house guests

In my gut.

Giardia. I have giardia.

I haven’t been outside to drink sketchy water in, like, a hundred years, because I’m old and work all of the time.

Way back in the early days, (that means before tablets, before blue lights, before filters), I treated my drinking water with iodine – so did everyone. But the iodine made me sick beyond imagination.

When I first started working for COBS, it was explained to me that susceptibility to this particular little pest is genetic, so I decided to risk it and stopped treating my water in the backcountry.

I figured that giardia couldn’t be much worse than iodine poisoning.

(So far, I still believe that.)

YEARS. Years upon years upon years of creek water, pothole water, puddle water.

Nothing. Nada. Never a problem.

I never drank water out of the San Juan. I figured that the fungus that I got on my feet from being in the water was a good indicator that I shouldn’t ingest it.

I have been walking slurping my way through life confident that I was one of the lucky ones.

And then, two weeks ago, I felt a little twinge.

And I thought, “Is there something living in there?”

Then it petered out.

Next thing I know Lucky Charms don’t even taste good and I’m throwing up the water that I sipped.

When you are a Wilderness First Responder and you basically live in the backcountry for years, the one thing that you know like the back of your hand is the list of symptoms of Giardia.

Last night I lay in bed and talked to the critters in my craw. “Please die. Please please die.”

I tried to pretend it wasn’t true, but it is.

Between the Divorce Diet and racing for the restroom I haven’t eaten in a week. I’ve lost almost 15 pounds in the last month. I’m so dehydrated that my lips are chapped and my skin looks like alligator hide.

It’s been textbook WFR shit. Enough so that when I went to the doctor today she said that I did a fine job self-diagnosing.

The photo at the top of this page…that’s what the little buggers look like. They latch on with that giant suction cup of a mouth and eat you.

Seriously, a concussion, a breakup, and now this – all in one month.

This is my world – I am this area.

teaching a life lesson

“Let me teach you a lesson now that will get you through the rest of your life – it’s important.”

“Okay Mom.”

“When apologizing to someone, there is a huge difference between starting with ‘I’m sorry I‘ and ‘I’m sorry you…”

“Well duh, ‘I’m sorry you…” isn’t an apology at all.”

Okay. My job is done.

Something broke

Something in me, something in my heart. It broke.

Up until now, I’ve been very sad; it’s been an urgent kind of sadness; 0 – 10 in 10 seconds; laughing and entertaining one minute then a teary heap on the floor the next. High strung sadness.

I’ve also felt immense anger, anticipation, a lot of fear, and so much love for MXB even when I’m really pissed.

But everything changed this weekend and I feel so heavy; I feel despondent.

The urgency is gone and now a weighty grief is digging in for the long haul.

I feel shorter, more stooped, sluggish, exhausted, and listless. Life feels too sad, too harsh, too much.

It’s like this huge heavy blanket of sorrow is settling in on top of us, our home. It’s covering us all.

We, us, he and I, were doing okay. Certainly not great but more than civil 90% of the time. (That 10% has been me losing my shit, not him.) When the outside world doesn’t come in, I feel like we will be able to do this with grace and gentleness and love.

And obviously a ton of grief.

It’s difficult and heartbreaking, but when it’s us, I feel safe; safe that this is somehow doable. Hopeful that it won’t be too godawful painful.

The outside world feels really hostile and unsafe right now. It feels like there are more things out there to cause hurt. People, gossip, people.

I feel so lonely out there.

All I want to do is stay home, be protected, and feel all of these hard feelings. I don’t want to be in public, don’t want to hear what folks are saying, really don’t want to hear any sentences that begin with “You should…” or “I heard…”

I’m afraid of how much wretchedness there is ahead of me. I wonder how much of it will be my own internal pain and how much will be caused by other people, other circumstances, other influences.

I want to wrap in my blue cotton blanket outside under the cottonwoods and let this all wash over me; to embrace this heaviness. To lie under the sunlit leaves until this begins to lift. To feel joy in solitude, not loneliness in being alone.





What to do with myself

I want to go to the desert but I don’t have the energy to get there.

I am invited to a gathering tonight that should be fun, but I don’t really feel like meeting new people and answering any questions about myself.

I looked into movies but I am not in the mood for animation or semi-automatic weapons.

The boys are in Utah, going on the river tomorrow so they can’t entertain me.

I tried to take a siesta so I would have more umph to get up and go.

Couldn’t sleep.  Landlord called to talk about moving out dates. There’s a squirrel in the wall eating something.

My stomach feels pretty queasy which could easily be stress or starvation (b/c yes, the divorce diet is back.)

There’s singing circle tonight, but we all know that the idea gives me hives and I am certainly not in a solid enough place to overcome anything today.

All I feel like I’ve been doing is thinking and over-thinking.

What am I going to do?

What are my kids going to do?

Where will everyone live?

Should I stay here?

Should I move to Utah? Florida?

Should I just live in the back of my truck like a 23 year old?

I have so much stuff.

I have very little money.

I have a dog and cats.

I have three boys.

Round and round.

So do I just stay in and watch more bad movies and eat Lucky Charms?

I’ve already dyed my hair.

I don’t actually really want to see anyone.

Except the one person that I shouldn’t see.