Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

It was the year


Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash


It was the year I had a panic attack for the first time in my life,

when I thought for a moment that I could not move my legs.

My blood pressure went up so high, I thought I would die.

Apparently thinking that you will die is not a valid cause of death.

And when I told the handsome Middle Eastern doctor what had happened,

he guessed that it had happened before.

He didn’t give me a prescription guaranteeing it wouldn’t happen again.

Men will exploit you, they will harm you, my mother told me that night under the yellow light of the kitchen table.

I remember the light on her face, her skin looked so yellow when she said this.

It was the year I talked in abstractions about real things

and talked real about abstractions.

It was the year my dreams died of a disease.

They vanquished and reality spray painted its hue into

graffiti on my soul, in a language I have yet to learn.

It was the year there were those who would say long sentences to me

and I would not remember their words but only the shapes their lips formed.

I could taste the spit on their tongues.

I never cut myself, threw up food, or took too many pills like some girls I knew.

I just sat there sometimes and didn’t move, not even to breathe.

Although apparently breathing was happening without my written consent or a prescription from the doctor

who wrote me the script for chill pills.

I took the chilling seriously, really seriously.

It became my job, my profession, no my career, to chill.

For a while, I did nothing else.

This is the year I woke up from a deep slumber.

I had put myself to sleep, not with drugs, but the sedative of a sanctuary.

My bed had become my home, I needed to nest there for a while.

This is the moment I look back at my journey

and realize that the world is going on here with or without me participating.

It is the year I decide there is no time

I have not lost anything, time is not something we own

time is a vessel through which we see that we are existing

but it is not the measurement of that existence.

It is only a window.

It was about time I opened that window.

Who knew there was so much air to breathe?

It was the year or was it the lifetime, that I forgot I existed.

This is the moment, I remember.


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