My Postpartum Depression
I just submitted the first 10 chapters of my book to the publisher, and turns out I’m not at all comfortable with the concept of no longer being able to change anything. Who knew I felt this attached to editing myself.
I shut myself in the apartment in Rockaway for three days to get through the final revisions of 10 chapters. Three entire days and nights with only my dog to talk to, which come to think of it is only different from a normal day by two or three hours.
Still, usually by the end of day two of self-imposed deadline seclusion, I start pining for the banalities of human interaction, for the 30 minutes of discussion with S. Jam Fitzgerald about where we might go out to eat before we get bored with our indecision and put in the same Seamless order as two nights earlier; complaining for half an hour before getting on the L train to visit a friend in Brooklyn, which happens with every friend I visit because all my friends live in Brooklyn; and a third social interaction that I can’t think of right now, but which I need because these things work better in threes.
Final revisions: When the sun’s coming in just right, the coffee’s especially delicious, and the seven pounds of dog curls up next to you to see you through it, it starts to seem impossible that the whole thing won’t shape up just fine.
I was looking for Miguel the European when I stepped over the threshold of the bar Local 61 last night, turning from side to side with my whole body, the way very bundled up people must. In a mostly empty bar, you determine pretty quickly whether you’re the first one there, which I was. I headed for a bar stool.
Then I heard someone call my name, and turned my body again. “Sarah?” the voice said. “Yeah?” my own voice said. “Josh,” he said, and reached out his hand while I scoured my terrible memory for the key to how I might be expected to know this person. As I shook his hand, I ran out of split seconds; Josh began to comprehend my lack of comprehension. For another split second, it was awful. But as I searched his expectant face, his tepid eagerness sparked another idea in me.
S. Jam Fitzgerald and I used the last afternoon of his unemployment to mosey on over to the Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit. Let me preface this by saying that I know so little about Yayoi Kusama that I just cut and pasted her name from the gallery’s website without processing it at all. Here I am pasting Yayoi Kusama’s name a third time, and if I closed my eyes and you asked me what artist’s work I saw today, I’d tell you, “Kama-something?”
We’d rented one moped for the two of us, and I clung to both S. Jam Fitzgerald and the seat itself as he navigated the puddly dirt road. My thighs would be sore the next day from holding tight to the machine, but what did I care. We’d made it away from the resorts lining the sea, away from the restaurant proprietors shoving menus in front of us, away from manicured lawns that made me think of Hilton Head. We were now passing resorts in various states of abandoned half-construction, relics of a time when consensus held that there was no limit to the first world’s appetite for the Caribbean vacation. Those soon ceded to empty shoreline, bumpy and perfect, and we slowed to ask a man sitting under a tree if we were on the right path to La Boca Grill. Keep left, he told us.
Yesterday we touched down in Cabarete in the Dominican Republic for a few days of celebration during the block of time between S. Jam Fitzgerald’s old job and his new (and frankly, incredibly awesome) one.
As much as I love flying to far flung places just to hang out with the couple from New York City that my boyfriend met in the water this morning, which is how our Tex-Mex lunch went down today, I’m beginning to take it on as my hard-fought destiny to find a food establishment here that wasn’t erected for blond, pasty tourists.
You could spend a month in Cabarete and have no idea what Dominican food looks like.