This morning I wake for no reason and feel anxious and terrified at nothing at all. It is still early, long before I have anything to do so I lay awake, sorting through things, waiting for something to happen to explain this anxiety that does not diminish even as the sun and the sounds around me rise.
I have this fear frequently, an unsettling actually, and although the events of the day progress as I know them to, something I cannot grasp changes and I know eventually I will be affected by an occasion I have not been party to. I get up and feed the cats, make coffee, talk to myself. Valerie is up early too and comes down. She sits in the sunlight on the bed in the spare room, where she sat yesterday and cried because her car is broken and she fears she will not be able to go to Europe as she plans, and we both watch Susan’s kittens.
Susan is a cat and her kittens were born Sunday, David’s birthday. He was here and waited for me to come with him to Mary Leah’s restaurant where we would meet Frank and drink champagne and order eggs benedict. He tells me this is a good year for him; he feels completed. All the while he is talking Susan and I sit in the closet and wath her contractions. David leaves and Susan runs from the closet and searches finally piling under the white blanket I gave as a gift almost a year ago on another birthday. Now Susan burrowed falls from the bed and the fall is in a heavy silence, like heavy water; she falls slowly by degrees as if in a trance and time is altered as I sit watching her fall as if from the closet and she does not clutch or reach out but rather falls unbroken and in silence forever in infinite degrees from teh edge of the box springs doubled onto the floor and her dropping is infinite in the variety of its degrees and her face is still, a study in fixation and stillness falling through the fluid air. It is all so, still, silent, and fluid and altered, changed, charged; the air moists humid and thick and still she falls and falls and lands. I wait again an infinite amount of time before going to her, languid and she lays there on the ground and is delivered of her first-born. Did she deliver him in mid-air and did they both fall together to the floor, green with patterns, or did she deliver him on impact? And the blanket falls with them, is splattered with blood, thin drops of splattered red blood on a white background.
After I see that I drive to Mary Leah’s restaurant and drink champagne to David and his sense of completion.
Tuesday Janet and I go to Morgan’s Landing to spend the day together. A friend of hers committed suicide the night before and she tells me she is shut down. I have to go through George, I think, to get to her and I dislike to because he leers at me and tells me I don’t have to put up with his leering. I drive away with Janet in my car which is now leaking gas.
Janet and I lived together long ago when people were stranger to me and very familiar to her. I have always thought her beautiful and like her hair cut and curled the way it is. Her body, after four children, is spare and lean and wide and raw-boned angular and she has no doubts that suicide is wrong. I tell her I am not so sure but am willing to think about it although I have considered the morality of suicide many, many times. She will not think about it further and begins to cry. Myself I think her friend is a jerk because he left Janet his van which does not run and took her car and now he’s probably dead in some remote spot, on a ridge I think, in Janet’s car, and she can’t find it, or him. I still think people are strange; I mean, their motives are sometimes so obscure I can only speculate.
I am still in love with my brother. Or anyway, I think I am. Actually it is more that I find him on occasion to be to me as Ptolemy was to Cleopatra, they other half of a dynasty. I called him at dusk the evening before the morning of my terror, having pulled the phone onto the porch. I sit on the doorstep and talk to him of nothing at all and then tell him I miss him and we make plans to fly together to Texas. Nothing will ever come of this probably but it is worth exploring as I cannot explain the intensity of the air between us sometimes. It is the same with you, sometimes. The air gets altered, heavier and we pass through this charged as if changed medium to greet one another. What other way have I to describe it? It is heavy air, like thick water, explosive potentially but latent for the most part warm and humid and amniotic.
Later I call Dana and we talk on the phone for hours about nothing at all. And my guess is that there is nothing at all except this vague uneasiness that recedes sometimes but never goes away until something happens.