This is the existential renaissance. It is a time to step out of a shower with wrinkled fingers and be dry. To stand in the dark under a blasted light bulb of an antique fixture, wondering when the water turned off and how long you have stood in the darkness, how much time is unaccountable. Now is when time slows down and gets lost in simple things. It is the time to notice the wee bits of mote, a sum of our memories.

It is no coincidence that when you die, you lose the will to live, and barely a coincidence when the hopeless lose hope. A thousand good-byes echo with tumbling leaves on a sidewalk in autumn, until snow brings the silence of forgetting.

If this echo is difficult to hear, shout into a mirror and look closely.

Waking up with a startle is the first step, after a nightmare, with a swampy sheet underlining your body. This startle that makes you pinch yourself in the still night, until you take a deep breath and stare at the ceiling with wide eyes. Adrenaline pulses through you and the sheet you clutch tight to your chest thuds rhythmically with the beat of your heart. This means you are alive.

Still in shallow water if you slip, there is enough time and less distance to turn back.

Continue to a shower of simulated rain to shake your being into reality. Let the steady stream of scalding water warm your body until it tingles. Watch the water coagulate into bulbous beads on your skin. Allow them to disperse into loose rivers, across your arms and through toes that don't look the same anymore. Contrast the skin and bones to the cast iron white claw foot tub. Wriggle them. Cry about the nightmare now, the water will hide your tears and no one will see you here. The jet stream of water will close your eyes as you spray the trickles of water from your lips with life. Wash.

Later, shaky hands bring a hot cup of coffee to your lips and you can still smell the lingering sex of your lover on them. Embrace it if you can, gagging is not an option.

If this slow motion world hugs you, forget fright. It has become your essence. Share in the insanity and get used to being alone. Do not speak of the transformation that becomes you, let it jostle for brief moments, like the listless hiccups that might endanger your soul. I implore you, go on with courage and ignorance.

With each step you manage, look closely for lost items on the ground. Find them, pick them up and absorb. These are the talismans of your history. Some collect rubber bands and stretch them over wrists, others take rocks and put them into pockets. These are the collectors. Others find loose paper and marvel in the age of newsprint, the yellow flaking parchment, loose under snow, disintegrating into compost. Rot on. They also find paper of mutilated ink, running wildly into bulbous watercolors that once composed words. Others fill their pockets with flower petals while many just observe and take time to stare at the glory of a moment.

Take the moment on a slippery stone.

There is a time when the slope of the sun sinks into the line that separates sea and sky, when the façade of brick buildings block with stone and grout the day you lived. Step on your shadow now and find the nook where leaves congregate. Under the leaves is a glorious treasure. Find it.

Heavy sigh full of wine.

Accept the weight of night, let it soak into you like spilled blood into a rag. Fight the temptation to flee and you will discover the wonder of the starry firmament above.

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