Written March 2, 2018
The Times is sent to my phone. Now, almost three years later, almost I feel nothing. Every Wednesday since the first Wednesday it has arrived with a message. The first Wednesday was not the worst. All Wednesdays brought terrible news, but the worst was months later. The worst Wednesday is a moment I will draw upon if I’m ever an actor on stage who needs the perfect instant cry. I don’t save it. I wish it wasn’t there. I don’t mean to keep it around. I think maybe it is just something that will always be there. Then there was an email that was even worse than a Wednesday. The felony. What does it mean to be charged with a felony? I was alone when I got that email. On my way to spend a hopeful, healing weekend with a dear friend, stopped in a construction zone, eager to learn of any news that would change my fate, I checked my phone. The news was not good, and I wish the mountains had swallowed up my avenue to reality completely. Charged with five additional misdemeanors and a felony. The drive was long and painful. When service was available I called Ashley. We sat on the phone silent, in awe. That drive was one of the strangest drives of my life. In dead zones I was all alone. I was desperate for the internet, desperate to learn what a felony charge meant in the context of my life. Desperate to connect with Ashley again, to anchor somehow. We must have made twenty failed calls back and forth to each other in those three hours. Ashley walked every step of this hell with me. I thought I could go away for the weekend but nothing made sense. I had no strength, no sense of reality, no sense of hope. Every moment consumed with the reality and the disbelief that this could happen to anyone. And then on that drive, which was not a Wednesday, another blow. A sucker punch that sent me to the ground again and kicked and kicked. My insides were raw. I can feel a glimpse of it now just writing about it, thinking about it. It’s a heaviness and pit that is impossible to explain.
Almost I feel nothing now when the Times arrives. And then instantly I feel the anxiety but I wonder if I feel it because I wondered if I felt it, or if it’s really there. Will Wednesdays ever not jolt me back? Then I’m thoughtful about it all. Every Wednesday. I could stop my subscription to the Times of course, if I wanted to ignore the tether. I know this. But I don’t ignore it. I have considered cutting the rope to all of it. But there’s some deep piece of me that refuses to forget, and refuses to ignore. That’s what this writing is about. That’s what I need to write most.
I’ll tell you everything.
Wednesdays. Now they’ll be different. Now that I’ve told you. Now I’ll think of this moment one month short of three years later when tears flood non-stop as I type, and Ashley brings me kleenex and wine, and Paul Simon blairs from our speakers on the twelfth floor of our new lives.