Earlier today, I flung onto my couch and slammed my knee right where the two cushions come together in the center of it. I had never hurt my knee flinging before, so I investigated. Ah. There was a big ballpoint pen in there and I had landed straight on it.
The pen wasn’t all that was in the couch. As I looked, I realized that I was looking at 1.5 years of other people’s couch cushion stuff. Don’t worry; there wasn’t anything wet. Just a peanut, some hair. A quarter. Pink fibers from a pink blanket. That damned pen.
And I found pink post-it note with my handwriting on it. It said “AUG 29th”, a date important enough to be singled out for its own neon pink post-it note to be stuck someplace where I’d see it. The post-it has to be at least three years old. Because on August 29th, 2015, I was in Washington, D.C. On August 29th, 2014, I was in New York City. This note has to be from 2013 or 2012; I got the couch in 2011 but I’m pretty sure I’ve cleaned the couch since then.
Being a dedicated journal-keeper, I have the luxury — or the bad luck — of going back to the books. I write in my journal a lot, but it’s not every single last day that I write; there are days I don’t. But it appears I have entries on August 29th, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. I thought I’d pull one line from each for you. I think each line sums up pretty nicely what my life was like that summer, if not that year. Note: “dumping” was what I called it when my ileostomy would just dump liter after liter of liquid/fluid out of my ostomy and I couldn’t get it “stopped up,” if you will. It sucked when that happened and I would get extremely tired and dehydrated.
August 29th, 2011: “But my stomach flips inside me like a fish and I’m dumping today; can’t fill the hole, the hole. It’s probably good I’m going to Iowa to film TV.”
August 29th, 2012: “I’m putting myself on a white wine diet.”
August 29th, 2013: “The reality of love is pile-driving me and the wind that it has knocked out of me is stale in comparison to the air we breathe in bed. He cannot be unmagical to me. He cannot be wrong.”
August 29th, 2014: “Day by day. Meal by meal. Cooky by warm cooky. Earnest conversation by earnest conversation.”
August 29th, 2015: “The summer isn’t quite over, but everyone is assuming the close. I so look forward to the fall, even if the Autumn Dread grips me possibly tighter than ever. Statistically, I should have an easy year in that respect; 2012 and 2013 were both heavy with hospital in the fall. Can every autumn be a crisis?”
When something like this post-it happens, I realize that it’s so painful to have these books. But they’re my life. Literally: they are my life. If I go, they go. If they go, I probably will, too.