Second cup of coffee. Fifteen minutes have already passed and my mind is beginning to clear. The space heater is on but the room is still cold. I can’t sleep if my feet are cold, and apparently I can’t write with cold feet either. Cold, Clear, Coffee, Cup. A lot of chattering in my head.

A negative Covid test. Which means my cold symptoms are probably a side-effect of the lithium. I’d forgotten all this. The pros and cons of not letting myself slip under the surface. Now my days are often filled with a repeating scene of me blowing up a bright red balloon, watching it pop, and blowing up another… and so on. Can you picture me in clown face? Polka dots? My nose running. Eyes weepy. The edges are softened but I move in slow motion like a nightmare. I walk Leonard in the dark. Take the train to school. Feel like I have a clue, then I hear myself talking: pop.

I try to forgive myself. And work up the courage to begin another day.


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