Fearful of the heat that is to come, I create a dark den by shutting every window and drawing every blind. I am simultaneously struck by sadness and relief. By blocking out the world I have made my isolation official. Yet the weight that burdens me is now more evenly distributed between my heart and my surroundings.

With a sigh I place two fans on either side of my couch and walk into the kitchen to serve myself a cup of coffee. I bring the coffee back to the couch, sit down and let a few tears drop from my eyes. I am sleepy. I lack desire. I want only for this nameless burden to find its way out of me.

I do not know what it is to live, only that I find it difficult to do within the constraints that my survival requires. I must first survive in order to live but surviving sucks the life from me. Suddenly I begin to fantasize. I imagine a year in which I am able to survive despite cutting my work hours by half. There my fantasy becomes cloudy but there is a vague sense that the tension in my spine would lessen, that the weight on my heart would decrease, and that I could start to breath. And from that breath would emerge life. And this life….yes….this life would allow me the time to feel what I feel. It would provide enough structure to ground me and help me feel useful and enough freedom to help me feel, dream, and connect.

I slip out of the fantasy and find myself back on the couch. My coffee is now lukewarm. Reality. Here in reality coffee gets cold. Bills must be paid. I must pay for this dark den alone. Where is the money for which I have worked? Rage.

Here in reality I must make peace with the limitations. Perhaps the act of writing this is an example of creating peace and acceptance. And with that thought I sink into a quiet melancholy and, in another example of living within the restrictions of my life, pick up a book to read.

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