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Imagine a girl with a storm in her stomach—intensifying always, gusts hurtling through her and crackling, shattering the bits of glass pieces which made up her insides. It was an extended bout of insomnia offset by the stickiness of summer and her own inability to uphold a normal conversation in waking life. Yet, even with such knowledge the girl lay awake, mangled in puddles of sheets and urges, surrendering herself to survive amidst a thunder of thought. There were palpitations, always, and she was beginning to hear the clouds. This was a skill she had developed gradually, by allowing feathers of thought to hover eerily in the present stillness of the night, which she could sometimes sense even through her own internal discord. On that particular night the clouds sounded like a garbage truck barreling down a deserted residential road. The moonlight had yellow eyes, and they were sinister and chiding her. It was always this way, and for the millionth night in the row she was too consumed by the stress of navigation to leap up and close the curtains.
Storms by night are the most dangerous. The heart untangles itself from its cage and pours its contents into the mind, which stirs and stirs and stirs until a sort of mental precipitation begins to drizzle. She could lose herself within her storm at times, swallowed up by clouds and unfamiliar faces. That day she had seen a newborn baby carelessly strapped onto a table at a Taco Bell. Things that seem funny during the day can build up and churn later into the clouds which carry it all. Who would leave a baby on a table like that? It looked so little, its fingernails like tiny thimbles and its eyelids sewn on. She wondered what its life would be like and if, as it grew, there would always be the shadow of an imprint where the phosphorescent lights of a cheesy Mexican fast food joint had beamed. The storm seemed to smolder, it had more than an eye but a body and a soul of its own. She hated it with an insomniac passion, but at the same time a small glass piece of her knew that she never explored the contents of herself better than during these desperate attempts to navigate. And if she hadn’t learned to explore the contents of herself so thoroughly, she never would’ve learned to hear the clouds.
Additionally, she never would have learned to spell out his laugh, which could be spelled. The sound splintered her sky with ethereal lightning. It lit the path where she paddled in her little blue boat (she was usually paddling through in a little blue boat.) That night the girl faced curtains of blue black waves and the reverberations of voices spraying shrilly in her face. From her small boat, she paused to look up for a moment at the storm unfolding around her and she thought ‘how strangely exhilarating to be subjected to the whims of a storm inside myself. How real it all is, and how chaotically human. The small glass piece of her knew then that she wouldn’t trade her storm for any perfect simulation of sleep. This was the beautiful human storm, a question and an answer.