Q. Where would you like to be?
A. Good question.
Q. Is that all you’re going to say?
Q. Then what else are you going to say?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Why don’t you know?
A. Because I’m not sure where I would like to be.
Q. Why not?
A. I’m not sure. I just feel kinda drained.
Q. Why do you think that is?
A. Pushing myself too hard lately.
Q. How so?
A. I got triggered a few nights ago. Stuff kept me up, couldn’t sleep. And to tell the truth, I haven’t been sleeping well lately much at all. When I lose sleep, I get overamped. Nervous energy. Nowadays, they say “manic” — but I don’t like to toss that word around idly. Still, I’ve been sleeping less, eating less, working more, exercising more, overreacting to stuff — I don’t know. It just burns me out. The body/mind can only take so much of it, and I eventually crash.
Q. You say you’re burned out?
A. Yes. Burned out.
Q. Then why don’t you take a nap? Do you have time?
A. Yes, I have time. And I ought to take a nap. I really ought to. It’s raining, I went to the grocery store, I brought the groceries in, my pastor was nice enough to give me a ride . . . and I’ve been so bummed about certain things lately, I’ve been escaping into all this work, as though to justify or vindicate myself — to make myself strong during a personal storm.
But you know what? When I walked through that door with those groceries, and I heard the rain outside, something just came over me. Like tears. I actually have my own apartment. I actually can buy groceries. There’s actually somebody in my life who would drive me to the grocery story in the rain, who would wait for me in the car.
I am human now. I am a human being. I am not a piece of shit. I never was a piece of shit. I thought I was a piece of shit — because I had become homeless. And because a lot of people think that homeless people are pieces of shit. I believed it so much, I internalized it. And then I felt I had to prove myself all the harder.
But I’m beginning to realize something. I don’t have to prove myself at all. I’m who I am. I’m a human being. I am loved.
So if I don’t know where I would like to be right now, then maybe I’m missing the point. Why should I like to be anywhere else than in this nice quiet apartment, listening to the rain outside? Three years ago that rain would be raining right on me.
Why should I be anything but thankful I was able to make my own sandwich and cook my own pasta? What more do I need on a day like this? It was hell down there. And it’s heaven right now. Does anybody have to prove themselves in heaven? Why should I be anywhere other than where I am right now? And why would I need anything other than this?
The Questioner is silent.
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