I could feel it gradually building, waxing and waning throughout my Ropen Space day. I could hear her, just on the edge of my fun, just beyond the chorus of beautiful voices I listened to on Friday.
She was patient. I finally, really, heard her when classes were over. Few others were in the room.
I was tired. Dog tired. With each breath it felt like I could fall asleep or faint. I stayed upright through force of will, little pops of adrenalin, and the thought that I was helping a good friend.
When I finally made it back to my room, she now had my undivided attention. I couldn’t run away, tired and ready to drop.
So I let myself drop.
I threw on my pajamas, slipped on my Zim hoodie, grabbed some tissues from the bathroom, and brought along my phone. Out on the patio, the swirl of the wind mixed with the din of cars and temperature control units. It was perfect.
I sat on the concrete floor. Unlocking my phone, I set my timer for ten minutes.
Before I was even outside… In fact, the second I grab those tissues, it began. By the time I decided on ten minutes, I already had a head start.
I let it out. I let. It. Out.
I cried. I wailed. I hyperventilated into screams. I hugged myself. My chest heaved. I cycled and cycled, never dropping low on my threshold, but merely finding moments to almost catch my breath. And then I started all over again.
As I wailed, as I wallowed, as I let the pain I’d been holding back all day come out of me, I found myself wondering if the noise were so loud that I did not hear my timer go off. Surely it had been ten minutes. Surely I had wailed that long. Surely this pain would end soon.
And yet still I wailed. Tears drenched my face. I almost feared some other hotel guest on their balcony would hear me. However, truly, I did not care. I sobbed, consoling myself in my pain.
I remembered what Doc said. This would not kill me. It is normal to feel pain. It is how we deal with it that dictates suffering. I let the little girl inside be oh so sad.
And then my alarm went off. It was nearly the longest ten minutes of my life.
And though my phone made it’s cute little noise, which meant it was time for me to get up, I almost didn’t want to. For a moment, I felt lost in the pain. For a moment, I still needed to sit. I still needed to be on that balcony.
But then I blew my nose. And I stood up. And I turned on some music.
I danced about. I took off my jacket. I smiled a bit.
I danced more. I liked it so much, I played another song. I picked up an apple and ate it while I bopped around the hotel room.
I found myself looking at my reflection in the sliding glass door, and eventually I stared at myself in the mirror. For a brief second, I thought I saw what others spoke about Thursday night. I thought I saw the weight they say I’ve lost.
As the second song ended, my apple finished, I smiled a cute grin at myself. My curly hair about. My clothes a mess.
I felt better.
Ten minutes later, there was Chicago style pizza, and then a nap before Cigars, Boots, and Chocolate.
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