I should go to the movies. What's playing? I take off my polka dot pajama pants, my stained sweatshirt and inside-out tee. I pull on my jeans, zip and button and put on a clean shirt. I slip into my new shoes. The ones my godmother mailed me.
Now it's forty-five minutes before the movie. Wait-a-minute. I've been worrying about money all day and I go to a movie? That's illogical. But I really should see people. I've been alone all day. Eh. A screen is a screen and this little one won't cost me $10 to stare at, I decide, untying my shoes, pulling down my jeans and sliding back into the static cling of soft cotton. I might be going crazy with loneliness. I sing with my guitar for a few minutes, my voice like a small fire, but my fingers like brittle kindling. The singing makes me feel less lonesome. A thought which causes me to compare myself to a lost old lady consoled by her own nonsensical chatter. Bagel with cream cheese, clementines, one soft boiled egg. I put on a movie. It turns out to be horribly depressing. I quit an hour in. I turn on an episode of a television series I enjoy about midwives in London's East End during the 1950s, but a main character nearly dies during childbirth and by the end I am sobbing like a bloodied knee child. When the credits conclude, I turn off the t.v., stand and move from that nauseous sensation --the one provoked by too many hours sitting still.
I need to be outside.
I push my bare feet back into my boots, zip up my nylon navy coat, leash the dog, and grab the wool mittens my grandmother made and mailed me. I stretch the head lamp around my hat, double clicking both bulbs.
On the path beside the river, we run. We don't go so far as the woods because I'm frightened of the psychopaths of horror films and newspapers, as well as hibernating mother bears. We turn back. When we reach the commons, a grassy horseshoe surrounded by gray road, I bend over and flash the dull light over the patch of frozen ground beneath me. Then I snap up my hood, click off the lights and lay down. I look up, out, while Penny rolls in circles around me in spasms of ecstatic back scratching. The moon glows. God's headlamp. Star dots speckle from brilliant to dull uncountable clusters. I imagine a world where the air is too contaminated to breathe. Stuck beneath glass roofed communities where the only precipitation flows from hoses, sprinkler systems and cement fountains. If one day I cannot lay on the Earth's cold floor and inhale winter air, I'd rather not live.