I’m pretty sure the Masters of Generalized Anxiety would have a lot to say about this,

but I’ve decided it’s not worrying about what might happen that has me up at 3:15 AM,

though for a while I admit I thought it might be, and I was looking forward to

reassuring myself with a decent stint of self-compassion meditation

while wearing my mouth guard. I’m not sure what the trigger is.

What I do know is it’s not the red fox representing a wily unrequited love

that’s right now jogging in short shorts down a street inside my head,

nor is it the memory of my father and I, or simply just me missing him,

while I think the pithy but raw statement that we all return to the unborn nature

we arrived from at some point.

Because the truth is I can’t tell if the faint sound of apartment doors opening

and closing this morning is coming from my neighbors

or from a wish to be close to myself and stop by unannounced for a conversation.

I’d like to say it’s me that goes to work, but in this light, it’s getting harder to tell

me from me.

But maybe this is what happens to anxious forty something introverts when they start

to love too much: More and more things about oneself seem to need to be looked at

more closely, fitted with new washers and seals so one won’t leak overnight

and cause oneself gallons of irreparable damage.

Which is why I’ve decided if this is going to be how I go out, totally fixated on survival,

absolutely not one with anything, and as nervous as a mollusk bracing for one wave of

emotion after the next, then I’m going to make sure I come up through the surface of

the great mystery with a bittersweet reason for why I surrendered like a glass of spilled milk

waiting to happen, why I despise my own negative thoughts and feelings so uncontrollably,

the only cleanup of self-love I can’t think of is to hate that too.