I was standing on the corner of a major thoroughfare in the Financial District, my toes hanging off of the edge of the curb, peering down at my own reflection in an oil-slicked, murky puddle of water. It had just rained. Violently and without warning. The sky was in a state of limbo, as though the clouds were tightly clenching themselves in like muscles, refusing to let rain emit from their endless grey expanse. As I shifted my chin upward and readjusted my eyes to ground level, three raindrops escaped from the sky's grasp, shocking me as they fell into the sliver of scalp where my hair was parted.
I looked up towards the sky, imagining the clouds as my intestines, grasping and folding inwards in an effort to contain all that was inside them. Compressing my nerves, my anxiety, with every ounce of strength, for fear that one worry - one raindrop - could be a cataclysmic event, provoking an unstoppable flood of tears and emotions.
Write, my insides told me. Write it all down.
"This is how you get unstuck, Stuck. You reach." - Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things
I do not know where to start because the story has no beginning. Devoid of a compass or sense of orientation, unable to arrange itself into anything resembling a cohesive narrative. Its center is also its outermost layer, and its amorphous body retains no definite shape. It is confusing and nonsensical and utterly out of sorts, a messy, uncontainable, insurmountable heap.
It is my story.