My mom used to call having cancer her “alternate universe.” Most of the time that she was sick, it didn’t feel real. And now that she’s gone, things feel incredibly upside-down. There’s this overwhelming sense of “This is not how things are supposed to be.”
A few weeks ago, I went to see Into the Spider-verse after coincidentally having started Russian Doll that same weekend. Both have alternate timelines and a sense of loss and tragedy pervades each of them. Now that my mom is gone, I feel like a character in an alternate timeline movie or television show - that somehow, in another universe that’s running parallel to this one, my mom is still here. And we still do all of the normal things we did together - birthday celebrations, brunch on Sundays, big life events. My family and I still have those things, but they feel hollow and incomplete. Right now, it feels like I’m waiting to discover the mission I need to take to get back to a timeline where my mom is still here, and our lives are not the saddest version of what it could be.
About a month ago (against my better judgment), I went on a perfectly fine date with a guy. We talked about our families, as one does, but the best part of the date was that, for a few hours, I got to pretend like my mom was still alive. This guy didn’t know the traumatic experience I had just been through (I mean let’s be real, that I’m still going through), and there was no reason to tell him. For that night, I got to channel the timeline I so desperately want to be in. The one where my mom is still here, and I still get to talk about her in the present tense. Where I would wake up to a call or text from her telling me what time they were picking me up for brunch, and what new place in Greenpoint she was excited to try.
Instead, I now have a giant, gaping hole in my life, a potentially unethical reason for going on dates and as of yesterday morning, and an ill-advised (expensive) membership to Equinox (one in a series of desperate attempts to keep myself literally constantly moving).
And, if I must be honest (since now would be an odd time to stop, given how the nature of a blog often requires you to be forthcoming), I was out of town last weekend and haven’t made much progress on my knitting, but here we are anyway.