7/29/02 Thirteen months ago, Tessa


Thirteen months ago, Tessa and I took the exact same trip that we took today: from the bowels of Cleveland, across Pennsylvania, to home in Manhattan. Of course, back then we were returning from Neal Lerner’s heart surgery, about to meet up with a crowd in Stephentown for Labor Day, and the horrors of the week after that (9/11) were yet to happen. On our trip in 2001, we were barely decompressed from the problem-plagued Pink House shoot, and we had one of our worst fights, lasting about 200 miles on the road and leading Tessa to swerve over to the side of the highway, nearly flipping the car over.

I’m pleased to say that no fight happened on our way home this time, only more rain, rancorously-pleasing gossip, and soul-divining headrubs. I’m also pleased to say we don’t live in Manhattan anymore, and that Stephentown is unnecessary when we have the farm in Columbia County. We’re also engaged now, which, truth be told, was something I began to mull on that trip last year (fights notwithstanding). We’re in such a different “place,” to use therapist’s parlance, and yet so much seems the same to me.

I’m still unemployed, Tessa’s still freaked out about the money, our company hangs on a fulcrum, and the movie is still in need of finishing funds. My deviated septum is still keeping me up at night, the book proposal is unrealized, and the Chopes is still awfully cute. In effect, I pushed a major “pause” button on certain aspects of my life, even as other major events continued to unfold.

Life is strange about “stuff” things can be left in a box that once seemed very important, and after six weeks or so, they become irrelevant. There are hospital bills you need to pay, and they go to a collection agency, and soon enough, you never hear about them again. There are drugs you are sure would cure you, and then you stop taking them and get better anyway. The transience and impermanence of so many things leads me to ask: how do the Buddhists get anything done? Or, more importantly, why do the Buddhists get anything done?

It seems the only thing I have kept up in this past year – besides the happiness of my betrothed and the unemployment claims is this blog itself. I’ve posted here every night since April 10, since I first went on Celexa and decided that the 1/2 hour or so before I sleep would be spent documenting my existence, proving to myself that I was and am. Like looking at your own name in the phone book, sometimes you need proof that you are regarded, you know? And there is one thing I can take away from today’s trip: it is truly time for action.

The Celexa’s already workin’, ma! Tessa and me at the Napa croquet fields on my first day on the drug

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