i stayed up until sunrise reading a book but not finishing it. i didn’t understand until i set the book down that i stayed awake because i was waiting for the rain. the wind whistled for hours before the rain came. the rain was softer and quieter than the heralding wind predicted. the rain could only be heard because the island was sleeping. i imagined myself protecting the sleeping souls with my wakefulness and keeping the lone ghost company.
i ate crackers in bed this morning for breakfast because crackers were within reach and i wanted the challenge of crunching salty wafers carefully and crumb-free. i finished the book that i was reading last night and got out of bed only to retrieve another book. the characters in books become real to me, more vibrant than the breathing inhabitants staying at the inn with me, at least until i read to the end of their story. because characters become real to me, i select books with caution and conscious intent, the same way i choose friends.
i tried getting lost in the woods last evening as the sky darkened, but i know these woods too well and i can see in the dark. i didn’t get lost but i found new paths. i strayed from the path to scale rock cliffs meeting the water and then scrambled up again without sliding or scraping or scrapping or falling. a seagull kept watch over me because it knew i had ventured beyond where i belonged.
last night i had a conversation with a friend about belonging. misfits by nature don’t belong and when we find each other, a group of us equal in oddities and desire plus some talent that we distrust but want to believe in, we continue to feel out of place, wondering if anyone else has noticed that we don’t fit right inside our bodies, that we never sit comfortably for more than an hour at a time. some of us stay in our rooms to avoid interactions. or i assume they do because that’s what i do, but how would i know since i rarely leave my room except to walk alone in the woods?