habits are insidious. they are the leftover thing to shake. even when I feel focused and alert, I find my face moving, giving notice to something else: the phone on the table, the front door closed and my boots near it. I am usually grabbing these things and headphones and heading out without question. I am usually interrupting myself, clutching a straw, picking something up instead of typing and habits are insidious. they are the leftover thing to shake. they are made from coping, a need at the time and then become the most used devices. the word habitual means regular or usual. the usual way of things for me is confront the wall of anything, freeze, dissociate, then emerge from coma a fire, ready to walk or run depending on direction. I am feeling it pass up my sacral. I am feeling the spine shake. would be better to be a tree, yes, the way it wraps but here I am flinging the front door open in hat and coat and headphones because the come up is hard but you have about ten minutes of a mostly innocuous adjustment before it gets harder. habits are familiar. they are the leftover thing.
I am on the sidewalk moving slower than time and leaning to one side. my back bends a little and I feel almost breezy, or fragile. if a wind came, I would have to be careful feeling that I would let it take me. my feet are not dragging. they are picking themselves up deliberately and making our way down the street but slower than time. a cool saunter and my mask is on so I can narrate out loud, openly what is happening. the first thing I say is:
“there is no joy in the pandemic.”
I feel guilty saying this out loud, as if I am judging the person’s apartment that I am outside. I am looking up to the right at their walls not drawn to the cream plaster but the overcast sky and thinking. I am finding joy. “being out here,” I kind of wave my hands, “is miserable. I miss talking to people.” there is no joy in the pandemic. no one is happy right now. “there is no joy in the pandemic.”
I am fuzzy and cannot speed up my walking. I have gone only, truly, around the block and I cannot imagine withstanding the gray, the row of red brick now, the owners and their dogs avoiding me. this is not happiness. I see three people and their dog walking towards me. I had intended to walk as far as I could. I pictured myself getting lost in a park and also shivering at the thought.. I have no provisions. “there is no comfort in the outside.” I am in front of a row of townhouses that look exactly the same
I left a candle burning.
“fuck, I really did.”
and I had only been outside for ten minutes when the mushroom grabbed me,
like a mirror,
held me in her attention.
first, go back