Waterproof Mascara

I think most days in the past few months I have felt like I’m watching myself do things as if I’m an audience in the most terrible play. I am saying things, doing things, feeling things (and sharing those feelings) in ways and with people I never would have considered before all this started. Every night I lay in bed and think of all the things I said and did that day that just weren’t me. It’s like there’s an invisible force shoving my sensibilities aside to make room for a weak, ugly, pitiable thing that cowers in the corner and craves attention. Protection. Affection. She’s frightened, and she’s lonely….but she’s also not me.

Somehow, after months of pushing out of this pathetic rut, I’m back in the world of waterproof mascara. I cry again. A lot. The kind of tears that actually hurt when you squeeze them out.

Sometimes it’s because I’m afraid: Afraid of the pain that is coming. Afraid of how I will feel, how I will look…or, perhaps more worrisome, how the way people feel for and look at me will change.

Sometimes it is self-pity that seeps out of the corners of my eyelids as I desperately try to rest them night after sleepless night. Is it fair? No, probably not. But, fair or not, it is here. It is a demon. It is a curse. Or, it is a gift. It is a choice I have that the others didn’t.
It is something, that’s for sure.

  • Sure, it’s poor timing. Really, though, is there ever a good time to be sick?
  • Sure, it makes for a complicated existence. Complete with tense love scenes and questionable motives by everyone involved.
  • Sure, it will be painful and scary and possibly even someday kill me.
  • Sure, people will leave because they’re scared.
  • Sure, people will stay because they feel guilty.

But for now, tonight, in one of many sleepless nights to have passed, and undoubtedly infinitely more to come, I have to remind myself that the only person I can control is myself…even if that seems to be, on the most basic and fundamental level, a daunting task in and of itself most days. I cannot expect anything of anyone but myself. I cannot rely, nor depend on anyone to be there, in any way other than the ways in which they choose.

I am alone. But if you ask the real me, that is most certainly the way I prefer to be.


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