I am sitting on the toilet at work, not really doing anything, just sitting. I relish these moments of quiet, and I find I am taking longer and longer toilet breaks.
Someone is going to notice soon.
I pick at the skin on my thighs. What is going on there? It is so dry. I force myself to stop.
Someone comes in, pulls on my stall door, then goes to the one next to me.
I think about the company that used to be here, building helicopters. Everything is grey concrete. I wonder how many women they had, all using this tiny two-stall bathroom. I think about the other studio I worked in recently, that used to be a newspaper printing factory, with it's tiny afterthought women's bathrooms.
My skin feels electric, but for no reason. My intestines feel like knots.
I feel like I'm dying, maybe, but maybe I'm not.
The knuckles on my right hand are red and inflamed, but I'm not sure why. Did I touch a bad chemical? Fiberglass?
I scrape my hair back from my face and tie it in a tight knot.
It's like...it's like there's an alarm bell going off in my head. And it's going all the time. And I don't know why it's doing that, but it's hard to ignore. It makes working hard, and living hard, and functioning hard. It doesn't seem to mean anything, and nothing is on fire. But the lights are flashing and the bell is clanging, and it's been going for a whole year now.
The automatic light clicks off, and I am sitting on the toilet, in the dark.
It's probably time to go back to work.