i am outright dumb these days.

with a red, fiery, ruby-scratched throat

I am ill and dumb.

It is a weird spot that I am in, but I have decided that the usual barrier can come down as easily as it arose.  Simply by the doing of what needs to be done.  So five hundred words are going to appear on this white screen.  They are not going to resolve me to great purpose. They are not going to absolve me of my terrible failure.  They are not going to suddenly be 250,000 words or howsoever many words I am behind.  They are just going to be simple, small words, written only to comfort me in response to a question:  can I write five hundred words again?

I need to believe I can.

I could tell you about Seattle, about the delicate panic attack that overtook me in the city of vast hills and the kindness of my friends who took me by the crook of their arm up the hill to the lovely Japanese restaurant where I a deeply memorable meal I will have to look up the name of.  I could tell you about the ineffable power of Laura Bailey and her charming husband whose kindness and cheer was enough to drag me out on those same unknown city streets, unsure as a newborn lamb on my legs, to have her sign my comic book.  Who I was brave enough to speak to even if it was just one brief sentence.  I acquitted myself well.  I could tell you about the Korean chicken, the Weiner documentary, the chilly night on the air mattress, my grand thoughts as I rode the train and navigated the ebb and flow of the aforementioned panics and currents of extreme bravery.  Of cosplayers and good coffee and the time I spent alone and observant, among my people, a part of them and apart from them.  I could tell you about Patrick Rothfuss’ Princess tale read aloud to us, the charm of being read aloud to.  The grand laughter, the art, the ideas, the numb brain, the pleasant absence of self-definition.

I could tell you how I am sick as hell today, despite it being deeply, deeply inconvenient.  My excessive worries about Monday-Wednesday and the crazy workload I need to address tomorrow so I am not drowning when I arrive for meetings I cannot work during.  I could tell you about my new boss and her hands-off, independent approach that I should be a 1000% glad for now that I have been made to understand that I don’t have to chase after her with calendars to tell her where she needs to be and when – but that leaves me disconcerted as to whether everyone else is going to treat me as fair game.

I could tell you about the boy.  The man. The movement towards a goal that is happening tomorrow, but is still not enough.  His desires and mine and the sliding windows that never seem to be open at the same time, but yet, here I hang, half-defenestrated, awaiting this rope to be pulled back in or cut loose.

Somehow, I’ll say none of these things and yet do enough.

Thirty-seven little extra words to apply to my statement in arrears.

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