I was late for therapy because there was something I didn’t want to talk about. When the words came out of my mouth I became slow and heavy, like molten lava slowly turning into rock… I sat in this heaviness while my therapist sat forward in her seat. “Seeing you like this, it’s having the opposite effect on me, I am energized, I want to get you going.” On Monday after class I went up to my office and tried to do work on a project that I didn’t want to do. The same feeling came over me. Lately I have been good about doing things I don’t want to do but now I was a dog going in circles in front of my computer. I stood up from my desk and walked to the window. I walked to the shelf. I did push-ups. I ate halloween candy. I returned to my desk. I went for a walk, and bought dinner, and read about Augustine while sitting in the unheated second floor seating area of the Pizza Pizza on the corner of Spadina and Bloor. Then I walked back to the office resolved to get started on this project I didn’t want to do, this work that had nothing to do with the Augustine I was reading… Instead it was much the same as before. Eventually I wrote about 150 words and went home—if I was exhausted at least I could get to bed early. I crawled under the covers around 11:30, but didn’t get to sleep until past 1:00 in the morning… I read two short essays by Roxane Gay… I tossed and turned… I sat at my desk and turned on the computer… Now I wish I had done some work. But all I could do was abide in my heaviness, an exhaustion that didn’t want to be satisfied, a reluctance that announced itself by shutting down my core systems, one after another… Luckily this only seems to happen to me now in rare instances, but when this feeling does come over me it is difficult to recognize and I don’t know what to do.
The other day a former partner saw me sitting with another woman, and there was a look of recognition on her face that I knew to mean “Of course.” Or perhaps that was my imagination. The relationship that I had to this woman I was sitting next to was strictly professional. The affair with the other woman had been drawn out and clandestine. Even knowing the look was incorrect I still felt wounded by it, which is what I often feel that I deserve.