Saturday, June 7, 2008


I'm thinking it would be more pleasant to simply have the skin peeled off.

I am letting down the people who are supporting me, the friends who have taken my cause as their own, rooting for me, cajoling, helping, searching, leading me by the hand. I do so by evincing a massive mental illness. I am aware of it, can see it for what it is--the literalization of "I don't want to go!"--and still am powerless to change it. That is why I am about to fall into a very hot soup. And I am apparently taking my child with me, he who I am charged with protecting. Whom I want to protect, and take great care of.

Ironically, I drove two hours yesterday to help a dear friend move. (She has far less stuff than I do.) She too is leaving behind a sad period in her life. She is going to get her MFA in painting. So we made a video documentary of the move, talking about art, criticism, the act of moving, and storage facilities. Into the camera (I can blather extemporaneously, just as I can in type) I mused that, without a home, my friends have become my home. It felt ironic to be moving this friend, when I can't move myself.

It is also ironic, as I only realized this morning, that it was the changes and improvements I made over the years to this house that made it so nice as to appreciate in value
far beyond what I could ever buy out. So, in the end, I helped cause my own expulsion from the house I don't want to leave.

Soon, into a box will go something I want to leave you with. I'll make its acquaintance again at that unnamed point in the future when I can retrieve my boxes again
. It's from an old hammered copper plaque that features a Scottie. Think on it.

He asks me no questions
He tells me no lies
And when I address him
looks straight in my eyes.
Content with a little he never despairs
but in all my troubles he willingly shares.
He asks me so little
He gives me so much
then always let sympathy
dwell in my touch.


tina in cleveland said...

Hi Melissa,
I first read your blog because I liked your book about places. You reminded me of myself, if I were a better writer. So, though a complete stranger, I'd like to tell you that I'd put money on your being more than OK very soon, and your son, too. And of course the dog. You seem like a strong person. You improved a piece of real estate! Sure, ironic, but also impressive. Not many writers can do that kind of thing. Most erode the value of whatever they inhabit or drive around in. So hang on! Grand things await.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson said...

Thank you so, so much, Tina. You have just exemplified the sort of generosity I have been experiencing lately in amazing quantity from all quarters (well, *almost* all). I suspect that's the "grand thing" you allude to--there really couldn't be anything better than this. I also know, because you have said as much, that you have pulled through rough patches and come out the other side. You are the voice of authority here, and thanks for being that too.
Maybe Nelly will be more than all right, too: our new neighbor turns out to run a dogsitting service. Hope he's OK with her coming over to visit when she feels like it. Because that's Nelly for you.