Pages

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2.10.11

There's this itchiness in the air that starts in February. It's a sneeze, it's a hiccup, it's that lull between holidays, it's that impatience for it to be spring already. But the itchiness I feel is different, it's a memory that grows faded with every passing year. It's that reminder that there was a time when my fingers were plump and perfect and my abdomen free of scars, that there were several years of my life that were different than they are now. It's a B.D. and an A.D. and my life is a perpetual switching of clocks. For years there was a solemnity that came with acknowledging the anniversary of my diagnosis as a diabetic. I've written about 2/10 every year since 2001, including twice on this blog.

There is something satisfying about saving up all of one's emotional brouhaha for one specific day of the year, and then having it out with the universe on an annual basis. What does that mean? Oh, in the early days it was a weird form of flashback, recalling days on the Sacramento River when rowing was much easier without three cans of pineapple juice rattling around beneath my seat, soaking up as much teenage ennui as I could and categorizing it all as a sort of post-traumatic stress. And then as the years went by there was an overwhelming nostalgia not for the before-diabetes days, but for the days when my blood sugar was still a relatively exciting and challenging new game. And now I've hit the first decade mark and I find myself feeling a whole lot of nothing. Maybe there comes a time when one has told the story enough times, fictionalized it and reproduced it on stage and repeated it to children and grandparents and in self-help books, that any semblance of what one's life could hypothetically be, or what might have happened or could have happened had things been different -- none of that is interesting anymore. Those are just the stories of other people's lives, and frankly those aren't the ones I tend to read.

This year February feels like a placeholder for a time when I should be feeling something different. There's a misdirection here. I'm happy. I'm in love. I'm in school. I'm working. I'm learning things I want to learn. Shit happens and sometimes it's not fun. The difference between the things I've actually learned as a diabetic, versus the things I've often said I've learned; that's the story that still needs writing. But this time I don't want it to be about me. Or even about diabetes. It's about a word or a place I don't know yet but I definitely want to go.

I won't lie, though: there is a small part of me that always secretly wished a little leprechaun would surprise me on my tenth anniversary with a pot of...insulin? No, that's not it. Maybe I just hoped that one day my pancreas would show up at my doorstep like a long-lost son, and we'd embrace.

Hey, it could happen.

10 comments:

gteamhj said...

It definitely could, that pancreas. But I think it's a girl...
Love to my girl from someone for whom this date also marks a change. I believe the leprachaun has something up her sleeve, and it will happen -- just maybe not on February 10. xxx

Susy said...

Wow; that's the only word that comes to mind. I knew your writing was good but this good - I didn't realize. Not that I wish a 10th anniversary of this nature on you, but damn you nailed it with what's past and best of all, what's still to come in directions we can only imagine. I'm sending this to a friend who heard the The Endless Pump. She will be amazed and all too empathetic.

miss J. said...

Thanks for your kind words - they mean a lot. Team HJ has been instrumental in taking on diabetes with me. It's funny how numbers and days mean things, isn't it? In a way today was so anticlimactic. I feel a bit like making one of those t-shirts that reads "I've been diabetic for ten years and all I got was some shitty sugar-free candy," or something along those lines.

Thanks for reading!

Bev said...

Dear Julia,
What beautiful and rich writing; it's so compelling to read! And it makes me happy to hear how you're doing. (I certainly still remember your 2/10/01...can't believe that was 10 years ago!)

Hugs to you,

Bev

miss J. said...

Hi Bev, thank you for your nice words. I appreciate your support over the years and it means a lot to me and my family. Thank you.

Hope you are well. :)

Jake said...

Ironically I'm low as I read and write this...but as always you are incredibly articulate and write so beautifully! It's so nice to have someone else be able to articulate things I feel. Love you!!! :)

Jake said...

AAhh..it just posted me as "Jake" for some reason...but this is Mary!

miss J. said...

Jake/Mary: I love you both! Thank you for being such an amazing resource and friend. x

L. said...

10 years ... 20 years .... 30 years ... we keep on keepin on, right? If your pancreas were here right now, I'd give him a hug too. xo, a girl nearing the 25-year mark (aka Leanne. ps CONGRATS on pulling together what sounds like a _fabulous_ literary event! That's what it's all about.)

miss J. said...

I miss you Leanne! Congrats (is that the right word?) on 25 years. You are amazing and I miss you. Our little reading series is chugging...

Hope you are well, darlin!