to be normal

11/02/2021 0 By BuddyCushman

I feel like I’ve forgotten how to be normal. I’m talking about my normal, the me of me, how I usually am. I’d say it’s clear to those folks who know me well I’m not one to give a rat’s butt about what the world and society and systems and all that consider typical and usual and normal behaviors when making one’s way through the world. A life of “Get in the car” pretty much precludes all that. Here I’m talking about the how’s and why’s, the where’s and when’s of the day-in, day-out me. “Am” is the best word – I walk, therefore I am; I drink coffee, therefore I am; I leave, therefore I am; I love The Beach Boys, therefore I am; I drift, therefore I am.

But not even that stuff, my larger life inclinations and proclivities (I dig it when a bigger word comes into my mind, even if its exact definition shimmers vaguely there). I mean how “I am” from when I get up to when I go back down. My normal life, and that’s what I’m talking about, that’s what came to mind when I stared at this blank Blog post page – I don’t remember how I’ve been, how I was a year ago. Not the “What matters most” realities in life – that I’m forever plugged into. Just normal stuff.

I get I’d think I’ve forgotten how to be normal after having lived through these last six-plus months. I don’t generally feel much stress, I don’t, but since mid-April my stress meter setting’s been in the red. Almost every day. Almost every hour. Like, oh, where will I live? Where are all my winter jackets and sweatshirts? Where do I paint? Where’s the internet? Why are there a trillion ants in my life? What happened to feeling loved? By my lover. Will lifting and boxing and packing and moving all this heavy stuff ever end? How do I get a library card? Where’s the Trader Joe’s and why don’t I know anyone who works in it, and why’s this one so incredibly claustrophobic and have no parking anywhere close by? And, in fact, the where do I live and the how do I get a library card and the what’s with this Trader Joe’s have twice been asked.

I’ve tried to be as clear as my words can present me here in “Couch Surfing at 70” that I don’t feel sorry for myself and I do not feel I’m a victim, and this ain’t even complaining. These are my daily weather reports. That’s all I ever promised, it’s all I’ve ever done my best to do. I woke up this morning, an hour after my alarm – which already makes me a little nutty – because illness has me as its play-thing and I haven’t slept well the last three nights, and I perked coffee and started writing my Morning Pages – this last week earlier than I’ve ever done since I began in May 2011 – and I wondered if it was okay to buy a book I really want which is pretty expensive. And I wondered if I should walk or not, sick and all and an hour behind and all, and should I cancel the meet-up writing group I signed up for last weekend for tomorrow morning, and if I’ll ever want a girlfriend again, or want to hold hands with anyone again, and who can I ever go get a coffee with, and where is the post office, and is it okay to eat Trader Joe’s frozen meatballs three days in a row, and should I begin to sit in the living room here in my new home – at all?

I absolutely had this thought a couple hours ago, turning on the computer, the question – what’s it like to be the normal me? Will I get back there? Will I even know if I do? Or – and this feels kind of mystical and cool and possibly Zen-like:

Does it even matter?