Last night I Netflixed Lady Gaga’s new documentary. Three months old, mump’s finally figured out the bottle. Allowing our first bedtime film. I’ve been into Gaga since Fame. Can’t remember if or what my mom thought. Obama and Gaga both came in 2008. A year later, my mom vanished.

This morning I told the therapist about my mom. Appointment number one. Sudden death while jogging. Completely unexpected. Trying to solve in-law-baby-holding anxiety. We drilled down. Why do I present feelings of fear and anxiety when I cognitively understand the baby is in no material danger? Mind says no fear. Body says fear. The answer is my mom. I need a flashlight for my subconscious.

Gaga released Joanne last year. On October 21. My mom’s birthday. Named for her late aunt. Died of lupus. Which is not a form of cancer. Lupus is autoimmune whereas cancer is abnormal cell division. I watch all this with the lights off and a three-month-old baby in my arms.

Cancer will affect 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in the US. Heard this on a podcast. Admittedly, I can’t stand to be unplugged. Time is so precious. My headphones are an albatross around my neck. Wash dishes? Sneak in a podcast. Walk to school. Spotify new group called Tuvaband. I’m working on this.

The therapist commented on my use of the word absurd. Which I used to describe her suggestion that I take a walk when/if someone holding the baby makes me squirm. I’ll be taking a lot of walks, I said. She smiled. A hippie friend said I should submerge my feet in water. Lowers cortisol levels. I told the therapist anxiety walks are absurd. Explained I wanted a more robust set of coping skills. She nodded.

Gaga's body is as wrecked as it is sexy. She numbs with wine. And pain killers. Glamour and grief come together, it seems. Perhaps I should be careful what I wish for. Alt dad fame. I'm no saint. No Buddha, leaving town to wander.

I could keep going, but a former student told me shorter is better. So yeah.