Sunday, October 2, 2011

"The Leftovers"

I started reading a book today (something I haven't done in a long time. I'll admit it--I was afraid I didn't know how anymore) by one of my favorite all-time fiction writers.   It's called, "The Leftovers" by Tom Perrotta.   The premise is kind of fascinating; what if, the rapture actually happened, but instead of the devout being swept away to heaven, a seemingly random sampling of Jews, Hindus, atheists, gays, and bisexuals disappeared one day into nothingness--and what if you didn't.  What if you suddenly lost a sister or a husband or a child? And what if life didn't drastically change?  What if life was expected to go on as usual--you still needed to fold laundry, take showers, buy groceries, and fix dinner.

I remember several instances in my life where I felt like the world ought to stop.    I remember feeling like  this  when my first love, my first boyfriend, and my first time, seemingly out of the blue, stopped talking to me.   That was over five years ago and I still haven't spoken to him since.   But my world ended for a little while.   That first day, I couldn't eat.  I couldn't concentrate.  All I did was cry and try and will myself not to be alive anymore.   The world didn't grieve with me.  I still had papers to write, homework to do, college applications to fill out, and I still had to pretend to be present in my own goddamn life.   For a while every sunny day seemed like a giant middle finger directed to me.   An intentional mockery of my pain.   But eventually I starting laughing again, I fell in love again, and now thinking about it is only a distant, dull ache, like the memory of a sprained ankle or a broken arm.

I might as well have seen this...

I also felt like the world ought to have ended on 9/11/2001.   I was in seventh grade, brace-faced and awkward, but I still was old enough to feel the whole country's grief upon my shoulders.   The confusion and the sadness was so overwhelming I felt like everything just needed to start over, like a level in a video game.   The feeling returned again in college when one of my best friends died tragically in a car accident.   I sat in the bathtub shortly after I found out, shivering despite the hot water, and balling.   I mourned all the phone calls I would never make to him, the laughs we would never share, and the adulthood I would have to experience without him.  

  I think we all feel like "Leftovers" sometimes.  A small, pathetic minority, left out and desperate, with no real direction or focus.   I feel like that on a small scale every time I look at Facebook pictures.  I scroll through the jubilant tailgate scenes, the snapshots of smiling couples, the adorably goofy baby pictures, and I feel like these people are living out some existence that is just beyond my grasp, like I'm looking at life through a foggy window pane.   I always say I feel like there was some day in first grade that I missed where manuals were given out on how to be a functional human.

Something beyond my fucking comprehension...

I've felt like a "Leftover" lately, and I'm not sure why.  Nothings going wrong, but sometimes I still get that itchy feeling that I'm missing something, or as my sister would say, "Fob-lo," fear of being left out. I haven't written very much this month, because while I wish I could blog about dinners I make (Pumpkin Ravioli most recently) or funny things that happen to me (an old doctor checking me out while I sat with my mom during a pretty serious procedure) when I write all that pours out of me is this.   This terrible, overly honest, outpouring of estrogen.    I only hope that when I write this someone feels the same as me.   Otherwise it's like I'm praying to a God who has forgotten me or as Claire would say, "tits on a bull,".  Translation:   All this blogging would be useless (as tits on a bull).  


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