Wake up. 3:21am. Flip the sweat-sodden pillow that is pretzel-twisted under your head. Grasp the empty space next to you for a body that will never be in this bed. Remind yourself: you are on the other side of the world. You are alone. Nothing familiar is next you. You came here to become familiar with this feeling. Catch your breath. Remember you are safe. Settle. Breathe. Close your eyes. Drift into wakeful viridescent yellow streaked sleep. Feel every molecule become heavy. Sink down. Don’t allow too much awareness of your skin sinking into the mattress. Fall. Sleep.
Wake up. 5:30am. Open the shades. Let the light in. Gray sun drapes the street some 20 floors below. The haze that is not fog. Add an “s”. Smog. Fall back into bed. Let the dream you were having consume. Again with the viridescent streaks streaming overhead. Fall into sleep and try to keep hold of that dream. The sleep is too deep, the atmosphere is too clouded. Your brain has not registered the 12,800 miles traveled. Your body is not acclimated. You have not arrived. When will I arrive?
The empty space next to you. The empty space inside of you. You are alone. You hopped straight across the map. A body that will never be in this bed. Remind yourself: You came here to become familiar with this feeling. Catch your breath. You are safe. Settle. Breathe.
Wake up to the beep, beep, street noise – cars and tires stretching over asphalt. You are alarmed. Remember you are safe. Catch your breath. Open the window. Breathe. Exhale. Feel the sting of that smog percolate into your head. Close the window. Get back into bed. Remember that you came here for a reason. It’s time to get to work.
Roll onto your back. Lift your arms above your head. Make angel wings. Repeat for two minutes. Remember you are safe. Make a list of reminders:
1.) You chose. You: in your power. You: falling in love with yourself. You: unwilling to look back. You: yes. You. Set it on fire***
Get out of bed. This is the beginning of the day. Press start. Wind up. Find music. Drown the silence of aloneness. Turn up the volume. Dance naked in the mirror until you can’t anymore. Watch yourself while you dance. Imagine you wrote these songs about the love affair you are having with yourself.
Repeat this for two months until you forget the person you were those first nights, sweating panic and time into the pretzel-twisted pillow, until you understand the length, width, breadth, depth that is 12,800 miles, until you catch and swallow every minute of the 14 hours you lost, until me myself and I become we, until the cacophony of me, myself and I orchestrates itself into electric blue and ivory revelry, until you can recognize the way time passes, how these hours feel. You, alone on the shore of the past washing into the present into the future, into time lost and time gained and time to come, until you don’t remember why you were ever afraid of yourself or being alone, until you can’t remember an alternative to being alone, until you stop grasping for what was and see only what is, until you don’t check the time because the gap between where you were and where you are is a figment of your imagination because the world outside of yourself is not your world – it is everyone else’s, until you put the crown of your kingdom on your head and proclaim yourself the ruler of this land, this body, this cacophony, until you aren’t afraid to look in the mirror at your body, alone in a room, naked, until you begin to see the beauty of aloneness the volume in the silence of solitude getting louder than the traffic of the world passing some 20 floors below.