How to go outside. Or. How to stay in without apology.

I am trying to step outside. It takes me several hours to complete my morning routine of coffee, brushing of teeth, semblance of breakfast, email catch-up, (sometimes) meditation. I get dressed. My front door is approachable with postcards and art, slices of poetry. My front door tells me all I need to do is twist knob and walk three steps.

I search for just the right quote to [insert here] which encapsulates through intellectually motivating and well-articulated words about what it is like to live with this, but the act of scrolling through hundreds of choices leaves me with even more anxiety. I give up.

Outside, summertime leaves bodies sweaty and salty. The sun bakes new freckles on skin. Tattoos glisten. Make-up melts. I spend hours planning what I might be capable of doing if only I could just do it. I can ride my bike, ukulele in the park, go to The Strand, read a book on the subway, bathe my feet in the Atlantic.

It sort of feels like hunger and indigestion and clots of blood trying to pound out morse code into my veins. It feels like every strand of hair is being pulled by tiny fingers belonging to strangers that do not have my consent. My flesh is on fire. My tongue has grown infected or inflamed or like that time I got it pierced and it swelled past my teeth.

Dear __________. Please accept my deepest apologies as I am unable to make it to your ___________, ______________, ____________ or _____________. Yes, I want to support your ______________ and your ________________. But walking outside feels like stepping off the ledge of a skyscraper. Yes, I still exist. Or maybe I don’t. What is existence?

I think I’ll just stay in today.

 

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