The World Didn’t End Yesterday

“I go to the gym to watch TV and not feel guilty.”

Aubrey is delightfully honest like this.

She is also a mathematician who just finished her first year towards her Phd in theatre directing.

She says she’s studying theatre because she loves the way the art connects people, but I prefer to believe it’s because of her relentless, heroic quest for honesty.

I pretend Aubrey believes that there is a right answer to characters, to people, just like there are right answers in math. I pretend the ever-courageous Aubrey is ready to strip away at a show and its characters until it’s exposed and honest and alive and conquered.

We did summer stock together in Middle-of-Nowhere Indiana and then lived together in the best gay neighborhood in Chicago. Last weekend, she visited me in Little Lancaster for the first time.

As we sat at a coffee shop together on a disappointingly drip-droppy day, and I asked her, “So, what do you think?,” certain she would tell me she was as disappointed in me giving up my big city endeavors as she was in the rainy spring weather.

Of course, a good story requires a twist, so here’s my first: She didn’t tell me that. She said, “You have a lot of things going for you,” as if I should know that, “I can see why you’ve stayed,” she said.

I still don’t see myself as someone who “stays,” so this is the first oddity, but not the greatest.

My therapist, who is the only person I have yet to meet whom I can’t talk circles around, tells me, “Today the world is not going to end.” She says, “You have a complex trauma history. When you’re triggered, you jump outside the window. We’re trying to get you back inside.”

I don’t know where the window is she is referencing, let alone how to go inside it (is there no door?), but I go with it. I’m more comfortable here, in this imagery, than I am in Aubrey’s world of right-and-wrong numbers. I’ll find that stupid window soon.

I jump on my bike and pedal to work and repeat to myself, The World is Not Ending Today, just like the crazy person that makes me out to be.

It is a beautiful day.

There is sunshine and there are birds. Everything is green. Lancaster smells like spring flowers, plus one layer of sausage. I don’t know where that’s coming from, but they picked the right cook.

Grandma emails. She asks when I will blog again. I sigh. Not because I’m unhappy she wrote–my heart doubles in size hearing from her–but because the thought is overwhelming.

How do I write about what I’m doing and where I’m going when, mostly, I’m surprised that being is staying. Mostly, I’m trying to surviving biking scrunched one-way streets without bike lanes. Mostly, I’m happy the world didn’t end today.

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2 thoughts on “The World Didn’t End Yesterday

  1. Lynn

    Thank you for sharing Vanessa, such an amazing writer/ thinker you are…… I think I feel your fingers resting on the window sill……..

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