I have this disconcerting feeling coming from the sense that I have that my body is falling apart. The cold in my house creeps into my bones in painful ways it never used to. I don’t know if this is the fact that I’m not used to it since I’ve been gone so long, or something more. It keeps me from sleeping nights. My habit of crouching up into a ball when I’m cold has my back in tatters and my hips feeling large, stiff and cranky.

I did my standard function in the house tonight of handing out presents to everyone in the family to open. I’ve been doing this since I was old enough to read who each package was for. But halfway through, this time, my knee started to give out. Stand up, sit down, kneel, duck under the shelving unit that serves for a tree, stand up and crouch again. I made it without mentioning anything, but painfully, and it’s one of the first times my injury’s started to keep me from doing the things I’m supposed to. The things I want to do.

I see my grandmother’s arthritic fingers and cataract-laden eyes, smiling in a deafened cocoon that keeps the world a little bit farther away through sound. I wonder if this is what’s coming. It’s a glimpse coming to me at 20 years old of a place that I hope is still far away, and only a glimpse. But I want to get working before I run out. Before I can’t move and before I can’t write and paint and see.

It happens so quickly sometimes.