10 October 2019

STRANDED

I sway in a space of isolation – wading through water, wanting to leave this textual conversation that dragged me in as an afterthought. I do not feel the earth in all of its uneven glory today. Instead, I float. I float on my back, chin up, facing the blue sky but not really seeing it. I sink. I plug my nose and push myself down until my back feels the grainy concrete of the bottom of the pool, and the blue sky ripples off outside of a clear circle. I stare. I stare at the altered reflection my arm makes to the surface. I stare at the bee I saved from drowning, toweling itself off, flicking microdroplets of salty water free from micro legs. He pulls his glossa  down towards his belly, rubbing his forelegs until it bounces back. I push off the wall, cut away from the surface, and swim along the floor to the other side of the pool. My ears feel 7 feet of pressure and I think, "I wonder how my body will react to deeper waters." My hand taps the deep end wall, and still on one breath, I head back to the bee in the shallow end. I pop up, lungs aching, legs tingling. I look at where I am. Alone. In a pool. Waves of light casting rainbow ripples by my feet. I hate my body. I hate that all my friends are in your jeep, and I'm here. I think about unfollowing you. I delete instagram instead. I think about leaving the group chat. If this were a family, I'm the cousin people tolerate. I put my phone on airplane mode instead. Later, I log into instagram on my laptop after watching an episode of The Handmaid's Tale. I hit unfollow, and pause when they ask me if I'm sure. My legs are giddy for a run to clear my head, but the coyotes are out. They're howling hits playback in my mind. Am I sure? I'm sure that this will feel really good right now. Yes. Is it easer to be forced into isolation or to create an island of pity?

some time in june, 2019