Waiting Brings a Plus-One Even Though No One Said It Could

The last eight days have been a backward rollercoaster, the peaks getting higher and higher the longer we ride. They defy physics, they challenge our ability to handle simple gravity, applied too fast for a plain human to withstand. It goes on and on, this ride. We cannot see the end; we do not want to go back to where we started.

Waiting has returned (it never really left us), but it has brought with it the trembly maliciousness of uncertainty. Uncertainty, in turn, beckons that very basic in us, that thing that when we were hairier and lived in trees made us bare our teeth and pound our chests or scurry away to cool, green shelter. That thing that never goes away, that haunts the dark closets of dark bedrooms of children, that takes forms in the shadows and flickers that leak in from a source of light.

It is primal. It is raw. It is uncontrollable.

It feeds the peaks and saws away at the moorings of the low points, hoping that our rattling car will plunge right through so that we are breathing it, steeped in it. It wafts from the others in the waiting rooms, drifts in long, nebulous trails down the hallways, becomes a fog we can’t see.

It can alter the pitch of sounds.

It can alter the tenor of words.

It twists them and wrings them of any hint of nuance, pulls at them to drag out the meaning and any meaning behind the meaning. With it, other words have no substance, nothing to hear, at all.

It is both inside and outside at once, permeating the muscle layer by layer, filling our lungs, leaving a taste in our mouths that doesn’t go away, it flavors the food and the drinks and the endless cups of tea. It doesn’t rest, it doesn’t like rest, as though it was created to prevent it, to stand between you and calmness. Instead it rattles at you from the inside out, shakes you, lifts you against the safety bar and out of your seat while speeding downward.

It amplifies the ticking, the clinking of the chain pulling you up the next hill. It makes the track echo, loud, unavoidable, to make you question what will happen when you, once again, get to the top.



  1. Isa-Lee:
    Your pain is so great yet you are able and willing to share it with us. I hope it brings you some level of relief as you express your feelings. Please know that, not only have you touched a special place in our emotional memories, you have our support, wishes, prayers, and hope for you and your family as you go through this exceptionally tough time.

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