Benigni and I
I haven’t written much lately, because I’ve been wrestling with a funk. And not in the Bootsy Collins, shake-yo-thang sort of way. The post-divorce therapy has helped me navigate the setbacks when they come one or two at a time, but every once in a while I feel like I’m standing on the parapet of the Hornburg, and the ladderfuls of Uruk-hai are mounting the walls, and I’m not sure I have enough Elven archers to keep them at bay.
[Non-nerds may now commence Googling.]
The thing about funks is that they’re really good gateways to wallowing. But wallowing is a luxury not afforded the single parent. This is especially true at this point in my life, when I’m working freelance and taking care of my boys every afternoon. When they’re at school or with Moxie, I have to use the crucial time to get work done, but if I let myself wallow, I’ll kill the whole day medicating my brain with “Mr. Show” DVDs.
And when the kids are with me, I have to cast myself in the sequel to “La vita è bella,” even when la vita ain’t really all that bella. You have to do whatever it takes to wall off the dismay and engage with them, and damn it if that isn’t one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
Then, of course, while you’re playing with your kids on the floor, hip-deep in chess pieces and LEGOS and arts and crafts, your five-year-old son will show you the Valentine he just made and say, “I love Valentine’s Day, because a heart upside-down is a butt.” And you will realize that the ones you are trying to protect from your funk are the best candidates to pull you out of it.