Help Me Get Back To My Planet

I had such big plans for Thursday night.

I was going to the JConnect barbie at Dockweiler Beach.

I had a ride.

I was going to be social.

I’m social in waves. It takes some effort. But if I push myself, then it is easier to do it over and over.

Then the clouds rolled in Thursday afternoon and the water and the thunder.

I was so very tired and weak. Could barely pick up the kids.

Couldn’t wait to get away.

Didn’t want a ride home.

As I walked through the rain to the bank to deposit my check, I felt myself drowning in exhaustion.

I felt like I was relapsing into that 24-hour cold I had three weeks ago.

Relapsing into 20 years of chronic fatigue.

There was no hope. None. No hope. Hopeless. No salvation. No release. No exit.

I was in a vice. A box. Orthodox Judaism. Chronic Fatigue. Boxes.

I lived in boxes. One chosen.

I was so very tired.

I was staying home.

I didn’t leave the hovel Friday. I pushed myself through a normal day of blogging. I thought about pushing myself to shul but collapsed in bed instead. Didn’t bother with kiddish or prayer. Just closed the blinds and lay in the darkness.

So if I died right now, how long till someone would miss me and come looking?

I take my index finger and push the center of my chest. It hurts. There’s no visible bruise just an ever-present pain.

I strap on the splints to my feet to control the plantar fascitis.

I slip in the mouth guard to minimize the damage from my TMJ.

I must get that poked at my next acupuncture session.

I had dreams of spending this weekend in Yosemite.

I had so many dreams. None of them involved lying sick in a hovel just before my 42nd birthday.

Shabbos morning. Maybe I’ll go to shul.

I walk the length of my hovel.

I feel dizzy.

I go back to bed.

I nap intermittently through the day.

I read two books by Joanna Hershon — The Outside of August and Swimming (from which I take the title of this blog post).

At 4:40 p.m., I leave my place for the first time in two days.

As I walk up the street, I see two girls a few blocks away. They’re staring in my direction.

I feel a surge of strength.

"Daddy’s coming," I whisper.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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