Well, things are looking better than they were 36 hours ago. I think I can say that much. I have some people to thank for that, and I'll be writing email shortly. After a little bit of sleep. But I've been mulling a lot of things over, and I've decided that if I have to leave, I'm going to be ready for it. I really don't want to leave, and I don't want to think about leaving, but I've been mentally preparing myself all day today. I have to. I have to be ready for it. At least I won't try to forget it until the last week and be wholly unprepared for inevitability.
Speaking of inevitability, don't you love that white-hot pang of cold-blooded fear? I often get it in situations like this. It likes to settle in my lower back and my elbows, and it broods there and keeps things terribly chilly, and every now and then I'll be reminded of my Impending Doom, whatever it may be, and that Fear just shoots right up my back into my shoulders and everything aches and I hate it. The only time it truly goes away is when I'm asleep. And when you're stressed like this, you want to sleep a lot. (I believe the body thinks that when it's asleep, the Fear goes away, so why not sleep a lot so you don't have to put up with it?) It's hysterical when I wake up and feel -- normal. "Hey, I feel fine," I say. "What a wonderfully relaxed way to feel. It's almost as if I'm no longer worried about -- oh, shit." I haven't had to feel this since, well, March 2003. It's instantly familiar and almost as instantly despised.
Today I tried to get a bit of it out of my system, though I slept in very late. I did to get out and see Tikva's big ol' going-away brunch mob, and it was nice for the ten minutes I was there. I arrived very late so I did not get to enjoy the food or beer, but it was just as well that I didn't get any alcohol into my system because I've eaten very very little since yesterday. Another wonderful component of the stress and worrying is a diminished appetite, and it's not even a feeling of "I don't want to eat", it's an almost unconscious decision to just do other things. Eating becomes secondary, even tertiary in the priority list, and even when you do sit down to a bite or two that's all it might end up being -- you can't even finish a normal-sized meal. I hate when that happens.
Later on I went over to the Mayfire festival on the Esplanade with Mare and Aoife, and that really helped the day's outlook. The festival wasn't very big by any stretch, and it wasn't real crowded, either -- rather low-key, really. But still, the atmosphere reminded me of some of the informal events on the Amherst Common, with people wandering and strumming and juggling and twirling and meditating and eating and dressed in garb. Amherst Common's stuff always had more kids, though. Truth be told, it was refreshing to go to an Esplanade event that wasn't completely packed with people and Security and corporate sponsors and vendors charging outlandish amounts for bottled water. It was exactly the kind of small but funky kind of thing I needed to get out and see, and it was free, so that was a big plus as well. Still, the Fear hit my shoulders several times when I realized "Hey, I might not get out with friends like this again for a while."
Try to ruin my good afternoon, will you?