My hands pass over my face. There are tan lines on my fingers from my rings. New nail polish, a deep maroon, and nose is itchy. My glasses dance on my face as I wiggle my nose; if someone was in here with me, they might laugh, thinking the face I make is cute.

I can't think past November. There is some wall that prevents me from seeing past November and I guess I will be wondering whether it's there for my own good until November comes. Half of July is spent. There is some distraction for every month leading to November. I cannot see Thanksgiving or Christmas, let alone New Year's and God forbid I should still be here for Mardi Gras 2001. That prayer would be the only one I can think of for any moment past November. Please let me not be here, alone for another Mardi Gras. Please.

Every hot and muggy day is lived in quiet anticipation of the coming night. Each week is anxious for its Friday, the months that coax the hand to autumn spin like pinwheels at the fair.

People who care about me are trying to remind me to enjoy where I am instead of looking ahead of me into a place where I might not have to be where I am now. And I am trying. Trying to let people in, trying to maintain connections, trying to slow down and relax.

Sometimes the blank canvas you stare at becomes more tolerable than all the half filled paintings you started on and never finished. For an artist, this may be feasible. But I am no painter. I'm a writer. What are you? Everything I begin has to end, even poorly. Tied up in little bows all around my feet.

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