I Am Not You by Miriam Sagan

My dreams are normally weird, not more so. If they got weirder I’d want to stop sleeping!

Seeing people post “just stay home” over and over makes me sad and alienated–as I’m sure it does other essential workers. We’re all on different paths. I wish there was some acceptance of this. My essential job isn’t scary or high risk–but many are. I’d like to see much more respect for that.

My drawers were already tidy except for the ones that never will be no matter how long I am in lockdown. That is to say, I wasn’t putting things off before and I’m not particularly motivated now.

I don’t hate anyone. I’m creeped out by violent revenge imagery, even if aimed at Trump. I really believe hatred is a poison that will harm me. Anger is a feeling–it comes and goes. It can lead to justice. I don’t mind anger but I truly avoid hate.

I don’t watch television. I never have. Why start now? I didn’t even see the Twin Towers come down until decades later, by mistake, in a motel room.

This isn’t a creative time for me. However, I am writing. And brushing my teeth.

I get dressed every day. And I enjoy it. My outfits resemble what I wore in Japan as an artist in resident a few winters go, in a very cold house. Where the administrator like to drop in early en route from the station. She’d compliment my dark green house dress and lavender cardigan. I’m dressed for comfort, but presentable.

I’m not writing about the pandemic. I’m writing about trauma, isolation, and healing (coincidence?)–a novella I started almost three years ago.

I will avoid a ventilator at any cost. (This pre-dates coronavirus). Twenty-five years ago I had to take my by then brain dead husband off a ventilator, with the help of three clergy people. That was enough to give me a permanent aversion.

I miss everything, mostly the neighborhood–peeking in at the glassblowing studio, shopping the consignment store, drinking coffee at Tune-Up.

I won’t hate or criticize people who act less isolated than I am.

I doubt the Democratic Party can “save” me. I just don’t like politicians. Yes, some are “better” but I’m not looking for a leader or Big Daddy.

I do not understand the epidemic, nor will I claim to. Sure, I wrote an undergrad term paper on syphilis tracing and I lived through AIDS in San Francisco. I’m not an authority, authorities don’t agree, and I don’t need a passing grade. I am holding on to my critical thinking, though.

It seems I’m an extrovert after all.

Safety as a concept has never been real to me–as a Russian Jew, as a woman, as an artist. So I don’t miss it, or aspire to it.

Netflix cannot help my boredom.

Being disabled now is a lot like being disabled any other time–vulnerable, worrisome. Yet a source of strength–I’m quite adjusted to spotting prejudice and to not getting my own way all the time. I want to say it is more difficult to get care–but it is always difficult.

I am living without solutions.

***
Acceptance is more important to me now than ever. This is not a war. I don’t hate the virus or any pathogen. I hope you, reader, can accept what both does and does not resonate with you. I’m exhausted by self-righteousness and certainty in any camp. Meet me in the gray zone!

And how are you?

4 thoughts on “I Am Not You by Miriam Sagan

  1. I’ll meet you anytime in the gray zone, Miriam.
    And, I always value your perspective.
    How am I? I’m treading the water flooding my life the best I can; concerned for those suffering more than me. Trying to be awake to what is … without distortion.

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