It’s bad when I don’t want to talk to people. Not that I don’t want to talk to the people in my immediate vicinity; I get along fantastically with my roommates. It’s the tenuous electronic and telephonic links with my long-distance family and friends which are beginning to dissolve into an abyss of apathy.

There’s a lot going on in my professional and academic life right now; I consider myself doing “okay” if I only spend an hour or two each day thinking about how much my life is going to suck in the next few weeks with the implementation of the Zone. None of the children have schedules, there’s an extra hour of class, I’m teaching 2 more preps (one of which I don’t even know what it is), and I have mandatory professional development every day this week after school which is going to make me miss one of my grad classes.

I don’t want to talk about it. There’s enough bitching about it in this apartment, and that’s *without* having to explain all the gruesome background info. Right now, I just can’t summon the energy required to tell someone about my life if they haven’t spoken to me in 2 weeks. Unfortunately, according to those restrictions, that’s my family too. I know that now of all times I should be connected to them, up on what’s going on with my aunt, but I just haven’t. There are many reasons, none of which matter much.

Instead, I bury myself in fiction, true Williamson style. It’s like high school again, but in some bizarre Twilight Zone effect, I’ve become the teacher. I retreat into words, chosing to write about my frustrations: excise them through paper and pen (or internet and keyboard), rather than involve other human beings in my messy, confusing dilemma.

My problem is that when I talk to people, all they tell me is bad news. Phone calls from unidentified or infrequently dialed numbers just bring more complications, more things to stew over on a Monday night while I sniffle through the end of a head cold. I don’t want to muster the forces and make myself reestablish those lines of communication; right now, cost-benefit analysis looks pretty dismal. [semi-random shout out to DDH, sparked by economic argot: Entertainment Weekly used the word “sartorially” last week. They must be cool.]

I’m pretty damn happy down here when I can spend a rainy “winter” evening curled up on my vintage velvet couch with a book, kill 2 hours in the mall with Mary and VA because the traffic going north made us miss the first showing of “In Good Company,” and talk to my loving (or at least hungry), entertaining (some would say psychotic), and very feline cat. If all I have to worry about is feeding myself, dragging my little professionally dressed body to NW 95th street every morning at 7:00, and exercising occasionally, I’m fine.

The problem is, being Thea: daughter, friend, colleague, coach, student, correspondent, is much more difficult than all that.


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