I have no idea what normal is, nor do I have a good measure on my emotions. For years, I drank myself out of them. Much less was it about avoiding sadness or pain, much more was it about not feeling anything at all. My best idea is oblivion, the absence of all emotions. In my hierarchy of feelings, excitement and elation are no better than fear or failure. They are all equally uncomfortable even though some are more familiar than others. Meeting them and rolling with them, both the lows and the highs, are a new exercise in managing what for me is the unmanageable.
Writing, it seems, helps.
I went from elation, to love, to loss, to regret, to resignation, to lust all in the scope of a few pieces. In two days and two nights work in two pieces, He, Not Absolute Me and All That’s Left is Lust, I came through an uncomfortable ending of a five-year lingering flame and it was in completing those two pieces that I experienced closure. I went from raw to relieved. What I discovered in completing them was that my feelings, my extraordinary and uncomfortable feelings, were anything but unusual.
“Peter, everyone can relate to that” my muse reassured me.
“They can?” I asked.
“Of course!” she laughed. “We’ve all gone from ‘you chose the wrong person’ to ‘it doesn’t matter. I just wanted you for sex.’ That’s a completely normal experience.”
What’s abnormal about it is I didn’t know I’m normal. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.