On my way to see my sleep shrink, I stopped to get a (decaf) coffee, feeling flat and lacking any enthusiasm for the upcoming appointment, which was, as always, one I’d initiated. Leaning up against the brick wall, near the window through which the surly waitress dishes out coffee (like we’re in a lineup at some Depression-era soup kitchen, or in one of those older-style houses that have women trapped in kitchens handing meals through a tiny hole to help her so that she never has to leave her oven-stove-coldbox workstation), I was thinking about what things trouble me enough that I can’t sleep. Thinking that maybe if I could sort this out while my coffee was being made I could cancel my appointment. Then berating myself for a) the inconvenience this hadn’t-yet-happened late cancellation would cause my sleep shrink and b) my stupidity.
Anyway, various things were scratching my nerves. Until I found myself thinking, at least I’m not a dwarf. Because the woman who crossed the road in front of me, in a red dress with white spots, was a dwarf. Strange the things you can find solace in. Though, of course, comparisons are a problem. Because one day a dwarf, next day a supermodel.
One of the things my sleep shrink talks about is how not to be blown about by the winds of approval or disapproval but to try and ground oneself and stand firm, which comes from having some belief in your own worth, and some modicum of self-respect. So, remembering this, and her whole ‘stand like a strong tree’ thing, I stopped leaning against the wall. A small start.
I accepted my coffee from the surly waitress without saying thank you three times – as I usually would, in the hope she might like me – and tried not to envy her shirt. Though I really do feel the rest of my day would have been better if I had that shirt.