What if This is All Pretend?

I feel like a fool telling people I’m allergic to incense, so I usually keep it to myself, wondering if it’s something I made up to sound more interesting at one point. Like when I made everyone call me Katherine in elementary school because it sounded more serious. 

Today, I only spoke words out loud to another person just once, in order to state my name and sign in for yoga. Otherwise my voice has been trapped inside my brain all day, wandering the creases with its own devious design. Punching lockers and knocking over trash cans for all I can tell. 

What if it wasn’t the time the clock said it was because you decided it was a different time and then all time started moving forward from there? 

And if someone were there to hear that, they could tell me that I’m absolutely fucking insane. 

I spent my 18th birthday in France, because I lived there for a month on an exchange program at the end of high school. It was the first time I had flown on a plane since the one time when I was small and turbulence knocked Sprite all over my tray. Flying for seven hours didn’t scare me so much as confused me. Where does the time go? How can you spend a full day suspended in space? 

I made it to Paris, and then to my host family, and on my birthday they gave me all my favorite foods, except the shrimp had heads and eyes, and the asparagus was white, and somewhere, back over the Atlantic, I convinced myself that I had actually died on the trip, and everything else I was experiencing was the Afterlife. 

This is a concept I go back to when I’m on the brink of a lot of change, or things are too lucky, or I’m really fucking tired. When I don’t talk to other people at all, I start to think everything I know is something I’ve pretended to myself and made up completely, and therefore reality is a lie. 

What if there was a split somewhere, and this is all pretend? 

Today, in class, we were moving slow, holding postures and I started thinking about how when you move through poses quickly, you know them, you get them down. But when you move slowly, you understand them. Knowing and understanding, two soap bubbles that sometimes, serendipitously nudge and slurp into each other. But not always. 

Sometimes, you move so quickly through time and space that you think you know things that make no fucking sense. And if you talked to even one human about them, you’d understand where those thoughts came from that are wreaking havoc on the halls of your brain. 

As I put my props away at the end of class, I walked through a live fart. The kind that’s so pungent you think you zipped yourself into it. I wanted to be out, unzip, step into better air, but what if this is the new air and there is nothing else? 

What if your regular air was pretend and this is the real air because everyone is looking around like nothing is wrong even though it smells like burning tires covered in shit? 

I walked back over to my mat, in front of the incense, and I sneezed, but no one heard it.