i think it's alright to feel inhuman, now

Lake Washington, c. 1912
Postcard: "Just a few words as I am real busy doing nothing.
I have nothing to do but eat and sleep but O,
I would rather have something to do."

Like Alexander before me, I set the city on fire before descending in my white-glass diving bell. As my city of friends and bright futures burned to ashes, I spent the summer in my diving bell, a locked, pressurized chamber full of borrowed air, with Bauby and Alexander. Historians will tell you that it is impossible for Alexander to have stayed in his diving bell for days, just as those around me had sat back, folded their arms and said, "You'll get better."

"Getting better" is as labored as the evolution of deep sea technology. It moves as slowly as "the speed of a hair growing from the base of the brain" (which made Jean-Do excellent company). As summer turned to fall, my diving bell turned to a benthoscope, capable of withstanding the higher pressure as people were losing their patience with me. "Life doesn't happen like this. You have to try harder to be normal."

Last month was the difference between the diving bell and the smoke helmet. It was the difference between a locked chamber and actual mobility, the difference between crying at the thought of leaving and actually packing my suitcases. But this diving suit was imperfect, I laid my head down in a bed that wasn't my own and the helmet soon flooded with the reality that I wouldn't be able to stay out like this. I left the apartment and went back to the safety of my diving bell.

These days I can put on an atmospheric diving suit, I can leave my diving bell. I can cross those railroad tracks and run past the school bus depository. I can watch the sun set over downtown Bellevue, I can believe that I will eventually see the surface again. But these days I am still tethered to my diving bell, I am still afraid to get on that bus and see Tyres in ruin.

I whisper to myself, "I think it's alright to feel inhuman, now" and continue to recover the wreckage that I wrought on my life.

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