I am thinking of the things we leave behind before we even have the chance to notice. Skin cells and soulmates and stories. Strands of loose hair in the shower, fingerprints on escalator handrails, shot glances, minor details of our histories (what you ate for breakfast on your first day of sixth grade), these small things of which we do not care enough to store for safekeeping. Life moves above awareness and permanence is only as permanent as it feels. This I know because there came a day I found myself standing very still in the middle of a bustling sidewalk stranded in a city, a moment, a life I could not recognize. The natural question came to mind: How did I get here? as I stood in a body unknown to me, alien vessel drowning in a sea of colors I could not name. Sensory overload, system failure, panic. Cars drove past without noticing, time still set in motion with no regard for who chooses to stand motionless. It hit me then and there, in the eye of my own hurricane, that everything I shed– hair ties left behind on ex-boyfriends’ nightstands, poems written on the backs of coffee shop napkins crumpled and tossed into train station garbage cans, an old phone number saved in a dead friend’s phone– took me here. It was all my doing. Every act unnoticed is still an act after all.

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