I haven't taken a breath in 36 hours. At least not outside of harsh, sharp gasps and wheezes, and I can smell everything. Like a starving hound. A fucking terrified, starving hound that fell out of a truck bed and can't find its way home. Is home where I'm supposed to go? Or do I stay in this horrible wilderness with this boa constrictor wrapped around me LIKE A CORSET OF SHAME AND PROPAGANDA? And something is just dragging the life out of me from between the coils, like five miles back I snagged my intestine on something phallic and as much as I'm fighting to keep it inside where it fucking belongs, so it can fucking do its job and dispose of shit I don't need no more, there is something with a fucking pit bull grip that's wrenching it out of me, but I keep straining forward and I think my heart just stopped. Just for a few minutes.
There, right there, it cranked back into gear, chugging away and I breathed so hard it hurt and then it stopped again, like, my heart knew that if I was just going to go on acting like that I didn't deserve to have a heart at all. I didn't even realize how long I'd been holding onto that breath because I need it just as much as I need my intestine, and I do not want to share things right now. You know?
Do you even know what's going on right now? So many horrible metaphors, this is fucking awful. It reeks. Just like everything else, don't you see? It can't be happening. It can't, it can't it and if it is? Oh, god. Shit. Everything smells. Everything. What the hell am I supposed to do?
Because I have no concept of it. No concept of supposed to. I hate supposed to. Fuck you. Don't tell me what I'm supposed to do. Fuck you. Shit. Bitch. You stupid son of a bitch, he's crazy, you know? What the hell were you doing? Were you careful? Yes, yes you definitely were. This can't be real, this can't be right.
I have been in and out of the bathroom all day, jetting around with this little box, staring and not breathing or even doing anything, I just sit down at my computer and stare at hieroglyphics, and everyone is speaking Chinese - did they all get a pocket Rosetta Stone without me? Why does everyone know what they're supposed to do except for me? Because there is no supposed to, there are only decisions to make but you cannot make a decision to solve a problem unless you know if there is actually a fucking problem in the first place, and that's where all the not breathing and wrestled intestines come into play.
So instead of sitting around and fighting the tsunami breaking my insides, I had to get an answer, and believe me: I laughed for the first time in days. Standing in the bathroom stall on my lunch break, counting the seconds with my forehead smashed against the wall and I could feel everything fighting to squeeze my limbs out of their sockets, and I shut my eyes so hard I saw Hell. And then I looked and I felt safe, and I breathed and I'm so relieved that I don't have to grow up yet. Of course I was late. I'm late for everything. When has the tardiness of anything ever bothered me before?
I smiled, and laughed, and came back into the office and told my first joke of the day. Wow, you perked up quick. I know. I know. It's just a beautiful, wonderful, two-degree day. I think I'll go for a walk in the gray outside. That blackened, syruppy snow has never looked so delicious.
Dear blackened, slushy snow: I could put you in a Big Gulp right now. I love you, blackened-slushy-snow. I want to slide my feet through you and catch hypothermia. Oh, hypothermia! It's so wonderful! I could get hypothermia if I wanted! I love you, option-to-get-hypothermia! I love you, sadistic wind and salty sidewalks that stain my pantlegs. Angry pedestrians! It's a beautiful day! I love you, dog-that-wears-booties-and-shits-on-the-sidewalk-because-there-is-no-grass-in-the-Loop! I love you, exclamation points! Oh, cigarettes. I don't even smoke anymore, but I'm going to eat cigarettes for breakfast just because I can. I love you all so much and I did not realize how much I love everything.
I am so glad I'm not pregnant.