I take my time, I move my head, I see pieces of things
Leaving my building at 5:20 am for the gym, it is pitch black. A flash, one second of a large moving grey entity emphasized by the palm-sized lanterns which line our parking lot and then sudden pitch blackness again.
I move my head. I still my body.
Is there a bear. Near me. Somewhere.
A block of something round, still moving, I track the figure, moving my head, and then just slightly ahead of the thing, following its shape, I become aware of a man, walking towards the light, he is walking his dog, it’s ok. It is just a dog.
The man moves into the streetlight. He passes through my field of vision. There is no dog. He is holding shopping bags.
I scan my surroundings.
Furtive steps into the light, onto the street, the city brightens as I make it, slowly, to the gym.
6:30 AM I am weightlifting. Men crowd the space. I shrink to recommend their growth. Completing my tricep extensions, and therefore the end of my workout for the day, I tear the 25 lb dumbbell out of the sky, move it towards the barbell rack, his body appears, I step backwards to prevent His injury, sorry I am sorry, he grabs a weight and walks away.
I always watch potential victims walk away. It is a drained feeling: No more confidence, no more pride. I should have seen Him.
7:10 AM at home and in a hurry, gathering my things at the kitchen counter, a hard object hits my hand, I reflexively expect glass to shatter but it is just a mint tin. Mints rain. The floor puddles. I don’t care. For the sake of my dog, I sweep them up.
7:30 AM bright sun, huge field, empty,, completely empty. Whip a ball into the sun, follow the sprinting dog and a crowd of people appear straight ahead of him, don’t hit them. Please don’t hit them. I may have hit them. It was too bright to know..
8:25 AM the TTC windows shine light on my poorly decorated face. The camera was meant to capture my vain moment of “I did decoration properly” but instead it proved to me that I have blended nothing, I look like a clown and it is possible that my hair is crooked in general but I cannot know. I take pictures and move the pictures around to obtain my entire image. Otherwise, looking into a reflection, I can only see from my eyebrows to my upper lip. Photos are helpful but also just further evidence. I don’t know why I try to look good when I cannot see.
8:50 AM I buy yogurt at a store in the Eaton Center in case my day is longer than I realized. The fridge is vast. It takes me a minute to scan each small section. I can feel the woman watching me. I move slower. I don’t mind being a show. I look at each item individually. I am late, feeling tired, where is the calorie count, I can’t find it, let me search, and on this one, are there even words written on this label, I can’t tell, I will have: One plain yogurt please. It was so much work, I am exhausted, all for: One plain yogurt please. She is smiling broad. Does she know that I’m missing everything or is she just happy someone is taking their time.
1:00 PM on my way home I stop back at the Eaton Center for beauty products since I have been obsessing over my crooked hair and unblended face all morning. It is my birthday next week. I would like to feel pretty. In past years I have bought a Birthday Dress. Musing over a sale sign in one store, I enter. The racks overwhelm me. Too many. Too many things. I do not have time to move my head enough to look at everything. I focus on one rack. I find a few pieces. No dresses. A pair of jeans. A white shirt. Birthday casual. I try on the items. The curtain to the change room is heavy. It is also next to an identical change room with a drawn curtain. I keep going into the wrong change room. I just cannot see one relative to the other. Further, I cannot tell if what I am wearing looks good. I see one piece of me at a time. One little piece. Waist: ok, fits. Legs: Ok, fits. Breasts: Ok, fits. The sales people are focused on a tiny young woman who is with her mother, shopping with bundles of bills in her pocket for Back to School and all I want to know is: Do I look the way I am supposed to look? I can’t know. I need pictures to know. Usually I take items home, take photos, assess. On a good day, I focus on what I feel good about: My collar bones. If they look good, which is hardly a factor of the garment I am wearing, I take the item home. Most of my clothing is ill fitting. I think. I don’t know. I see in pieces. I move my head. I leave, very tired. Exhausted.
2:30 PM I sleep.