31 July 2004 by Published in: in my life No comments yet

I’m at work. The media room is completely empty. I don’t mean just a couple folks who know what they are doing and won’t bug me empty, I mean no one in here but me empty. I went out to check the main room, to make sure I hadn’t been propelled into some twilight zone where time had frozen and no one could pass through the doorways into my section of the library, but apparently all is well, if quiet. It’s kind of peaceful and nice, but there’s always a double edge with these things. When you’re busy the time flies, but when there’s no one the minutes tick by slow, slow, slow.

This morning someone asked me about Simone. The person asking hadn’t seen me since I was pregnant and asked me if I’d had a boy or a girl. I had to say she was a girl, but she had died. It was rougher on the person asking than on me, I think, and I didn’t start crying or anything but sometimes I wonder about this constant deep sadness I carry inside. It’s not that I mind it, or that I can’t live with it, or that I want it to go away, particularly. There’s something still foreign about it to me. I’m still adjusting to being a person to whom something undeniably terrible has happened. I’m still adjusting to being broken in some fundamental way that can’t ever be repaired completely. If I were a pot or a vase, I’d throw me out. And yet, I walk the world, I do stuff, I talk to people who have no idea how I’m feeling and can’t tell by looking at me the spider network of cracks in my being. Even people who know what happened have no idea how close Simone is in my mind all the time, how shaky I feel doing things that seemed pedestrian and second nature to me a short time ago. Obviously there are people who know, who understand, who sympathize. This isn’t a woe is me post (like the other day). No, this is more of a marveling at the fact that I could be so radically reconfigured by the events of my life and then carry on in the normal everyday activities plus the fact that it seems so obvious to me that I’m flawed and yet no one seems to notice. Maybe people are just being kind and are too polite to ask me what the hell is wrong with me. It’s not like if someone did ask that I’d be able to answer. I don’t really know what’s wrong with me.

Things are improving, especially in terms of my concentration and my ability to focus. I can actually complete tasks assigned to me now. I’m still distractable and easily lost, but I don’t find myself quite as often wondering what people are saying and I find myself thinking about abstract things : politics, human nature, php coding. That’s a step up from food, sleep, tears.

Yesterday Sophia and I went to the park. It was too hot to go, actually, and we only stayed about 10 minutes. It was the first time I’d been back to that park since Simone died, and I found I had to convince myself that I didn’t have to keep looking for her infant carseat or carrying her with me as I followed Sophia. I had conditioned myself to always be conscious of her and now that’s like this preternaturally honed sense that I no longer need.

I have an ironic story to tell. In the first weeks after Simone’s birth, Kurt and I both had a difficult time adapting our cooing to her. “How you doing, baby? How you doing little So-Simone?” We’d start in on Sophia’s name, you see, and have to switch at the last second. My mom, after hearing us in several false starts, joked that we should have named her “So Simone”. We were working hard at correcting ourselves and I had pretty much stopped making the reflexive error of starting on Sophia’s name before getting to Simone’s. In the first days after Simone’s death her tiny figure was so looming and persistent in my mind that on several occasions I had to correct myself mid-naming while talking to Sophia. Simone’s name kept wanting to come out of my mouth, kept trying to be uttered, kept slipping from my lips as I spoke.


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