You know how scientists can tell when a volcano is about to erupt? Well I can do the same thing for my sense of wellbeing– meaning I can usually tell when I’m about to take a death spiral into agoraphobic mania. Here are the latest warning signs:
- I tried to leave my house yesterday.
2. Then I tried to find a particular book and it took half an hour for me to summon the energy to ask for help and it was all. for. nothing.
If I were a mythical creature I would be a cave troll. I don’t want to go out in the light, I just want to hunker down in a pile of familiarity and grunt at anyone who tries to ask me questions. My house has everything I need: an internet connection, an Amazon prime delivery address, and a bathroom where I can plug in a space heater, fill the bath with epsom salt and cocoon myself in darkness like I’m trying to reenter the womb.
The only problem with using a space heater year round is that I frequently flip the breaker. The other morning I didn’t realize I’d knocked out the power until I tried to turn my curling iron on.
“Why is electricity not happening,” I yelled.
I tried the plug next to the Keurig but it didn’t work either. Clearly the Keurig also needed a rescue, so I cradled it against my body and continued my quest for a working outlet. I hadn’t put my contacts in yet so I was squinting at everything while bumping into doorways and tripping over shoes. I realized the fan on Alex’s side of the bed was still working so I stooped down to plug the curling iron next to it. I was rewarded with a blinking power light, letting me know I had 90 seconds until it was hot enough to leave a Greenland-shaped burn mark on my forehead.
My triumph was short-lived as I tried to figure out where to set the soon-to-be-scalding curling iron. I hesitated over the antique cedar chest, my panicked brain still functioning well enough to know this was a bad idea, but not well enough to keep me from trying to balance it on top of the oscillating fan. I perched it atop the stainless steel caging and watched as it immediately slipped, became tangled, and swung dangerously close to my face.
Alex waited in the doorway, unmoving.
“I’m just going to stand here and watch this,” he said.
I continued to struggle with the curling iron as it swung in suspension. I reached for it but kept having to pull my hand back to avoid the hot end.
“I can’t see anything,” I yelled. “This is why I’m going to die in the apocalypse.”
Alex narrowed his eyes.
“Is this what it’s going to be like on Tuesday and Wednesday while I’m out of town?”
I forgot he was going on a business trip for the days leading up to my own trip to BlogU in DC. Suddenly all the impending doom and fear of human contact became even more dire. I looked up at him/maybe a chair piled with dirty clothes.
“Yes,” I whispered.
He nodded as if he already knew what was going to happen.
“Nothing here works,” he said, doing his best Aussa impression. “We have to move. I found a new place to go where stuff works except I can’t leave the house.”
My reclusiveness is at war with my feminism. On the one hand I want to be a warrior who handles her own shit and doesn’t need anyone’s help. On the other hand, I needed Alex to drive half an hour to come ask a second bookstore employee to help me find a book. He always asks how I managed to backpack all over the world by myself and I’m not really sure. The only thing I can figure is that I’ve always been this insane, I just didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. So, if you really think about it, all of this is his fault.
Now I feel better.
What makes YOU feel panicky? Do you hate going out in public? Can you fix me?