I walked by it for days, stepped over it, around it. I felt nothing. And eventually I put it away in my top drawer again, along with my ancient and long ignored marijuana pipe and the vibrator I no longer use.
How could this happen? I've always loved house colors. It was the number one draw of home-ownership for me: no more beige, cream, and white! I grew up in beige and cream. As my mother explained it to my very frustrated little self: you don't want to pick too bold a color or you'll get sick of it, so you pick an inoffensive standard like beige or cream. And so the house was a flurry of beige and cream and wood paneling, aside from the gold flowered kitchen floor linoleum and the avocado counter tops, of course.
I longed to do lots of things to that old house. I would tape pieces of paper together and draw redesigns of the house with turrets and bay windows, specifying the colors of each room and picking out the furnishings from the JCPenney catalog. I was really really in to houses and colors. And the only way I could understand my mother's take on color was this: she felt it was better to start out bored to tears rather than go through the painful process of becoming bored to tears. Her idea of inoffensive colors was my idea of totally offensive. Maybe I don't have the boldest schemes or the feistiest matches, but what I like makes me feel rich and buttery in my soul.
My head injury has made colors even more intense. They illicit outsized emotional responses: weeping at the blue, ecstasy with fushia. Colors, like drugs. It was one of the first things I noticed.
Now that I can handle most of the colors life throws at me, the urgency is gone. And now that I could probably paint for 15-20 minutes at a go, I just don't give a shit. Something I've loved since childhood and I don't care about it any more.
It seems I could now actually be happy in what was once my worst nightmare: a beige yard-less apartment.
This all looks suspiciously like depression, doesn't it? It's February and every thing sucks, so maybe it could be. But you could give me all the anti-depressants in the world and it wouldn't make me ABLE to do any of these things in any way that wasn't totally pathetic. Or has my personality changed that much? In which case, all the anti-depressants in the world won't make me love these things I no longer love. Is my brain protecting me from unrealistic goals? to prevent desire burn-out?
Blue wanted to go to see a Steam-Punk Tempest production and Huck encouraged me to go with her (he ended up going and happily so). But I couldn't see myself in 2.5 hours of Shakespeare.
What the worse the could happen? He said. He wants to see me alive again, loving Shakespeare again.
I'll get exhausted is what will happen.
So you get tired. You come home. You sleep.
But no, it's not just "tired." It's bone-crushing exhaustion. It's panic-inducing, kill-me-now, exhaustion. And it's always staring me in the face. Yes, yes, I could do that, go there, try this. And then I could also dive in to a giant pool stuffed full of exhaustion-pirhanas who will tear at me, ripping flesh from my bones and I'll be devoured alive by toothy, tearing exhaustion.
And it's non-negotiable. It's not like I can do a little of that or this, if I REALLY wanted to. I can a little more now, but the cut off point is still non-negotiable. I don't even get to negotiate with it. It seems difficult for some to understand, so let me explain: Imagine you love running marathons and your friends like running marathons with you. And then one day you crush your leg and you can't run marathons anymore and half the people in your life get that. But the other half are like: But you promised you would run this one with me! Why can't you just do half of it? Maybe you could walk it? You could if you really wanted to! You just don't like me and your being a stubborn jerk! And you say: Listen, maybe I could walk on my shattered leg for a few yards, but it won't ever get better if I keep doing that. And some people, some parts of my own shattered brain even, will just never understand this.
I thought if you lost something, something else had to come in to replace it. Those are the rules, right? But I've just got nothing. The chrysalis of my head injury wrapped tight around me. My little caterpillar self is totally dissolved and at this point the molecules need to pull themselves together and get going on the next thing, the butterfly or the moth or, hell, even a redo of the wrinkly wave of a caterpillar would be fine. But this, this painfully conscious goo of me, what the hell? Forget the inside of my house, the inside of ME needs interior decorating. Where are the pretty colors inside me? Where is the place that CAN feel buttery and rich?
I'm tired of talking about it. And you're tire of reading about it. I'm impatient. And I feel crappy about that too. But then, I hear someone complain about having a killer head cold for 10 days and I feel bad for them. That stinks; 10 DAYS! So... maybe I can feel a little less angsty about my feelings at 15 months of having a bad head. It would drive anyone nuts, right?