Still sick. Still losing my ability to cope more and more with each goddamn tissue I throw in the general direction of the wastebasket. Still have to get up and do things anyhow.

I have got to the point of overload where people being nice is now confusing me. The ballroom dance instructor, of all people, has suddenly started talking to me. I had no idea he was aware of my existence beyond the fact that I show up to work and don't burn the building down, but I snarked at him on the phone one day about running around herding cats in a tux, and apparently that got his attention. I had no idea what the fuck, then I thought I did, now I think I don't and I should really just stop thinking about it. I have just enough objectivity left to understand that people who do not like you do not stand around having conversations with you in an empty lobby when they could just as easily have cruised on by with their eyes glued to their phone and done something productive with their time instead.

He is a very sweet man, and when he asks how I am I have the disconcerting urge to tell him. I know this is a Very Bad Idea, but he has actually dropped the omnipresent blinding smile a couple of times, and there is a formidable amount of attention behind it, so I'm either going to have to step up my polite-lying game or just flat tell him not to ask that if he doesn't want the answer.

One of my other coworkers is a conspiracy theorist. I... just don't know where to begin with that. She tries to be a nice person, I think, and I don't know that she's not succeeding on a day to day level. She's not stupid. She just has a stunning lack of ability to see things from other perspectives long enough to come up with possible answers to the question, "Why would someone else do that?" The other week she told me all about how Disney is hiding sexual imagery in all their cartoons because -- I am not kidding -- 'that's how the pedophiles get you.' What group of pedophiles could offer Disney more money or influence than they could possibly get by just being Disney, I have no idea.

I really, really want to like her. If I can manage to keep her talking about shoes and allergies and how cute puppies and kittens are, she's really very nice. But it is exhausting to have to continually channel the conversations away from things I know are going to make my head hurt, and exhausting to have to continually converse full stop.

I am pretty much always at the desk at the dance studio now. They need the help and I don't know what else to do with myself. I'm still confused and occasionally alarmed by the way they talk to me like I am An Actual Dancer. Like yes of course you have skills and you will obviously be able to pick up this other one and surely it won't be any problem for someone who has as much practice at moving as you do. I tried explaining to a couple of them the other week that no, I really don't know where I am in space, I still can't go down stairs without putting resting a hand on the rail and watching my feet. I don't think they quite got it. I don't look like that when I walk around anymore, because I've had thirty-five years of practice at pretending I'm not hopeless at it. Hoops and canes and fan veils make me look deceptively competent because they drag and pull and give me a reference I otherwise don't have. I hate disappointing people who are enthusiastic about teaching me things, but I'm very much afraid I'm going to.

I think I really just don't know how to deal with people right now. This is a bad state to be in, because I don't know if you've noticed this, but there are people everywhere.


  1. They're probably willing to let you learn their dances the way you need to if you tell them what you need. They sound enthusiastic and nice, and happy for you to learn their thing, so maybe tell them (the way you put it here a little while ago) what you need to learn.

    1. If by 'enthusiastic and nice' you mean 'shanghai me upstairs for cha cha lessons while I am supposed to be at the desk', then yes. I warned him that I was a disaster the time I tried a salsa class and that I was not likely to be better at exhibition ballroom, but it appears to have made no dent. I feel even worse that I'm going to be terrible even in the face of someone who clearly loves to teach it that much.


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