I am sitting in a coffee shop, conquering.
I am my doppelganger right now — the presentable one. I am the one who smiles back at people when they make eye contact, remembers the last time she showered, and answers texts instead of conveniently losing her phone in her pigsty room.
I even have a fresh coat of lipstick on, and it’s not a second or third coat over the one I applied two days ago. My lips don’t feel cracked.
I remembered to feed myself this morning, but I don’t tell anyone that. This is because it’s apparently something you’re not supposed to think about; eating is just something that’s just supposed to happen.
I try to relate to that line of thought. For example, I didn’t leave my bed for the past couple of days because it just sort of happened. The people that I choose to tell this to painstakingly say, they don’t know how to reply to that. So I smile with tired eyes like it was meant to be a joke.
I tell my doppelganger everything; she’s the functional, understanding one.
You see, this is a private conversation that you’re privy to only for a moment. Whenever I get overwhelmed and my limbs quake under an attack on my body, by my mind, she tells me that it’s going to be okay.
She loves me. She knows why. I don’t even have to explain to her. She tells me not to feel guilty for canceling plans at the last most possible minute.
As I lie, wrapped in my warm blanket, fully dressed from head to toe, but with an unready spirit, she whispers, “Rest, love,” and hugs me. And I fall asleep, drifting into dreamland with my arms wrapped around me.
By Lydia Negussie