“Desperation Sets In”
I am prone to these moments of panic, the feeling that I imagine I’d have if told to walk on a tightrope across the Empire State Building.
Okay, I’m starting to get desperate again. I called the Dad up in a frenzy tonight. I am prone to these moments of panic, the feeling that I imagine I’d have if told to walk on a tightrope across the Empire State Building.
As the best friend says, “your poor father.” No wonder his mantra to the sister and me is, “it’s nice to find a soulmate and partner for life, but kids are definitely an option. I mean look at me I’m 61 and my duties are far from over.” “Are you saying you don’t like it?” I playfully asked. No response.
I can see why the fatherly duties feel like a week of eating leftovers now. I bitched and whined about the mystery man’s uncommunicato. The mystery man is the latest date or potential husband-to-be. Why mystery? He’s sporadic, unpredictable, can be sweet, appears, disappears, and gets as blunt as a frying pan, in the strangest way he reminds me of the she-boss, at times I love her, but most of the time I fear her and despise her for being so hard to deal with. Most of the time in cubicle land I sit there shaking in my boots, wondering what she’s going to say, how is she going to react, I’m not even sure why I should care for Christ’s sake.
The Dad says why can’t I treat the mystery man like the best friend from high school, and have zero expectations and just be myself. Laugh. Flirt. Smile. Have some fun and enjoy the moment, for God’s sake. Why can’t I go with the flow? Ask him about what he thought of your room (it was a pig sty with an unmade bed and dirty laundry littering the floor), talk about the stock market (I can’t even do math), talk about Chuck Prince’s demise (yawn), about swimming (yay), about his work (I’ve avoided this lest he think I’m a gold digger), tell him about your work in a very generic way, talk about movies, music, don’t sit there and talk about your relationship and ask “why don’t you call me or email me. Hey I’ve read `The Rules'” and this isn’t working.”
The Dad continues…But it might be good to ask him how to communicate, what’s the best way to reach him if you just want to get a coffee, or shoot the breeze, but please have a drink before you do it because you don’t want to be too anxious. And that is the problem I keep thinking. At the last ADHD guinea pig pow wow the psychiatrist man yammered on about co-morbidity, how ADHD often comes in pairs with something else like the animals on Noah’s Ark. For me it’s the cocktail of ADHD and anxiety. Everyday I live as if I am swimming with a shark behind me. On good days I tell myself, hey it’s fodder for the writer in me, but what I never tell others is that it sucks. I’d rather not have a runaway mind, a scattered brain. I’d rather not live with a silent battle of reining in what feels like wild mustangs.
Back to the guy crisis. I wonder why can’t I just be myself. Why the panic? “I’m not always going to look like this,” I tell the Dad. “It’s normal, the biological clock is very normal,” he says. How would he know, he’s a guy, I think.
In a quiet moment I know I can be myself, but I wouldn’t want to scare off the guy gallery. My real self is very much my ADHD self. I am a bag lady, weighed down by purses, shopping bags. I am visual and am drawn into the countless stores in New York City like a magnet. In the winter it’s likely I will wear four layers of clothes and forget one. I love toy stores and delight in slinkys, play-doh and pudding pops. The child in me is very alive. I will happily have ice cream for breakfast and cereal for dinner. My real self loves to crack jokes, talk dirty, my real self is sloppy and wild. But you would never know any of these things because I’m too afraid to do a striptease before anyone. It’s safer to put up a Great Wall and keep these dark secrets in the closet.
Lately the magic pills, which have lost their magic, are weighing me down, making me more blue than sunny. Today I moped at work, snacking and noshing on goldfish, chocolate and anything I could get my hands on. The she-boss saw me walk by her office and shut her door right after I passed. I guess she fears that I’ll walk in and deliver some more bad news.
I watched the lanky nose-picking colleague across me schmooze with the slick-tongued nemesis. They went out to lunch together. Why does this workplace so remind me of the horrors of high school? I just sat at my desk, seemingly chained to my chair, and pretended to not care when in fact I really want to be loved and accepted.
Lately I’ve been getting bored and tired of everything. Those Thursday night Catholic classes have become a bit of a bore. I had gone in the hopes of finding prince charming, but given that most of the people there are wearing wedding rings, my hopes have been dashed. And somehow the idea of converting to Catholicism for the sake of finding Mr. Right doesn’t seem very kosher.
So I played hooky tonight and went swimming instead. The skinny Russian-American musician was there, with her sharp-as-tack snooty attitude. Her special talent is that she seems immune to cold water. Last weekend at Brighton Beach I watched her slip into the 53 degree water, swim the freestyle for a good 40 minutes, and emerge with a big grin on her face. “I could have swum another 20 minutes,” she said. I started shivering just looking at her. I’ve nicknamed her Polar Bear girl.
Tonight the fat guy Chaz (who used to like me until I dissed him) squeezed himself into our lane. He’s really slow. We’d sprint a 50 and he’d still be on the first leg of the pool. The Polar Bear girl and I were mean and made fun of him, cackling as he breathed heavily after the sprints, and slipped under the water to catch his breath. “He’s going under again like a shark,” I said. “No a whale,” she laughed.
It felt so good to be bad. I like setting the mean streak free. I kept thinking the water works more wonders on me than Eli Lilly ever will. In the water I am free, I feel like I am flying. It got me thinking that come Monday when I see the Buddha-man I am going to tell him that the meds suck, they don’t work, I’ve lost hope. I need a fresh start and beginning, I need to find a real shrink, one who won’t try to drug me the moment I walk in. I am a person after all.