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.