I am in a beautiful house in Oakland, looking up at clouds that seem heavy with rain, across rooftop patios with barbecue pits and lawn chairs, down into a garden with various vegetables growing (can't tell what from here). It is quiet but for upstairs feet moving around with the anonymity of neighbors you haven't met yet and may not meet. This is the most I have been alone in three weeks and the most space I have had to be alone in, and it is strange and nice and reflective.
Today I went for hypnotherapy because I was curious what it would be like. What it is like is how it has been described to me, basically. I cried continuously through it because I tend to cry when I let other people close to my emotions; it's not a sad thing, it's just how my tear ducts respond to things crossing my emotional barbed wire. So I was in a room, or rather I was to find myself in a room where I felt safe and warm and comfortable etc., but as much as I wanted a room with velvet pillows and the three-inch thick rug I'd recently sunk my grateful toes into at my friend's apartment, These Things Are Not Practical. If I had the things that make me feel cozy I'd be fidgeting and cleaning them all the time; it would not be a soft warm space because I am not a soft warm person. I am maybe more functionalist than cozy or something. I tried but I kept winding up at what appeared to be my sister's opium den, I mean it was a lovely place to visit but it wasn't mine, and eventually I had to tell the poor hypnotherapist, who looked a lot like Julianne Moore, that I couldn't do it. She told me I could have a magical self-cleaning room and that was very nice of her, but those things are not REAL and what I wound up thinking mainly was that this is my problem, that I can't even IMAGINE pretty things without going all irritated and practical on myself. I even find it irritating in others, when their fantasies just won't work in reality, like why are they wasting so much time on this foolishness.
Still, I thought that the therapy in general was good, at least as relaxing as a very good massage (and about the same price, so). The take-away message, as I understand it right now, was that it is okay to take some pride in the things about me that I didn't consciously make, which is a hard thing for me because it seems too much like vanity, frankly, but apparently somebody down inside me wants me to have a bit more vanity than we currently do, so maybe I'll try that out for a bit and see.
What else? I keep getting lost, I mean like really entirely lost, which is ridiculous because I used to live here. I can't even be scared about it; it's more like amusing and awkward.
Last time things hurt a lot more. Maybe next time I'll be entirely numb, I think, and that sounds pretty good, and then I think: but then what's the point? If there's no potential for pleasure, even if there is no potential for pain, then what is the purpose of opening oneself at all? If not this, if not that, then what. But then there are moments of pleasure in amongst the sharpness and the numbness, so it is not like shutting down entirely. I think it is better to think of it like a museum, where time is short and so what is lovely is lingered at and what is unlovely is passed and in this way we go through, looking and skipping and looking. I'm working on it.