My mind has been a total circus lately. I woke up on Tuesday with a deep gash in my leg from my own thumbnail. It sent me into a spin: If I can't keep my own nails trimmed, I thought, how will I take care of a baby and trim her nails and how do you even bathe them? Aren't they slippery? And what about those little suction-y things? And why have people given me mitts? And what if I can't hear her crying? And what about when she gets older and glares at me over uneaten-quinoa across the kitchen table? What if she says she hates me?
I spent the rest of the day wandering around in a wrinkled dress trying to figure out how I could be thirty-four years old and still believe that wrinkles just magically fall out of clothes.
Yesterday's anxiety was more generalized. I took an early walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was gorgeous, and the sky was so blue, and the city so perfect, and What, I kept thinking, is the purpose of life? Why do we write and love and grasp and grapple, and all day I was coming up empty handed. Students came in and out of my office. One told me a story of her estranged father reattaching the neck of a tiny ceramic goose he had given her mother years earlier. Maybe that's it, I thought. Or maybe the way this light's coming in; or this kick from the baby; or this perfect peach.
By the time I left the office and was walking to yoga, my mom called back. I had left a message that I had two questions.
Her: What's up, girly?
Me: Hey momma. How do you get rid of a sty?
Her: Warm, moist heat.
Me: Great. Thanks. Okay. What's the purpose of life?
Her: Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.
Me: I thought you might say that.
We hung up, and I went to yoga where I fell into a deep and peaceful sleep and woke up only to eat an Organic Oreo.
So, folks, my mother's weighed in--though she may change her tune now (I was kidding! Do you think they'll know I was kidding!?!)--I need more. Purpose of life, please.