“You’ve got to learn to just go with the flow,” he told me.
And I found myself speechless and sputtering, mid-stream-of-consciousness speaking on the other end of the phone. That’s how I catch myself talking on almost a daily basis, because this is what my day is like:
Wake up, feed the animals, make the coffee, walk the dog, wake the boy, feed the boy, kiss the boy, grab the coffee, check the email I can’t check at work, shower, take my first phone call of the day half in the shower, dry off, get dressed, get more coffee, put on make-up, shit that’s the phone again, finish putting on make-up, blow dry the hair, let the cat in, pat the cat, pat the dog, pour what’s left of the coffee in a travel mug, start the car, curse at drivers, sing along with the radio, is that the phone?, get to work ten minutes late, open the door, answer questions, turn on my computer, switch to work coffee mug, check my email, spend the next hour answering emails, is that a text?, why is there no coffee?, who’s on the phone?, who’s waiting to see me?, how is it already ten-thirty?, fuck.
Look. I hear what you’re saying, Buddy, but it is not possible for a single parent to “go with the flow.” It just doesn’t happen. We direct the flow. We’re control freaks, because, if we weren’t, nothing would get done.
But, I wonder, sometimes, when I’m exhausted and tired of being in charge all the time, what it would be like to just go with the flow. What if I didn’t have to do EVERYTHING? What if I let someone else take care of me for a change? (I mean, besides the co-worker who brings me half his order of French fries everyday at lunch because I’m inexplicably too busy to be hungry.) Could I do that? Is it okay to want that?
I do just fine, thank you very much, for a month or two. Then it hits me. That it’s all too much. And I feel weak, and I want, desperately, just to sit and be still with someone who will let me just be still, someone who will listen and understand, or not listen and understand. So I go see Lily or another friend and I lay down my head for an hour or two on an armrest or on a shoulder, and say, “I’ve had just an awful month,” or I say nothing. And, I go with the flow. And it’s okay. It’s nice, in fact.
Then I go back to the daily marathon of stream-of-consciousness speaking and doing too much.