Saturday, February 7, 2009

Barely keeping it together

Last night I had my first dream about Paco.

I think I've been relatively lucky in that I've managed to avoid it so far, with the exception of the night he died and my dream about him and Xochitl (So-Chee) having the same forehead and, therefore, she was really his love-child. That night I woke up sad, but Paco had appeared as a ghost or presence, and it was obvious he wasn't coming with me when I woke up.

But last night I dreamed that I had arbitrarily set a euthanization date for Paco and it was the day before I was to put him down. As I looked over my porch railing onto my country estate (my dream house was totally pimp), I saw Paco running the acreage with my friends' dogs. His front leg was stiff and reminiscent of his actual dead body pose, but the rest of him worked just fine. I wondered aloud why I had chosen to put him down, and began rethinking my decision.

"I don't care if his front leg doesn't work," I told my friends, "I just want Paco. I'm not going to put him down anymore. I don't care if he's old, grey, and his body doesn't work. I just want Paco."

When I woke up I thought he was still alive. And then I got really sad.

handsome guy

This whole week has been an eye-opening experience for me. I realize that I'm not yet ready to go out in public and make small talk (as demonstrated by my colossal demonstration of water-works at the Burning Man party... well, I'm assuming from the age and general tendency of the guests to rub me the wrong way that it was a Burning Man party), I'm one step away from rage (pouring paint into the metal pan versus the disposable liner will invoke a fury worthy of the WWE ring), and if I cry a number of times less than the fingers on one hand, then I can call it a good day. Basically, I'm barely keeping it together.

In vocalizing my emotional state to Aaron earlier this week, I realize that I'm kind of constantly on the verge of breaking down. If things are going normal to good, then it's okay. I feel and act fine, though it's hard for me to get truly elated. But if something goes wrong, I feel stressed, or if the conversation turns toward a topic that reminds me of Paco, I kind of lose it. It's like I'm walking on a tightrope and the slightest breeze of negativity forces me to lose my balance and go spiraling down.

Perhaps the best thing that this week has offered is the chance to build the new store. It's given me something on which I can focus and meditate. At first it started out as a group project, but that stressed me out beyond belief. Once I realized I had to take sole ownership of the endeavor, it became the cathartic experience I needed it to be.

With silence and space on my side, I have been able to visualize, plan, and build. I taped a photocopy of Paco prominently on the fireplace for inspiration and it's been working. I was an apartment painter for years and later a mural painter, but have been burnt out on painting since the '90s. However, with this project I've regained my former zen and am taking joy in the process, rather than feeling a haste to get to the end. I pay painstaking attention to the details. With every brush stroke I feel like I'm building it for him, and that has been the therapy I so desperately need right now.

Today we purge and pack the old studio and tomorrow we move. Before/after pictures will be posted later... I'd hate to give away the surprise makeover before it's time.

1 comment:

Home2k9 said...

I can't imagine that I would feel or behave any differently than you are now. This is such a tough thing to go through and I just hope that as you walk that tightrope, you are giving yourself plenty of grace to be as broken as you are for as long as it takes. It's great to hear all of the wonderful news surrounding the company in light of Paco's passing, he really IS an angel.