I lie here in the semi-darkness; the room is lit with a weird half glow from the gibbous moon somewhere outside. The darkness is translucent and diaphanous about me, tinged with heady blues and soft blacks and the minute, luminous influence of starlight.

I am alive, vibrant, and humming despite my inevitable fatigue. My body yawns and curls in on itself; my spirit swings wildly in the breeze of my thoughts and flutters on the edge of an abyss. It reaches out with impossible hands to gather the moonlight to myself, to pluck the stars from the sky one by one and place them on my tongue to feel them melt into inexplicable froth and disappear.

The ever present question looms large in the darkness of my supposed rest: what is wrong? Another disease stricken off the list, and I suppose I ought to be grateful for each horrible fate that no longer awaits, each drooling and writhing hydra gnashing its teeth I somehow manage to escape. And yet… I find myself disappointed. Each awful reality would make so much sense, it would fit so well, and yet it all remains enigmatic and foggy… a foe that strikes at me from the mist, and I am helpless to identify it, to strike back, or indeed do more than clumsily dodge blows as best I can and try to staunch the bleeding.

It's not lupus. Well what the hell is it?! It's not multiple sclerosis. It's not this. It's not that. Do I just have the worst case of fibromyalgia in the whole freaking world?! Did I just hit the terrible luck jackpot and I have to live this way the rest of my life? Continually worsening… medications ineffective… barely scraping by financially because everything extra goes towards medical bills and the trips it takes to get me to doctors who might actually be able to do something… Maybe I should just do what a good soldier does and fall on my sword. But no… I've contemplated that so much lately, down to the minutae of planning and taking into account all the loose ends to be tied up upon my demise… and the thing that gets me every time is the mental image of C finding my body. I can't bear the look on his face or the tears. I just can't do it. So I curl up into a ball and whimper while the mist swirls and eddies around me, while the unknown, unnamed, faceless enemy (enemies??) stalks and jeers and jabs and demoralizes.

I want to get better. I want to be better so bad it hurts. (Maybe that's my problem. Hah!) I have so much potential… so much locked away inside because I don't have the energy or strength to pull it from myself and lay it out in the sun. I need an assistant, a minion, a crone… Someone to hobble hunchbackedly to and fro at my beck and call. Someone to take over the menial tasks of living so that I can focus all my precious remaining energy on creative, ennobling endeavors.

I sit here bare skinned, swathed only in quilts and blankets, and even in the dark I cannot bear the sight of myself. It is not that my form is displeasing, per se… but it's because I can see what is inside me and it kills me that I can't be everything that I want to be. On the inside, I am wind chimes and church bells and Tibetan prayer bowls and bagpipes and a hand drum. I am brightly colored beads flashing in the sun, multi-hued fish swishing secretly through cool ponds and rivers, and the whisper of leaves as the weather changes. I am the smell of rain on the way, the eye boggling pleasure of a riotous tie dye pattern, the satin caress of age-smoothed wood, and the soul satisfying release of the perfect cup of tea or coffee. I am so many bright, beautiful, eclectic, warm and neutral, shining, earthy, wildfire things inside… and I can't get them out. I can't be who I really am and who I really could and should be because of this poor broken body that I can't help but hate sometimes. Most of the time I regard it with a fond kind of pity as you would with an injured kitten, maybe with a bad leg. Other times, though, the frustration boils up in me like a scalding magma that feels so good to indulge yet at the same time fills me with a deep and ineffable despair and sadness… because I am not sure that this body, this prison, will ever change. Kitten's legs can heal. My beautiful soul-skeleton is closed in by swaths of pale, chubby flesh shot through with purple stretch marks that were never there before. Sometimes they are beautiful tattoos that tell the story of my Amazonian endurance, and other times they are the ragged cracks through which despair and disgust ooze from my very core as lava from the earth's crust.

So I lie here in the half-moonlight, and I wait. I wait for sleep to overcome me, as inevitably it will. I wait for tomorrow to begin. I wait… I just… wait.

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