Sunday, April 15, 2007

Locational Dysphoria

I know, I know... it's been a while since I was here. Again, the world is a very busy place and I right along with it in that very fashion. Never enough hours in the day.

I come here to share with you a very unusual feeling that I am having. Right now, at this very moment, I feel a stranger in my own land. Here I sit, in my little apartment that I scarcely saw fit to leave yesterday and many days before when evening fell and it was time to leave my desk and venture here, home. It feels familiar, and yet, it doesn't. Like a house sitter. Neither appraising nor critical, everything simply is as it is. As though I had nothing to do with the placement of things.

I did not sleep here last night.

I slept someplace else.

In a dark room, with warm air flowing across my face, a nest of comforters upon the dark-sheeted bed. A door just behind like a headboard- tiny points of light streaming through, the light of the hallway beyond.

At first I felt over-elaborate. Like a Rococo statue in the middle of an urban park. Teams of angels trumpeting down about my shoulders, streams of ribbons and flowing cloth, arm held aloft to the heavens. Eyes up-cast. Park benches of plain plank, covered in graffiti at my feet. Girls in tight jeans and many pigtails secured by brightly-colored plastic bubbles laughing in warm sun.

Yes, I felt... fancy. In my new little shoes nestled in cocoa-colored carpet and my $35 t-shirt. There was a girl sitting next to me, she came with us and stayed for a while until a cab carried her to some unknown destination. We spoke of our cats. They spoke of work. I watched as his eyes darted back and forth between her face and mine.

She has very white skin and those large, clear eyes that protrude slightly. As though taking in the world were too much for them from behind the architecture of the ocular cavities, they needed a front-row seat. She wore a white thermal tee and jeans, her hair swirled around into a low ponytail. When she laughed I thought, this girl has brothers. Her teeth are strong and she is possessed of an animated smile, all pink and white. I don't know what time it was when she left. I never can seem to find the clocks in other people's apartments. They're never where I expect them to be.

After she left we watched a movie, his body stretched out across mine, the bones of his shoulder blade pressing against my bottom left rib. Then he moved across from me, our eyes meeting and catching each other, playing tag, talking as unconsciously and freely as our stomachs seem to do. I spoke, haltingly describing some of my previous evening's happenings, muddling through the story despite a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was saying the wrong things. As though he expected an undesired conclusion, he watched me from behind black-rimmed glasses.

Later, in the dark, an unexplained grin spread across his face. I'm still left wondering. It was a broad, cheshire-cat-ish grin. What was he smiling about?

Now, four hours later I still feel out of sorts. Discombobulated. I know it will pass and that everything will start to feel like mine again eventually but it's so unusual. And accompanied with an antsy-ness, a feeling of not knowing what to do with myself, like I left something important behind. I was totally unable to read the paper I bought before I crossed into this alien territory. This sort of dysphoria seems to be a theme lately. I do so wonder what it means.


winter said...

You express yourself very beautifully and vividly. I almost feel as though I were there - which is a little disorienting in and of itself.

I know the feeling, though.

rebecca said...

i know the feeling, too. and i agree with winter - you expressed yourself so beautifully.

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