The Numbs

I wandered into the living room and sat cross-legged on the floor, my back against the filing cabinet with our TV on it. We had gotten the TV for free, but neither of us watched it much, except for in-home movie nights. Em was crashed out on our couch, listening to podcasts and booping at a game on her phone.

“It’s been so weird,” I said, as Cleo wandered up and batted curiously at the strings on my hoodie. “Ever since last Thursday, I’ve just felt so numb. Like I’m stuck in a bubble and floating through the world.”

Em paused for a minute and thought. “You know how the Stages of Grief can apply to more than just people dying? Like they can apply to any sudden change in life? It sounds like you’re in the denial stage.”

Cleo has given up trying to eat my clothing and instead curls up in my lap, presenting her chin for scratches. I oblige and raise an eyebrow toward Em. “Okay… What am I grieving over then?”

”The fact that, as healthy as you have lived, and as much care as you’ve taken of your body- all the effort to get healthy and fit- you can still get sick from something you never saw coming.”

Young man on a park bench   Seated with his head in his hands, face down.
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