Stagnation

I have always been a very impatient person. I carry a book in my purse for those moments that require patience. That way, I can forget about the time that drizzles by in a doctor’s office, or when a subway car is stuck, lodged in a maze of underground tubes, like meerkat dens. My Italian-American hands need something to do – a page to turn, a sentence to write, a photo to snap. I preoccupy myself with goals, inundate myself with them. Finish the chapter. Fold the laundry. Cut up the onions. Teach yourself how to watercolor. Read that article so you can converse about it with strangers at dimly-lit bars.

I don’t like counting down days for train station reunions, and I’ve never been good at waiting for men to come to their senses. Lines to cash registers feel like imprisonment, and there is nothing as disheartening as waiting for a phone call that I don’t even know will come.

I lay on my back. My arms dangle off my bed, and the tips of my toes rustle the blankets piled up along the edge. Belly up. I remember my grandfather’s pool. The floor was concrete, so if you dived too far down, too fast, you’d emerge from the water with dull cuts on your feet. I always thought it was beautiful, with its dark blue, almost black interior. Grandpa tried to teach me how to float. Belly up, he’d tell me. Now just relax. Breathe. 

My stomach rises. My eyes are closed, but I can almost feel the heat of an August sun on my face. I hear nothing but the whir of water. Just me and my mind. Floating.

By Danielle Fusaro

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