i am here

On Monday, that was my reply to the new lab tech, when she asked me how I was. I know she was just trying to break the ice, so to speak. But the words that came out were, “I am here.” I meant it both as I am here in the lab about to have a needle stuck in my arm, and also that I was still alive.

As I prepare for the outlaws visit, I remain very conflicted. Mostly, I want to not be here.

My focus today was on the kitchen. I knew I needed to clean the refrigerator, but I decided to start with the freezer, because I knew otherwise I wouldn’t get to it. I also know on some level that no one will notice.

I think that is one of the hard things about cleaning, especially MIL cleaning. You get out a stain or make something shine, but no one really cares or notices. It is just supposed to be that way. The bathroom counter shouldn’t have a green ring on it from your bag of cotton pads. The kitchen sink should always blind you. The bottom of the oven should always be spotless. No one knows realizes that you spent several minute trying to get a shelf out of the freezer so you could clean behind it, where no one looks.

To look at me, you wouldn’t know that anything is wrong. You would have no idea that I have a secret inside me. It is a secret that I have mostly kept to myself because it isn’t something people talk about. It is like a stain under the vegetable bin the fridge. It is something most people would rather ignore.

We watched a couple of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy tonight, as a break from cleaning. We are a few episodes behind. There is a storyline in which Cristina Yang makes her husband tell her the details of his one-night stand. The actress does an amazing job expressing grief, which is further enhanced by the way the scenes are shot. There are some close-ups of her face that are at once breathtaking and heartbreaking. She is quite. She is angry — sometimes without warning. She wails. She keeps things to herself. As I watched, I realized a part inside of me has been doing that for weeks. This is where I am.

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