No sooner had I written, then: headache, fever, dizziness, stomachache, weakness, joint pain, fatigue. My song.
I think I feel fine. I wake up and have energy and do a simple task, like sorting laundry, but then I’m so exhausted, I have to lie down for five hours. The laundry is sorted, but not clean. The suitcase is still packed. I feel very behind on my novel. I feel very behind on my life. I feel distant from my friends. I owe people hours and answers. We have plans to make.
The trees are turning sepia.
I am impatient with illness. It’s been six days.
In Ohio, already, the leaves had left. Wind and rain. We saw my family, asked a question, were answered. We fed calves and milky-headed goats and a sturdy black Shetland pony who gummed my hand. When we left the barn, he smiled out of the corner of his mouth, like a man who knows a secret. We saw Brad. We watched a model train zoom and inch and zoom and inch around a track my father set on the floor.
It’s your turn to control it, Ali, the child said.
I would choose to be well, and choose to be brave. I would choose to be a better friend and choose to have more friends close. I would choose to write better and more, have patience and persistence. I would make this city kinder and considerate and less vain. I would choose fields and family. I would choose snow over rain. I would choose big skies. I would choose self-assurance, calmness, quiet, and faith every time, were it my turn, my turn, to control this world turning.