I say I’m sleeping like a drunk puppy lately, and the metaphor tastes right even though it doesn’t actually make any sense.
On Sunday, I made my vision board for 2020 by taste and smell alone. Some choices made a sense that I could grab onto, but most were anyone’s guess, something so slippery, you’d have to be ocean to be able to hold it.
It is hard to forget that I used to be ocean, and that I could be rain, but that right now I am teardrop, I am pipe drip, I am slow leak. I used to be crystal bright and now I am muddied.
But I don’t want any white or blue in my vision board. They smell like hospital, and my nostrils are already so full of that it feels like suffocation.
And suffocation sounds nice right now, and that’s a problem too, so I cut out pictures of people taking great big gulps of air. In the advertisements it says they had breathing problems– non-metaphorical ones– but medicine fixed it.
I try to remember if medicine has ever fixed anything for me, but the ones I remember barely count as medication here where I live. Flat lemon slices. A finger dipped in bourbon. Dry tobacco pressed to an open wound. Hot ginger tea. Five taps to my lesser wrist. Ash to the back of my throat. The way I call out a name. They way people say my name, like they are holding on to something real.
I love where I live, but I think about floating away a lot. I think about space, weightlessness, wide stretches of land that have not yet learned how to erase a footprint.
I think about the footprints I follow, and how hard it is to see anything since they vanished. I smell my way forward, licking the air like a drunk puppy.
My tail is always wagging and I know it confuses the people who watch me prance forward aimlessly, the ones who watch me curl up to sleep in delirium. But I am happy, just heavy and confused and lost. I am happy, but my vision is blurred and I don’t know anymore how to tell the difference between the things that make sense and the things that don’t.
I raise my face to the sky and let the rain reintroduce itself to me. It splashes into my face. Sometimes it forgets, too, that I am no longer ocean. Hits like a bird against glass. It expects home, but like every vision, every prayer, muddies on my lips.
I am tired now, and even though it doesn’t make sense that I could sleep while so dirtied, in the middle of day, I do. My tail stops, and the loss folds over the happiness, and I snore like I cannot find air. I kick like I am chasing things in my dreams.
I am suffocating.
I am chasing things.
I am kicking.
I am sleeping like a drunk puppy lately.