Tomorrow we are leaving. And I feel all kinds of nervous and fidgety and ill-prepared. I haven’t gone to the bank. My nails aren’t done. I have a pile of clothes on top of a bench in my bedroom–but as of yet there is nothing that has made into the yawning abyss of my orange suitcase. I do have my emergency kit packed. I am taking a large bottle of Ambien even though I only need 10 of them; something about not taking the whole bottle makes me feel like maybe those ten little pills might get lost without a container holding them safely with all their other Ambien friends. Then there are the other mental health tools that I am carrying with me at all times: ear plugs, journal, I-phone, Ativan, Rescue Remedy, Calming aromatherapy oil, lavender hand cream, chocolate and Advil.
I am also taking books (more than I will be able to read in a week)–lots of books. Oh, you want to know which books? You Can Go Home Again: Reconnecting with Your Family, The Myth of Sisyphus & Other Essays by Camus, The Plague by Camus too and a whole bunch of books on psychotherapy: In Session: The Bond Between Women and Their Therapists , Inside Therapy: Illuminating Writings About Therapists, Patients, and Psychotherapy, and Developments in Infant Observation: The Tavistock Model. I do think that there should be a couple of lighter books that might make for good vacation reading but the truth is that I am not really one for light books intended for vacation reading and, anyways, my book bag is already really heavy.
I thought I was going to make travel themed play-lists for the trip. I would create an amusing and inspired array of songs about travel and home coming and maybe about fathers. Maybe Vacation by the Go-Go’s, The Passenger by Iggy Pop, Graceland by Paul Simon, On The Road Again by Willy, and Daughters by John Mayer, etc. No such play-list exists. Then there was my plan to go to ToysRus and buy travel games. I thought it might be fun to play Scrabble on a magnetic board once I got tired of counting cows and I had run out of amusing things to say and He-weasel had gotten deep into the Zen of driving. However, I have not managed to make it to the store to buy Scrabble: The Travel Edition. I hate ToysRus. It is an evil store that those who are childless not by choice should never have to enter. Maybe it isn’t too late to make a play list.
I was hoping I would have a dream before the trip. We psychodynamic therapists are big on what dreams happened prior to big life events. I have been waiting all week for such a dream. No dream. I am writing this Tuesday night…so there is still hope for a big dream or a little dream or some kind of dream that might give me the smallest clue about what my psyche thinks about this journey. I think that the reason that I am not dreaming this week is that I am really tired. I am the kind of tired that has you falling asleep during your favorite show. When He-weasel convinces me to get off the couch and go to bed, I am the kind of tired in which I seriously consider not brushing my teeth, washing my face or applying the various creams, potions and jams and jellies that make up my pre-sleep ritual. I have interpreted my extreme fatigue and my inability to wear anything for the last week but the same black Gap tank top, black yoga pants and a black long sleeved tee, that I wear when I get cold because the air conditioner is too high and yet if I turn it down I will be too hot, as a depression. Only I don’t know what I am depressed about. I have nothing to be depressed about. I have asked myself if maybe I do and if I do what it would be—no answers have come.
It’ll feel strange for 12 noon to come tomorrow and to not be at Igor’s. If I was there instead of driving on the 101 I would have told him about how K-Line, Mardel and I were Tweeting and how out of some jokey banter I came to realize, thanks to K-line, that I have this phobia that I have never told him about. Actually, I have never told anyone other than K-line and Mardel about it. He-weasel doesn’t even know and I didn’t even realize that I had never told him. When I go shopping I have a completely irrational fear that something will fall off the shelves and into my purse and I will leave the store and I will be stopped by store security and I will be in BIG trouble for stealing something that I didn’t take and I didn’t know that I had. The only way that I can preempt my fear of accidental shoplifting is to be sure that my purse is completely zipped up and snapped shut—even that doesn’t always prevent the anxiety. The theme of this fear is that I am afraid of getting in big trouble for something I didn’t do and that no one will believe that I didn’t do it. I think this all goes back to being born to parents who weren’t married. I arrived into my family BEING in BIG trouble even before I had taken my first breath. My Aunt wouldn’t talk to my Father because I was born. My grandparents disapproved of my arrival. I had, without doing anything, caused a lot of trouble. And I didn’t, for years, know why everyone was so upset. No one told me.
Last weekend I bought a pair of sandals at Macy’s. I decided that I wanted to wear the shoes out of the store. I sat down in the shoe department and I put my new shoes on in full view of the salesperson who had sold them to me, the shoes that I had paid for, and then I started to panic (mild panic). I imagined that store security didn’t see me pay for my shoes and that they were on their way down to come and get me. In preparation for their arrival I got out the receipt and had it ready for theml and I walked nervously out the door—preparing to be stopped by security. No one stopped me. They never do. It has never happened. This fear is completely baseless and knowing that doesn’t stop me from having it.
Did I mention that as of yesterday I can no longer read the Tivo menu on the television without my glasses? That has to be symbolic of something. The timing of it is too weird to just write off as normal and devoid of any kind of greater meaning. Okay, gotta go, I have packing to do. Next time you hear from me I will be out of L.A. I liked writing those words…I think I’ll do it again. I will be out of L.A.