Boulders and grit and shards of glass, my throat closing in on itself, my head and ears muffled by illness. A cancelled New Year’s Eve party, replaced by dinner for two and watching fireworks on tv. Sometimes illness is a godsend. And today? Waking with the feeling that I ought to go outside into the fresh air and exercise my ailing body. Instead, we eat soup side by side, catching up on recorded tv shows. I decide to start a new project, and immediately let myself be distracted by a game on my smart phone. Slashing fruit with a pixelated blade. The distraction only lasts a minute.

The peace is shattered by a cry of disorientation from 20 miles away.

At night, the fat cloth owl peeps around the edge of the door, watching through fabric eyes. On a poster by the bed, a creature wrapped in dufflecoat and scarf carries worries in his satchel. Inside my head, the worries I can’t transfer into that imagined satchel move like a whirlpool. It’s likely to be a long night. My throat continues to close in on itself. The boulders and grit and shards of glass crunch together across its suffering arc.


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