zoning out is underrated. who can spend all of their time zoned in? that would just be crazy. it’s one of those basic human necessities. food, water, shelter, and zone out time. am i right?
i’ve noticed many things since i’ve had ruth around. one thing that strikes me as of late is how much i can focus without her. sorry ruth. god love ya, but you’re like a brain drain, taking all my thought power and spreading it super thin and wasting it on things like duplos and pretending that you’re a baby. not that i am onto the cure for cancer or anything vitally important like that, but i am simply amazed at the things i can think about in a short period of time when ruth is distracted elsewhere.
now, i have never been a particularly focused individual, but living with ruth has caused me to be much more so. it’s like practicing karate with a blindfold on or something. you get so good with the blindfold on, that when you take it off, you’re like ten times even better. you hear what i’m saying? not only that, but i value my time alone so much more than i ever did before. just look at this blog. there is no way, before ruth, that i ever would have had the commitment to sit down and write so regularly. when all you have is free time, it is difficult to know what to do with yourself. but, with only a little free time, your priorities become clearer. are you looking for clarity? have a kid, and the things you really want to be doing with your life will become crystal clear to you (you won’t have time or money to do them any more, but at least you’ll have the answer you sought. isn’t that life for you? everything’s a trade off).
the other thing i have come to appreciate so much more, is zoning out. and i’ve gotten really good at that too. before, maybe i would never have been able to just sit and stare and think for extended periods of time. now, it is one of my favorite things to do when ruth is not around.
as i drop her off at my in-laws, i always make all these grandiose mental plans to clean every inch of the house, reorganize the closets, make a bunch of food, visit my neighbors, something i always mean to do but, for some reason, can never seem to make it out my door for. bathe the dog, and all that, write, run a few errands, blah, blah, blah. very responsible of me, isn’t it? what usually ends up happening, though, is i get home and feel too overwhelmed to even put my purse away in the closet, and immediately head for a nice warm bath. after that, if i have a library movie, i might watch it. sometimes, i just crank up some music and zone the hell out.
(how can i explain why being with ruth all day drains me of my mental energy? i simply never have my thoughts to myself. i am always talking to her, thinking about her, looking for her, playing with her, even after greg gets home. we never have chance to talk with each other. ruth gets mad when we do that. i know. i already said that we’re her chump bitches. my thoughts, while with ruth, are often frantic and never leave the surface to deeper places).
you ever do that? just listen to different songs that take you back to different times in your life? with nat king cole singing “stardust”, i am back to being in love with greg, those heady days when i honestly thought that we had a love so special that no one else felt the way we did (and this is coming from a true, diehard pessimist, people!). i put on “amber” by 311, and i am in the time when greg and i first started trying to conceive a baby, that magical time like a giddy secret in the pit of my stomach when i drove around in the winter in a daze, on the precipice of a cliff i was about to open my arms and jump down into. whenever i listen to stevie wonder sing, it’s as if i can hear my dad’s voice in the background somewhere, like he’s singing along, and dancing some crazy herky-jerky dance to go with it, too, like in “boogie on reggae woman”. what is that? funk? soul? r&b? i’m not cool enough to know.
greg came home to find me sitting jamming out to jammie foxx “blame it” with no baby around, reliving my two day drive out to maine in the summer of 2009 when i had cellulitis and spent a couple days in a hospital out there, slouched down in a chair in the living room. the only thing missing was the pot smoke saturating the air (too bad i can’t stand pot and it makes me more paranoid than usual, which is pretty goddamn paranoid. and like i would ever have the balls to buy an illegal drug or even know where to get it). i looked up like a rebellious teenager and he didn’t know what to make of me. that’s ok (you can’t explain everything you do to everyone, for chrissakes).
these times without ruth are like long-awaited rains in a desert, everything dormant starts blooming like mad. every living thing starts eating everything else, shitting everywhere, and reproducing with ferocity. thick, sticky pollen fills the air, pulling pollinators with a magnetism that can’t be resisted, bursting forth with seeds looking for any bit of fertile soil to impregnate themselves into, roots shooting down, racing to suck up the moisture, flower petals reaching with pulsing pigmented petals to the sun.