Small Small Sun Small

I sit in the sun with my arms crossed: I can feel its rays burning my flesh beneath my sweater.

I close my eyes and wonder as I watch the floaties: I once heard that eye floaties are bits of dirt and debris that get trapped in the fluid on the outside of the eyeball. They look like amoebas, microscope viruses. My eyes are dirty.

I sit in the sun with my arms crossed and eyes closed, listening to the world around me: the breeze in the trees; the sounds of traffic on the street outside my property fence, on the highway about a mile distant; the muffled woof of my dogs inside the house; the high-pitched arf of neighboring outside dogs.

I don’t understand small dogs: they make a lot of noise to feel so fragile. Their small teeth, wee legs, make them seem like dog children, something my 60- or 80-lb dogs would have birthed. Small dogs seem like they’ve just recently hatched and are waiting to grow up.

I swivel in my chair so the sun is off to my right and look up, up, at the mountains. I’ve had dreams of plane crashes and mud slides from up there. I can walk to the base of them and look down, surprised, awed, realizing I’ve not just walked — I’ve climbed. I’ve never been brave enough to go into the national forest, even though I’ve been to the start of the path that leads up and into it many times since moving here almost 14 years ago.

I understand addiction: looking at the mountains, listening to the world, feeling the sun makes me recognize how small small I am. But I can carry that recognition. Addiction is a way to avoid doing so. Poke a needle in and push sleep through the veins; take a deep sniff or swallow that pill and flush rapid flutters through the thin membranes; drink bitter fluids and distort the memory; hallucinate away the reality — it all ends with the same conclusion. It ends with a temporary cessation of the small small, making it inconsequential.

I swivel my chair back round so I’m again facing the sun. I don’t cross my arms and let the rays soak through my sweater and singe my flesh again, reminding me I am small small, but that it’s okay. It reminds me that one day, I won’t be able to feel the sun, that being small small isn’t inconsequential. The mountains and the wind and the earth all started small small. One day I will join them and be as big as the universe itself.

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