That is him, in the framed photograph, with his grandfather — who passed away recently.
I did notice when my husband — his name is Chris — bumped into you at Whole Foods with his basket. You flinched. I think you may have been affronted. He didn’t notice.
And what you gleaned from this encounter, I don’t know. But I wanted you to know that he not only didn’t mean to bump into you, but that he also ordinarily would have noticed, when he had. He’s attentive to those sorts of things, and often when I am not. For example, I’m the one who charges into elevators without letting people out of them first. He’s the one who’s always holding me back with a little reminder that I’m not the center of the universe, which is kinder than it sounds.
He is kind.
I don’t know if you noticed, but we only had two things in our basket — both supplements from the supplement aisle. We’d made a special trip to Whole Foods for those. We were coming back from a clinic where I’d just spent an hour getting an EEG, where I was told that I had “intense wave form activity in the right hemisphere,” and why this is, we do not know; and then had fifteen vials of blood drawn for testing. We had just picked up some medications. This has been a difficult time for us, and this is why we were in the Whole Foods — because my doctor had read a medical paper about the efficacy of DHA and EPA and NAC in treating inflammation, which seems to be a cause for many of my neurological and other medical issues — we were picking up some pills, because I’ve been ill, and we are hoping that I’ll get better soon.
It’s been difficult for me, certainly, but I can’t forget that it’s hard for him, too. He would have been apologetic about bumping into you. I know this.
I try to think about all of the people that I’ve bumped into, lately, and didn’t notice. My memory’s been shot, clinically speaking, and so I am sure that I’ve done this, even though I try to pay attention.
And you — I don’t know you, or how you are. Perhaps you’re having your own rough go of it, and having a stranger bump into you at Whole Foods was just one more affront, one more sadness; perhaps you’re feeling worn and world-weary from the holiday cheer and the good spirit of everyone around you (so it seems), and going to Whole Foods was your sanctuary; perhaps you never actually buy anything, but think about what you would buy if you did have more money, or didn’t have to spend money on various other things that you’ve prioritized over Morbier cheese, which is probably only appealing because it has the storied line of ash running through the middle.
I don’t know. I will never know.
But I go through the world trying to be aware of the fact that everyone is on their own journey, and that journey is full of varying amounts of joy and triumph and devastation and grief, because that is what it is to be human, even if being in public means that we put on our public faces — which are generally public faces of mild pleasantry.
So yes. You did not go unnoticed. I thought of you on the drive home, and you see, on the morning after.
I would not presume to speak for him, and he wouldn’t presume to speak for me. There is an apology in here, but it’s not mine to give, and so I tell you this, I tell you all of this in my bumbling way, as a means to explain.
I neglected to mention something bright that happened to me, which was that I was awarded a writing residency at Hedgebrook for April. Hedgebrook is perhaps most famous in the online community for the piece that Orangette wrote about her sponsored stay there, which you can read about here. I’ll be working on a new book, code name TCS, which is a memoir-in-progress about living with schizoaffective disorder, the strangeness of Cotard’s delusion, and the construction of identity when mentally ill.
Jo Klima just put the final touches on my complete website redesign, which I am in ecstasy over. I so want to share a little of it with you here — perhaps in a little bit, when she sends me the PSD files. In the meantime, know that the new look for the site is quite different, but ultimately, completely and utterly me. She is magical.
I’ll soon be micro-blogging in between posts here on my Facebook page, which will also soon be revamped. Here it is — please Like it, if you feel so inclined.