today’s unedited journal entry
In my letters I write Things have been good! As good as they can be these days!, forced reassurance leaking through black ballpoint ink, unpoetic lines smeared by a heavy hand. What I mean by good is that I’ve got my hand stuck in a mixed bag. Some mornings I rise to an all-encompassing sense of dread, my body an anchor in a sea of boiling blood. Other mornings, though, I just make cinnamon oatmeal. Or a bagel with a thick layer of cream cheese. I’ll put on the radio and lie in bed for an extra hour and not miss out on anything. At least I won’t feel like I am. I’ve learned this life can feel sort of safe in the absence of the real thing. I’m not in love with it like I once was, no longer sucking the juice out of every short day I’m given, no longer chewing the rind for more. Content with what I can get— a hot shower, a vase of fresh flowers, an ounce of attention from the house cat— it’s enough. I’m not rationing joy. I’ve just stopped chasing after it. I just let it chase me, let it serenade me, let it fall first.