bunt sign

Monday, November 13, 2000

Even though I spent most of the day by myself, I felt jostled, the way a person feels leaving a crowded auditorium when everyone seems to be just a little too much in a hurry. I could feel these invisible people pressing against me, touching my skin and poking me with their elbows.

I felt slightly out of breath all day, as if I'd just finished climbing six flights of stairs, knowing I was already late for an important appointment.

I was edgy, as if expecting an unpleasant surprise or just about to take a crucial test that I was totally unprepared for.

It started with a bad night's sleep. All night my stomach felt as if it were trying to digest something made of metal, a heavy, solid box with sharp edges that tried to poke out through my abdominal wall.

When I couldn't lie still any longer, I got up and tried to get ready for the day. It was so cold that my fingers and toes felt brittle, and I kept that sensation all day, even after the furnace warmed the house.

This would have been a good day to work in a linear fashion, performing routine tasks and soothing my nerves with a feeling of accomplishment. But it wasn't to work out that way. The phone calls began early, requests for special favors that disrupted the flow of the day and never let me ease into the routine that would have given me a measure of peace.

Tim wanted me to make a special trip to the bank to deposit his check for him, because he's leaving town on a job. Other people want me to drop everything and look something up: When was a check mailed? Has a change order been processed? What's the status of a payment request?

Each new demand was like a body blow, like someone taking a club to me.

And then the Boss comes up with a project that will take me the rest of the afternoon, if I can even get it done at all. The year-end worksheets are due in January, but the accountant wants a preliminary version, updated through the end of September.

I try to explain that the work involved to do this accurately takes days, days that turn into weeks, and if I take that time now I'll still have to start over and do it all again in a month and a half. Oh no, I'm told, we just want an estimate, something to work against; it doesn't have to be precise.

This goes against everything I was taught about bookkeeping. I spend as much time as necessary balancing every checkbook, reconciling every bank statement, keeping track of every penny of petty cash in the drawer. To throw together a spreadsheet filled with guesses? It makes me feel unclean.

Tonight I'm a wreck. I feel almost in the midst of some kind of breakdown, but I can't tell if it's mental or physical. Partly both, I think. My body feels foreign to me, a collection of parts thrown together by an amateur who can't get it to work right. And my mind is lost, unfocused, incapable of making sense of all that's happening to me.

Even so, I go on doing what has to be done, trusting that this was just a bad day. I imagine feeling at peace again, but it's hard to grasp the concept as a real possibility. Time may heal some wounds, but it makes others fester. At the least, though, time will tell me whether or not I'm damaged beyond repair. At this moment, I honestly don't know.

previousbunt signemailnext

Latest recommendation:

Saundra, Headspace, November 13, Prosody

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.
Subscribe to the list to be notified of updates.

Feel like a prisoner in a burning cell
Locked in a nightmare that I know too well
Leave me outcast on that island, breathe me life I'm tired of dying.