Who Tells Your Story – Day 4

I didn’t cry when I woke up today. Progress. For the first time in months I didn’t go to my escrima class. I always go. I even went on my birthday. No days off for me. But I still can’t today. I can’t carry on with my routine as though everything is still the same, not yet. I am not ready to let life start rushing by me as I start…living.

I decided to make a cup of tea because my throat is a little scratchy. My first since Penny left us. I was doing okay. Teabag. Boil the kettle. Then I got told there were mini doughnuts. That did it. And we’re back to tears.

I went to see Hamilton last night. I bought these tickets over a year ago. Fourth row. I wasn’t sure if I would go. Because of our ticketing system I knew I had to go get the tickets, but in my mind the option was also there to leave. This from the person who listens to show tunes all day, every day. I loved it. It was smart and well-written. The cast were amazing. It was exactly what I love about musical theatre. And to my surprise, though there were some moments that could have triggered me, I did not cry. An earlier hug might have taken care of all I had left to give that day.

I spent today listening to the soundtrack. It is intricate enough to occupy my mind without the thud being too jarring when I think of Penny again. More than white noise but enough of a distraction. It is the first music I have listened to since that day. But where I would randomly burst into song, I do not. I feel the music but it does not move me. The lyrics become familiar but I do not even hum along. No fingers tapping along to the beat. I feel numb, but at the same time I feel everything.

I can’t turn it on. Who I am. My default is the smile. I accommodate. I joke. I make people feel at ease. I apologise when people brush into me. I offer help before it needs to be asked for. I charm. I find the joy. I am an automatic ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you.’ A ‘Bless you’ when you sneeze. I can’t be that person. Second nature feels like effort. I cannot find the smile.

There is a lyric in the show, ‘Who lives? Who dies? Who tells your story?’ I suppose that’s what I’m doing with these posts. Telling Penny’s story. Our story. The storyteller. That one part of me that still works.

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