Here I was baptizing myself in the throes of others’ misery, wanting nothing but to remember how it felt when the pang of life was so full it overflowed up and out each orifice. I felt the presence of gravity on tears that, for once, seemed natural. To fight the uncontrollable convulsion of face muscles, and the lack of will to direct where my identity would find itself—alive, or flat faced, dying slowly, breathing its’ last fleeting gulp of air.
I felt sick. My heart squeezed harder as I attempted to understand how I should feel about what I'd just seen. Nothing made sense—I buried myself in a book while the chatter of co-workers clamored in the background, and I suddenly felt annoyed, angry—indifferent. Nothing mattered anymore—I felt lighter, as if a piece of me had been carved out, or a burden lifted.
My actions were impulsive and the impersonal droning from phone calls were enough to make the wounds seem real. I held the façade, focusing my attention on tiny holes in the ceiling and what they meant. One cluster looked like a cloud—I imagined myself a part of it, lost in a shroud without direction.
Despite hasty driving, the ride home was long. The rain washed through me like a feverless sickness and brake lights began to blur together. I made it just one street from home, stopped at the stop-sign, and felt that pang for once, wanting to escape—I let it.