If I don’t answer your email

Or return your phone call

If I don’t want to go anywhere

Or have a conversation

Or say hi

If my door is closed

If my light is off

My hoodie up

It’s because I’m just trying to stay afloat over here. Working hard, need to focus. Job: everything in the world was due December 15. (Note past tense.) Home: family coming to city for Christmas, a holiday I did not feel like celebrating this year, which means major apartment cleaning needed. Writing: revision in progress—if only I could be doing only that. Fear: Collectors calling. Also: I have been walking around in a pair of shoes that don’t really fit. Body: tired. Mind: trying to stay alert.

Up early to revise, stopped at student center for quick coffee, owned by Starbucks chain, to find this advice artistically rendered on wall:

Speak softly
People will listen

Take your time
The world will wait

To that I say bullshit. The world goes on without you in it—happily. Take your time? You look up five years later and have nothing to show for yourself. Talk soft? People talk over you or walk away.

Starbucks advice early in the morning makes me mutter to myself on the street.

Signing off.

Writing staccato here because all the good stuff—rhythm, simile, tone, pitch, construction—saved for revision. Which is going really well. So at least there’s that.

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