I look down at my ring and scratch some dirt off the diamond with my thumbnail. Things are cloudy, just like its surface. Just like the air around me, spitting snow. Snow that annoyingly invades my space when I roll the window down to tell the Starbucks drive-thru speaker which caffeinated escape I need today. I roll it back up before a crackly voice responds. Doesn’t she know it’s snowing out here? Faster, faster. Move faster. Away from this morning and towards whatever comes next.
I am a year older today than I was yesterday.
Nothing makes any more sense today than it did then.
The boys gave me a card with a perforated crown. I painstakingly poked it out of its cardstock home and put it on my head, feeling uncomfortable with a fake grin. The smallest things feel the biggest. Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. Move faster. Towards the next thing. Something else.
They were almost as excited about my birthday as they would be about their own. But the problems of mundane daily life, getting through one step at a time, those don’t disappear just because it’s someone’s birthday. Their excitement makes up for my lack of. I’m grateful for it.
My computer dings the alert of an incoming email. “Help,” it says. I chew my lip too hard and it’s bleeding. Angry red pulses just below a thin surface and with a little more pressure, release.
Something’s gotta give.