I had a dream of the Dysons the night before and I could see now that I had been dreaming of them for days. they were summer friends. the friends I spent with at the pool. they were both on the swim team but I couldn’t get up at six am or commit to sports. I was an excellent swimmer though. I was unafraid too. I used to dive off the high dive. I always told myself the same thing. it will be over by the time you remember even doing it. by the time you leap, you will have hit the water. I just had to be careful not to go to far forward or my calves would smack the water. often, I was good. I hated if I did it and no one saw. I’d have to do it again. I turned to face the tile. I didn’t want to live in reverie or the past but just feel the loss of that ability. both the bravado and the lung capacity, the daring, the quickness. I was a rival to all the boys at the pool. I could outswim them. out dive them. hold my breath longer, touch the bottom faster and this was a great deal to me. not just the competition which was fun, but the new sport. the new game: the boys. always ranked above us and better than us before we even had a chance to form an opinion about innate abilities–who is better at swimming men or women? it’s always men. then women. I didn’t want to be the first of all the girls. I wanted to be the first of the whole pool. I wanted to date the top boy. or whatever we did at nine. be my crush. buy him now n’ laters. watch him get tan and smile only at me.
this time I’m obsessed with depth. my cheek is cool and I commit to feeling the way the tile rubs back against me. how long I’ve really been thinking about my childhood vs. how long I have been twisting slowly to get to this place. the other side of the tub or just a new arrangement. I still couldn’t focus my eyes so I stared at the white linoleum. clean. last time I was obsessed with dirt. this time I’m obsessed with depth. at the same stage.,this beginning burst where your body is beginning to acclimate as you warp into the thing you are seeking: clarity, forgiveness, hope. water. swimming. I look back down at the tub and watch my feet again and then slowly drop my hands in the water. then watch my hands again. I have more than five hours of this left.
there was a lot of thoughts at once. I may be translating it incorrectly because there was a lot of pausing to take note of environment. to stand still in the tub. to twist to the tile and press it and rest face. to move back and look up at my shower head dripping. to hear the smoke alarm reminding me I need batteries. to notice the cat isn’t here. the sun through the window. the thumb nail waving in a ripple. the way my fingers can dance on top of water to make ripples. the way the cat jumps on the corner. but it was a constant movement to come back to nothing. to realize the want was nothing. my iterations: repetition, pressure, organization, pressure, time, people’s time, attention, pressure, validate the wound, pressure. my head full. my jaw clenched. my fingers around the straw. I knew I had a secret double life; my functioning a product of survival and safety.
“It’s not what they think though,” when I speak like that I am referring to the idea that I can read motives of people and am not projecting.
I could be projecting. I am afraid too. Ebby sits on the corner and watches me. her eyes are bright yellow and I know she wants to come closer. I thank her for being there and offer her my cheek. we rub faces like that for maybe only three minutes. maybe five. I pull back and gaze at my arm. I go back to her face. gaze at my arm. back to her face and remember how she almost fell once trying to reach me. I had been sitting closer to the tile with my back against it playing the ripple game with her and she wanted to get closer. I have a scar going down my rib where she scratched me trying to stop herself from going into the tub. it doesn’t bother me. I have many scars actually. I don’t care.
but you do or you wouldn’t do it? a voice says.
I am uncomfortable.
“I am humbled,” and I laugh because I didn’t expect any of this. nor the pandemic truly.
“I am humbled, I am careful. I will be careful what I say. No, don’t show me my death.”
the drug is humbling. the power. it feels like walking backwards. I have this urge to watch Midsommar because I keep thinking I need to participate in the viewership of something to calm my brain. I like this idea because I’ve seen it twice and it’s like Mulloland Drive for me, a movie I’ve seen three times. I am trying to figure it out. I like puzzles. I like thinking. I want. to see it from her lens as she went through it. I can’t find anything that is comforting here. in this tub or a grip on anything. there is no comfort.it is such a dark film. I remember the surfing videos. it is not a bad trip I am having. it is simply I do not know what to focus on. I go back to my hands. Ebby is still there. we are still cheek to cheek off and on. no, I will watch it now, I feel fine. I move my head to prepare to get up and a long wave hits pushing me close to the water again.
not like I can’t move but like I am swirling on the inside and any sudden change will require me to adjust to the new place I have settled.
“I am humbled,” I laugh and lift my hands up. “I am humbled by the drug that I have no control over. I will stay in the bath.”
I feel like I am glued to bottom. I am having private conversations with Hecate. I don’t push that thought away. I understand what breakthroughs these are: to be present and feeling. to be feeling and thinking. the synthesis of logic and intuition. I have compartmentalized into disorder. I have wrapped myself in a safety net. we are undoing, reversing a web of me vs me vs them. I am scared too.