Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pasta: It's What's for Dinner (and breakfast, and lunch, too!

compulsive, adjective, resulting from or relating to an irresistible urge.

For years, I've described my personality as compulsive--whether or not that is the appropriate word for it. All I know is that I fixate on things, dwell on things for too long. If I discover a song I like, I listen to it every chance I get. If I'm wondering about wedding photography
, I spend all day on the web researching. If I find that I love the way chicken salad tastes in a pita, I eat it every day for a month. I don't really ever get sick of these things, either. They just eventually fade upon the arrival of a new obsession, a new focus for my compulsion. Instead, I get really in to turkey sandwiches and soup, or I decide to sing along to Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" on repeat instead of Feist's cover of "Inside and Out." (Have now returned to the later. I missed it. I'll listen to it 18 times between now and 5 o'clock.) I like "compulsive" because it suggests a lack of method to its little bit of madness.

But I only like it when I get to push "repeat." I don't like it when current life situation forces me to COMPULSIVELY eat pasta for every meal of the day. Or when it forces me to wear the same black sweater and black flats with holes in the toes to work everyday. And to take you on a drastic turn, I hate the feeling of dread I experience that every passing day only means it's one more giant red "X" on my grandmother's mental calendar. I can't stop thinking about how she must be ticking the days off like an old rusty alarm clock. Begging for one of the bent arms to suddenly snap off and stop moving forward. A silenced alarm. No "snooze" button. When I see her, despite her calm, I know she's wishing for toothpicks to prop her eyes open so she'll never have to sleep, never have to miss a moment of what little time she has left. I'd rather push "pause" or "fastforward" over these parts. Instead they play over and over again in slow motion, where all the faces become distorted with pain and meaningless arguments over what no one can (or will ever) remember.

And I'm left feeling tired and drained. Not hungry for pasta, or Jay-Z or even wedding planning. Empty and blank, just wishing that ticking clock would break.

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