Air Like a Swimming Pool

Today, it was warm enough for sun dresses and sandals. Naturally, I wore a scarf and a coat to school. But tonight I wised up. I put on my purple dress, strapped on my favorite sandals and marched out the door with wet gold fingernails. Pippa, my mother and I rode the train into the city to get Pippa’s  hair cut.

With Pippa’s blond hair now shorter and straighter, my parents and I journeyed further into the tangle of gray buildings for tappas. I ate brussel sprouts and thought about how strange it is that I love brussel sprouts while most people hate them. But then it occurred to me that I am neither most people nor a good representation of the average man’s tastes. I tried to keep this mentality as I moved through the meal. The more I focussed on the details, the less I thought about the panic that ensued when I accidentally stuck a cheese rind in my mouth.

We left the restaurant and marched out onto the street. I felt the the wind rush around my legs. It wasn’t cold, and it wasn’t hot. You know how once you jump into a pool and adjust to the temperature, the water feels perfect, and you never want to get out? Well, the air oddly made me feel like I was swimming. And as we walked down street after street, looking for a movie theatre that was showing Jane Eyre, I thought about how wonderful everything felt and how every time that the weather improves, so does my mental health. I felt hopeful because now that spring is coming, things just might be looking up. After all, Euphoria on an Island happened when the weather was beautiful.

But the walking continued, and because I am me, and because this is what I do best, I began to go into full on freak-out mode. By this point, we had been searching for that Jane Eyre theatre for quite a while, and we had all but given up. My head hurt from the medication, and I was exhausted from having interactions with people from six a.m. onwards. And as soon as I started my weird mewing/moaning noises combined with hand flailing, I was a lost cause. My father had to get on the subway with me to head back home while Pippa and my mother followed behind.

But I calmed down somewhere in between climbing onto the subway and sitting down in the train station, and we all headed home without incident. Times like these make me wonder what’s really going on in my head: why is there a switch that seems to get flipped from functioning to freaking out and why does it happen so instantaneously?

But all of the earlier shenanigans don’t matter now. I’m just sitting on the couch with Pippa and Dad watching Lewis Black and Bo Burnham, and all is well on the western front.

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