Kage Baker knew how to get me out of bad moods. She knew when to be stern, when to ignore me, when to play the clown. If you think her writing was funny, you should have seen her inventing little dialogues with the parrot to get me out of the sodden brooding melancholies …
I’m in a wretched mood today – angry, uncomfortable, sad, embittered. It’s probably hormonal or something, as my body betrays its own timetable and pumps gallons of hormones I’m no longer using into my bloodstream … the very worst part of post-menopausal lady problems is that you only get the bad parts repeated.
I’ve rather enjoyed the results of menopause per se. The ebbing of the irrational tides has been wonderful – not so much a decrease in passion for life, just a more measured pace of appetites and urges. It’s rather like late childhood again – that point when you’ve learned some stuff and the world is fascinating and your brain has kicked into high gear, but things are clear and cool and accessible.
Of course, then the fever of puberty sets in, and you spend the next 40 years trying to run a command center full of smoke: screaming people running everywhere, flames spurting from the machinery, occasional bacchanalias and conga lines coming through from God knows where. It’s like trying to run the bridge of the Enterprise on a really bad day.
That’s why menopause is so nice. The hysteria goes away. You can reason again. The riot on the lower decks … falls silent.
Unless it doesn’t. Then, without warning, all those chemical alarums and excursions reappear to make you craaazzyy. Moods. Sulks. An assortment of bipolar behaviours in dark, milk, smooth center and crunchy. Even cramps and zits, and believe me – re-discovering acne because your endometrium has gone haywire is not even the least of your worries.
I mean, yes, I know there’s surgery in my future (and another biopsy this Friday, blecchh) – but do I have to face it with a pimple on my nose? I can see that damned pimple, so it bothers me more than the stuff I know is going wrong inside – at least that isn’t making me look bad.
Oh, yeah -you get real petty again, when that damned hormonal tide resumes. Menopause, I have come to believe, is the Goddess’ gift after a lifetime of frenzied fertility. I really resent having that peacefulness torn away. It makes me mean. And Kage isn’t here to save the world or me from my moods. I really miss her …
At least when you survive puberty, there’s a reward. You’ve got adulthood ahead of you, decades that look like eternity to a brain barely 20 years old. And even if your brain is stupid – and at 20, most of our brains are – your body knows you’ve made it to the final round in that Great Breeding Lottery. You may get to reproduce! And even if you don’t manage the prize, there will be sex. Pretty good deal.
Now … jeez, what a paucity of reward there is. If I survive this latest disaster, what do I get? I get to live longer – already past the point where it’s pleasant. I’m not young or strong anymore, my friends are dying, I’ve got a freaking pimple – and the prize for getting past this will be an extra 20 years of what I already don’t like?
Well, blow this for a game of Barbies. I never liked Barbies anyway. I only had one, and I dissected her to see how her joints worked.
I’m gonna go take a nap, because I’m old. When I wake up, I think I’ll read a Kage Baker story. If anyone can cheer me up, it’s Kage.