Friday, March 24, 2017

The Screaming Place

So, when things are going particularly crappy, I take the dogs and walk a couple of blocks to the hills behind our house.
I let the dogs off of their leashes, and I start to climb the hill.

And, I have to stop a few times because it's steep, and I'm sometimes crying.
I get to the steepest part, and I stop because it's steep, and my calves are burning, and I need to catch my breath from the climbing and the crying.
All the while, the dogs are having a blast.

Finally, I get to the top.
I look around and catch my breath again. Then, I scream.
Or, I try to scream.

But, I can't.
I can't scream.
It's not because I haven't caught my breath.
It's not because I'm still crying (although, my throat is tight and my face is puffy and my eyes are swollen).
It's because I just can't scream.
I feel like I'm not allowed. That's appropriate for someone else to do. There's no reason for me to be throwing my little fit. I'm a failure. I am so lucky and shouldn't be feeling sorry for myself. In the words of the wonderful songstress, Emily Saliers, "there's not enough room in this world for my pain." Who do I think I am, anyway?
It's a real shit storm of brain gymnastics that happens at the top of the hill - all the while, I feel like my chest is about to cave in, and my fingernails are digging into the skin on my palms.

Then, I let out a preliminary cough-like thing. And another. And another. They each get progressively louder until - finally it erupts like an animal growl-scream. Not a piercing teen-aged girl thing, but an angry, guttural, forceful mess of a howl.
Christ. I can't even scream right.
So, I try it again. Maybe a third time. But, now I'm tired.
Just trying to get it to come out has exhausted me.

On a "lucky" day, like earlier this week, the wind has whipped up around me, and my "scream" is lost in the gusts. Nobody in the homes below knows that I've momentarily lost it.
Then, I sit down on a rock, and hold my head in my hands while I sob.

Then, I get up, try to breathe through my stuffy nose, and pick my way through the loose rocks as I make my way back down the hill.
I leash up the dogs as we reach the street, and I return home to make dinner.