Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My nervous habits give away all of my secrets, and my fingernails are bitten to the quick, cuticles shredded. Raw and giving a painful throb when they brush against something, bleeding unexpectedly, reminding me that though even I think I'm evening out, I'm probably not. I catch myself with a thumbnail absently gripped between my teeth and curse at the little elf that runs my tics, who is camped in my skull and giggling.

But today the rains came back with a preview of what they'll be like in earnest soon, and I felt like the little fish who thinks it has drawn its last gasp only to be thrown back for being too small at the very last second. The air is cool and wraps around my skin like cotton wool and it is almost possible to open my eyes all the way. I am almost not afraid of what may fall from beneath my eyelids again.

I can pinpoint the moment when the bands around my chest loosened this year--it was while I was standing on the Arno, having just finished visiting some early versions of the Inferno and swooning madly. I paused near a bridge and it started to rain, and as a flurry of umbrellas opened around me something broke and, just like that, I could breathe. Not free, but with the cupboard door open. It is only when it rains that I find it possible to walk through those doors, not around the monsters, but with them.

When I went to open my blinds this evening, for the first time in months, a fortune cookie fortune fell from somewhere, saying, "you will have much to give thanks for this month."

This month, and every other month too.

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