My favorite cup of coffee is the cup, not the coffee. The best thing about this cup is that I received it for free from the staff at my local public library. It is symmetrical, not cone-shaped, with a sturdy white ceramic handle. On a white background, the public library logo is plain and simple, and the inside of the cup is an unassuming green.
Every time I use it, I am reminded that I volunteered at the public library just across the street. It was last year, about this time, I believe. During the six months that I volunteered there, I felt it was very much like a regular job. Two days a week, four hours each day. I shelved books. And flirted with a man who was young enough to be my son. I felt like a regular person.
It had the feeling of a fresh start. Like smelling a brand new book. Smell that brand new book for long enough, though, and the glue might make you sick. Very sick.
As a person who abhors reading, I felt it ironic for me to be shelving books. But not really. It’s not like they expected me to read each book before shelving it. For some, that would be an interesting and achievable challenge. For me, ridiculous.
What wasn’t ridiculous was that the library staff thought I was normal and healthy. If they could only see me at home. Inevitably, I started to call in sick. I would do what I do best in life and lie. It was always a migraine. That was the reason, always the reason I ever called in sick to anywhere.
People at the library started to show genuine concern.
Then the seizures started. I had to stop volunteering. The migraines were fake. But the seizures were real.
What the library staff didn’t know about me could fill every single page of every single book in their small non-fiction section.
What you don’t know about me will take courage for me to write and more than a few pages. And no more lies.
Here I sit, at 3:35 in the morning. I have re-heated my black coffee in the microwave four times since I made it at 10:00 this morning. It has no milk or sugar. I have no money to buy milk or sugar. I cannot travel on my own, as I have no car. I rely on outside help and often run out of supplies before help arrives. This coffee is in my library cup. It is cold and tastes like heavy metal. Steel, not music.
I am hungry. I pick the mold off of my last loaf of bread and stuff it into my face. I cannot prepare meals. I am too sick to do that. My bananas are going bad.
[Update 3/20/17: my grand friend whom I will call Caroline picked me up and took me to buy some groceries. I am no longer hungry. I have to learn how to ask for help.]
I watch oddly satisfying YouTube videos, and I wait for sleep. The wind howls outside and the temperature drops. The roads are now icy. I don’t give a shit. Let the people slip and fall. Let their car brakes fail.
They’ll never be in as much pain as I am in right now.
Watch the video that I’m hoping will lull me to sleep. Or not. Your choice.