Day 17–Too Much.

posted January 11, 2018

As it turns out, after two consecutive doctor visits, nine-year-old does not have walking pneumonia. Instead, he has a head cold, upper resp only, but he is so congested that he swallows his phlegm, and then coughs so much that he throws up. Today is the third school day he’s missed. No one is sleeping much, and so even when the doctor told us this morning that he could and should go to school, I took one look at my poor kid’s face and melted. He is exhausted. And he is sick. No, he has no fever; no, his lungs aren’t crackling, but the kid was up all night puking. So I cancelled some things this morning, went to Stop&Shop and loaded up on OTC meds and enticing things for him to eat and drink.


The walls of Little Blue began to go up today! I am supposed to go look at kitchen cabinets this afternoon, but I am also supposed to go to JFK Middle School to meet with the Students of Color Association, and my kids have piano lessons. Somehow, I think I will do all three. Viva caffeine!

Really, not viva caffeine. No amount of caffeine could help me this morning when I sat in Couchland with my daughter and husband and Hudson crying because I don’t know how to get it all done, and I didn’t know what to do about my sick son. I had no inner resources. But in between then and now, I was able to lie on my back for twenty minutes with my eyes covered and my ears plugged. I wasn’t napping, and I wasn’t exactly meditating, but my day ran before my blinded eyes like a film, and I could see how all the pieces just possibly COULD fit together.

I am in a state of sorts, as you might have heard me say before, because my novel is in the hands of an agent who will only maybe take me on. Does she like it? How much has she read so far? Has she even started? IS SHE OK? MAYBE SHE’S NOT!!!! DID SHE SURVIVE THE NEW YEAR?????

Should I write songs in this gap between when I let the book go and when she gets back to me? Yes, I should. But I am scared to even start. What if I can’t write songs anymore? What is even the point? 

Yesterday I met with Katryna and Patty at the Roost and we plotted our 2018. I told them of my malaise and they rolled their collective eyes. “You always say that,” said Patty. “Write that song I told you to write about the bicycle,” said Katryna. And then Patty came up with a genius idea. I can’t talk about it, or she will kill me. Maybe I will talk about it in a subsequent post.


And yet. My back aches. I don’t sleep well. My energy is so unpredictable. I feel my age. I feel my mortality. Is this all in my head, or is it real? When I was younger, my body just did my bidding. Now I have to do what my body bids.

How do human beings do anything? I get it. “Hand your guitar to young ones stronger.” My sister Abigail has the most fabulous idea for a novel I’ve ever heard. But she has no time to write, nor has she any experience in writing a novel. I have the experience, but not the time, and it’s not my idea, so it’s hard to find the fire in my belly to write it. I should help her find a writer to pitch it to, but there’s this insane part of me that doesn’t want to let that great idea walk out my door. I want to hoard it!

Which brings me to my last thought of the day: I wish I could hire someone to take away about 15% of my furniture. Why do I need a treadmill anymore? Why do I need a bed in the attic where there is no bathroom? No one wants to sleep up there, because it’s not safe to navigate the stairs in the wee hours when one needs to… wee. I am going to find some movers, or just some strong people, and pay them some money to take away my things. If I have less stuff, will I have more time? Will I have more strength?

It turns out, as I write with my writers again, that I have tons of little song “starts” on my iphone. 12 to be exact. In the old days, 12 was the perfect number for a record album. I am told that no one buys albums anymore. I do, but I don’t listen to them, and I don’t count because I don’t listen to music in the same way I did when I was a kid. I am still sucking the juice from the songs that spoke to me when I was 9-25. After that, I started really writing my own songs. Tonight, I play my guitar and felt the river start to move underneath all that ice.

The Comments

Join the Conversation. Post with kindness.

  1. You are not alone, Nerissa. More of us feel this way more often than you could imagine. Or maybe you could. You write so beautifully– evoking your range of emotional response to the day both clearly and powerfully. It helps others to hear from a kindred spirit, and hopefully it will help you to know there are kindred spirits out there. So thank you for this. And for keeping the music– and our hopes, dreams, aspirations in the face of challenging troubles– alive.


    P.S. I still buy albums, CDs, hell– I’ll take music any way I can get it. Music heals, supports, and strengthens. And you are a healer and strong supporter.

  2. Again, beautifully written and aptly true. Too much too often. I wait for a stretch of calm but punctuations interfere. I hope J is soon well and the counters of little blue bring excitement. I loved the shopping part of our renovation. Best wishes, Nerissa, one step before the next!

  3. I’m not trying to be facile about your genuine angst, but couldn’t all that emotion you’re expressing make its way into a song? If you can do that (and I know it’s really, really hard to write songs) you would have a theme that most of the world can relate to.

    Please excuse me if I’m being insensitive, but I have a feeling I speak for all your fans when I say that there will always be a market and an audience for ANYTHING you create. You’ve stepped up again and again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More Like This