it doesn’t happen very often, but this is the time of year it happens in. fall and spring.
i was walking to yoga after 6, and there’s a particular quality to dusk this time of year at this latitude – the sky goes grey-purple with yellow fire in the west, and while walking east past buildings you are struck by the strangeness of night starting to slow-blossom in front of you while the mirrored skyscrapers before you still reflect gold.
it feels like skating on the edge of the earth.
i love the word crepuscular, and it applies very strongly to this feeling, this time of day and year. there’s the hint of the word ‘creep’ in it, just as there is the hint of the word ‘cusp’ – it is a season of apprehension as leaves reveal their true colors and trees their real shapes, and the wind picks up at night and the world sursurrates around you. the hint of winter, still obscured.
i was walking on a street i usually don’t walk down, and maybe it’s just the october getting to me, but it felt abruptly surreal in its half-familiarity. the headache that had been stalking me all day did not quite catch up to me but i felt its breath in my temples and the back of my skull, and the feeling of something perilous, of walking on the edge of an abyss, made me afraid of people and of stepping off the edge of the curb.
i crossed a bridge built the year you were born and could not help but think of the hollow space between my feet and the freeway.
there are times when i feel deeply alien from my surroundings and i am afraid that people can see it in my face. i realize that this makes me act stranger than i would otherwise and probably attracts more of the attention that i fear, but i can’t stop how my heart is beating. it feels like it will take my ribs along with it.
when i am finally in yoga it is such a relief that someone is here to tell me when to breathe. i have realized when i am most vulnerable that this surrender of will is deeply comforting. inhale with this position. exhale with this one. hold. feel this stretch here. lift. hold.
it’s in the relaxation pose at the end that i am suddenly unmoored and in the deep again and tears come out of my eyes, but thank god i am in the back of the class and no one sees me, no one is looking at me, and when we sing ‘om’ at the end i do my best to become nothing more than a hollow chamber for the syllable (a dipthong) and i’m fine up until we close the sound and my voice stops.
there is no one to tell me to breathe when i am walking home in the dark.
i drink a glass of whiskey and eat an egg with siracha on it so that my lips burn and they don’t feel like mine anymore.
maybe i need to cut my hair short again. i feel like i need to cut something off.