I notice the absence of play when I mourn the past. A deep darkness, slamming my head against the wall. Heavy in my chest and in my bones. Like permanent low blood sugar. Everything is an effort. My throat is tight and sore, my eyes want to cry. I am missing someone, some time when life did feel joyful and fun. The feeling is of no return. The absence of playfulness is somber, mournful and heavy.
I notice it creeping into my consciousness in small, insidious ways. It's my mom's voice, admonishing me to tone down my jewel tones and paint the walls of my house beige in order for it to rent for the most money. It's my dad's voice, telling me to get "a real job", preferably corporate. Become more conservative, take out that nose ring, cover your tattoos. The absence of play is very beige. Or grey. Greige.
It is ugly, plain, boring, humdrum, the taste of metal file cabinets. It's forgetting to make things beautiful as well as functional. It's the feeling of I have to do it all by myself - all the decisions, all the phone calls, all the chores, all the errands. This feels plain ol' tiring.
The absence of play is the absence of joy.
The absence of life.