I was excited and I was going to go with another writer I’d met at another book reading
a few days earlier and I clicked Going on the facebook event and I felt good about this.
that morning I went on a chocolate factory tour in Bushwick and I coped with
leaving the apartment and getting on the subway and finding the factory and being
around people and I chatted over hot chocolates and croissants with hazelnut butter
and I was excited about going to the book party that night and I felt okay.
I went back to the apartment so that I wouldn’t get too worn out before the book party
and Neha messaged to say she was worn out and couldn’t make it and I was disappointed
but still felt okay and I ate lunch and had a little nap and looked at the clock and read emails
and looked at the clock and wrote a poem and looked at the clock.
at 4:58 I checked how long it would take me to get to the book party and it would take
47 minutes and that was okay because all I had to do was brush my teeth
and put on my shoes and I checked the route again in case there was a different way
and it was still okay because all I had to do was brush my teeth and put on
my shoes and I looked at a different map to check the route and it was okay because
all I had to do was brush my teeth and put on my shoes and I looked at a video of
Dorothea reading one of her poems and it was okay because all I had to do was brush
my teeth and put on my shoes but I couldn’t face brushing my teeth or putting on my
shoes or leaving the apartment or seeing other people – even if I didn’t interact
with them, just seeing them – and getting on the subway and finding the venue
and being around more people and I didn’t cry because even though often there’s
no actual reason when I cry uncontrollably during the day or at 2am, right then
I didn’t need to cry. I couldn’t cry. I just couldn’t leave. I couldn’t.
First published in Berfrois (2018)