Thursday, April 14, 2016

I Am the Jackal


Holy shit. It’s a jungle out there and I am a wounded jackal.
The minute I leave my condo, I’m on high alert. My heart pounds; my chest constricts.
As I walk two blocks to the store, I am on hyper alert. My eyes scan the landscape for trouble. Loud noises freak me out. People being angry freak me out; sudden movements do too.
Going into a store, everything ramps up even higher. Approaching the clerks: Seriously High Alert.
Walking home, I realize: Everything I am, everything I am feeling has “always” been there; now it’s just in extremis. I’ve always disliked loud sounds, always. And I’ve always liked walking in lanes where there are fewer people.
The seawall is out. My beloved seawall I walk so many times a week scares the shit out of me now. There’s no way to get off it in long stretches. There is nowhere to retreat and there are so many strangers.
This will pass, but it is going to take time. I can talk to trusted friends, though, perfectly except for the odd stutter—especially when I am at home.
Jackals have trouble with cell phones when they are in high alert in the jungle.

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