The world may be falling apart, but my press-on nails hold firmly.
I cut the avocado in half, and turn away from the screens. I lightly season the fruit and scoop into it with a spoon. My nails are pink floral, and the scene before me is more springtime than springtime was.
This year, springtime was blue and white– hospital rooms and lobbies, and stale air. This year, summer was blue and white– hospital rooms and lobbies, and skipped meals.
Where are we now?
Have we made it to winter?
Once I had to explain an avocado to someone who had never seen one. I told him how it is both firm and soft, like green butter that wears a rind like skin, and has a heart like a pit.
Later, I realized he had imagined a living thing. A living thing I scooped up and salted. How I judged its readiness for my reckoning by squeezing along its rapidly aging body.
I understand the confusion. I anthropomorphize most everything. I name everything. On a related note, I see faces in the stars, on the ceiling, on the lint on my robe.
I snuggle deeper into my fuzzy black robe and pick at that lint. I think about the springtime, this March.
How I fell down a flight of stairs and stopped seeing faces in randomness, stopped seeing stories in the spaces between.
The first clue that clots had gotten to my brain was the day no flowers nodded at me as I walked by. The way no elephants frolicked in the sky, disguised as clouds.
It was those empty skies of springtime.
Later I would realize I had also forgetten their proper names– the four types of clouds were something I memorized for my third-grade class and could singsong back to you as quickly as I could recite my own name.
In summer, I forgot my own name, too, at least once. It still happens but I’m comfortable with it now.
Isn’t it amazing how we can get comfortable almost anywhere? In jail. In earthquake cities. In a place where no faces live in a popcorn ceiling.
It isn’t always a good thing.
It often isn’t a good thing.
But I’m grateful for it now.
The comfort helps the healing. The soft robe and the ripe avocado help the healing. I cuddle into myself, enjoying my late morning breakfast, the salt and silence of it.
I tap my spoon against the pit and consider planting it.
Alone and aloud, I say to the avocado, “You have a good strong heart.”
I tap my nails with the spoon, always surprised I don’t sound hollow after all this judgement and all this reckoning.
I am a living thing, even when I forget.
The light shines through the blinds.
It’s an autumnal glow and I think about the seasons I still have to grow through.
The spoon clinks against my press-ons and I remind myself. Alone, and aloud:
“You have a good strong heart, too.”
Maybe we will make it to winter.