Screen Door

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If I could tell you anything, I would tell you I left the screen door open, so that I wouldn’t make noise when I left late at night. I would tell you about planting tomatoes in June and about the smell of their leaves on my burnt fingertips, and about cutting celery with the windows open. I would tell you about sleeping near the river, or about how I always reach out and touch his arm while he drives.

Everyone tells me the same thing. If you listen, you will know what to do. To be patient, and to not be afraid. And to remember there are no mistakes besides the choices we do not make. I hear things like, eggs boil for eight minutes and butterflies have four wings.

Everything I have ever wanted is distilled as a single moment eating hazelnut chocolate on a beach I have never been to.

Every single time I have been sure of how things will turn out, I have always been wrong. I take extreme comfort in this wrongness. It reminds me that no matter what I think myself into or talk myself out of, my reasoning is wrong. If your reasoning is always faulty, then what are we to listen to?

How do other people decide what to buy at the store? I leave with four different kinds of lettuce, and nothing at all what I came for.

Every morning I wake with the same panic in my chest. It sits directly on my heart and spreads its tangible fingers out into my ribcage, and through my lungs. Before I am even awake, I am worried. If I had a therapist she would tell me this has something to do with my inability to reckon with reality. This is what she says to me. I tell her I like her shoes. She tells me, that is not the point.

I am back in California now and everything seems less severe. As if the sunshine literally sucks the energy from my worried self and places it somewhere else, osmosis of the mind maybe. Sometimes in the afternoon, I forget entirely and then I can get back to work. I wonder what it would be like if I felt that easy all the time.



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