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I buried my heart in a willow tree

March 7, 2013

It is hard to be an introvert in the city. Most days, you survive by surrounding yourself with a hard shell that allows you to get on and off the subway without harm.  But some days you feel like you’re being flayed.  The shell cracks and the thin layers of skin beneath peel back, one at a time, until you walk down the street, sure that you are bleeding, and wondering why no one stops to notice or even takes the time to recoil.  On days like that, I am sure that only the joints in the sidewalk keep me going in the right direction. I look down, I put one foot in front of the other, follow the line, and sooner or later I arrive at my destination, feeling a little more bruised than when I left.  With luck, by nightfall I will have grown a new carapace.  And so the cycle goes, a constant and exhausting metamorphosis.

I have not been writing much here, and that is both a symptom and a cure. I haven’t had time to think. I usually find solace in words, but sometimes my day is so full of words – mine, other people’s – that what I want at the end of the day is something else. This is a phase, I think.  But it’s partly due to the fact that the only time I get alone most days is, ironically, when I’m packed like a sardine into a subway car with my headphones in. 

I am on a plane pointed south toward a state I’ve never been to talk to a lot of people I don’t see very often or have never met. It will be a challenge. It’s not a destination I would have picked. But at the end of the day, there is a hotel room all to myself. I’ll take it.

UPDATE: As soon as I posted the above (written yesterday) this song came on my iPod. It is, apparently, sympathetic.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2013 11:01 am

    We are mostly friendly, the folks gathered in the state you’ve never been. And there’s a blogger/twitter meetup Thursday night at 6.30 at The Flying Saucer, and you’re most welcome if you want to come!

  2. March 7, 2013 11:22 am

    Oh dear, Harriet. The hotel room sounds good. I also recommend a trip to a wild place nearby. XX

  3. March 7, 2013 1:10 pm

    A wild place like Pinnacle mountain, if you have time. Little Rock is one of my favorite places in the whole world.

  4. freshhell permalink
    March 7, 2013 6:16 pm

    Yes, yes and yes. Even though my long voyage to Pittsburgh was exhausting in some ways I realized, at some point, that I hadn’t actually spoken to a single person out loud in half a day. I actually had to try out my voice in the hotel room when I arrived to make sure it still worked. And then, after a wonderful adventure with Jeanne, I was hoarse! Because I’d gotten rusty. Enjoy your time away!

  5. March 10, 2013 5:28 pm

    I was in Little Rock twice for my last job and both time there were tornadoes. Crazy! I’ve lived in Kansas off and on for 20 years and never once got as close to a tornado as I did in Little Rock.

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