> jumping into life.

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now, i'm as comfortable with my body and my sexuality as the next girl - probably moreso than most of them, really - and i appreciate that he's acting just like any other doctor doing a routine exam, but i never get over my gynecologist's ability to carry on a completely normal conversation while poking and prodding and peering around with a flashlight. also, the nurse doing the same while unloading the industrial-sized tube of KY onto his glove. also, since last february, i'm unable to stop picturing tracey hurley stalking around, hollering about duck lips and her angry, angry vagina. i very nearly burst out laughing in the middle of it, which i'm sure might have phased even my seemingly stolid doctor and his oh-so-congenial nurse.

yesterday, i had my pupils dilated so that my optometrist could take a photo of the back of my eyeball. she pointed out the optic nerve, the major veins, the concentration of cones. "when you look at that dark spot," she told me, "that's what you're looking with." i came home with the silly plastic sunglasses they give you, one eye huge and the other still a somewhat normal size. if i closed one eye at a time, the room shuttled between brightly blue-tinted and hazy grey. i tried to look at the thin slice of blue around my gaping right pupil, but the closer i came to the mirror, the more blurry everything became. with both eyes open, i felt off-balance and my head started to pound; when my mom came home, she thought i was hung over, then stoned.

i've got medicine for typhoid and malaria, for migranes and infections, even prescription-strength imodium. i'm taking my vitamin everyday, i've been declared in tip-top shape by all the doctors, everything checks out, everything is fine.

still, i feel like i'm not quite in my own body, my legs too long and my arms with altogether too many elbows. i'm terrified - of leaving home again, of forgetting, of things i can't name or even recognize. my dreams have become strange and vaguely distressing, like dar
it, nothing you think you should be worried about but you are. i wake up to the clock buzzing inconsolably, the pines creaking and humming to themselves, the fog lazing on the rooftop next door where cats yowl and hiss. i'm afraid of forgetting, of smilecreases already fading from my memory.

at the beach early this morning i walked past the granite to the sandstone, gutted and worn, shaped by the ocean and breaking all the time. i watched the waves go silver and black, the horizon muted with pink clouds, even the gulls quiet as they floated like a mobile above me. there was a bright orange sign proclaiming in two languages that the mussels along this shoreline are not fit to eat, and one recommending that one not touch one's skin to the water. i just stood for a long, long time on that impermanent rock, afraid to go further, afraid to turn back, watching the sun rise.