Did you ever notice the weight of your eyelids when you’re tired and the weight of your eyelids when you’re sad are different kinds of heavy? I had been dancing and now I was driving. Hands wrapped tight on the worn-smooth wheel, jaw clenched, eyes on the empty road, lanes open on either side, the pavement new and liquid black, squid ink, something from the deep. There had been music and now there was silence, though not in my head. The streetlights burned brighter than the moon, hazy around the edges. I could see everything. I could hear things that weren’t there. I could feel the ache in my feet and in my calves and in my hips. I had danced and now I was alone in the car. I forced myself to blink and reminded myself just to get home, but the road goes on and on.
Have you ever stood on the edge of the ocean, bare toes dug in deep, while the cold waves lap? Sometimes you can stare out at that great flat expanse—flat the way an eye is flat if you look at it from too far away or too close—and as the waves go out they take with them the sand behind your heels and it feels like you’re sinking, sinking.