The sun rose and lit the black to gray, lit the humid and thick air in this cubicle of a room. The sheer green curtain was tucked aside. The fan, choked with three summers worth of dust, sucked air into the room. The relief was marginal. Awake too early, my heart pounded as it went through the list of things I could do to put myself back to sleep. None would work, I knew. I kicked off the blanket, and pulled the sheet down to a modest amount of skin, down to the hip bone and no further, my skin alive and in search of cool air.
There are no notifications on the phone screen. I am too sick to care. I lay still and make a rudimentary plan: coffee. clothes. shoes. birth certificate. tissues.
At the convenience store, I splurge on a black coffee. When I come out, I see strange bird taking flight into the humid grey sky, awkwardly rising over the green oaks. Moments like this are rare. I stop dead in the parking lot to watch. I see that it is only a silver mylar balloon making it’s escape to the freedom of the sky. A horn beeps and I wonder briefly how I made it this far in life without getting run over.
I always tell people I live in my head. As I drive, I occupy the swath of green growth and vines that flies by the car window. I am the creature that curls in the shade of a thicket, the dreamy one who watches a tiny spider run frantically over my skin. I coo at it’s tiny body, asking it questions. A friend, the voice of reason, asks: “Is that a tick?” before I will finally flick it away.
The trip to motor vehicles was easy, and shorter than the drive. The facial recognition software not was even visible.There was only an innocuous looking sign with four different races and four different eye colors requesting that when posing for the camera, to please make a neutral expression: no smiling allowed.
Back home in my room, I thought of the spray of roadside chickory that I had gazed at longingly while the light was red. I snapped a picture, and then my eyes rested on them until the car behind me laid on the horn. I could almost hear the driver: Go, asshole, the light is green already.
I tried to take a nap.
I played with the phone until the battery was hot, and I felt a drowsy, heavy feeling in my eyes.
Off wasn’t good enough, so I went into the phone settings:
force stop, silence notifications. The phone hit the carpeted floor beside me with a thump, and I dozed.
June 24th 2014, waiting for your email but too sick to really care.