man in spacesuit getting smaller and smaller

Surviving February

How remarkable to have made it through the month. After an initial flurry of activity the month becomes one of incredible torpor, made worse by an acute and then lingering illness. The days don’t seem to begin. When you find yourself still—on a bed, on your laptop or reading your phone, a heaviness, a cool settled feeling, takes over. You’re late wherever you go. Fortunately it isn’t so egregious that anyone seems to mind. You are able to rouse enough of yourself to carry through the days. But if you were to ask yourself what you had done—it would be both seem impossible and too insubstantial to itemize. Like listing forgotten names of the wind. You find yourself listening to the descriptions of other people’s lives with a kind of passive amazement: “How could I be living so incorrectly in comparison to them?” 

(This isn’t your entire life. You meet others, you spend time your partner, but it’s in moments like that this that you efface yourself entirely—so that you are either too much or too little your self. Deflecting or annoying. Too passive or too closed-off. After you watch a World War II movie at the theatre, you discover that your movements on the bus and on the streetcar have taken on an old-fashioned self-possession. You are easily displaced.)

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