Of Decibels and Dust Bunnies

It sucks to feel it. To know it’s coming, yet just sit with it like a shameful, paralyzed little bitch. Especially in public. That attack erupting within you–magma at the dermis. You can see sound waves–not really, but kinda… Really. You feel them narrowing in on you. Them and everything else. The rolling of Spanish r’s as Dominican abuelitas speak way too loudly in the way too crowded way too hot subway car. They’re trilling these r’s (it’s their thing) at decibels with crests like a tsunami. You want them to stop talking. This is a pollution. But, you can’t talk. You can’t anything. You stopped working. And, you’re going to have to manage. Don’t make eye contact. The air is suffocating and it’s pulling you out into its riptide. Don’t get pulled out. Not too far. Space is fluid. Silvia Plath writes about seeking refuge in that vacant real estate under her bed (she also traded stories of suicide w/ Anne Sexton). You know what she was talking about. The why of it all. You know she was hiding, waiting-out an internal storm, a melancholic-narcissist, an understudy for the role of her own corpse. I tried that once in seventh grade. Why not, can’t hurt. Hid under my bed for a near-hour and tried to calm myself. Until the dust bunnies and asthma won. Those faint-whistled breaths, like a machine, but human, but like a machine; and, you know you’re not quite yourself in that moment, or anything, but you somehow oddly feel better. Lack of oxygen isn’t all bad. People say their goodbyes, but you’re here. They compliment, and embrace, and smile, a half-smile that’s half-happy and half-something-else that isn’t quite clear. But, you’re here. You probably have the same look on your face, but are too dumb and too removed to register it. And, you listen to these words that they say, this blend of wisdom and well-wishing and perhaps a note of envy. It feels like you’re an acquaintance at your own eulogy. There’s d-i-s-t-a-n-c-e. She was a blahblahblah… I always knew her to be blahblahblah… You want to scream: “I’m here!” But, you’re not. Not really. Not completely. You’re an abstraction of someone you once were, or are becoming–a fragmented, animated piece. Picasso would’ve painted over you and started over. There’s too much contradiction, even for his palette. That should be added to the to-do list, the must-do list–be there, be present–but, do do it this time. Be resolute. You pause the tape of the day’s conversations. Hit rewind–nah, rip out the magnetic rrrrrrribbon and throw it out. You stare at that random vertex in the universe. That outlier vertex that just doesn’t quite make sense in man-made engineering. And, calculate. Estimate. Stop this. You’re imploding. Stop thinking. Stop. Is it 45 degrees? No. Focus. It’s more like 60–because if you make a right angle, it’s clearly angling more than its complementary half. 46-60 degrees. Within that range. Don’t touch your eyes in public places. You have a phobia that all public surface areas are hatcheries of pinkeye. Don’t worry. No one can see you with your sunglasses on. You’re in the dark and so is everyone else.

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