I spent the morning reading a student essay about a rare flower that only blossoms once every ten years. People who live in cities, my student wrote, are forgetful. Later that afternoon, my schizophrenic neighbor walked up to me on the sidewalk and called me a fake bitch. After dinner, I poured myself a glass of wine and googled the symptoms of schizophrenia, wondering if I imagined her cracking voice.
THURSDAY, November 19
I've never heard jackhammers that loud. I curled up next to my aging dog on the cold kitchen tile, where we yawned for hours.
SUNDAY, November 22
Instead of going to church, madre called me and asked me what it was like to follow the Buddha. I told her that when you follow someone who is walking away from a light, you can't see their shadow. But when you follow someone who is walking toward a light, you can't see your own shadow. So maybe it's best not to follow anyone.
MONDAY, November 23
I haven't checked the mail this week. My letter box is near my downstairs neighbor's door. I am afraid of her.
MONDAY, November 23 (again)
Madre left a voicemail on my answering machine. She told me she made a sandwich for me and it's in a tupperware in the fridge. I haven't lived at home in 25 years. I picture the sandwich in my mind's eye; the tupperware is on the top shelf. It is clear with a blue lid. There is a post-it on the lid with the letter V. But that's her first initial, not mine.
MONDAY, November 23 (yet again)
I am in bed with leg cramps. I imagine myself swimming in a river, kicking through the water like some beast. These days, I find that water is the most acceptable thing to destroy. The cramps are starting to dissolve. Soon I will be asleep.