the isolation journals – day 6

The Isolation Journals

Prompt: Okay, close your eyes. Maybe lie down so you’re cozy? A blanket is nice. Okay. What do you see? At first, it’s dark in there. But if you really look, you will start to see pictures. Maybe it’s a bear with claws, or an ice cream cone, or a memory. Like, cuddling your mom. Maybe it’s words, like LOVE or DANCING. Sometimes it’s just tickly lights. Whatever you see, write about it. Really explain it until it becomes a story. I like to draw what I see, too.

I sit here, eyes closed, legs outstretched under the perfectly-weighted bamboo blanket, a gift from Mike when I was in chemo. So cozy it is the only blanket our cat Whiz likes to make muffins on, kneading and loving and purring until he zonks out. He is next to me, his light breathing a balm, a reminder of the simple, complex fact of being alive.

It’s early here on the west coast. I lay awake for much of the night, wondering why I was awake, going through the list of possible reasons – was it that matcha mochi too late in the day, its grassy caffeine notes overstimulating my receptors? The transformative hardships overcome by the people featured in the movie we watched, Crip Camp? The vitamin B pill that I took maybe got lodged in my throat, tempting heartburn? A facetime call with my parents, where my dad was in so much pain he couldn’t open his eyes to look at the phone screen? Was it reading a book about enslaved people narrating their lives before I clicked off my bedside lamp? The gravitational pull of a waxing moon, nearly full tomorrow?

With my eyelids heavy and still closed, I strain to see something other than what is in my mind’s eye. Because what’s in it is a spinning rolodex of work and worry. Or ping pong balls of concern floating and bouncing while riding the air just waiting to have their turn in the bingo draw. Kernals of corn popping, expanding in the hot oil.

I wish the images of ice cream cones and cuddling with my mom would stay, but they appear and dissolve into the distance.

I breathe in, try to count to five before exhaling, but make it to two.

It is Monday.

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