You Are a Modern Short Story Written in the Second Person & You are Covering All Your Bases

You wake up. You feel surprisingly well-rested for having slept so little – or disturbingly exhausted for having slept so much. You have always had difficulty with sleep, except when you haven’t. Something is on your mind – or nothing is – but then something moves in – slowly, like a fog – or quickly, like the food poisoning you had that one time.

You remember. It’s an unwelcome thought, or a welcome thought you didn’t expect to have at this precise moment. It arrives like your period, unexpected but wholly anticipated, unless you don’t menstruate, in which case you can’t shake the feeling that you are always waiting for something that will never arrive, but will then be inevitably surprised once it does.

You are now thinking a thing, and your whole world becomes that thing while you are thinking it, but then the thought dissolves like all thoughts you have, or like some, the ones that do. You grasp at the coattails of the thought’s receding form, but it is gone, even though it is still with you. Like the time you searched your house for your keys or your phone or your airpods only to find that they were in your hand the whole time.

What were you just thinking, you wonder. It’s so close, yet distant, like that uncle that no longer talks to the family because of that incident at Thanksgiving. Like the glasses you constantly misplace, if you wear glasses, which you don’t. But maybe you should go for an eye exam. You might need them, if you don’t already have them, or you might need a new prescription if you do.

Coffee, you think, yes, or tea. You drink too much coffee, or you never drink coffee at all anymore because you switched to tea to reduce your caffeine intake. Either way, the thought rouses you enough to put a foot on the floor, tentatively, like a newly-born foal, or heavily, like a hormonally-driven teenager looking for a fight, or today, maybe it’s today, that you slide, gelatinously out of bed onto the floor, an amorphous blob, and glide, formless, to the bathroom sink.

At the sink, you splash your face, or the place where your face would be, with water and take in your reflection. You don’t recognize yourself at all having expected to see a being with form, a human-shaped entity, albeit 10 years older than the person you remember; or, for the first time, maybe ever, you truly see yourself, as you are, formless and pliable, all embryonic and potential and possibility.

Or not.