About existabovethenoise

I am a nomad with a lust for life, good food, honest friends and love of all sorts. So, here's where it all comes together... all the good of the things I adore and enjoy & the rants about the isht that simply should be done away with. As I navigate the world, I'll share here. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this blog are the writer's own. And not those of THE US government or THE MAN!

What you’ve been missing.

These days I’ve been writing – a lot. Writing in my own name. Writing for other people. Editing people’s writing. Filling up comment boxes about how terrible an argument is or that, yet again, you must spell out all acronyms and abbreviations at their first instance. If my kids have learned anything about me, it is that Mama is always writing.

I write journal entries for each of them, telling them what they’re up to and the ways the world is spinning. I expect that when they’re older they’ll want to know what their childhood was like and this will serve that purpose. We all know that I can’t remember anything unless it is written down, so this is a preventative measure to assure them that I was a present and attentive parent, even though I won’t be able to remember it by the time they’re adults.

And that’s what I want to chat about – all the things we miss. The moments we had but we forget. The bits of context we all leave behind to try to craft a linear story that has a packaged end. We’re all wrapped up in getting it right that we often miss the plot.

I’ve been missing this writing space… this one is unique among all the others with my byline. You all don’t edit me. You barely even respond. You don’t critique my grammar – though I really could use someone who does. And in your silence you’ve helped me develop my craft so profoundly. I have developed and destroyed a writing practice through this medium. I pitch stories – to myself – before I share them with editors. I discovered that I have word slippage, a very common affliction among multilingual speakers. And I’ve discovered the beauty of rereading and editing a piece online – as if nothing ever happened. You’ve taught me to be fearless, ya’ll. How to say things and try new stuff and delete good writing for the sake of better writing.

So, I just wanted to say that I miss you.

I’m not quite sure what there is to miss, exactly, because I’ve been deep in the practice of sharing my thoughts elsewhere. But, this blogging thing is hella fun and scary safe, and semi-anonymous and very exposed. It feels like being a naked avatar…

I hope we can bring that ole’ thing back. Pick up where we left off. Me saying things. You reading things. Us crushing on each other through a screen and ignoring each other in public. Let’s do that. And never leave each other’s side.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.

 

COVID is still not over, and that is causing identity-bending anxiety within me and just plain ole panic masked as normalcy around me. I happen to live in a northeastern suburb that is really just an outpost for international students, out of town yuppies, and pet parents on their way to somewhere else. No one is from here and no one truly lives here. The neighborhood itself came up just decades ago, and it once was a swampy throughway for highway robbers and bandits. Now there are high rises and glass buildings without souls. There’s a church over a gas station and you have to walk a mile to the nearest Dunkin Donuts. It is a neighborhood with no neighbors, maybe co-workers and classmates, but there are no true friends around here. And in this time of hatred and havoc, it feels like absolutely nothing is happening. The country isn’t burning, looting isn’t a thing, nobody is sick, and the Starbucks is still open.

 

Sometimes I look at the chatty crowds at the Biergarten and I wonder if they know there’s a pandemic outside that no one is safe from. It has been going on entirely too long for them to NOT know, but either they must think they’re immune (they won’t die) or that they are invincible (they can’t die). And I can only think of what a privilege that is.

In my skin, in my gender, in my family, I live with doubt and fear. I am always worried – about my husband and my kids. I fear they may not come home, and now more than ever I have every reason to be. This level of anxiety doesn’t get cured with deep breaths and alone time. In fact, this year has taught me that there is such a thing as too much introspection. Introversion and seclusion usually go together in my world, but it can also create an echo chamber for my worst fears.

The more this pandemic rages on and touches people I know, and wipes out whole families, I’m feeling inspired by the fearless people who live in my neighborhood. What I wouldn’t give to live like the young man who switches between his Maserati and G Wagon regularly, paying for on-street parking and never once wearing a mask. Fearless, that guy.  I am truly in awe of the amount of money and privilege that it takes to be that oblivious and to stay alive. And I’m sure the guy has cares and worries, right? Like, will someone dent the white Mercedes when parallel parking at the sweetgreen?

Now, I’m just rambling. In short, this thing has gone on too long. I’m going to need to stop seeing ya’ll live your best lives, like nothing is happening. Not only am I getting slightly jealous, but I’m also scared shitless that I’m going to catch the COVID in an elevator. The less you do, the less I have to worry. I actually breathe a sigh of relief when I wake up to see this dude’s truck parked in the same place as the night before – no exposure for the last 10 hours! Herd immunity, hear we come.

This whole thing is a marathon, not a sprint. The mentality of survival is not easy to acquire or maintain. People start turning on each other. Some of us are living like today is our last, while others are doing the same by courting trouble. How do we get to a place where the fragility of life feels real, without being paralyzed? Better yet, when will freedom of movement stop feeling like just enough rope to hang ourselves with?

All I know is that this pandemic has lasted entirely too long, because we won’t just sit the whole f*ck down. So, instead I worry, keep my babies inside, and try not to breathe the air. Let’s see how long that’ll last…