900 miles

some days i wake up sweating, others trembling and cold. i press my head against the pillow to relish in its collected warmth.

my feet hang off the end of the bed.

i run my fingers along my eyelids, let the sun in.

i walk shakily down the hall on the cold tile floor to emerge moments later into the morning, chilly. i run my fingers through my hair, down my face. “wake up.” i light a cigarette.

i close my eyes again. i try to smell the ocean. i try to smell the redwoods. i try, i try. the subway, about 900 miles away, beep-honks to let me know it’s pulling into the station. the fog is rolling in over the trees. the waves are lapping at the shore. the cars are passing over the bridges.

i open my eyes and put out my cigarette. i become aware of its bitter taste. i believe i’ve missed the train.


And as you rise,

I crumble.

Or am I? I don’t know anymore. In a place where success is happily purchasing $4 toast and paying $3,000 a month for a 400-square-foot apartment with shared laundry facilities, I’m beginning to question the sanity of those around me more so than my own.

Still, what’s wrong with me that I don’t want what they want? Or do I? I don’t know anymore.

In a place where I dodge shady glances and human shit on the sidewalk, am I the crazy one for wanting out? Or are you so uncomfortable in your own skin that you need to wear the skin of someone…no, everyone else. Or am I? I don’t know anymore.

And as I quickly divert my eyes before the 1.5-second mark where you determine I’m a threat to you on public transportation, I try to see if you’re human. If that person is. Or maybe that one. But all eyes quickly dodge to nothingness, to a phone screen, to a PETA advertisement on the train wall spray-painted with the word “shit”…all to avoid the humanity in each others’ eyes that we simply cannot ignore yet we choose to deny so readily.

I know nothing anymore.