If you had pulled up beside me at a stop light last Thursday at approximately 8:40am PST, you would have assumed one of the following:
- I was having a seizure.
- I was head-banging to some serious devil worshipping metal.
- The seat of my Volvo doubled as an electric chair and I was being executed.
The truth is I had just returned home from book tour and was having a complete breakdown. Primal sobs, soaked face, snot bubbles, and a tortured soliloquy about burn out. At one point I remember yelling, “And on top if it all, I have to make an f-ing wax appointment because hair just keeps on growing!” Yeah, I know, Laguna Beach problems.
Typically, I love heading out to meet booksellers and fans, but this tour was harder than the countless others I’d taken because I can’t walk. My knee is so busted I needed wheelchairs to get me through the airports and a lot of gratitude lists to keep me from choking on self-pity.
By 8:59 am that morning I had arrived at physical therapy. There, my therapist took one look at my salty cheeks and suggested we spend the session stretching instead of strength building. Funny, I needed strength then more than ever, but the gym is no place for irony so I agreed. Billy got a nubby towel, which he placed between his hand and my body because he hates people, and began manipulating my leg while avoiding my swollen eyes. Not exactly the warm hug I needed, but it was better than squats. The gratitude list was fed once again.
On the way home my dad called. He’s a master at practical advice followed by something absurd to make me laugh so I was all ears when he said, “Lisi, you know why you have nothing to worry about?”
“Why?” I asked, wishing I had Q-Tipped that day so I wouldn’t miss a word.
Then the line went dead. Yep, my phone stopped working and now there are dozens of AT&T customer service representatives who wish they worked at Verizon. Yesterday, Apple gave me loaner which still doesn’t work so this blog is my main source of communication until the warehouse robots figure it out. Now here I am, asking if the bone-deep frustration is a gift or a lesson. I’m sure it’s a lesson on patience but I’ve been too impatient to contemplate it.
Today, almost one week later, I realized that if I didn’t stop resenting faulty genetics, glitchy technology, and hair growth I’d lose what is left of my mind. These thing are out of my control. I needed to let go. Once I did the noise in my head quieted down and I was able to hear myself think.
“Woman,” said my thoughts, “Why tour in a wheelchair when you can Skype from an Eames? Visit book clubs via Skype, Lisi. Visit book clubs via Skype. ”
And so, I have decided to apologize to technology for cursing it, opting to embrace it instead. So please, contact me by leaving a comment on this blog and we’ll set up a Skype visit. I promise not to cry.