I’d just had my springtime date with alcohol. Suicidal thoughts seized my brain. They weren’t just passing through anymore; they were a relentless storm. I got ready to weather my malfunctioning neural pathways, which connected like lightning to the ground.
Another six months of isolation; choosing between the front porch or the back porch for my cigarette. Netflix in my bedroom or on the couch? Talk to my family or shut them out? My normal.
A year later, another night blacked out and vacant.
I don’t quit my job, I just leave. The germs are too threatening and they understand. No doubt my supervisor had overheard me talking about my PTSD to my coworkers. Did she wonder when I would finally crack?
Front porch, back porch. Bedroom, living room. Open up, shut up. I think I just wanted to be alone.
Pandemic. It was acceptable to isolate. I wanted to be alone with my partner. I needed to feel safe. The pandemic seemed in some ways like a blessing.
Earthquake. Finally, I had language to communicate how I feel all the time. Remember how you felt when the earthquake shook your home?
Terribly alive, terribly mortal. I realized I had no control over death. I was a new believer in the thing. I contemplated which way I’d rather go; earthquake or COVID-19? Hands down, earthquake. Take me out swiftly by a fallen piece of furniture, please.
The virus expands the walls of my prison and my fears have more room to move. I’m building new pathways.
Front porch, back porch. Bedroom, living room. Open up, open up.