I think in themes, webs, and archetypes. Facts fall into place in patterns, or are promptly forgotten. All I experience is painted into the big picture so it may be interpreted. And 99.9% of the time, this does me not one bit of good whatsoever. But I can’t help it.
Superstorm Sandy itself and all the varied, unprecedented experiences related and unrelated since, must hold some secret meaning. Everything is a thing. For instance, there’s been a weird air-going-out thing. Why have I had two flat tires and four deflating air mattresses? Why are they always mine and not Steve’s? What does it mean? Is anything else deflating? Am I deflating?
And there must have been some message Sandy was trying to spit out a week and a half after she gulped down both our cars. On the day we arranged to have them towed we found ourselves at the police station reporting my plates stolen and Steve’s entire car stolen. Though they weren’t, as we’d soon discover. They had merely been swallowed once more, this time into the belly of the bureaucratic beast. Stolen, but not stolen. What did it mean?
Wait. It’s a car thing! Cars are about moving forward! Do we need to go forth in some way, Steve and I? How? Where? Cars are speaking to us, and they are not making small talk, either. First our vehicles were drowned; then enough of each was seized, in separate, unrelated incidents and by the same entity, to make any payout impossible; shortly after, the battery died on our borrowed car right when our drowning was draining back home at a most inopportune time; then, after one and a half months of daily phone calls, forms, and faxes, I got a new car and two flat tires within two weeks. After the second I howled, out of sheer frustration and mounting malice, “Why can’t someone with a HOUSE get a flat tire?” In the third week of my lease, as my car enjoyed a few hours of being parked not in the shop, a $600 assault on its bumper occurred. On the fourth weekend of our storied relationship, my Mini’s sidelight blinker in its casing shook loose on the LIE and began to flap back and forth, slapping the passenger door silly before flinging itself into the woods.
Hold on. Now things were getting drowned, stolen then not stolen, repeatedly deflated, and mysteriously dislodged? My theme was unraveling. But then also, my cell phone and computer died. The house where I was staying lost electricity only in the two rooms where we slept and bathed. Back at our house, the electric main suddenly came to life at that previously mentioned most inopportune time. Do I have an electric thing? I always did. Perhaps it was intensifying?
Did my new cell phone not accepting any apps for three weeks have to do with this, or was that a new theme? My Apple ID randomly un-registering? And my email account was corrupted…twice! Plus two different gift cards given me by two different cousins have taken weeks and in some cases, months, of communication between my dear cousins, the issuer, and me, in order to be rendered serviceable (one still is not). Oh, and also my credit card number was used to purchase a slew of cell phones in Lichtenburg.
OK, I embellished with the city, but you believed it, didn’t you. The thief actually made a rather unromantic online purchase. But it happened, last week. I swear to God.
Now, the sewage. Three times now, it has backed up into our basement abode. I have had to discard urine-soaked shoes I had so heroically saved from Sandy. I have entertained the political ruminations of the Roto Rooter guy for four hours as poop goop sprayed all over our one-room bedroom/living room/kitchen. I have scraped it off the wall next to my air mattress with such fervor my fingernails went through the paper towel. I then hastened to clip those fingernails only to discover that somewhere along the line I’d become that dragon-lady lady! Who has time to groom? What do my toenails look like? Why don’t I know? Oh God—does anyone else know?
Back to the sewage. Maybe the poo is not thematic. Maybe it’s the water and I’ve come full circle! It all really does mean something! Something wet. But what?
I am one day out of crap-encrusted walls and I’ve decided, poop renders meaning meaningless. All of it does. There is nothing to interpret here.
Take care of it. Then tell the story. That is the theme. It connects every incident, and it always works! Be, do, tell, in that order. The telling, for me, is the therapy! And I always learn something in the process. Sure, there are connections to make, themes to be found, and lots of learning to come. But I vow to not torture myself trying to find the why. It can come find me, in any form it wants to take.