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Asleep on a losing air mattress I dream up a carnival, and the pretty girl in a long flowing skirt teaches me to whistle.

When I got into the bed at 12:30 I was tired and sad, but I found a blue bunny in the blankets that my small son had left and I hugged it. How can I say how happy I was to find it there? I slept with it all night. It smelled like little kids.

I dream how much I miss them, all the people in my life who only come in when the timing is good. Have I ever felt this lonely and stupid? Surely, but knowing it has sucked before does not help the now, where I still wish I had a quiet place to stick my head. I thought, back against the wall, I would make something of myself, instead I make a lot of nothing and wish for more sleep.

I keep telling myself to enjoy what I have, but I can’t see what that is. I forget to eat until the nausea hits and then press my palms to my eyelids and see swirls of color, little diamond patterns with blue and purple, almost pretty enough to get lost in. I hover by the doorway, afraid to go out. Drive convinced the car will rattle apart, mother convinced I am doing things they will hate me for later, vacation with guilt in my throat because who should be relaxed while life is falling apart all around? I tell other people their futures but can not see my own. Every day a new bill a new cost a new freak-out, coming so fast I can not breathe, and just sit and cry like a big fucking baby. Freak out because I have no money, and I always thought that if I were really in a pinch my family would help me out, and then discover it is not at all the case. I freak out because I have no idea how to take care of my own self, because I have never done it. I freak out because life is heavy GET IT OFF ME. In my head I hear "SHUT UP YOU BIG FUCKING BABY", as though grief is not legitimate when life falls over and all the good stuff spills out.

I am having mood swings that are very tiresome and frightening, one minute I am gorgeous the next I am ugly and fat and my face is all fucked up. I am brilliant, then suddenly fully retarded. I am witty and then just annoying, strong and then bent over like a pack mule. I know I am not the only person in the world, I know other people have lived through much worse, but knowing that makes me loathe my own self even more for being such a wimp about this. Mope and mope and mope and shut the fuck up already who cares about your stupid little life and your stupid little thoughts about it? I run the tape backwards and none of it looks good. So many fucked up things packed into such a small span of time. When do I catch a breath?

Other times I feel like a prize fighter: Divorce? C’mon motherfucker, let’s have it. Cancer? HA, beat you, you stupid sack of shit! Poverty? C’mon bitch, I CAN EAT THE HELL OUT OF A CAN OF BEANS!! But then other things creep in. How do you win when you lost a friend? How do you win when you don’t even live with your own kids anymore? How do you win when they jump out of the car, into your arms and the first thing they say is, "Mommy, I want to wive wiss you." How do you win when you cry so hard you have to pull the car over? When you smoke like it’s food, when you sleep all day because at least in dreams when shit gets ugly you can still fly and whistle.