On hope

There is so much space around our words now, around our selves. We try to wake up early in the mornings and make coffee. Some days we get dressed like the garden may notice us differently, like something like this may matter. There is an importance to our rituals. The lull in a lullaby; they keep us sane, certain, safeguarded in the confines of pants from the terror of all the world staying indoors. We speak to our shadows and tell each other to spend more time in the sunshine. I drag a chair outside, read a Nabokov I bought when I was in love with someone else. I sound out the words: Ada or ardor. I nurse my plants like going to church. A new leaf finally unfurls after a 10 hour drive from that home to this and I run to my dad and present this occurrence like a diploma. I like to think I’ve made something of this hard time, somehow fashioned from all the anxious minutes and terrible 2 ams something better than before. On one of the never-ending Sundays I almost believe I have. I cook and we eat food I lyingly call Mexican and play a game my brother left behind. We spend time together. We talk. It’s not nothing.

There are calls from across the seas; some I answer and some I don’t. My new friends love me and look after me and ask if today I feel a little less like screaming. Some days I forget about what came before. Only once I turn the light off do the fears, those old friends, come out. They can smell my weakness, but at least they only show face in the dark.

I keep writing, for school and for friends and even on the good days for myself. I make plans. I try not to let the nighttime-news shatter them fully. The whole world is scared and sometimes that feels like we might still find the tenderness we lost in its horrors. My housemate tells me from afar, I am speaking from my privilege and I still, always, never seem to see our world’s fractions. She is mostly right, but still. Hope is as necessary for facing the outside world as our masks are.

The world feels like a we for the first time in a long time, even as it seems easier to hate the ones who refuse to be encompassed. Angry people put their freedoms above the lives of others, and I read Levinas and Butler from the safety of my childhood bed. There is always the Other and there is always the idea of infinity. I hope we come out of this with love rather than hate. I hope we let the infinite terror of uncertainty mold, not break, us. I hope my dad plays me more songs he likes and that my mother keeps cooking. I hope the world, this world, in its endless uncertainties survives. I hope I hope.

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