I felt it nearly a week later.
Hunkered down in my bedroom, I laid there with my legs strewn over one side of the air mattress. The whir of the plastic fan – which no longer turns in many directions – gave me my favorite white noise.
It doesn’t really matter.
In the other room, my father’s droopy eyelids fight with themselves on how long they can stay open. Usually, they fall back down within five minutes. Sleeping off the drunk haze, I sometimes wonder if he even dreams then.
The sunlight creates long, thin rectangular lines on the opposite side of my room. Hung over the blinds, I have a tapestry with two binder clips attached to either side. Laying there, I grovel in how much the past year flew by. The amount of heartache I self-inflicted with myself encourages me that I shouldn’t open up to people anymore. I won’t tell as many people that I love them. Each time, I trekked through the woods with spray painted tree trunks, hobbled in my converse sneakers through a small stream, and felt the warmth of a fire in the middle of an abandoned building – I missed a part of myself.
It doesn’t really begin how you think it does.
This daunting act of finding myself starts whether haphazardly. Whenever, I spend time alone – it can happen one or two ways. By definition, I am an introvert who succumbs to a hermit lifestyle. I have a phone, a notebook, food (mostly bread and snack things), and music. I’m set, right? Yet, other times I lay curled onto my bed with the frustration that the soreness in my back will not leave. Enacting the U-curl pattern of a caterpillar, I can’t seem to sit with myself.
I don’t want anyone to get me anything.
Six days and a few hours, I felt the tremendous weight of how alone I felt. It’s an invisible pain I suppress that resurfaces when I’ve buried my true self so far into the ground.
In the other room, my mother would lay outstretched on the living room couch. Half listening (and mostly sleeping), she enveloped herself in the biblical history YouTube videos. Our house would make the only sounds of two different TVs on either side of the apartment, the whir of my fan, and the tremendous amount of sorrow I felt on my birthday.