Good Narrative Principles

The Crisis Club


I didn’t know it it was gonna happen but I here I am in this odd club. The Crisis Club. It was like a side of life that was always humming right below the surface, or maybe below the surface, way below  — like digging to China below and how you always imagined it.

You’d dig and dig and if did it long enough up you’d pop on the other side of the world.

But I digress.

The Crisis Club.

All manner of heartache, fear, destabilizing gut-wrenching fear. Cancer. Bankruptcy. Divorce. Death of a Mom. The air is thick with it. Scratching our collective heads and wondering what just happened to me? Is it still going on today? Yes, it is. Am I still in this bleak reality. Yup. And you resume. Plodding one foot in front of the other.

That club.

It is different than how I lived my life before. But not in the ways I’d imagine it.

I still waste time. I still check my email compulsively and not grab those 40 minutes at the end of a heavy writing week and use it to dive back into “Rotten Apples”.

So I waste time.

But maybe I’m happier. Maybe. Maybe the new mantra is “I don’t care.”

What would that be like? Living life being OK with what’s around you. The circumstances you find yourself in. What you’ve accomplished (ah now, that’s the tricky one).

For the last two days I’ve been to the salon. First a color and then the next day a cut. I have to admit I am irritated there. I look and part of me is outraged that a woman would see this life and say “that’s for me”. But then I think about who these woman are and what they are focusing on. And that’s not so bad. I back off. I back away from the attitude.

I don’t talk much. But I’m OK with that.

The hair colorist has just come back from a bout with cancer, and she looks great. Slender. Face softer. We shared war stories. But I couldn’t get at the heart of what I wanted to say in exchange for her reality — go for a double mastectomy. Get it over with. I became a little less myself. Like I was backing away from the person I feel like when I meditate. O.K. with everything ultimately. Not that I set out to fix anything that comes up. An upsetting thought. It just happens.

Like a wave.

Another idea for a ritual — go to the ocean and float in the waves.

Bare breasted. Ha. Like when I was six years old and it was hot and my Mom encouraged me to go bare-chested. And none of the other girls would put their arm around me when we posed for a picture.

Bad advice.

Now, about the hum in my ear…

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