A plush, white, stuffed bunny rabbit with a knit pale pink top hat fucking winked at me.
That’s when I knew I was done.
7 years ago I was working 40 hours a week and going to massage school for 16. After I graduated I still kept that 40 hour a week job and transferred my school hours directly to a massage clinic. I still managed to find time to start a burlesque career in San Francisco and the East Bay which was a pain in the ass because I lived in San Jose at the time. In those 7 years my body developed a defense mechanism.
First my voice would go away making it impossible to work as a receptionist but I didn’t need my voice to give someone a massage. Then my body decided to go all Emeril on my ass and kick it up a notch by incorporating a bizarre fever. I would be fine at 8am but by noon I looked all manner of who done it and baby jesus why!?
As I hurled the winking bunny rabbit into the wall while clamoring off of the floor, onto my bed and into the opposing wall it occurred to me that I have been in overdrive for the past 6 months: Left a 4 year relationship, working at a demanding job in an ever changing position, expanding my solo career, traveling with the troupe, dipping my toe into waters of spoken word, clocking about 6 hours of sleep per night if I am lucky and I’ve only caught one cold
sure I’ve dislocated a shoulder and popped a rib out of place but I’ve only caught one cold.
I’m pissed as I crawl out of bed and poke the toy with my toe just to be sure. Seems like my body has learned a new trick. Instead of forcing a physical break it’s skipping the middle man and going directly to the source.
I knew I was done but I was still defiant of course.
My roommate just caught me trying to reorganize my Star Trek novels.
Bre(Best Roommate Ever): I thought you set an alarm to stop working. I thought you were going to bed.
Me: I’m obsessive, I can’t stop, I just hallucinated. Look I have one more book I don’t know where to put it (I hold out a copy of “for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf” not even thinking of how fucking fitting it is that I am clutching onto this book with a vise grip)
Bre: It’s beautiful(they gently take the book from me and place it on decorative plate on the living room table) It can stay here for a bit and you can go to bed.
There is something in their voice that is so soothing. A tilt in their head that shows listening and understanding and in the reflection of their eyes I can see myself clearly for a moment.
They are right
I need to go to bed
So why am I writing this now?
I want to remember this batshit unhinged moment.
I’m doing too much
I’m doing too much and I’m not sleeping and it is hurting me in hilarious and not so hilarious ways and the only reason I am doing all the damn things and more importantly the reason I cant sleep is because I still believe somewhere down deep that I am not good enough.
I wish I wish I wish it were this tangible thing that I could locate and cut from my own flesh but these voices are so deeply ingrained that they whisper to me through my blood.
Sometimes it is a struggle to pull myself forward by who I am
and not be pushed by what I am.
Fat, Black, Queer, Woman
Every action I do is proving to the world that I have worth, that I am intelligent, beautiful, self sufficient, productive. Someone once told me that I have nothing to prove and I laughed because he was my polar opposite.
He looked like Thor
He came from money
I’m not sure he understands what walking the world in this body in this culture is like.
To prove “everyone” wrong and to show “everyone” else like me that they can be who they choose to be infront and outloud. I need to sleep…. I mean it winked at me.
I have to turn inward and fight myself. Turn off the voice in my own head that somehow joined the messed up chorus of “You’re not good enough”
Look into the mirror (not for too long though… hallucinations and mirrors are no fun) and scream back
I’m good enough!
I’m good enough
so I lay down this armor for a moment,
remember what my own skin feels like,
experience deep breaths that move beyond my chest and into my belly,
let my spine uncurl,
rediscover the space between my ears and the tops of my shoulders and sleep
I’m more than good enough
I’ve done more than enough
I can sleep now