Friday, December 02, 2005

Bad Patch

Separating from oneself, standing or sitting, watching as the the body and soul seemingly part ways.

Standing in the kitchen while cooking, watching as the steam rises from the pot of boiling water - one more night of pasta. Or perhaps the sizzle of ground beef in a non-stick skillet is enough to set the mind wandering.

The cat coils between the kitchen chairs, meowing, rolling over onto her back, challenging the impending mood with the same eyes that glow in the dark.

The mind does its best to keep it all together, but when the soul aches, and the heart hungers for more, the emotions weigh down upon the strongest pair of shoulders.

It's just a bad patch, that's all.

What's a bad patch, anyway? How long does it last? Does eveyone have a bad patch? Is it polite to ask a close friend or family member if they have bad patches?

What are the early symptoms of a bad patch? Weight gain? Mental distraction? An inability to finish projects?

* * *
One of my favorite movies, Dolores Claiborne, starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh as mother and daughter, has a great scene that discusses "bad patches". Here's an excerpt from the script.

It was a bad patch. You had a bad patch, and now you're feeling it all over again.

A bad patch? I had a f....g nervous breakdown, mother!

Don't say words like that! I-It was a hard time and you got through it.

Oh, what I am doing?

You just needed a rest, that's all.


You snapped out of it just fine! You can't have one of those things and get a full scholarship to Vassar College! It was just a bad patch.

I must've been out of my mind to come back here!

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