072. Snowing

tldr: it’s soft and fleeting and gets everywhere

Song: Snow by Drew Gasparini

Alone in a medically comfortingly white hospital room, I quietly and confidently said to myself: “I’m not going to miss the first snow on campus this year.”

I’d been in the hospital for five days. Almost six given that when I wrote this it was just past midnight. Though really, approximately, it had been seven days, since I had gone to the emergency room the night before I was transferred over to the hospital. But really, it had felt like nine days, because two days before the trip to the emergency room I was in the ER for the first of two times that week, before I was to be sent to a facility and found myself desperately manifesting that I would be back on campus to see the first snow of the semester.

The first time I went to the ER, I was filled with energy. I had been drowning, and suddenly, I was on land, and I was getting help. I learned the names of every person who treated me, and I watched Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer as the minutes crawled forward from two o’clock, to three, to four, when I finally met with a psychiatrist. He had suggested a partial hospitalization I could partake in from home. It felt like something. It felt good.

But two days later, I was telling my academic advisor what was going on, and I started crying. Two days later, and I was telling a friend that I needed to go back into the hospital.

The rain was pounding down as I descended down the stairs of the Kendall T-stop and fished for my ID to no avail. I was having trouble breathing. I was having trouble seeing straight; the subway station and the perfectly parallel tracks were spinning. I said fuck it, grabbed five dollars (the only cash I had on me), and paid for a one way ticket. And as I tapped the ticket on the Charlie Card reader, I realized I was on the wrong side of the tracks.

I went to the other side, and tapped my ticket again. NO MORE RIDES, the machine screamed back at me. I tapped it again, on the verge of crying once more. NO MORE RIDES.

I was having trouble breathing. And I didn’t know what to do. But I needed to be on this train. God why does every train show up just on fucking time when you run out of rides. “Where the fuck is my ID?” I couldn’t find my ID. I had my phone– I should’ve been able to pay for a ticket. Instead, I followed someone else through the turnstile and got on the train.

The doors stayed open for way too long. “Why are the doors still open?” I started breathing heavier, almost gasping for air. I worried the cops were going to show up and arrest me over $1.25. The doors closed.

I showed up to the ER soaking wet. I answered their standard questions I had answered two days prior, but now every answer was different. Every answer I gave was worse, because every answer was truthful. I was taken to a room to be watched. “For your safety,” they said.

This time, I had no energy. I took off my sopping wet shoes that would eventually be taken anyways, and I curled into a ball on the gurney. A doctor or two came into the room to tell me I would be getting help. I stayed in the ball. I couldn’t remember their names.

I slept for two days.

One of my friends posted that, if you squint closely, the morning dew looked like snow.

I’d hold my tired eyes open if it meant that it hadn’t really snowed yet. And it hadn’t. I had quietly and confidently said to myself: “I’m not going to miss the first snow on campus this year.” I started this piece in the hospital, and here I am finally finishing it as the first snow started falling.

I was in the hospital for seven days. I got help. I’m getting help.
But damn, do I still feel tired.

At the hospital I was taught about a number of techniques to ground oneself– how to feel your feet on the ground and feel the presence of the room around you. I hadn’t felt grounded in a long time. A lot of these grounding techniques were interestingly temperature based. Put an ice pack on your neck, or run warm water over your hands and let the warmth seep through your fingertips. And I was reminded of the piece Crisp I wrote a year ago about how the cold air let’s me feel everything and nothing at the same time. I’m not quite sure how I’m feeling anymore.

The two days between hospital visits one and two, I felt like I was a balloon filled with the sorrow of the kid who accidentally let go of the string. And I didn’t know how to pick that string back up.

The string’s finally caught on something– a tree, or a powerline. I don’t quite know. But at least I’m no longer flying further and further away.

When I left the hospital, my ID fell out of my backpack. I picked it up, and tore off my medical bracelet.

Published by Paige Bright

Hi- my name is Paige Alexandria Bright. I am a rising junior at MIT interested in mathematics and philosophy. I have been writing this blog since the beginning of COVID. Lets see where this goes.

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