I buried my heart in a willow tree
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.