A year and a half after promising to emerge from unintentional and occasional but still neglectful hiding, followed by sudden, self-imposed and seemingly permanent blog exile, I appear to have returned. What can it mean? Why would la bohémienne have been satisfied to navel gaze in solitude all of this time, and then, without warning (to herself or to others), feel a need to share all that lint with all and sundry once more?

There is only one possible explanation.

I crave attention. Your attention. The need has never fully disappeared. It was there, lurking barely beneath the surface, waiting to emerge when my attention was elsewhere. Angst doesn’t go away, not really. It just hides, and attacks when defenses are low. And now, I feel as vulnerable to that attack as I have in many months.

If I must be honest (must I?), I secretly enjoy that vulnerability. It seems to me that every grand and intense experience occurs when I feel least able to handle the consequences. That seems a fair trade-off to a self-identified drama queen.

So here I am, ready to verbally wring my hands and wail my confusion in (anonymous) public once more. I do hope that you will accept this implied apology. I know that I’ve taken you for granted, and I really don’t deserve a second chance. I know you, though, and your legendary generosity. If you take me back, believe me, read me, tell me you love me, I promise to be faithful to you, only you, only all of you.

Or at least occasionally amuse you with my not-so-quiet desperation.

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Emerge

January 6, 2008

Hiding under the bed, I became used to dust bunnies in my nostrils, and weird shiny bits of paper occasionally floating by me. Still, it was generally warm and, the main point of being there, quiet. Once, a pair of fuzzy-slippered feet hesitated not far from my nose, and there was a distant and muffled noise that just might have been my name being called. It’s hard to say… I’ve rather forgotten the sound of my name. There were the right number of syllables. I think.

Another time, a wee mousie scurried under my bent knees, on his way somewhere more interesting and less encumbered by my presence.  Even had it been moving more slowly, slowly enough to make eye contact before disappearing beyond the short range of my dimming vision, I’m not sure I would have invited it to stay. I had little if any conversation left in me, and what else does one offer a wee mousie, when one is hiding under the bed?

Generally, I spent my time humming quietly to myself, solving word problems that I set for myself, in my head… very simple ones, of course. I wasn’t there to expand my intellect, after all. Once in a while, I would squint my eyes to examine whether my fingernails had become too long, and if so, I would chew calmly on them until all was right again. I was content, as content as one should be with no disturbing view of the outside world, no distracting opportunity to flex muscles, no annoying food or water, no… well, no bathroom facilities.

Honestly, it was this last that motivated me, finally, to emerge. The necessities of life and human contact can’t be avoided forever, apparently. First I stretched out my right arm, and wiggled my fingers beyond the shadow of the mattress. The air felt a little cool, but bearable. I waited for a while, for possible negative side effects or consequences. Nothing. Nothing touched my fingers, no one yelled in sudden, frightening awareness of my re-emergence. I waited longer. Finally, I began to shuffle my body along the dusty floor, pausing once to sneeze into my elbow, as I have been painstakingly taught to do. When I finally dragged my head out into the open, I covered my eyes with one hand. Too much light. Too much, too soon. I began to hear street noises, distantly, in the background. I eventually uncovered my eyes, and looked toward the source of the light and noise… a window, blinds closed, but not fully blocking the outside from intruding on the inside.

In time, I gathered my courage, and rolled over onto my hands and knees, and slowly, used my hands on the edge of the bed to pull myself into an unaccustomed upright position. I shook my head, patted my hair, smoothed my clothes, and… here I am. Please don’t make any sudden movements or loud noises. I’ve become unused to it. I startle easily. But here I am.