Sunday / 27 December 2015 / 6 am / Her bed, Singapore
She had woken before sunrise again – it had been happening, quietly, almost everyday for the past few weeks. But this time was different. This time it felt as if she held within her chest a core of nervous energy so tenuously bound to her lungs that it could, at any moment, explode into an all-consuming, unstoppable breathlessness. It felt solid and heavy, this core, but also like an immense nothingness that threatened to suck herself into herself.
Monday / April 27, 2015 / 5 pm / Seven Grams Caffé, NY
This had all started as an experiment, you know. She was bored, and she was trying to see if it was possible for the fundamental nature of a connection with another person to change – by adjusting the frequency, by adjusting the tenor of conversation with this person that just so happened to be there. She should have known better than to think she, she who took everything seriously, whose fervour was forged in solitude, could treat this as “just an experiment.”
Monday / February 10, 2014 / 5 pm / Her sister’s apartment, Orlando, FL
The bane of the houseguest who sleeps on the sofa bed in the living room is the early departure of the host. The former had been awoken earlier than she would have liked by the sounds of a morning routine that she tried her hardest to ignore away. Though she would have preferred to pretend herself back to sleep, assisted by the blanket pulled over her head like an eyelid in its own right, the host woke her up out of the necessity of entrusting her with the keys. And so, the houseguest found herself involuntarily vertical.
Saturday / July 27, 2013 / 10 pm / Her apartment, NY
This time, the Other was real.
It wasn’t some figment or writing device, like all the Others she had previously used and discarded. This one was real, and it threatened her. Well, considering the Other most likely did not know she existed, one might have to say that she perceived the other as a threat. The appropriate term for this situation might be: an ‘unrequited romantic rivalry.’
Thursday / 25 July 2013 / 10 am / Long Island Rail Road
Perhaps it was transit. That thought occurred to her as she sat in the train, her back facing her destination as if its metal body was dragging her there against her will. She noted the train’s horn, as frequent as it was distant, and wondered why the repetition was necessary, what was there that needed to be warned or frightened. (She got her answer later – she had to make sure the sound was really called a ‘horn,’ so she googled-with-a-lower-case-g just to make sure, and found a press release stating that they were trying to minimise its use, but that it served to warn motorists, pedestrians, and passengers on station platforms.)