I'm in such a constant state of distress, it's frightening. My chest tightens. It gets harder to breathe. I place the order on the table; I ask you if you need anything else, I tell you to enjoy your meal. As the world is falling apart, I feel pieces of myself begin to shatter--all I can do is will the atoms in my body to vibrate in place, to keep my shape for just a little longer.
I listen to my parents talk politics in the car. They talk about gas prices and tax returns. I can't bother to care, because it's all a part of a system I don't believe in. But that's a lie---the caring bit, at least.
They buy a lottery ticket at the gas station across the street from the restaurant. I wonder how many children went hungry tonight. I can't even fault them, though. They're tired. Fourteen straight hours of work, six days a week, all so that we can tread above water. They just want some peace. I would like to give them peace, but the only kind I have to offer won't satisfy them conventionally. You cannot force someone into a state of peacefulness of mindfulness or lovingness.
We sit down at the dining table and my skin is crawling. Though the cool air presses against my skin, I feel prickles through my pores. We talk about global trade. We talk about relatives who are dying. We talk about the porcelain tea sets my grandmother adored when she was alive. It's hard to digest my food. I wonder how many children will starve to death tonight.
My sobs eat up my entire body.