Day Twenty-Five   /   lettering by Zipeng Zhu

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?
Technically. But not really.

What did y’all do together?
Since Tim was over past midnight last night, we counted that as our day of seeing each other.

Did anything interesting happen?
I had an early flight in the morning for a lecture I was giving. I woke up at 5 AM with the most excruciating headache imaginable. It was the worst attack I’ve experienced so far. Despite the pain, I somehow rolled out of bed and hobbled out the door to catch a cab. When I am having these headache attacks, I become extremely sensitive to light or noise. As I was waiting outside for a cab, I felt nauseated. Next thing I knew, I had collapsed on the sidewalk. It wasn’t the first time this had happened, but it’s always scary.

I went back up to my apartment to rest for a moment, and I tried to figure out what to do. There was no way I could get on that airplane. I felt horrible that I had to cancel. I hate backing out on anything.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
He doesn’t carry condoms on him.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
Health-wise, I am an absolute mess. The headaches have been occurring for a month now, and it’s been the fastest downward spiral I’ve ever experienced. The headaches make it difficult to work, so I take Fioricet to make it through the day. The caffeine in the medication have aggravated my insomnia, so I take Sonata or Ativan to get a few hours of sleep when I can. Those medications make me foggy and lower my ability to concentrate, so I drink massive amounts of coffee to stay awake. All of this has caused me to fall behind at work, which is stressful. The stress causes severe back pain, which has intensified the tendonitis in my arm. The stress also causes me to grind my teeth at night, and now I have Temporomandibular joint dysfunction. It’s a vicious cycle.

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How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
My physical ailments have caused me to become anxious and depressed. I can’t continue like this any longer. While I’ve mostly hidden this from Tim, I know he can sense when I am tired or down, no matter how hard I try to mask it. I can’t care for someone else until I take care of myself first. I need to radically change my lifestyle before I can think about maintaining a healthy relationship.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
The doctors now have me on a scary combination of six different prescription medications, and this doesn’t count the three over-the-counter medications they’ve recommended. The medications I’ve tried so far just seem to cause new issues, and the doctors keep prescribing new medications with each new problem.

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Tim suggested I try working out to get healthier. My mom keeps telling me to eat better. My dad, a fellow insomniac, suggests I cut out caffeine and alcohol. From the research I’ve done online, I learned that the headaches can often be cured by cutting out gluten and/or dairy, and eating mostly plant-based foods and lean proteins. As of tomorrow, I am going to start exercising daily, cut back on my caffeine and alcohol intake, and try to completely change my diet. I need to commit to my well-being. When nothing goes right, go left.

Additional comments?
On a lighter note, I knew having condoms as business cards would come in handy one day. I woke up with an empty package under my pillow.

Day Twenty-Five   /   lettering by Maayan Pearl

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
Technically I did. I didn’t see her during the day, but I left her apartment around 12:30 this morning.

What did y’all do together?
After the jazz club last night, we went back to her place. I found out that she took an Ativan late at night to help her sleep. This upset me, and we were arguing about it a little. I know medication is very common, and it was prescribed to her, but I get sensitive about this stuff when I care for someone. Jessie has everything, yet her health seems to be a constant issue. I’m worried by how many meds she’s on.

Did anything interesting happen?
We had sex. I didn’t have any condoms on me, so I had no choice but to use one of her Sagmeister & Walsh company condoms. Ha!

Condom

Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
She’s great in bed. All day I’ve been thinking about the intensity between us, how she tasted, the way she felt, and the way she made me feel like she needs me.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
All along, I’ve been trying to not let this happen. I can’t do that anymore, I have to let it happen.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
We had a great time last night on our date. I like this.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
I need some sleep.

Additional comments?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this movie I saw last week called The Place Beyond the Pines. At its core, the movie is about the consequences a father has to face and what it means to leave a legacy behind to your children. I’ve never met my biological father, and I grew up with two different step-fathers. Luckily I’ve had a slew of mentors who have helped me through the years. In hindsight, I see the resentment I carried around when I was younger — acting out just to prove my existence to someone. Without a real fatherly influence, it’s easy to walk blindfolded, sometimes touching on brilliance, other times tripping over a mirage of male egotism.

Anyway, I went to the Knicks game with a couple friends the other day, and it dawned on me that none of us have our fathers around. They both have young children now, and I wonder how that will affect the way they raise them. How it will affect the way I will raise my children? What kind of legacy will my friends and I leave? And how will our kids cope with the pathology of fathers who miss their fathers?

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