However odd it may seem, I feel the need to write about this.
It’s morning. 10:36AM, September 5th, 2011. I woke up about 45 minutes ago, not feeling like myself. And I’m not referring to a ‘flu feeling’ or simply not feeling awake, but I did not feel like myself. I stretched, and in doing so my left hand touched my right forearm.
Neither arm felt numb, as though it had fallen asleep in the night. But the arm my left hand touched felt foreign. As though it was not an extension of me, but of another person. I opened my eyes and sat up. I was dissociating. I felt no longer involved in the world, just on observer, watching these arms and legs walk around and pick up things. I exhaled silently in frustration. I’ve never dissociated right when I’ve woken up.
I put my hands to my face, wishing I were back asleep. My hands felt as though they were upon the face of a stranger. I had to focus on my face feeling my hands and then back to my hands noting my face. I never realized before that it is never a conscious act for anybody. We feel one arm over the other when they are crossed, we never have to note first one arm and then the other. But it was as though my brain decided to shut out even this little piece of unnecessary conscious sensation. I looked at my hands. They looked like mine, alright. But what of the face?
I leaned over and pulled my purse by my bed before snatching my mirror out of it. I paused, uncertain of what I would think of her. Me. What would I think she looks like? This vessel I live in and call myself? I realized I was being absurd and pulled open the mirror. I looked at her face. She is pretty. An unusual face, though. Her eyes look tired, dark half-moons forming under them. She forgot to take her eye make-up off, this may be lending to her prettiness. Her eyes are too soft and cheeks too broad to fit the standard of beauty. I snapped the mirror shut and tossed it back in my purse.
“Will you drive me to work?” A voice spoke from downstairs, “I can’t do this today. The bandage keeps coming off.” I felt an impulse to go downstairs before she left. It is routine. I jump out of bed and slip on a thin, heart-covered robe the woman downstairs gave me several years ago. I exit the loft-bedroom through a sheet that is acting as a temporary door, turn left at the end of the banister, and begin walking downstairs.
“The bandage keeps coming off.” She said again, “I don’t have anything I need for it-”
I suddenly found myself running back upstairs to grab my first-aid kit and miniature manicure kit which contained scissors. I thought perhaps she could use something out of both to bind her broken toe. I quickly grabbed them out of my purse and hurried back downstairs, she was putting black socks on. I say something and offer the tools to her, she rejects them in an annoyed tone and gives me a quick hug before turning and exiting the home. The man is next, I feel a force field around his presence. I don’t like him. I avoid him.
Once they have left I look down at the objects in my hand, then look up to the mirror on the wall to the left of the front door. There she is. The shell I’m living in. Her hair isn’t a mess, as I would have expected, but still tousled. I wondered why she was so hard on herself. She isn’t ugly, though she keeps telling me that. With little else to do with them, I slip the first-aid and manicure kit into my robe pocket, which immediately begins pulling towards the center of the earth, causing the left shoulder of the robe to sit awkwardly on my frame. Weak pockets, thin fabric.
Because it felt as though I should, I walked to the kitchen. It is decent sized, and painted a rather happy moss-green. Light wood forms the cabinets, and above the sink on the window ledge sits two empty plastic rectangles. From the little pieces of paper stapled to them insisting (though with a large lack of evidence) ‘Sunflowers’, I knew they were hopeful flowerbeds. I felt a bit sad. How long had I tried to raise the dead? And yet I can’t bring myself to throw them away.
My mother told me a story once. When I was very little, about three, she had bought a few packs of seeds and placed them in the soil of the backyard before mostly forgetting them. The seeds still grew faithfully from what little water they were given, eventually dying and never rising again. Mom told me she tried to throw away the plant, but I was very upset at this, so she let it sit there. several months later she was doing dishes in the kitchen when I came running and exclaiming excitedly that the flower was back. She didn’t believe me. It hadn’t rained and no one had been watering it. But she came outside anyway and, there it was, a flower beginning to bloom. She asked how. And I told her, a bit annoyed, that I had been coming out and watering it, because she wanted to throw it out. Every few years she retells the same story. Every time I see the barren soil where sunflowers are meant to be, I think of it.
I looked to my right and saw the stove with the tea kettle sitting on one of the back burners. Like a machine with only a single duty I walked over and grabbed the kettle before emptying it of old water and refilling it, then placing it on the stove and turning on one of the coil burners. I felt like I should. It was normal. It is what I’m supposed to do.
I made eggs and turkey bacon as the tea steeped. I was feeling a bit more involved, a part of reality as I made my way up the stairs and found myself here. The tea is cold and the eggs are gone, and I still feel a little far away.