Especially when you are not used to needing anyone? You need your family while growing up, but if you’re privileged enough to not dwell on it too much – then you don’t dwell on it too much. So you go on, policing your borders even when you fall in love, until something in your life changes so irrevocably, that you are forced to look in the mirror and, upon seeing the person in there, the only thing you’re able to articulate is – “I don’t want to do this alone.”
At five a.m. today, I was crouched on the asphalt by my building, throwing up. I had valiantly kept it down while getting more and more carsick in the taxi on the way home – but my body was no longer going to be obedient. It had its own scores to settle with me. I was terribly worried that someone might happen along and think that I drank too much – and then thoughtlessly decided to puke in the courtyard. O the stain on my pristine reputation! I heaved and blubbered between heaves. The Man hovered nearby, pointing out that I shouldn’t cry, because “this happens to almost everyone” and “is very normal.”
“Well it doesn’t FEEL normal!” I managed to say somewhere between heaves. “It doesn’t feel normal at all!”
What it felt was like this – I’m small. I’m helpless. My talents, my career, my past, my future – they somehow don’t matter at all in the face of this helplessness. I walk into rooms, people listen to me talk – and this doesn’t matter. I write articles, people have tried to threaten me over some of them, I write plays, people tear them apart or praise them – and this doesn’t matter either. I know how to shoot a gun, I know how to shoot an arrow, I know how to punch and duck a punch (though I haven’t had practice as of late) – none of it freaking matters.
I realize now that I have always needed not to need. It’s been a philosophy and a religion of mine. Now that it’s suddenly useless, I’m not entirely sure what to replace it with. Magic? Alchemy?
Moscow this time of year reminds me of Jonathan Strange’s London. It’s a restless and beautiful kind of place that seems comfortably perched on the brink of a visible or invisible disaster. I wander around it in total confusion.
Urban fantasy is awesome – I just never expected to live it (even though, I have to say, it’s helpful when you get stuck on a certain plot point in your own writing. So, um. Been counting my blessings and all that.)