October (octubre)

Feeling like I was operating on two different planes of existence, here and elsewhere, time moving so slowly I was stunned when I was it was only eleven, sitting on the couch, dazed as Chris and Ryan cleaned up puke around me, me totally outside myself, yet still wanting to do it again, to step outside of my own thoughts.

A murder in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat, Kendra with egg cartons on her knees and elbows, the chaos of fifteen people in my living room, everyone talking, laughing, and accusing others of murder, Mardi Gras beads on the fan, Catie DJing our night. Chris turning thirty-one, ten years older than when I’d first met him.

Listening to To Pimp a Butterfly with Aaron and Chris three bowls in, knowing I couldn’t listen to this when sober. One of many people apologizing to me for talking too much.

Being short of breath, Inhalers, sick as shit of my body and its hang ups, dreaming about going to Spain and having their universal healthcare.

Wondering if we’ll ever get to another planet, driving around looking for old Ward property, sharing mutual hate of narcissists while eating Indian food, knowing we’re stuck with her and we just have to make the best of it.

My sister posting wedding pictures six months later, posting ultrasounds and pictures of her big belly, telling us about her new life in New Zealand. Worrying about her but also being so excited for this new adventure. My other sister off in Kentucky, in college, starting her own life.

“Estamos buenos amigos. Esta bien…”

“I’m going to science the shit out of this.”

“The strongest rock cannot withstand the weakest flow of water.”

“The rabbits are watching me cry.”

“Have you ever been in love with someone you can’t be with?”

“Hasta pronto, mi corazón.”

Hot buttered rum and catchphrase. The Heart and Love and Radio. Waking up to long texts and Snapchats. A witch and a ghost playing instruments, Tucker and Dale, that feeling when you laugh and it feels so good in your chest you don’t want to stop.

Listening to my students speak in Spanish, understanding them, watching them make new sentences in English, maybe a sentence no one has ever spoken before. Being inspired to teach everyone everything, writing lesson plans, wondering how I’d teach this to someone in another country.

Writing letters I’ll never send, wondering if it’s only been ten months, where I’ll be in a year, and how I think I can handle this. Plans and fantasies blending together, obsessing over every detail and every possibility, waking up and realizing I was dreaming the whole time.

Rain, falling all of a sudden and reminding me it was fall. Clutching Catie’s hand as we walked through halls of strobe lights, rooms of horror, our screams echoing, my cheeks hurting from how hard I was smiling, the inflated tubes pushing in on both sides.

The night escaping, hours on hours, talks of another country and what held us back, of the relationships that keep us, of who we are and what others think we are, of previously unspoken fears and secrets.

Peacock feathers and hair chalk and glitter, music in the basement, masks and make-up, too much to drink, yelling out answers, the boys the boys the boys. The silence of my house, the spinning room, feeling like I could have stayed up all night, I could be infinite, I could do anything, I could have everything.

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