The Ladybug Shirt


One of my best loved shirts has taken on an unfortunate quality, I have discovered today.  It has, despite not shrinking or becoming uncomfortable to wear, started popping open.  Just buttons sliding out of their buttonholes on their own particular timetable, and so I came to fail at the total progressive muscle relaxation technique I was taught at my second week of anti-anxiety training because I was concerned with my eyes closed and my shoulders hiked back that perhaps I was offering a bewildered and bewildering crowd of anxious compatriots a bit of a free show.  So I feel, perhaps, that along with the caffeine I keep drinking and the stress I keep papier mache-ing my heart with, still rather frazzled.

But, shards of light broke through, as they do.  I got to that group, even got a bit of a walk in, mostly because I had this idea that I couldn’t turn in a particular spot, because, I don’t know, reasons.  It was a bit more informative than last time, even if the old man I found relatively endearing was less so, because, in a very gentlemanly way, he wanted to reiterate what we were talking about out loud and prefacing it, with “I wonder if you mean…”  “Yes, I suppose so.”  She’d reply to get him to stop his rambling question before informing us that her blood sugar was a bit out of whack, so she left us to quietly stare at one another.  Left me to observe the twitching legs, the twirled hair, the darting eyes.  Everyone has a story you wouldn’t want to trade for your own, if only because you trust your ability to suffer your own wounds.

There’s a guy who comes to group, if I had different wounds and he didn’t seem so aggressively in need of being there, that I wouldn’t mind chatting up.  I mean, we already have this thing in common.  It’s four weeks, though, and I’ll only be a three of them, and we’re not allowed to really talk about ourselves so, I don’t expect romance to bud.  Still, I think it’s a positive thing to look.  To suss eligibility rather than to qualify yourself as a husk.  So I figured if the shirt slipped a bit, maybe it wouldn’t be the end of the world.  And then, I laughed and let the greek chorus laugh with me for once.

Oh, more rain! There were other things, a co-worker’s birthday celebrated with carrot cake and a Whole Foods smorgasbord, the bizarre wait at the Arby’s drive-through that may have prompted a minor existential crisis.  Watching Sarah Vowell clips from the daily show and thinking I should watch her show, a few more shards of light, being brave enough to do something meaningless and stupid because I think it’s endearing rather than because I’m sure of it.  To be willing to feel awkward about the overreach rather than despondent about the inability to try.  That was a nice moment.

Tomorrow is going to be Friday.  I love that.

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