cold sweats

I wake up in cold sweats, almost every night. Alone, just my ceiling fan, my room, the world and me.

The quiet is different at 3 am.

The shadows suffocating. Curling around my neck. Reminding me I am alone.

There’s a brief panic in these early hours “I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone.”

Nothing quite like

Cold sweats in bed, I feel sweat like a teardrop run down my thigh

The ceiling fan reminds me that time moves on. I wish this moment would. I crush my eyes and hope to not see the ghosts playing in my bedroom.

I close my eyes until I fall asleep again. Panic subsided, breathing steady. Cold sweats have passed.

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Sent: 9:53 PM

The sun has set hours ago

I’m still at my desk –

Where I was

Hours ago

Scrunch my face up, squeeze my eyelids shut. Open again, same blue screen.

Halfway between “I should do this tomorrow” and “I want to get this done tonight.” Fighting made-up deadlines.

Someone might has well have closed their eyes, swirled their finger in the air, and put it down on a date.

Yet here I am, four hours after closing time, racing against the invisible clock that someone chained around my neck.

Sometimes I miss the days before the pandemic, when an email after 7 pm would have warranted a “what were you doing in the office so late?”

Now, it’s 9:30 and my inbox pings with a new email from some other poor wretched soul, working themselves late.

I type my boss’ name in the CC line – hoping he notices how hard I’ve worked by how late I sent the email. But wait! Maybe I don’t want them to realize I’ve sent the email so late. What if they think I’m slacking at home during the day, and only do my work when late night inspiration strikes?

Fuck it. I’ve put in the work all day – and night. Let them judge timelines if they must.

I re-read my email, hoping the late workday delirium hasn’t clouded my ability to form a sentence. Does it all make sense? I think so.

Add a final “thank you,” in lieu of “fuck you” to the end of the email. Add my name in case anyone’s forgotten who they’re talking to.

Give a quick scan for anything my lazy eyes didn’t catch just a second before. Am filled with an urgent desire to just get it over with, and press send

Swoosh.

Sent: 9:53 PM

saturday

getting out of bed is quite the feat

when the days are long

and the nights are bleak

I don’t know what I feel like today

all I know is

I don’t feel like doing much at all, I’m afraid.

so I’ll stay here tucked under these warm sheets

and wait for time to pass

as my energy depletes

and give it a go tomorrow, another day

let’s try again then –

we’ll see what I say.

fountain pen

one thing I can tell you is that I love the texture of a good pen

the feeling of the scrape, or glide, against the grainy paper

the sound of scribbles, etches, curves and swirls

the simple joy of writing filling me with desire to fill the page

doodling for the sake of seeing how the ink flows

journaling for the sense of letting it out

pouring myself out deliciously via pen

Take time

If there is one thing I wish I could go back in time and remind myself over and over again growing up, and to never feel ashamed about, is to take time for yourself. Take the time you need to reach the goals you have and do what you want with your life. If you don’t take the time when you’re right in the middle of figuring everything out, when will you ever have the time? If you keep putting off thinking about life, thinking about the big things, you’ll lose yourself in the small things. 

And the thing about small things is – they make you feel small. They make you forget about the enormity of life and the absolute infinite expanse that is your destiny, your soul, your path. The small things box you in, cut you down, until you no longer remember what it was like to stand tall anymore. 

Stand tall. Reach higher. Think big. Take time.

branches

growing up, I used to think that destiny was like branches on a tree

there was no set path, no set-in-stone direction that your life would take

instead, you make decisions or reactions

that shape the way your branch weaves and bends

sometimes your branch breaks off onto a longer path

sometimes a shorter one

every “no,” every “yes,” gave growth to another split in the branch

reaching, reaching, twisting for the next move

trying to get higher and higher

there is no right or wrong way for a branch to look

it just grows

and so we make our decisions, shape our lives like a big strong oak

my only question was:

how far will my branch grow?

a b c

I must be learning the a b c’s again.

Baby steps to figure out what love is like.

A – a kiss. How do you kiss someone you feel no emotional connection to? Not like you.

B – boy. A different one every so often, they come and go. None make me feel as you did.

C – cupid. Suddenly hit. Not sure if I am ready for this – again.

 

Who is playing with my heartstrings?