I let myself get sunburned. And I really can’t explain why.
We can be self-destructive in the strangest ways. Back at work on Monday morning, then, by evening, hit with the full force of whatever bug caught E. and me down in the Canaries. Something that bit hard around the edges of the brain. It’s not a great way to end a vacation. For a week now, something has been sitting on my chest. And last night I had a nightmare of sorts. I think you’ve reached a certain level of adulthood when the antagonist in your heart-pounding dreams are not monsters or serial killers, but students and colleagues.
I wake with that electric burn from cortisol.
I have been thinking that every time we step away from our routine lives, there is no returning – in the way that no one steps in the same river twice. We have to reconsider the current situation. No pun intended.
My dreams seem to be about powerlessness. About being inconsequential. Twice on this trip men stepped into me. Backing up to press me against a wall, or against a railing. Oblivious. Maybe. I still feel this little twinge of rage. If one can have a “little twinge” of rage. I was surprised by the welling of curses and fury in my chest. I think maybe that accounts for the weight I feel now.
And the added weight of self-recrimination: I said nothing. I didn’t expect that “being invisible” would take this particular form. I mean, I’m growing accustomed to my ideas being shoved aside for “fresher” takes, more “relevant” perspectives, but I really didn’t anticipate the literalness of this particular kind of invisibility, the literalness of being stepped on.
There is a source of the stories, the archetype of the crone who whispers curses at people shuffling by… oblivious to the danger.
I don’t want to become her. And this morning I am wondering if the only way to avoid it is to begin wearing outlandish hats and playing the eccentric. There must be another way to stay “relevant”.
I am still alive in this world. Still caught up in the same current of events as the rest of us all.