I woke up at 3 am. It was raining hard. I suppose that is what woke me. These days, the weather is dry. Sometimes damp and cloudy, but this is not the rainy season. It is rarely actually wet outside. Maybe it was the unexpected sound of pouring rain on the aluminum siding stacked up outside the house for I don’t know what purpose. My landlord is a builder and my neighbours in the next house over are building a house in what was a vacant lot in between us and stuff just appears sometimes. Stones hewn roughly into blocks, beams, aluminum siding. I never ask about it. It sits there for months, then disappears. I see what becomes of it, or I don’t.
But I am awake at 3 in the morning and I lie there, wondering if I will sleep. I fell asleep, I guess, at 8:30 or so. I am not that alarmed at being awake so early. Some people plan on getting only 6 and a half hour’s. It doesn’t work out that well for me, but a night like that once in a while is okay. And I have no plans until 7 in the evening, so I can nap if I need to. I don’t sleep. Instead, I have feelings. I miss C, it seems. Maybe. It is something like that.
I put a pillow against my chest and that helps. It helps immensely. I calm immediately down, and I kind of wonder why. Is it reminiscent of Nata sleeping next to me? Nadia? In the end, I decide it must be my cat. She used to sleep on my chest, exactly there, in that place where it hurts when you are sad. Not a childhood cat, but the one I left behind two years ago when I came here. She was 17. I wrote about her. If you were reading then, you might remember her. She had kidney failure. Anyway, it’s interesting, to have things that make me feel safe that are closer to the present now, as if things don’t need to be quite so loud to work. I sometimes crave tea like C makes it. I started to realize that made me feel safe too. I felt safe house in her house when she lived here—her in the kitchen, usually, cooking or cleaning up or talking on the phone and just pretending to work, me playing with her brother.
Around 4:30, I get up. I want a coffee and I’m hungry and that’s kind of startling too. Just the clarity of the thought: I want coffee. I want that horrible packaged cake. I can’t explain the difference from what I might have felt about it yesterday, but in my head it feels striking. Anyway, I do that. I make coffee. I get the cake. I sit down again and write in my journal for a while. Two hours, to be precise.
I look at the screen while I’m doing this. I’m logged into Facebook. I read the comments over here. I see C has been online but she has not read my message from more than a week ago, and I feel dread. Maybe things actually are not okay between us.
I realize I’m having a feeling. My feelings and my thoughts are interacting, pretty much the way they are supposed to. I have arrived at normal. Kind of. At least in the small hours of the morning before life has started up again for everyone else and I am alone and the world is silent. I have not behind glass.
And this overwhelms me. It was so hard. I just sob.
The thing is I don’t know if I can even tell you how it is different than how I might have felt yesterday. I might have still noticed what I noticed, had the same thought, had the some feeling. It is something about the smoothness and the automaticity of the process—of feeling and thought together—that seems different. Maybe yesterday there might have been some degree of a “not me” feeling to it. I don’t know. But it is different.
I don’t know how it is different, but it is. I don’t expect it to last. I don’t expect a straight line. Things will get too much, and the glass will go up again. I will feel again, “This is not me.” I might have the same feelings, but they will regain a quality of flatness. I know that. As soon as I get scared again, it will be different. But I have gotten to a place I have never been before. This is new.