle of everything. Projects, thoughts, feelings, emotions… but not action. I’m near all those things. On the edge. Nothing passionate, nothing exciting, just sort of…there. I even phoned in girlfriend day drinking fun time last Sunday. Some boy chatted me up and rather than be flattered and float home all validated and pretty, I just wanted to get there and go to bed.
I remember when I was this numb a few years ago. During that time, life just sort of washed over me, past me, through me, but I wasn’t surfing it. It was during that time that I met the aforementioned significance. He looked right at me. In me. He stuck around. That first evening shared with friends, he flung his full game at me but I didn’t feel any of it at the time. I was going through something else entirely – but he was there. Pursuing (kinda). I know that these times that are awful drags are also fertile if I let them be.
I know in my heart that these sad days will thin. Wedges of good will splinter them and break them up, scatter them around so they’re a bit more manageable. I’ll hold in my heart the sane and rational amount of hope that I should, given the situations. I know that soon it’ll be time to cover the lumpy, roughed-up blob of cold, pale dough and let it proof. Beat it down, let it proof again. It’ll rise up. Eventually.