It's been a very long day. Sometimes, on days like this, I forget who I am for a second. I forget that I've made promises and commitments, grand predictions about my own future. I forget that I've eaten and what I like to eat and what makes me gag and how certain other foods affect me. If approached at this moment by a butler with a cupful of tapioca resting on a shiny silver tray, I'd probably take it and eat it all. Slurp it all down--damn the texture--and let the spoon clink in the empty glass and wipe my mouth on the back of my arm. I forget that I am mannered.
It's been a long day. All I want to do is sprawl on the couch and weep and laugh and play Scrabble and gossip on the phone with friends and rub my cat's fur the wrong way, then the right way again. I want to wear lint-covered sweats and throw my dangling earrings at the wall. I want my legs to be shaven smooth without my having to walk into the bathroom, strip down, soap up, and do the actual shaving. Then I want to slather myself with all kinds of moisturizing products. Lotion that smells like honey and vanilla. Lip balm that smells like strawberries. Until I am supple. Because at the end of a long day like this one, I feel a million years old, and I forget that I sometimes still possess a youthful exuberance, fearlessness and foolishness.
It's been a truly long day. Who am I again? My kitchen is hidden beneath piles of pans and dishes, crumpled napkins, empty cartons of milk and soda bottles. Dust bunnies swirl into invisible eddies between the bookcases every time I open a door. And we've had to move the hanging laundry inside again because the weather has taken a turn for the cold. I forget that I'm a writer, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister. I forget I'm anything but a shell for a throbbing brain and hands which feel useless in the face of constant, reincarnating mess. I forget that I have a heart. I forget that I have assigned reading which would fill the better part of the next week if I were to go at it non-stop starting now. And that a paper draft is due on Monday. And another is due shortly thereafter. Neither of which are anything currently but a heap of unintelligible notes, anchored by intricate doodles.
It's been a long, long day. I forget that I show up for things on time (most of the time), and often early. That if I have an important appointment coming up at a new place, I'll walk to it days in advance just to make sure I won't get lost when the real day arrives. I forget that I've eaten at McDonald's three times in the last week--always a McChicken and fries. Who is this person? Dark circles under her eyes and dry cuticles and a nose that never fails to rev its engine and run hard at 2 a.m.
It's been a long day.
But somehow my classes got attended. My teachers got the answers they were looking for from me. I invested in new friendships, worked hard, got a new podcast in the can. Somehow. How? I couldn't tell you. I am aching to be five years old again. I am wishing on stars and refusing to pull the bag of scarves and beanies out of storage. I am making burritos for dinner instead of doing the responsible adult thing and preparing something with vegetables. Beans, I forget, don't count. I have forgotten more than I've learned today, I'm sure of it. But time continues to pass, and tomorrow promises not to be quite so full or so long.
Here's hoping that, at the end of the day, I'm back to remembering me.