Today was my Monday.  I woke up and got ready for work.  Easy week, I thought to myself, just two days in the office, then a five-day weekend.  Five days of nothing planned but a couple Roadrunners games.  Five days that were still two days away though…

It was another one of those mornings where my mind decided it wanted to play the association game.  Funny thing is I can’t even remember what I saw that put Micah front-and-center in my mind, driving to work.  Regardless, once Micah settles into my head, he’s going to stay for a while.

I had enough to tend to at work to push my mournful morning thoughts to the margins for a while, until I glanced at my phone to see the CNN notification: Carrie Fisher passed away.  Four days to go in 2016, and yet another death.  So much for pushing my thoughts of Micah to the margins.  So much for focusing on much of anything else.

We’ve all had people come up and ask us how we’re feeling.  Usually we all give a standard answer like, “I’m good,” or “Doing fine,” “Okay, thanks.”  It’s pretty seldom that we answer what’s actually on our minds when things are not rosy.  “Really bummed out and depressed, thanks.”  “Like absolute garbage.  How about you?”  “I should have never gotten out of bed this morning.”  “My son is dead.  I have not hugged, kissed, talked to, shared a meal with or seen him since I buried him eleven months ago.  My world is broken, my heart is dark and heavy, and every time I see his picture I realize even more how much I miss him.”

This has been my “new normal” since January.  Every smile, every laugh, every sunny day–they all carry a shadow.  On days like today, I feel like I am the shadow.  I just want to fade into the background.  I don’t want to talk.  I don’t want to smile.

We lit our menorahs tonight and exchanged our gifts.  My big gift of the evening: Cat Stevens’s Teaser and the Firecat on vinyl.  My wife and the universe knew that I just needed to sit back and hear those mellow sounds tonight…

I listen to wind, to the wind of my soul.
Where I’ll end up, well I think only God really knows…

I listen to my words, but they fall far below.
I let my music take me where my heart wants to go…

Cat/Yusuf knows how I feel…and I try to understand:

I want someone to just come up and hug me–but I don’t want to be touched.
I want someone to tell me everything will be all right–but I don’t want to hear pity.
I want to worry about nothing–but I feel the need to be in control–
Of my surroundings, because I realize I am in control of so little inside.

Irritable.
Short.
Sad.

Looking for a way out.
Looking for an alarm to sound,
Waking me from this yearlong nightmare.

There is no alarm.
There is no awakening.
There is only today,
Only tomorrow–
More of the same:

Doing the best that I can.

David

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