i woke up to the sound of my phone alerting me with a cheerful tone that i had a message waiting. i felt like one of Pavlov’s dogs, except instead of salivating my heart was racing and i was up and reading the text message in seconds flat. it was my friend, the one i’ve mentioned here before, and the one i called last night to pick me up. when my internal pain was so excruciating that i thought i could get some relief from lighting myself on fire or taking a bunch of lithium, or cutting–just to get some peace around here–i knew i had to get out. it turns out the change of scenery was a good idea. i was still in pain, but i wasn’t knocking at death’s door, or even the ER for that matter.
the text asked if i was up. it was my friend. i sank back on pillows and made a mental note to change my text message alarm as soon as possible while responding, “just barely”.
we passed a few messages back and forth. i tried to get 5 more minutes of respite but the pit in my stomach had already made its appearance. i suppressed the urge to throw up at the mention of food and tried to avoid thinking about the tears that wanted to come. my gut felt like it had a run-in with a trocar. the day had begun.
i focused all my attention on the dried tobacco leaves swaying in the wind in the backyard and tried to come up with a haiku to describe the hummingbirds who had nested on one of them. i focused like my life depended on it and the ebb and flow of pain reflected my success. i couldn’t get all the words i wanted in the right order with the right number of syllables, so eventually i just said fuck it, and made another mental note to come up with a quasi-haiku later.
i spent the rest of the time until my friend was ready staring outside. trying not to throw up. trying not to remember. trying not to feel.
it’s no use though. there will be no escape from this pain. i will have to experience it fully and mourn the loss of what i thought i had just two days ago. i will have to face the reminders strewn about my apartment, like i did this morning. the half full horchata probably hasn’t even curdled yet. as i showered, a partially deflated mylar balloon rose up and down over the top of my shower curtain, saying “I’m Sorry” over and over again.