The eyes feel so heavy & I’m flustered

I can’t remember the last time I got a normal night’s sleep and I’m flustered. This is somehow a very confusing state of being, even if it’s so predictable — the cumulative result of taking care of small children and also cramming in a long workday and housework, with no breaks or outside, no visitors or voyages, for — has it been a year?

I don’t count; I just notice that a night is now a series of short blocks of groggy, scattered slumber, almost never more than two hours at a stretch, always interrupted by screams or dawn. It all adds up, even though I don’t count it. Genuinely, it is hard to remember what day it is. Existence is a haze.

In the haze it’s hard to know what I should be doing, beyond the barest necessities and daily rituals (which we cling to). So much is happening that nothing is. It’s less like being crushed under a heavy load than like being in a state of free fall and not knowing what’s coming. I make lists of things and then I ignore them. Desires come without saying and then they go away without saying. The lists end up becoming a way of ridding myself of my needs, punting things to a future self who will not want to handle them then either.

The eyes feel so heavy. I have nine minutes to myself between work and dinner. The wrists have typed themselves down to the bone. The neck is sad from its unhealthy exertions. But honestly I’m fine; I’m not down; I’m just drifting.

I feel flustered: it’s not such a bad thing. Flustered is an almost beautiful word for a state of perpetual embarrassment at not finishing things, not managing things, not knowing what to do. To be flustered is to find an art of being in the moment that isn’t premised on rational action, self-control, or even psychoanalytic depth. At least some part of you is still here when you’re flustered. To be flustered is a good way of being in the world. In any case, I can’t do better.

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