You can swim in the cold murky waters of your own existentialism. When you first learned the word, you were ten or thirteen or eighteen. You were on a precipice, crossing over. You can inhale black holes and try to show up eager-eyed for work. You use the backscratcher on your arms, your inner thighs, trying to get the blood moving. You crawl down the hallway, reaching for the drapes that hang like body bags from ceiling to floor. Part them open. A man is walking his dog down the street. His click-clacking heels send an echo through the tunnels of your ears and folds you inside-out. You are folded like clean laundry, left in a stack, never worn. The only place you want to be is at your grandparents’ home on the sea. Preferably on a day that they have gone to town and left the laundry hanging on the line. Tide liquid bleach wafting in through the open windows and a lone seagull pacing the railing, squabbling to himself. You could look outside and cast yourself across the bay, into one of the herring boats chugging by. Here, you are an anchor, pulling up. A rusted chain threaded with bits of seaweed and a purple spider crab, clinging on. You are tossed onto the sandy slick of the boat. Here, something else is carrying you along its own current, and for an afternoon, you are not weightless, but lighter.
Candice May is a writer from British Columbia, Canada. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pleiades, december, The Porter House Review, and elsewhere. Find her at: candicemay.ca
painting by Jennifer May