Monday, March 3, 2014

On Pain

II. On Ice

I WAS FROZEN for a couple years. On the upside I don't seem older than I did pre-freeze: my face hasn't seen much sun and life hasn't had much chance to wear me out. On the downside years have gone by and things have happened and I had no role in them. I couldn't. I was on ice.

I was frozen in my house, supine on an ice pack, for six months or so, then occasionally upright for the next year, thawing ever so slowly. Then refreezing, then thawing, again and again, up to the present pleasant thaw, three years later.

One of the funny things about being frozen is that you stop minding, or stop noticing. The glacial pace of my life became normal to me. I'd forget it was weird until I encountered some healthy person who seemed to be zipping around at dangerous speeds.

WHILE I WAS stuck in frozen tundra things did not really happen. I did not become more of a Writer. I did not meet handsome suitors. I did not go anywhere on a plane. (It is terrible to whine about such things; meeting handsome suitors and going on planes are privileges, not rights.) I used what wherewithal I had to fix some food and tidy my little frozen cave and then returned to the safety of motionlessness.

I may be the same age as my peers, but I feel like I've had about five fewer years being alive. (I was on ice some years in my twenties too, hence the five year total.) The years still happened. I just didn't make much of them. Maybe that's because I trepidate. Maybe it's also because I was on ice. And maybe I move slowly because I am too used to ice.

I get excited about living a defrosted life of motion, but the thaw also reminds me just how long I've spent on ice. I am haunted by opportunity cost. I fear I have missed some chances once and for all. But maybe some good things became of me while I was in solid form--things that will serve me now that I'm liquid.

1 comment :

Jessie B. said...

Felt this one viscerally. (And while you may not have a right to fly on airplanes, I'm not convinced about handsome suitors.)