I nest. Whatever home I enter I stay there. If I leave it must be morning as the morning comes with simpler threats than the afternoon and the evening is always, always, always an aggressive wolf with a human heart intelligently populating the black air with motion sickness. How unfortunate because I love the night but I’ve never lived in kind places where the night didn’t constantly scrape. Somewhere else in the world I know the damp silent air combs everything it touches and you could sleep in that air if you wanted to and it wouldn’t request your blood, it wouldn’t even provide a headache. I don’t live in those places. I live in the city.
When I nest I do it purposefully with a standing posture with closed eyes or with a flat back on the floor with open eyes locked on the ceiling. When I don’t nest I’m dull. But safe if I find the proper corner to hide behind where no harassing or small-talking stranger can pull me out of my world with their wide, loud, intruding mouth. Whatever bitterness I may harbor doesn’t compare to the sourness of a culture whose people haven’t learned to leave each other alone. Either a fist is pounding or a body is wanting or an eye is prying and no one knows the language for politely denying a company. Leave me alone, don’t intrude, don’t even look at me. If you want a binding just listen for the breath pouring out of my lungs, mix it with the sugars of your sweat, bake a cake, and eat it. But don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.
This isn’t my secret wish for everyone. There are little bits of life that I welcome with broken forearms, swollen nostrils, and silhouettes of pack animals painted on my forehead. I can make myself vulnerable enough for care and familiar enough for bonding but a human woman has limited space in her womb, no single palm can carry the volume of an ocean, and no one takes in the world without discrimination.
It’s not all a story of feeling strong in the path one chooses. I do let a lot of dust settle on my body. There is a lot of stagnant sloping of my spine, stomach squirming in hunger, and it’s often one o’clock in the afternoon and I haven’t eaten because I’m letting a parade of possible futures dissect the intimacy of my present moment. Still, I nest behind four walls. Sometimes I raise my arms in the air while standing on a chair when I know, or at least hope, no one is looking and I triumphantly scream and the galloping echo of myself is returned.