This morning, as I lay in bed listening to the sounds of the kids having breakfast, it occurred to me that, even though I logged over 65 hours at my computer last week and wrote about a million words, I hadn’t written a single one for myself.
I haven’t even wanted to pick up a notebook to journal.
Well, wanted is a big word. Let’s be honest here, if I gave myself the time, I’d probably want to, but I’m so damn scared to let myself think even for a moment, that I’ve buried myself in work to the point of falling into bed, brain dead, every night, without a spare thought or feeling.
It’s just so much easier to write ad copy about heavy duty motor oil or the latest innovations in cyber security than it is to try to wrap my brain around a world where my dad isn’t safely tucked into his life in Toronto, battling for the opportunity to eventually come visit, to travel, to reclaim his life.
He’s never going to come visit.
He’s never going to meet my dog.
He never even saw my house.
He barely knew my kids.
And all because we were waiting for him to get better so he could finally do all that.
It is so much easier to just pretend that March never happened than to face the fact that he’s just… gone.
So I write. I brainstorm. I conceptualize. I edit. I rewrite. I brainstorm some more. I write endless copy for emails no one will read. I think up banner ads that will never see the light of day. I craft perfect Facebook posts that Facebook will never serve to our fans. I think up witty tweets a handful of people will notice as they stream by.
I don’t work on my novel.
I don’t journal.
And most importantly I try really hard not to think.
But the thoughts slip in anyway at truly unexpected moments.
On Malibu Beach in Los Angeles, where the sight of a lifeguard station threw me back onto our old flowery couch where my dad and I used to watch endless Baywatch reruns together.
When a small motorcycle passes me on the road and I remember him trying to teach me to drive his and I drove it up the garage wall, leaving tire marks the next tenants must have wondered about for years.
When I hesitate before cleaning my new cast iron pan and hear his voice reminding me that I really do need to season it properly.
When I watch Dottie’s puppies squirm around try to think of names for them. He was so damn good at naming dogs.
Then I fight back tears. I take deep breaths. I try to slow down my heart rate. I stop the rising panic. I force the thoughts away.
Because I hate crying.
And I’m just not ready for it to be true.