07 march 2000 | back | archive | forward | girl | sign | e-mail

it is almost tuesday, and i am still standing. what was going to happen no longer is, so i am not feeling nauseatedly nervous or enduringing panic-stricken pains in my side. i am okay. what was going to happen is poetry. a poetry reading, and i was going to read my words in front of a few dozen people, and i was scared, so utterly scared.

so scared that i awoke this morning with a stomach ache. a dull, gnawing, discomforting ache. i thought i might throw up. it was funny: i knew it was merely in my head, that i had created this whole illness and that it wasn't real, yet i could not stop it. all i knew was that i didn't want to do it, anymore.

i'm not sure why, either. i've read in front of people before. i've given speeches and lectures. i've done readings at masses and weddings. i've spoken informally to classes. i've even read my poetry to others. but this, for some reason, was different. for one thing, my parents were going to be at this reading, as well, because it was also my dad's birthday.

so i thought of every excuse i could think of to back out. and i almost did. and then i almost didn't.

luckily, i didn't have to decide either way. it was cancelled due to questionable weather. (it's been raining, no, pouring here lately. which is no small ordeal for southern californians who think blue skies mean just another day.)

when i read the e-mail that brought the good news, all the tension was automatically released from my stomach. my aches: gone. my fears: disappeared. everything restored to an even keel of calmness-- until the next time i decide to read, anyway.

today is my dad's birthday. happy birthday, dad!

tonight i talked on the phone more than i had all last week. i miss my girlfriends.

in my mailbox, two postcards from islands: hawaii and st. croix. while they are basking in the sunshine, i am freezing in my icebox bedroom.

"so what exactly are you going to do there?"

tonight i think i shall sleep early.