And I didn’t know the earwig was alive until I squeezed the mop out in the sink for the second time.
It had been floating in a dirty bowl when I’d done the dishes. And I’d thought “what a terrible way to go.” Drowning. In the panic of not having air, the one thing capable of easing said panic. Monks on mountains using only breath to reach states of mind that overcome the deep miseries.
And it had seemed too late until the mop ran clean and I saw it wiggling its legs trying to get away. But seeing the hope, I scooped it up and laid it gently onto a torn piece of paper bag so that it might recover itself.
And this lady I sit for is mostly likely in the process of OD’ing, and the worry she’s dead—or worse, not yet dead, still savable with no one knowing—is with me as I clean the floor. Waiting to hear if she’s alive. Waiting at least until it’s light to text her CA mom, not knowing if she’s aware of what’s happening. Saw this lady so “asleep” yesterday I almost called an ambulance. Took care of her cats; texted her a cute video of them; texted her again, no responses; have been (peripherally) on this addiction journey for a few years with her and her wealthy California family. Don’t know the entire story; her copious ordered packages always piled all over her porch; her expensive furniture tagged and wrapped in bubble wrap; a solicitor’s business card dated 7/22/20 on the only (and always-unlocked) entrance to her home.
And yesterday I walked right into a stick with my right eye (my face now my favorite punching bag); I’m chronically sleep-deprived; fall asleep anywhere; forgetful and constantly swirling with things I have to either write or create but which being a good parent and needing to earn money prohibits. But I’m Tidying my house before I leave for my Sunday workday wondering if paramedics could help this lady when several bouts of expensive rehab couldn’t. Singing Sugar Magnolia softly to myself in the early morning as I wash the house, Knowing already that teams of people with love and money can’t save someone who wants to go. “Sweet blossom come on under the willow,…” with Kiki‘s shedded Siberian triple coat bunching up in little balls when the mop water hits it, Wondering who’ll take her cats when there’s no way I can.
And I rinse the mop again and see the earwig isn’t on the paper anymore. Don’t see it when I look around for it in the sink and on the floor. Did it move on its own or accidentally fall off?
Ringin’ that blue bell
Caught up in sunlight
Come on out singing
I’ll walk you in the sunshine…”
And my cats are in their (now-revamped) enclosure in the cool of early day. And Julia and Bug are coming over later. And Livy is sleeping a few feet away, her computer still open on the kitchen table just as it was last night when she turned in her essay for History.
Walking through the tall trees
Going where the wind goes
Blooming like a red rose
Breathing more freely
Light out singing…”
And I don’t have any answers, though in some lights, everything that happens is an answer. We do what we can, our hearts oft-living in the disguise of worry to thus reveal how much we actually love things.
Then back at the sink once more, I look down randomly and see the earwig, alive and on the floor, waddling capably along the wall before tucking itself underneath the fridge.
And I’m kind of surprised and it’s really poignant for a second.
We do what we can.
And just like that, I’m restarted as in the manner of all victories, and begin anew the looking out at the life around me in pure curiosity of what I can do.