Somewhere like nowhere

The city, if a collection of vast parking lots huddled together quaking under 40-degree heat may be called that, did something to my heart I did not expect.

It stretched me away from myself, pulled away pieces of things I’d been collecting in a canvas bag to keep safe. It reminded me over and over again, with sweat tracing fault lines down my chest, that I am not yet where I am going. It left me staring at myself in a mirror, grasping at the next breath. I am always forgetting to lock the door on my way out.

I hated it, that city and its sky like a scream that went on, and on, and on. I got angry at the asphalt and wore dresses too pretty for the unblinking indifference of the sun. My skin and my heart and all of it just melted, and I got sent back to myself, as I always am, reluctant and aching and angrily hopeful. I have started to believe that I am always unlucky, and that it might be the best part of my life.

I read books I said I already did years ago and eat the same meal for a week straight. I pass people in the hallway and keep asking the same question about clean water. I am always finding new ways to be alone, and I don’t know what that means for where I may end up. It is a vast and unflinching desert away from the things I’ve been holding onto. Back home, I never forgot to drink water and it was always best straight from the tap, my mouth held up to the faucet; dripping. In winter, the water would get so cold it made my teeth flinch. I remember this as if I watched it happen to someone else.

I hate and adore myself in overlapping fits, and I wonder what I will be saying to myself a few months into this. I have spent so much time away from my heart that I do not know if I can ever go home again.

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