When I'm overwhelmed my brain has an odd habit of latching onto a phrase and repeating it over and over again, like I'm sinking and those words are the only thing that will keep me afloat. Today I thought, "My head feels like it's going to explode. It just might." Those last three words ran circles in my head, taunting me. "It just might. It just might." It felt like the prequel to a migraine, right before losing the ability to see noses. But the migraine never came and I eventually drowned the words out in coffee and curses.
We're two people short this week. Our receptionist, absentee extraordinaire, has been out since last Tuesday. She screwed up her back while lifting a milk jug out of her car. A MILK JUG. You have to hand it to her. She gets an "A" for originality. Next time I want to take a vacation, I think I'm going to have an unfortunate orange juicing accident. Maybe I'll be squeezing one and it'll fly out of my hand and hit me in the head, giving me a concussion. You know, the kind of brain trauma that can only be cured with sun and a bottle rum. Yo-ho!
The other employee, a friend as well as my mentor, is out because her Mom is in the hospital with heart problems. As much as it sucks to have her gone, I wish she'd stay away from work for awhile. She rushes around all day taking care of personal stuff, only to come in later and work long hours. She says, "I'm fine." She's not. She smiles like she has cancer of the soul. "Oh, she's so stoic," they say around the coffee pot. It breaks my heart. Why is this favorable? Why do we praise people who don't "burden" us with their emotions?
This same employee disappeared for a hysterectomy two years ago. No one knew where she went, or what for. Just that we weren't supposed to care... or send flowers. No flowers? For some reason that struck me the most. Even the dead get flowers. She came back four months later, a little sadder than when she'd left, and everyone pretended like nothing had happened. I wanted to throw her a party. Like, "Yay, you have so much room in there now! We should eat CAKE." But stoic people don't get parties I guess. Which makes me think, I'd rather cry. I'd rather they feel uncomfortable, damn it.
Maybe my head will explode...
It just might.