I had a religious experience this winter. I was really poor. Like "$27 and three-weeks to my next paycheck" poor. And that paycheck was not enough.
That time, I don't think about too much, though it is only a few weeks ended. It was too much. I held myself up with threads of sanity and pride. I ate very little. My bedroom was unheated, except for the little plastic spaceheater pointed directly at my body while I slept under a thin, but warm blanket. The heater and the blanket were gifts from kind and cherished friends.
I spent a lot of time worried. Winter seemed to have a personal problem with "my kind." Rain was a constant outside my sliding glass door. Wind blew harder than it should.
Personality-wise, I lost as much as I gained. This is what I what I wanted to tell you. The transformative part. The scared prisoner feeling that fun can be threatening. The instinct that beauty and softness become privileges doled out, not deservedly, but at random. An innate terror at being loved and dragging anyone else into the bog that my life had become. You get the feeling that God just took you into his office and grounded you for an indeterminate length of time. How do you explain THAT to someone?
"I'd love to go out and fall in love and learn how you live, but uhhh.. I'm grounded. Yeah, the universe sucks. I'll bet when God was young, He didn't pay his credit card bill on time either. I wish He'd just get laid and get over Himself."
I'm not sure why I need to tell this to you. I need a spiritual defibrilator. Yesterday, I missed my subway stop thinking of you. This morning, I got off of the elevator on the wrong floor THREE times thinking of what I wanted to say to you.
That's how important my writing has become.
Nutshell is always paying a certain debt.
So all I'm asking, right now, is to keep in mind: I borrowed a lot to get to this point.