I can’t watch anymore right now, Mr. Armitage. As beautiful and fine and graceful and wonderful as you are, I just–can’t. Call it jealousy, because there is certainly an element of that, jealousy and longing and a certain amount of anguish.
Everyone says you were amazing in performance, and gracious and sweet and even more handsome in person, none of which I find surprising. I have long believed in your talent and in your character (not to mention your masculine beauty) and nothing has shaken that for me. I don’t think anything ever will.
What I am having difficulty dealing with is how miserable I continue to feel during this long, miserable winter, how even this latest performance of yours could not lift me from this awful funk. I’ve tried, I really have.
But I am weary of the false smiles I plaster on and trying to spread a degree of cheer and positivity I don’t really feel. I am tired of pretending I’m OK when it’s becoming more and more clear to me that something is broken or damaged inside.
This is the third night in a row I’ve burst into tears for no apparent reason. They started flowing earlier much tonight, before I attempted to go to bed (note I say “attempted,” because the cold has been making me hurt so much I couldn’t rest, and Benny’s snores were either louder than usual, or my nerves were more raw than usual).
“Why didn’t you just go to the other bedroom?” I am sure some might wonder. Because it has been cold and we have no central heat and it’s warmer with two people in a bed, that’s why. Tonight we finally gave up, both being exhausted, and I am here with a space heater and a mound of covers over me, wishing I had those damned fingerless gloves . . . I’d type a little faster to warm them up, only the stupid computer can’t keep up the pace.
I want to improve myself, to take some art classes and brush up on my skills, some beginner yoga classes to help this aggravating body, but the truth is, I just can’t afford to do any of it, Rich.
Benny would also like to eat something besides peanut butter and bologna sandwiches everyday for lunch, but that’s not happening, either. He hates his job, I know he does, but with nothing, absolutely nothing on the books for the video production company, we can’t afford for him to quit.
We are behind in almost all our bills. I do a lot of robbing of Peter to pay Paul. “What can we do without the least?”
I wish I could bring in more income. I’ve sold as many of my baubles as I could online; mounting a yard sale is a lot of work but at least it would rid me of some of this stuff which only burdens me all the more. The house is now way too much for me to handle. I hang on to things I shouldn’t. I don’t know why.
I want to write fiction, but I can’t seem to get my thoughts collected well enough to do it. Do I have adult-onset ADD? Not that there’s any guarantee I’d make a dime from it, anyway. And that’s what I need–cold, hard CASH.
I also need to be creative, but I keep running into brick walls. I desperately need to go away somewhere, anywhere–but damn it, my car is too old and run down and I can’t afford the gas. I keep dreaming of journeys, to where I don’t know, traveling by foot and car, by train, plane . . . but I never seem to arrive.
People grouse, but truthfully, they should never take a job or a regular salary for granted. I can understand why you’ve had that fear about being out of work, Richard. Two-plus years of it is beginning to get to me. I feel–useless, worthless. And sometimes hungry. That romantic idea of the artist in the garret is just a lot of balderdash, isn’t it? The reality is quite another thing.
I’m starting to dread going on FB. I am so weary of hearing about other people’s vacations, their nights dining out, their new acquisitions–actually, the latter doesn’t bother me so much. Stuff is just–stuff. I have already established I have too much of it.
But getting to go new places and see new things with my husband, that is what I miss. I look at my future and it looks so bleak to me right now–financial woes, worsening health. Maybe I will get disability, something to keep me afloat. How long will it take, though? Could be years. Another battle to fight, and I am getting so tired.
Nothing to really look forward to. I can’t help the people and institutions I want to help, including the charities you support, Mr. A, because of finances and logistics. Useless. I feel useless.
And I have so little self-confidence left, not that I was ever brimming over with it, mind you. I haven’t even been asked to write another column or article for the local paper. They can’t spare that measly $10 for me? I am not even worth that? Oh, man, the humiliation I feel . . .
You did look wonderful on stage, Richard, and I really wish I could have been there to take it all in. I wish you could be here now and tell me not to give up, maybe give me a reassuring hug. Tell me that no matter how I feel right now, Benny and my family would actually be worse off without me.
Right now, I just don’t think so.
And so I cry. At that, it seems, I am really good.