winter morning getting blood drawn | Jodi Bosin
Updated: Apr 20, 2022
I wake from a dream of snow-covered trees, a slow rotating view like in a video game. A feeling of frustration at my slow maneuvering, at how the controls are not intuitive to me. I'm on a facetime with my cousins, a feeling of drifting that is somehow connected to the snowscape. It's 7am, it's hard to pull myself from bed. Beginnings get harder and harder. Morning used to be my favorite place but today my eyes are furious.
I go to labcorp to get my blood drawn before work. The road is icy the day is a cold one. I force myself to speak, say to the person taking the blood, you must be exhausted. I am exhausted, she replies, right away. And cold, we don't have heat. The heat doesn't work where I work either, I say, on the off chance this gives any comfort. A sharp pinch, just one vial, that's it we're done. See that wasn't so hard now was it.
The facetime in the dream is drawn from my grandmother's recent funeral. It was over zoom, hard to hear, windy and snowing there. Then there were suddenly strangers, saying awful things, racial slurs, voices unidentified. A feeling of shock, who would do something like that, my poor older relatives, my poor mom. It was not solvable, they had to end the call. A cousin facetimed me back in. Afterwards I stayed on the phone and chatted with them, which was nice, but the shadow still hung over us, a numbness.
I've seen It’s a Wonderful Life but only in parts, only certain times of year, when it's on tv. I saw the first half this time, and there's this one scene. When George and Mary reunite, when they declare their love, the wedding is the scene after this one, but it’s a happiness that’s strange. Something isn’t adding up. George is upset, almost shouting, holding her shoulders and shaking her, saying he doesn’t want to marry anyone ever. Mary is crying too, and not the way people do when they’re happy. They embrace but with a desperation, he kisses all over her face, all over her tears. There is a sense that giving in to love would mean for him giving up, but he does it anyway. That she knows this. Oh George, she says, again and again. A sense of the inevitable.
I tell myself I'm fine but the exhaustion is insidious, seeps out from the inside. I pull the two of swords again but I don't know why. What does it mean, what are the choices I am stuck between. Long year, says a man to the barista. Oh you know, hanging in there. Someone greets an old friend, it's nice to see you it's really, it's just really good to see you. They stumble over words, I feel such a warmth towards them. We can't interact anymore, like we were just born. A cookout for the community fridge, an event where I don't know a single person. A feeling of promise, a reminder that there's so much here, just hidden.
Jodi is a Philadelphia based writer and social worker with poetry published in Always Crashing, Metatron Press, and Peach Mag. Find her on the front porch and on Instagram @jodi_bosin.