It Gets Better

Today started with a pathetic stretching for yesterday’s leftover coffee. I heated a cup in the microwave and drank, half squinting, half conscious against a pile of pillows on the bed.

Three open bottles of old wine still stood on the plywood stand that used to hold an aquarium. The rice cooker’s glass lid was still crusted with I don’t know what, for I don’t know how long. Every where, papers and books, a stripped down camera bag, junk mail, possibly real mail, disposable spoons, a plastic bowl filled with eggshells and dried milk and cereal, a bottle of Shea body lotion, coffee can on top of the microwave, five gallon water jug sitting skewy on top of the water dispenser. A black shoe. A sock. Bottle of argon oil direct from Africa next to 100 Spf sunscreen and a slow cooker. Toilet paper tissue scatter randomly in wads around the room as if I’d left the window open. Clean clothes shoved onto the bed, a confusion of hems, ruffles, buttons, zippers. Walls white with black smudges, empty screw holes, one protruding screw where the last tenants dartboard was hung.

I finished my first cup, put the mug someplace that might have been in the notch between the mattress and wall. I think I had put music on. I took up my tablet to do what people do on tablets, but I couldn’t remember and let it drop to my side, then I curled into the fetal position and through a blanket over my body, wrapping it tight over my head, keeping it tightly closed around me with one hand.

I wanted to sleep. I wanted to be that kind of tired, but I’ve forgotten how to be tired like that anymore. I probably shut off the music. My knees touched my new breasts. My hips twitched and I began a kind of jerky rocking, my body singing – or rather acting out – the only lullaby it could remember. I stayed like this until noon. Five and a half hours after my first coffee of the morning. I tried to think of where I could go, or who I could call. Nowhere. No one I could think of.

I’d like to say I eventually scrounged up the will to get up, have more coffee, shave and dress and go outside. But here is no will. It passed through me long ago, flushed into the toxic fumes of the sewers. Instead, I took a clonazepam, because what was left to do, and returned to my cave under the blanket. To wait it out. Or fall asleep. It didn’t matter.

Don’t ask why. It isn’t entirely reasonable. I wondered how quickly a living person could be cremated. I wondered how much pain would I feel if I stuck my face into the sudden blast of a jet engine’s after burn. Living is often too hard to love. Don’t ask why. It isn’t rational. But life isn’t rational.

It isn’t rational, for example, that sunsets are just as beautiful over a peaceful city park, as they are over the exposed rebar and bombed out homes and Mosques in a country no less familiar to people than the distant planet this tired trans woman is from.


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