038: constance

it’s internal. everything. like a plug, blocking whatever happiness is. it was the middle of winter. i was washing the dishes and staring out into the backyard. it was night and the only light was a floodlamp beaming downward, creating these long, twisted shadows off of the branches of the old tree out back, and the sharp angles of the swing set and jungle gym i used to climb around on as a child. the snow was a couple of feet, receding into darkness. i was rubbing a dishrag against an old gray plate, not paying attention, just this constant circular motion while soapy water filled up in the sink…

and then, for a moment i was there, and i thought, hold on to this moment. what are you feeling? what are you thinking?¬†and i looked down at my hands holding the plate and the dishrag, stopped mid-circle, the soap bubbling up from the rising water in the sink and lightly grazing my hands. it’s internal. this mechanism that stops me from being alive, that forces my brain to live with blinders on, so i can’t see the world around me. sometimes my eyes open and i feel like i can really see.

tendrils of steam escape from their watery prison. i turn the faucet off, set the plate in, submerging my hands in water so hot it makes me clench my teeth. that’s a feeling. that’s something. that’s a tangible change in my nature. i just … let it scald me. i let go of the plate, of the dishrag. i just let the hot water scald me, until it becomes normal. and then i’m back. back to square one.

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