When nothing makes any sense at all, people go gray and hard like stone, but their hearts keep right on pounding. Isn't it interesting that all of the words we use to decribe the action of the heart, our life organ, are violent words? Pounding. Beating. Thumping. The pounding heart sends a painful rhythm to the dreary brain and exhausted body... a Morse code reminder... "You're still alive!"
I'm entirely aware that this entry is confusing to all. Including me. After a terribly long day, school, sad news, a riveting book about the prison camp at Auschwitz, I didn't feel bad. I was numb.
On the way home this evening I stopped by my parents' house while Jon was at his book club. The folks enticed me with a donut. But I would have gone over anyway, because I like them an awful lot. We get along. In fact, we more than get along. We thrive around each other. It's a happy, loud reunion every time. Curtis practiced his harmonica and Teather updated all of us on wedding plans. There was an overall warmth in the scene. Rockwellian, even.
And yet I wanted to go home. I can be as excited and animated as possible, and you've all seen me like that. It's my knee-jerk reaction to society: ENTERTAIN! But that's okay. If nothing else, it burns calories. Bottom line, the one place where I don't absolutely have to entertain is home. With Jon.
That is not to say that I don't do things to make Jon laugh. If he isn't chuckling because I'm a klutz, he's tickling me or making faces at me, or I'm telling him crazy stories or imitating our favorite comedians. And he totally gets my quippy sense of humor. Even my Bob Hope references usually get him going. Somehow, though, I don't ever have to work as hard. Maybe that's because he's my complement; he is on my same (sometimes humorous) plane, ready for what I'm about to say or do, and he starts laughing with me before I can even get there.
I started off this entry in a depressing way. Primo Levi's book about his time in Auschwitz is earth shattering. He wrenches his reader's gut by illustrating the true "banality of evil" exercised by the Nazi guards over their captives. His tale is told in the present tense to lend a sense of urgency to each story. Will he make it? Will he be one of the half a percent who survive?
That's what led me down a dark path first. But my folks are funny. And my brothers are funny. And Jon is funny. And, heck, I can be funny, too. So when there's a chance to laugh, why allow myself to wallow in the ugly, smelly mud for a second longer than I have to? There's no reason. As long as I can compartmentalize and give Levi's story the utter respect and honor that his memory deserves.
I'm not numb anymore. My heart is beating loud and clear, but it sounds and feels more like a happy pattering of rain or something. And there's more than one heart beat to make me smile. Jon's heart has always been a comfort to me. He's so healthy. What a weird thing to say, you might think. But really, because of his health, his breathing is deeper than mine, which is soothing when my head is on his chest, rising and falling with each swell of breath. And his heartbeat is low and steady, strong. Hmmmmm... the Entertainer is so easily entertained herself!