Eight Months

Tomorrow will make eight months. How can that be?

The phrase, "I lost my mom a couple months ago" is still the one on the tip of my tongue, but - at this rate - it'll be May soon, and then it won't even make sense to keep using months as the demarcation.

I sometimes feel like I'm forgetting you. Sounds, smells, shape, sense. Though sometimes all it takes is the right scribble of your handwriting on one of the unnecessarily infinite scraps and lists scattered in drawers throughout the house and, suddenly, you're as there as you ever were. I can't lose that, and I need you to do what you can to help me there.

The house changes more and more each week and each little change means our home will never really be our home again. But that is what is supposed to happen. I am supposed to move on, and there's no part of any of it I'm not supposed to let go of.

I sometimes feel like I should spend my entire days reflecting on you, thinking of you, and there's a part of you that would have wanted that, but I know there's another part of you that really wouldn't have, that would have toughed it out and insisted that I go forth and prosper and develop my identity and presence out there and to use this house to that end, financially and otherwise.

I don't know how to slow time down, but I am, I am I am I am going to start meditating regularly this year. It feels clearer than ever that I can't afford not to. I think that will slow life down in a sense, leave me less dragged by the current of chronological velocity and allow me the space to breathe and be with things a bit instead of unceasingly rushing through and away from all of it all of the time.

Eight months. 8. I've rehearsed and performed two plays in that time (one of which was so about you). I've shot two parts on TV shows. I've transformed the house substantially in preparation to have it rented. I've added three new personal training certifications to my resume and am setting myself up to make this my most lucrative and vocationally successful year yet. I'm becoming, mom. Though I think you'd be most happy to hear about the meditation, so let's stick with that. I'm gonna do it.

I'm also, however, gonna make this my biggest identity-building year yet. I hope that isn't terribly at odds with the sort of enlightened, meditating, ego-detaching vision you might have for some ideal me, but it is what it is. It's not an unexamined choice, and I can't keep taking my own volitional legs out from under me by trying so hard to disregard and dissolve any and all psychic emergences that might - however faintly - resemble something like ego. This might be my most egotistical year yet, and - again - it is what it is. Speaking of which, I have to say, for all the self-dissolving enlightenment that these Buddhists of yours seem to be trying to meditate their way into, most of them strike me the least lucid folks I know. Why is that? I'm sorry for how arrogantly oversimplifying and dismissive that is, and I'm not gonna belabor that point, but I am done living in the fog of that. I am done resisting, undercutting, and denying my own instinctive impulse to solidify something about myself, to make myself into something definite - something specific, something useful. Done patting myself on the back for my own sophistication, for some enlightened sense that I've seen through the illusion of self. I do have a fuckin' self, that wants to emerge, and I'm going to begin letting it. It is what it is, so let's just drop it.

I'm becoming this year.

Actually, while I'm at it, if I can just say (as much I know you're gonna hate this), I actually love people like Bo Eason with all of their unrelenting "I am the best" audacity. I'm gonna be stepping into more of that this year. It is what it is.

Ok. Moving on.

I've been saying it to people for a while (though I was sorta fooling myself), but I am actually am getting close now to moving back east. The rooms are getting close to being ready and so am I. I still haven't spread your ashes and I'm not sure why. That's not true. Of course I know why. Not just because I stand to let go of you, also because I don't know how convinced I am that it's such a necessary thing to do. Who's to say that whatever essence of you might remain at whatever level might not appreciate, sorta, being there with me through this whole thing? Then again, every time I find myself in this train of thought I remind myself that I can always keep a small amount of your ashes to myself even if I spread the majority of them in the places we talked about, and that always relaxes me and I think, "ok I can do this. I need to spread them already." So I will. I really will.

Anyways: going sledding with Rachel today. Thought you'd like that. Gonna get a little work done first, though.

Actually - ooof. I can already hear your voice in my hear, and your heart breaking in it; so sad that even on a day like today I need to "get some work done" and can't just relax into my time with people. You and everyone else who's ever cared about me, telling me to give myself a break, "don't work so hard, the holidays should be relaxing," blah blah. This is relaxing to me. Always has been. I always felt happier on the court, back in the day - dribbling and shooting, than I did relaxing with friends, and now I feel happier and more relaxed at a desk. I never really understood the appeal of the holidays, anyway. Sitting around...just sorta...what? Being around people, I guess? You have to admit, my childhood didn't exactly prime me to appreciate, or even know, that sort of experience...anyway, not blaming you for that, just saying. And - besides - there's nothing to blame you for anyway! I'm not unhappy because of it. It's just...sorta...how it is for me, and that's OK! I feel restless if I'm not engaging with the stuff I want to make progress on. That's not, comparatively, such a terrible thing to be plagued with, is it? Progress is relaxing. And let me just say: I don't think there's anything more fundamentally illusory about the idea of progress (or a self) than there is about the idea that such ideas are fundamentally illusory! Take that, Buddhism. I like to feel like I'm making progress on things. I like to engage with things. It relaxes me. It soothes me. And yes - I know. I know. Maybe the meditation will help with all that. I know.

I can envision this, scripted - a slightly ironic, over-acted, satirically explosive scene where the character has his big, sentimental, existential epiphany.

SON: "Progress feels good! Progress IS the thing that fuckin' relaxes me! Soothes me!!! Ok? So sue me!"

At the end of his rope, he begins sobbing profusely - his terrible truth and pain revealed.

MOM: "Oh, honey. I love you. I love you, honey. I just want you to be happy."

Having seen the light in his outburst, he has been saved. Tries to pull himself back together, and blubbers:

SON: "I'm gonna start meditating, mom. I'm gonna start. I'm gonna start."

MOM: "Oh, honey."

They hug. He has seen the light, and cries into his caring mother's arms, a changed man....

Anyways...supposed to be funny. Like one of the fake movie trailers at the beginning of Tropic Thunder - a mockery of the sort of sentimentality that...well, you get the idea. I actually do wish I had something to sob into your arms about, though. But the only thing that I wanna sob into your arms about is the fact that I can't sob into your arms anymore. Not that I ever did, really. Which brings me to the fact that I wish I hadn't always kept you at such arms' length. We can save that one for next time, though.

I love you, mom. I miss you more than you know. For real. I think I miss you more than either of us would have imagined.