There's these big windows in my attic room. They are my favorite thing, because I can be privy to the world and the weather while still being in my sacred space, my bedroom. I like my room.
The walls and ceiling are pale pink textured with the indents of the lumber showing through the paint.
The accents are stained cedar, pretty and strong.
Today, my room was filled with sunlight. Bright and cheerful as ever.
The air seemed thick, and the sun oppressive.
I felt hollow, like I'd had the caring-parts, the feeling-parts carved out of me. A nauseous jack-o-lantern with apathy inside instead of a candle.
I went outside. Walked barefoot on gravel. Walked through the warm sunlight. A patch of cool shade.
Sunlight. Shade. Sun. Shade. Over and over again.
My brain was filled with television static,
so I filled it with the feeling of the sun and the shade instead.
I layed down in the middle of a dirt and rock road.
I paid attention. To the breeze flowing around my body. To the birds and the cicadas in the trees. To how the ground felt under me.
To how my eyelids felt from the inside. To what my saliva tasted like. To how each of my teeth felt against my tongue.
I dug my fingers into the dirt, it was wet and cold. I listened real hard. Tried to hear my body digesting my lunch.
Tried to focus on what that piece of hair felt like resting on my cheek, and on my ear.
Going back, the middle of the road was clear, but I walked on the side instead, just to hear the orange leaves crunch under my feet.
There's an ache in my knee. I'm scared it will leave me, so I grab at it. Squeeze until I'm sure it will bruise.
I only went back into my room to retrieve my softest clothes.
Turned on the shower, all the way cold. I dug my fingers into my throat, and the pulse there, thrumming against my fingertips, frightened away some of the sickness from my stomach and my bones.
I looked into the mirror. I told my ugly nose, that I loved it. My too-big toes, too. Told my jawline and the bruise on my ankle.
I don't particularly like any of these things, but they are parts of me, and therefore, deserving of love and of kindness.
I smiled big into the glass, and waited for it to stop feeling so forced. I saw how the smile scrunched up the left side of my face, but not the right.
It wasn't beautiful, but it was me, and so I told my crooked teeth and my silver fillings that I loved them too. The smile isn't as painful to look at as a few minutes ago.
I still feel that hollow ache inside. But I am not alone. I have the birds, and the cicadas, and the bruise on my ankle.
I do not feel good. I am alive. I am real. That's enough.