Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It All Goes

We are all here, not because we're fucked up (most people are that) but because we know we're fucked up.
I arrive ten minutes late so that I won't have to interact with anyone, because I'm afraid if I open my mouth to speak, I will start howling. I skip the shitty black coffee and the styrofoam cup because sometimes I worry they will give me cancer. Other times I think cancer is the least of my worries.
People are already sharing.
L bares her heart about her adult son, who has left his wife and kids with no car, no cellphone, no extra clothing--just walked off in the middle of the night. The old "went out for cigarettes" jam.
J tells us jovially that he has been diagnosed with "memory loss" and after a few rambling moments, smiles and spreads his hands and stops speaking in mid-sentence. He's forgotten what else it was he was going to say. We all thank him for speaking, anyway.
P is dressed entirely in black because maybe he believes he is Johnny Cash. He says, in his deep Johnny Cash voice, that he has been thinking a lot lately about his dead wife, although she is thirty-some years gone and he is married these many years, with grown children. The holidays are strange that way. They bring up ghosts.
K makes a sudden and theatrical entrance, a half-hour late, in sweater and scarf and sunglasses, her walker preceding her like the prostrating subject of an empress. She shoos several hapless fuckers off the couch--they flee like birds from a wire--and settles herself there, snorting grandly.
Somebody's cellphone pings into the silence and somebody else glares.
I take a shaking breath. I say, without howling, "I think I'm learning about things coming and things going. That they do. Come and go. Also, I don't really like this planet anymore." And the eyes of the group rest on me. K removes her sunglasses. Nobody laughs, or pulls the "she's batshit" face, or makes any judgments. When I have finished, they thank me and move on.

J comes comes up to me after, he of the lost memories, he of the Buddha belly. His long, once-powerful arms enfold me, choke me against his shoulder. He chuckles and says softly, spitting a little into my ear, "Oh dear. It goes, it all goes. It's alright."

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