I am holding in my left hand, which is thrust deeply into my left pocket, a sense of something. Weighty and foreboding.
I find that I can, occasionally, open my palm and take my hand out of my pocket and do what needs to be done. But this sense of heaviness remains stagnant in my pocket, nonetheless.
Randomly, more often, I take my hand out of my pocket and look at it. I sense the gross, dull life form squirming inside my clutched fingers. But I don’t seem to be able to will myself to unfurl my fingers and look at it directly.
Generally, it appears about 24 hours before I am able to look at it.
And so, for a day or so, I live with it.
For about a day, or a bit longer, or a bit shorter depending on the circumstances.
Uncomfortable and awkward and uncertain and icky.
When the time has passed, I take my hand from my pocket and stare for a moment at my fingers and then, like a dive into cold water, open them and place the thing on the table in front of me.
A grey, fleshy, smooth skinned worm squirms upon the table.
I can still feel the dread that it emanates seep into my now empty palm, into my pocket, through my bowels and up into my chest and back of throat.
It’s the dread worm.
And I don’t like it.
It wriggles benignly on the table and I look at. Eventually I do what I know needs to be done and I reach out and touch it.
In what is always a surprise, which means it should never be one, I’m taken aback by its response.
This time the surface where I touched it changes from its morbid grey into a late day sunlight orange.
As I continue to touch and get to know it a little better it starts to morph and change shape. It becomes playful. Joyful.
This transformation is rapid.
And accelerates, almost without me noticing.
Soon it has transfigured itself into an entirely different animal.
A new one every time.
In this process there are awkward moments, painful ones even, but also funny and light hearted and inspiring ones.
And soon enough it has run off and become a thing in the world that has little to do with me anymore.
Mostly it’s a good experience, mostly.
And then I wonder, as I watch it run away, I wonder…why don’t I remember this feeling of lightness and relief when the worm first appears clutched inside my hand thrust into my pocket?
How come I can only feel the dread at that moment?
What I would like is to be able to feel the dread worm appear and know, inside my bones, that this too will turn out ok, even if some bits of the experience are less than ideal, in the end I’ll probably have a reasonably good time.
I’ll work on that.
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