Touch Points

Woke up in the wee hours and laid there thinking about touch points… the little comforts of skin to skin… the way his foot tends to feel for me in his sleep until a toe just touches my leg; but, sometimes his foot will linger, like when he gently cupped my bent knee with the insole of his foot. Or, how his bum always wiggles up to touch my belly when we spoon with space between us. And how my fingers inadvertently touch his fingers when I stretch in my sleep and reach for one of the iron rails of the headboard only to discover that his hand is already wrapped around the same post.

I was thinking about how each little touch arouses me and comforts me in that twilight moment between half awake and half asleep before drifting out again. I was feeling fuzzy warm about our relationship, smiling to myself, and thinking of how nice it is to share a bed with this man. And then he rolls over with that fucking pillow, hugging it like a teddy bear squished in between us, and I cannot tolerate that damn thing touching me.

There is something about a pillow touching the small of my back or pushed up against my belly that makes my skin crawl. I can’t stand it. I have to get away. Sometimes, there is not enough space on the bed to distance myself far enough away from that pillow so it does not touch me.

Any effort to remove the pillow will rudely awaken him akin to snatching a bottle from a hungry baby. Nah, it is more like poking a hibernating bear. The resulting pillow fight would not be playful. It is best just to exit the room until he rolls back over, taking the offensive pillow with him.

So, that’s why I was up in the wee hours, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes in the kitchen, typing the draft of this via one finger taps on my phone.

I can’t explain why it bothers me so much. It is not the texture as the pillow is identical to one of my own and all our pillowcases and sheets are made of soothing cotton fabric. Perhaps feeling that pillow triggers some kind of body memory as it jerks me instantly awake and it always takes a while before the repulsion fades. I’ve racked my mind for clues, but my brain will not release any bad memories involving pillows.

An hour or so later, still before the light of dawn, I slipped back into bed.  He had rolled with his back towards me, but was still hugging his pretend teddy bear. I didn’t want him to roll back over with it, so I was careful not to touch him. I had snuggled in, got myself all comfy and warm curled up with my back to his back with space between us, when his foot found me. I drifted off to sleep listening to the sound of his soft snores while his heel rested in the curve of the instep of my sole.

Awe, the sweet comfort of his gentle touch.

 

MANY HOURS LATER:  I know what it is… I can’t stand the pillow touching me when he is breathing near me at the same time. Therein hides the memories. It’s not about pillows. It’s about teddy bears and the child I used to be so long ago silently whispering her own little #metoo.

 

ART PLUG: “Calm Sky” is available for purchase at http://webstore.com/id=82405180

Iron in the Fire

phone doodle

Hey, Mr. B.D. Fiant,
Will you write a note for me?
Just one word, two words, maybe three?
They want me in therapy.

That is how one of the poems that I read out on Phelps Street last month begins… I don’t feel like writing the whole thing right now. The “art” is a phone doodle on the back of unopened mail addressed to me. Pencils were on the table and I was too lazy to go fetch some paper, just doodling anyway, something to keep my fingers busy while I was on the phone.

So, who is Mr. B.D. Fiant?

You have seen his art here on this blog, last one in Wired, just two posts back. Does he exist? No. He is a play on words, a figment of my imagination created when I worked at Delphi Packard, an ultra ego to credit for minor words of defiance. Yes, B.D. Fiant IS be defiant. Sometimes, I am defiant.

I am still resisting medication as I don’t think I really need “mood stabilizer” pills. I want techniques, handy dandy little tricks, means and methods to unwire myself when I feel too wired. I don’t fly too high anyway, it’s not usually a problem. Lack of sleep is, at times. I need the energy to get things done, got a lot of irons in the fire, a lot of projects going on. I don’t like feeling scattered. I already know how to recognize symptoms and how to ward off downward spirals into “deep dark depressions and excessive misery” (to quote or misquote an old “Hee-Haw” song) and I know there has to be similar things to calm my mind when it gets too frazzled, it’s like trying to think clearly while your brain is out to lunch.

I’m not exactly sure what is going on…  I have a shrink talking about brain chemistry, denial, and the dangers of self-medicating so I’m thinking I should document sleep and mood patterns, color coded and shaded for intensity.  Add one word here and there if something is going on, say up till 4am writing.

A chart keeps it simple, quick see at a glance if any patterns exist.

I did not have any graph paper, so I drew a chart in OpenOffice Draw. Time span is ye 3 weeks. I have no intention of getting all chart happy, just need to color in squares for hours slept and note moods when obviously up or down… neutral ye normal no problem need not be colored.

Here is a pdf of my printable chart, if you want to see:  SleepMoodChart

I might continue to chart between sessions as it will document sleep patterns, &c., and easy see if this therapy and/or trying whatever works or not. Maybe it is too scientific? IDK…  I can’t go by assumptions and opinions, vague answers to vague questions… I need evidence, test results, documentation.

Mental health has to be one of the only fields that prescribes medication without proof it is really needed. Try this pill? Try that one? How do you feel? Normal? What’s normal?

Hey… I’m an artist… normal does not apply to creative types. So what if I stayed up all night working on a project, run days on little sleep, crashing only when sheer exhaustion takes over?

Have you ever READ A BOOK you couldn’t put down, had the hours fly by and the next thing you know, it is morning? If just reading a book can do that, imagine the writer being so zoned in that time does not matter. It’s the same thing, maybe a little more intense, but it does not make the author mentally ill.

Nesting Thoughts & Dreams

Drifting in and out of dreams, feeling hot, too hot, slip off my socks, those thickly knitted grizzly socks worn only on the coldest nights. Beads of sweat dampen my breasts and still not quite awake, I fight to shed some layers, or just think of shedding layers to lighten my nest while drifting back to sleep to the sound of the furnace running.

Winds must have shifted in the night as I keep this cabin on the chill side with the thermostat low. Neighbors caulk and plastic their windows but mine are not. I like fresh air so I don’t mind the drafts, perhaps because I smoke. I can dress for the weather.

I do my best thinking at night, drifting in and out of dreams, snuggled in a nest of crisp cotton sheets and soft layers, blankets of fleece and thin vintage wool, loose weave cottons, and fringed chenille. Without rhyme or reason, thoughts sift and sort and filter free to new logical conclusions.

Fresh hazelnut coffee, the last heel of bread toasted and spreaded with crunchy peanut butter, breakfast before dawn on a peaceful morn… and I think back to yesterday’s conversations.

Why do I let those people rain nails on my parade?

Is it my problem? Is is my fault? Must I absorb the misery? What has changed? Is anything different? Or is it the same ol’ same ol’ attempts to pop my balloons, to burst my joy? Should I apologize for not raising my child to hate a part of herself?

I got mad at the gossip because that is exactly what it was, even if the sister who swiped a photo off my daughter’s “friends only” facebook page and texted to my mother before we phoned with the news of his birth calls it “sharing the joy” because there was no joy in curt words, no hint of being happy about anything. No awes or ohhs about a newborn’s photo, just a “his nose is really wide” and “his father is a big man” when I ignore the coldness and talk away, tell her that he was born with big hands. (Which, by the way is not true… unless a slender 5’8″ is a “big” man so she must have got THAT from the sister’s gossip.) There was no asking for details or even how the mother is doing after a cesearian birth, just a cold shoulder attitude. Calling back yesterday, I got one word replies when I mentioned my new grandson, so fine… be that way.

I can’t fix broken people. That sister will always gleam information off the internet to fuel her gossip. She’s done it for years. I cannot make her stop or even call me, must less come talk to me in person.

As for my mother? She’s my mom. I will always love her and respect her, but I kind of feel sorry for her because she is the one missing out… she feels sorry for mixed children, believes they will have a hard life, be shunned by all, and she is the only one who is shunning them.

Want to see my new grandbaby? This photo was snapped at the hospital, when his mama tucked him into a star blankie, lol. Ah, he sleeps… so peaceful in his dreams.