Today was hard. I woke up early to go to orientation at the job placement center. It felt familiar to have something to get up for. Something time-sensitive, something not to be missed, something important and real. My subconscious registered all this the moment the alarm went off, rolling my body out from under the fresh sheets to stumble toward the alarm. First one up, people to see, places to go, purpose in my life. . . .
Today the first wave of shame rolled over me. Self-blame and recrimination bitter on my tongue making coffee in my silver travel mug seem sweeter. You're better than this. You're smart. Educated. You should be able to do this on your own. No one can help you. You can't even help yourself. Sitting in the waiting room, unsure of where to go, who to ask, if I should wait or be patient, if I should bother someone or just curl up in a corner.
Today I cried. Splattering the inside of my glasses, wet eyelashes furiously blinking. Sitting in my car in the parking lot, breathing in stale air, swallowing tepid water. Flipping my phone open and closed, fingering the number two that would speed-dial my boyfriend. I'll just leave a message, no I'll text him, no he's in class, no he can't help anyway, no one can. Drive off, drive home, I have no where else to go today.
Today anger vented its way out from subterranean depths. Rising hot and steamy from the low boil of the past two weeks. It was pure and clean, it filled my chest when I breathed in. And for just a minute, I was powerful and righteous. Exhaled stale inadequecy.
Today I ate a bowl of ice cream and watched Oprah. It was Rocky Road. Wincing at the irony I snapped the television off.
Today was hard. It was too full, yet hollow too. Each minute sweaty labor: gritted teeth, forced cheerful hellos and handshakes, choking back rage, twisting guts and shallow breath. I pray for a dreamless, empty night.