Thursday, April 6, 2017

How I Am Doing (Not Dancing in the Street)

How am I doing? Kind of you to ask, thank you, hanging in there, you know, it’s hard. Yeah. As it turns out, death is embarrassing. Crunchy awkward, don’t-know-what-to-say, side-hug squeeze kind of awkward, the kind of awkward that happens when you’ve been caught being much too human. Because no one wants to make eye contact with Death with a capital D. You, yes--YOU--look at me. We are all going to die.

See? I’m totally doing fine! Smiley face emoji maybe add a dancing girl!

Seriously though, I am fine. I wake up, remember, feel as if I might throw up, don’t throw up but instead get ready for the day. Do the day. The day looks like this: I am fine. Which really means that I am not fine at all, but I know that not-being-fine is where I am supposed to be, which makes it fine. I am fine in my not-fine-ness, the word ‘fine’ having lost its meaning the way words do if you think too hard about them. Finefinefinefinefine…

Fine. I will explain it another way. This video.

This video illustrates exactly how I am doing, how normally Mick Jagger and David Bowie would rock the shit out of those streets, but here their voices are thin, not even their own, the echo-y scuffle of their shoes, crickets. The day looks like this: somebody has dubbed my voice talking to friends, laughing, at work, small talk, crickets. It doesn’t matter what you wear, just as long as you are there…

I am here. I know that one day the music will creep back in without me even realizing. One day my voice won’t be dubbed into my days. One day I won’t wake up feeling as if I’m going to throw up. But for now, it still can't be real, nothing is, and I just really, really fucking miss my brother. That’s how I am doing, and I am fine.



priscilla said...

I'm so sorry about your brother.
My youngest son was born during the Live Aid concert at exactly the moment when Bowie & Jagger were singing this. What a memory!

Up Mama's Wall said...

I'm really, really sorry Susannah. Grief is such a monster. I am thinking about you and Andy.

Geli said...

Yes, you should be fine with being un-fine. How could you go on if nothing happened when in reality half of your life's
memory is gone, your partner in crime for so many years. You need to grief in order to emerge into a different stage
one day, but certainly not now. Wallow in pain, in memories, in sorrow, in whatever emotion you're feeling. We're here
for you - support is a powerful thing too! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Dear sweet Susannah,

Just caught up with your life, I opened Instagram and read about your brother's death, which led me to here. I felt so sad for you, I thought to myself , this girl has gone through so much in the last four years, why? why? why is not fair?. My therapist would answer, why not? Who told you life was fair! I hate it when she does say that, but she has said it enough times to me, to understand it's raw value. I think what you are doing is the unmeasurable RIGHT THING TO DO, call it as it is, we live in a world that truth is on the brink of becoming extinct and lies, little and big one are our daily bread. I am very sad to hear your brother died alone in his apartment of a drug overdose and the most painful part, I imagine too well, is not having had a clue about what was going on. Zoey and Ozzy will learn about the truth of their uncle death from you, and you'll shape your kids to always always speak the truth no matter what and to let light into dark corners, because that's the only way to plow ahead in this very confusing, tiresome and brutal world we seem to live in today.
I send you MUCHO amor, don't stop writing NEVER do! you are a magnificent writer!

SH said...

That HAS to be you on the Madison Reed video, right? I am so sorry about your brother. Tragic

Petunia Face said...

All--thank you. You help more than you could ever know.

And yes, SH, that is me ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cathi said...

This so resonated with me today - it was exactly how I felt when my dad was murdered but I couldn't put in into words. Thank you always for your beautiful writing. You touch so many lives with your words. Sending a lot of love to you.