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Monday, July 14, 2014

My body is a haunted house

Lately I've been feeling a bit under attack at home. Not by my two and four legged family, but by outside actors.

4th of July its amateur fireworks sent me closing windows and curtains in a fury, turning up the TV as loud as I could stand it, and cowering under a blanket with Pancho. Each explosion sent me jumping, starting, cursing all over the place.

Then, a few nights later, Pancho, Matt, and I were out walking. We were approaching our building when our neighbor's dog broke out of her collar and made a beeline for Pancho. (As in, "I'm going to destroy you.") Normally a nervous guy, he stood his ground while I tried to pick him up. My panic my him slippery. The other dog was bigger, and undoubtedly better at fighting, but he was going to go down with the ship. I got him into my arms in time, and she leapt up, snapping. I felt her claws on my back.

The nightmare that has recurred my entire life involves some kind of post-apocalyptic band of marauders laying siege to my home. It was terrifying and infuriating. (BTW most days I feel a mix of standard emotions + fury.) But upon waking, I was okay again.

But now the feelings are coming when I'm awake. When did my home stop feeling safe?

Around the time we discovered a little colony of tumors in my breast, I suppose. The body is like a home, and mine was pulling down its own walls.

After surgery, after tramadol, I would feel like I was being touched by things that weren't there. First just little taps, but by day three I felt someone clutching as my legs as I fell asleep. But I felt it from the inside.

Today I smudged the house with sage. I went from room to room with my smoking little bundle, thinking about my intentions. Safety, safety, safety. Clutching little pebbles, catching all the ashes. Washing both houses with smoke.

In a little while I will go out and scatter the ashes, bury the stones, say the word "safe," over and over.

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