Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Today, Tomorrow, but never yesterday...

I don't really know what that means. It just came to me, and when things like that come, I write them down, and some time later, I say, Oh yeah, that's what that meant.

I had a hard day today. It didn't start out that way. For the first half of the day, I was charging through--gettin' stuff done, achieving, crossing items off the list. Then I went to this meeting I have every Wednesday. I went vowing to keep my mouth shut and my nose clean, and pretty much, I succeeded--but at what cost?

Why am I so bothered by other people's bullshit? Why can I not sit still when those around me are doing their paltry little ego dances? Why does this stuff not drive others nuts the way it does me? Why am I so intolerant? Why am I gritting my teeth--still, hours later?

I recall a dressing down I got from a boss a long time ago. He said, and I quote, "You walk around this office as if we owe you a living." And I was pretty proud of that, thought it acknowledged my obvious superiority which could not be hidden underneath that proverbial bushel. Now I think--man, how arrogant I was--and am. I really do have a sense of entitlement that is somewhat off-kilter. And if it drives other people crazy, you can't imagine what it's doing to me. I'm the one that lives inside this head, and somedays, I'll tell you, it just ain't fun.

Tonight I saw that Polly Williams died. You can read about it here: Polly Williams Of HBOs Thin Found Dead Did you see Thin, Lauren Greenfield's documentary on eating disorders? I've never had an eating disorder, so watching that doc was like visiting a foreign land to me. I sort of spoke the language--had a couple of nouns and verbs here and there--because after all, I am an American woman and I have spent my life not liking my body. But if I had a hard time understanding what motivated the other women to binge and purge and starve themselves to such drastic measures, I was completely undone by Polly Williams. She was just what I want to be: beautiful and outspoken and smart and not giving a damn and so very sure of herself and seemingly accepting of who she was. And yet--not. She died of an overdose, and intentional or not, she is gone. Jesus, I think, if someone like Polly Williams can't make it, what hope is there for the rest of us? And then I remember where I got to know her: on a TV program about eating disorders. Which are, as we know, a form of suicide. Which is, as we know, the response of a body in unbearable pain. Yet I envied her, eating disorder and all, I wanted to be her.

I can't come up with some grand summation here. Or maybe I could, but it would be trite, facile, bullshitty. Best to leave well enough alone, and say Goodnight, Polly, I will not soon forget you and I will someday make sense of what you're telling me.

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