I *also*, and probably most severely, feel guilty that on my way out of my brother’s house, I bought a pack of cigarettes at the gas station. If I did catch anything, I pray to God that it was there. At least that way I would believe that my brother had been safe. I feel like I knew where I got it – I was going to go into the store, and an older man wearing a mask was coming out the door. I waited for him to come out, which he did… and for some reason still felt fucking compelled to walk very close to me on his way into the parking lot. Like almost touching, what a fucking douchebag. It was unnecessary.
I can feel that familiar sink of the heart, the kind that pulls down behind the third row of ribs, dragging in the collar bone, creating that unnatural arch right behind the shoulders, putting a pressure on the diaphragm that makes it harder to hold in your gut. An ambitious person still tries to hold their head up, making a squeezing curve of the neck vertebrae and they strain, not sit, on the top of the shoulders. The tension on the back of the neck makes it hard to read, and eventually as the muscles exhaust, a constant pressure on the back of the temples like someone has their hand on the back of your head, thumb under the right ear, 4 fingers wrapped around the left, gripping tight and leaning in.