Small things, things that might take only a few minutes, easy things are left undone for weeks. Months. Coffee and oatmeal in the morning and a few minutes without demands feel like too much to ask, and like they shouldn’t be too much to ask. Sometimes I close my eyes and inhale deeply and then purse my lips slightly and blow, a mannerism like a sigh, but the drawn out mild exertion provided by the labial resistance gives a comforting sensory feedback that calms me. I have developed new skills. I can smile and banter with anxiety like a blade in my throat, sweat building in the hair on the back of my head. “What’s bothering you?” “Nothing.” And it’s true. It’s bothering the hell out of me, nothing is. “It’s this feeling that it’s going to be alright, but not yet.” Did you ever wish you could close your eyes in the morning and not wake up until you’re going to sleep again that night? Every early morning appointment feels like another betrayal, trying to swallow hot coffee too quickly, your mouth pulsing from the heat, dragon breath and fire in your belly. Every blink on your long commute is ten miles gone, no memory of all that road, all those passing, metal monsters with their audacious proximity of well-behaved potential death and destruction controlled only by the voluntary constraints of fading lines of paint on the pockmarked pavement, distracted manslaughterers trying to get somewhere else around the obstacle that is us. Passing afternoons spent sitting in conference rooms afraid that people might realize that I’m naked under these thin clothes, aging and unattractive, flawed and unpleasant, all of us talking robotically about work issues, things that matter but only inside these walls. Did I drown that baby turtle, the second one that seemed lethargic? Did he kick off the bottom and swim up for air after I walked away with a sick feeling in my gut of a good deed gone awry? Should I have doffed all my business casual attire onto the lawn and jumped in to save him? Would that have been more or less human? And I know summer is coming, the long, cruel heat that doesn’t relent, even at night. Somewhere in the future I hope to dive into a deep pool of clear, cool water and swim down, down, down until I cannot hold my breath any longer and I have to rush urgently for the surface. I hope to lie in soft grass and stare up into the stars in a place so dark that you can see them all. I hope to wake up rested and ask myself, “What shall we do today?” Until then I just have to remember to stay here, to discharge my duties, to resist evaporating in this glaring sun of struggle. I love you so much I don’t know what to do next. Thank you for that.
Hello, friends. I trust you're well.