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I realized, during my ride back from Philly to DC, that I’ve somehow developed the habit of holding my breath: I breathe in, hold it for about ten seconds, and exhale. I’m not sure when it started; I suddenly felt out of breath within ten minutes of the bus pulling away, and realized what I was doing shortly after.

I wonder if I have sleep apnea.

I could go on some random symbolism tangent, but I won’t. I’ve also found the only thing that can hold my attention for an hour and more with no interruptions: the landscape — the everchanging landscape before my eyes during a long ride. I think it’s because 1) it’s constantly changing (unless it’s in some rural area with vast stretches of farmland or grass fields — a sign of my undiagnosed A.D.D.?), and 2) it requires minimal to no concentration whatsoever. I could look at the landscape  zipping by for hours and hours on end. I guess I could say the same for the sky, even though clouds go by much slower… after all, no two clouds are the same, right?

I woke up feeling really dejected today. I’m still feeling down, but I don’t know if it’s residual shittiness from this morning or if it’s from the awful Chinatown bus ride that I was subjected to (or subjected myself to?) earlier today.

A bad morning
Today, I woke up and realized that the seemingly harmless void in my life (lack of job, lack of love, and a general lack of direction) had become a supermassive black hole. While I’m not actually certain about the severity of this, it was enough to jerk me awake at 6:20am — a solid ten minutes before I was scheduled to get up. I don’t believe I’ve ever woken up feeling so emotionally confused, unmotivated, or indifferent.

A bad ride
Today, I peed in a plastic bag. The airplane-style toilet on the bus didn’t work; the red button used for flushing (it looked like one of those buttons that you slam on when there’s an emergency) didn’t work. Not only did water not come out when I pressed it, but the metal flap at the bottom of the toilet didn’t open either — I tested it prior to unzipping. Also, the handle on the inside of the door was missing. I asked the stranger sitting in the seat in front of me if he would please slam the door shut for me and let me out whenever I was done. My original plan was to empty my water bottle in a bag, double-bag it, pee in it à la doctor’s office, put the whole thing in another plastic bag, double-bag it, and throw it out. Instead, I emptied my water bottle in a bag, double-bagged it, realized that I would probably suck at aiming, threw out the bottle, cursed my lack of forethought — and now lack of water, peed in a plastic bag, double-bagged it, and threw it out. The stranger was kind enough to oblige and remain patient when I knocked on the door just a minute upon entering the reeking facility because we had just entered a tunnel… a really long tunnel (turning Pissland really, really dark). We shared a chuckle or two, and then, when it was all over, he offered me hand sanitizer.

Paired with this persistent bad energy, all that movement was nauseating; I didn’t throw up, but the rest of the ride proved to be extremely uncomfortable. We got to DC around 12:40pm — a little over six hours ago, and I’m still feeling sick.

On a lighter note, Lilly’s mother and grandmother are in town. I met her mom not too long ago; awfully pleasant woman. I’m really looking forward to seeing her grandmother again. What a sweet woman! I wanted to bring her a box of Naked Chocolate chocolates from Philly, but didn’t know if her health permitted chocolate consumption. When I go see her, I think I will get her flowers instead. Lilly’s spending the night and part of tomorrow at her grandmother’s. As for me, I have the apartment to myself. I think it’s better this way; I’m not feeling up to having any human presence around. You know how people tend to have a specific type of music they like to listen to whenever they’re in a certain mood? General consensus is that depressing music fits this type of funk that I’m in. But I don’t want to listen to music. When I’m down, I like to sit in silence and let the noise from the street seep in. I’m not sure if it helps me feel better so much as it helps me not feel worse; I really believe that listening to some band who’s making a shit-ton more money than I am would make me feel really, really awful while in this state. Seriously, people: what do you get from listening to someone who’s better off than you whine about how awful their life actually isn’t?

Maybe I’m just nearing that time of the month. Whatever the case may be, my one ray of sunlight on this icky day was the stranger who so graciously helped me on the bus. So, again, thank you. You’re really shining on.

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