The waiting. It’s the waiting that’s making me squirrely.
When I finally got through to the Magazine Man yesterday, I couldn’t help it: the first words out of my mouth were “So what’s the plan?” That’s what I do: I try to make myself useful. It’s a coping mechanism: it’s a way of managing the unmanageable.
There is so little we can do in the face of something this enormous, this huge thing that rubs our faces in how little control we really have of our lives, in just how little we know. And maybe I don’t know much. But I know to change a diaper, how to clean a kitchen, to fix a meal, to mix a Manhattan; I know how to drive all night; I know how to talk to a priest, and how to plan a funeral; I know how to listen, and how to carry a drunken man home.
And I ought to be there—in New Hampshire, lending moral support, or in Monopolis, helping Her Lovely Self with the kids; something, anything. If they were across town, I’d be there already. I love these people so fucking much, and it’s killing me to know that they’re hurting and I’m not there to help.
They’re not alone, of course, and realistically I’m only a minor player in this. They are surrounded by friends and family, by good hearts and loving hands reaching out to them. But my hands are not among them; and I’m weak enough and selfish enough to feel wounded by that. To feel as if it matters. To feel as if I matter.