December 7, 2009

it sneaks up on you
the restlessness
the soft buzzing panic
the dread that looms on the
borderlands of your consciousness like a
slate-colored fog

then you start to fidget, flinch,
shivver like you got a soul-chill
you mutter and curse under your breath
spontaneous tourettes
you try to breath normally

you imagine never being loved
you imagine never being welcome
you ignore the hours and hours you spent
over the weekend with friends and family
and focus on the word “single” in
your social networking profile

you look at the number of
emails in your inbox, and on any other day
it would be totally manageable,
but today you can hear the cacophony of voices demanding your attention and best efforts and it seems like you’re starting to lose the handle on your work and everyone is going to be let down and your coworkers who are almost but not quite your friends will see through you for the phony that you are, and then there are the things you have to remember, all these things, all these little changes and decisions you’ve decided that now seem so overwhelming and you know you’ll never measure up and you know that she was right about you she was right she saw right through you and you never could answer her attack dog questions with anything other than shrugs, so here you are now, trying desperately to hold your shit together as you pray for the minutes to pass until you feel unguilty-enough to leave because you came in late after waking up sick and tired and sad and not wanting to deal with the day and then there’s

you take a breath.
you tell yourself
it’s going to be okay,
you know what this is,
this is merely the beginning
of the dark humour you’ve grown
accustomed to over the last few years
but you’re trying to get better
so you stop and recognize the signs
the patterns
you give it a name, a label, as if that
gives you any control

you look up the definition of
holly golightly’s mean reds
for the seventeenth time and then
remember that it’s not quite the same
it’s like an angry panic,
this feeling in your chest, in your head,
it’s like a wounded, howling grendel
thrashing, bleeding, and crying
as he stumbles and slides into the
ninth-century darkness

you realize you’re overstating
and you feel self-conscious.
it’s not the blues, nor the mean-reds,
so you try to think of a new name.
the foul greys. the cold slates.

you give up on names, and try to
distract yourself with your email.