Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone. It’s extremely painful and feels like a heart attack that won’t go away. The first time I had it, I called 911 and in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, I kept whispering to the EMT guys, “Don’t let me die!”
Now I have it again, and here’s why: There is a plague of constant catastrophe and sorrow upon the House of Wolf, and it just keeps coming. There are no locusts (so far) but there are cockroaches. I am learning which kitchen products work best to immobilize them.
I feel there is a biblical aspect to this plague, although I know next to nothing about the bible. I do remember a part about the firstborn sons, and that’s how this plague began. My firstborn son nearly died, didn’t die, but his recovery won’t be what we thought.
Then came-ith my Broken Hip, the horror of Kindred, the No Money, the Angry Husband, the Spiteful Teenager, The Leaking Roof, the Pile of Bills, the No Leaving the House, and now the Fucking Costochondritis. It’s like a knife in my heart, which is already broken in several places.
A friend mentioned the story of Job, and I nodded, pretending that I knew what he meant. I know that Job was some guy who god tortured just for fun, but then pretended he was testing Job’s faith.
If god is testing me, I hope he’s happy. I still have no faith, but I’m a simple enough creature to wonder why god wants to punish me. I know intellectually that bad things happen to good people. Bad things are mostly random. People are starving in Africa, but not because god hates them. Knowing this doesn’t bring me closer to god. Knowing he isn’t there doesn’t stop me from resenting him, either.
I sold the Chanel bag that was once my holy grail. Chanel won’t protect you from the lord’s wrath or his indifference. I would give up everything I have just to turn back the clock to August. I would even sign up for more creepy medical conditions like costochondritis. This sounds like bargaining, right? And bargaining is a stage of grief, but I can’t remember which one.
Just the other night, I watched the first half of Gone With the Wind on TV. I was struck for the first time by how poignantly Scarlett exclaimed, “I want my mother!” I finally know what she means. I want my mother too, even though she’s dead, and even though she was crazy my whole life. I get why soldiers call out for Mother when they’re injured on the battle field. It’s horrible to be out here on your own without a mother to make things better. It’s horrible to be a mother who can’t make things better.
I wasn’t going to end this on a tragicomic note, then I changed my mind, then I changed it back again. It’s a brutal Christmas over here.