Swing Low

Guess who is out for the very first time on their own since having a hysterectomy? Me! And it feels amazing. I walked three whole blocks to the nearest café with wireless internet all by myself. It hurts a little, but I think it is worth it, considering that all this time spent sitting on my butt in bed watching "What Not To Wear" and "Three's Company" had put me squarely in my fat pants again.

I am not sure what to do with myself. I mean, I can write and knit and make comics (yes, there will be more than just the first one) and watch television and go for the occasional beer or lunch, but now that a little less of my energy is spent on the physical healing process, these things just do not fill the time like they used to. Now I actually have some energy left over for thinking, and it everything else has begun to feel hollow in comparison. All I want to do is crawl back into my cave of cushioning diversions in which I have retreated for the last few weeks, but this brain of mine keeps intruding with thoughts.

Brain: You've been through a lot, haven't you?

Schmutzie: Shut up.

Brain: Don't downplay it, now. This is what you always do, but it doesn't mean it's not important.

Schmutzie: I already know that, Brain, but I don't want to talk about it. It hurts.

Brain: Of course it does. Things that suck as bad as cancer and hysterectomies are supposed to hurt. That's how you know that God hates you.

Schmutzie: Hello! I have a remarkable lack of stupid over here. And stop trying to be funny. You're not good at it.

Brain: Okay, but look, you've got to deal with this. Didn't you break down crying two nights ago because you felt an overwhelming helplessness, a betrayal by the Universe itself?

Schmutzie: Yeah. You're right. I hate it, but you're right. Wanna watch "That 70s Show"? I think they're running four episodes back to back!

Brain: Sweet jeebus. [smacks itself in the limbic lobe]

I cannot run far from Brain, so I guess I will just have to keep breaking down and having occasional paroxysms of existential dread and alienation. In the midst of a fit of tears, I will suddenly be filled with a terrible sense of betrayal. It is as though the Universe has become other; when once I was a cog in its works, I am now apart from it. It is one thing to be alone in the Universe, and it is quite another to feel set completely aside from it. This is a non-rational, emotional reaction to my situation, but I cannot shake it.


I have not just simply lost an organ. I have lost what cohesion I sensed my body had, the physical self that it took me decades to tacitly accept, and with these things, my sense of self in relation to my life as it has been. I have felt cast adrift since I was two years old, but this is a whole new level of cast adrift. This feels like floating out on cold water after all the continents have been subsumed by the ocean floor.

As strange as it sounds, this also feels somewhat hopeful. Part of me acknowledges that because what I assumed was so firmly established left so easily, there must be something else for me. There always is, I know that rationally, but I can still feel it despite my sense of loss and being lost.

All the same, I resist change like I am being forced into chattel slavery by the greater Universe.

So, I hang in this tenuous balance of knowing and not knowing, feeling betrayed and trusting that there is more.

#761: Apparently, Schmutzie's Schmoozy

#759: In Which I Give Away Free Advertising Because I Love Her Wares This Much