I’m having one of those days where nothing happens, and nothing is going to happen, and everything is static and I am here, just existing. Today is neither good nor bad. It is continuing on, quietly, and nothing I can do will make it stop: it will keep being today until it is tomorrow.
Today is a nothing day. And since my life has unfolded as a disordered series of the most far-flung extremes, this land of ‘middle-ground’ is unfamiliar to me and makes me uncomfortable. I cannot live properly on days like today. For someone who divides their time between the North Pole and Antarctica, the equatorial tropics are stifling. For myself, my life shared between some euphoric and passionate Heaven and an unimaginable personal Hell, I hope that I would be forgiven for feeling lost when landed in Purgatory.
On days like these,
where everything feels so painfully average and uneventful,
where all of my dreams and ideas and worries jumble together because I don’t know how to feel,
where I want everything and nothing all at once,
where I straddle the desire to stay put and build a life in London,
and the urge to leave everything and disappear to Europe,
where I want to paint but don’t have the strength,
where I want to read but don’t want to look,
where I want to sleep but don’t want to dream,
where I want to eat but also want to starve,
where I want to get drunk but don’t want to drink,
where I want to just be but don’t want to think,
on days like these I think to myself,
“What Would Sylvia Do?”
I know what she’d say.
Of course, I know exactly what she’d say.
She’d tell me to run a hot bath.
“There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. Whenever I’m sad I’m going to die, or so nervous I can’t sleep, or in love with somebody I won’t be seeing for a week, I slump down so far and then I say: ‘I’ll go take a hot bath.”
And so that’s what I shall do. I need to think, but I will think in a hot bath. At least I hope it will be hot, I hope there is hot water in the tank. Maybe I’ll have a cry, I suddenly feel like crying. Or maybe I’ll fall asleep.
I know why I don’t take baths when I’m not feeling well. It’s because the temptation to butcher my skin with a razor, or lay face down in the tub until I pass out, or lock myself in the bathroom and never come out, or drink a bottle of bleach, the temptation is huge, not because I necessarily want to do any of these things but rather because I can, because the things are there, because seeing potential weapons gives me ideas. Watching blood in water is the nicest thing. Oh God. No. I will just have a nice, relaxing soak and wash myself then get out, like normal people do. Yes, a normal, nice bath. I have slumped down so far…
I’ll go take a hot bath.
(And tell my brother to check on me every so often, just in case)