sandra bullock gets asked at least twice a day “does anybody tell you that you look like arlynn presser?” she must be very flattered. stammers. maybe gets hives. i get the same thing just people asking me about her. we’re similar to the eye, although possibly also to the ear: i’ve been told that my laugh ends with a particular nasal sound that . . . oh, just go to netflix and get miss congeniality and you’ll see what i mean! we’re twins. in a way.
i once was in an airport and signed an autograph because i was baffled.
but i met my psychological twin last night when i had dinner with ben gonzalez (f2fb #140) and marissa durbin (f2fb #141). we were outside in their backyard. it was as the landscape architect frederick law olmsted imagined american life should be–several different families came out of their houses, sat for a spell, waved as they passed, hung out, checked their cell phones. okay, maybe that last part was not olmsted’s vision. marissa and ben have an adorable seventeen month old desmond who is the playboy attracting admirers. olmsted must have anticipated desmond.
the next door neighbor came out of her home. she was wearing green capri pants and a white t-shirt. i was wearing. . . it must have been a black dress. but we were still indistinguishable. she hovered, she chatted, she was so sociable, but when asked to sit down with us, she declined. disappeared and returned. when i asked her to sit with me a second or maybe a third time, she said “i can’t. i’m very antisocial. i have agoraphobia.”
i asked her about her anxiety attacks, which roughly track mine–meaning that she can negotiate zones of safety and outside of that, it’s too terrifying. she has recently lost her job (a safe zone) and her home (the safest zone) is being foreclosed upon. she has sent her sons away in the hope that if they aren’t living in the house, the bank will not go after them. she had her first anxiety attack on the block near her home just a few days ago. there is a closing in of the boundaries just as the “safe” zone is going to be taken away from her. and her sons–whom she is trying to protect–are not there to help her.
i wanted to say “come with me!” i have laid out a track of junkets–i’m off to california on sunday whether i like it or not! i’m in ohio the week after. new york, rhode island, boston. . . i have two friends in alaska and damnit i have a friend in hawaii who is moving to turkey (no slur on turkey)
i will assume i am having a near death experience every step of the way just like my twin has just found out that she will have every time she goes to the bus stop on her block.
i have tried everything to stop panic attacks. therapy. every prescription drug. some nonprescription drugs. acupuncture. hypnosis. alcohol. meditation. prayer. nothing has worked. but this year i’ve done things i never would have thought possible.
flying on a plane. being in a different country. boxing with a ukrainian middleweight. driving a car in that direction. and the other direction. popping open a champagne bottle with a sabre sword. watching a funnel cloud form over my head. seeing people i would never get a chance to see if i stayed in my house and bought the requisite seventeen cats that being my age requires.
but i couldn’t say “come with me!” to ben and marissa’s neighbor, my twin in the green capri pants. because i’m not even quite halfway there. i may fail. i think odds are i will.
so she said i have to go back home, i have facebook, i have other sites, my back aches from being in front of the computer, and i said “pleasure meeting you” and what i want to say is “at the end of the year i will come back for you”
the real focus was marissa and ben. i met ben initially because his uncle–a renown photographer and author–did my portrait four years ago. i happened to be nude at the time. i love the picture although i’m not sure you’d know who it was and you might mistake me for sandra bullock. ben and marissa were just friends for the longest time and then. . . .
i am planning out the california, ohio, new york trip and yeah, i will be scared. i am home now. safe zone. but the train keeps riding. . . .