fevered inspiration

Sometimes I feel lie I am only really alive when I'm sick. It happens maybe once a year and my mind just stops working--or at least, not like it used to. My memory isn't sharp and I don't notice details like I usually do but maybe that's just because my mind is racing. I drink a lot of coffee, smoke cigarettes sometimes, to try to replicate that but once the fever takes hold I just keep thinking and I usually can't write fast enough to keep up with--

--this sad girl at the bar tonight, and I didn't even mean to start up a conversation but we talked for hours and the trains stopped running and the bars closed and we wandered out into the night but it was raining and windy and we had to run for shelter and--

--the last time I really talked to my sister, at the airport just before she left for Paris. Well, before the airport, really. We spent all night at a Denny's in SeaTac, drinking coffee, occasionally retiring for a smoke--I always loved having a smoke with my sister--and then she was gone and so was I, on the last plane to Boston, leaving behind all the disappointment and regret from--

--that wide-eyed acceptance and optimism I've always had somewhere. I'm not a cynic. I've never been a cynic. But I'm also afraid. I'm afraid and desperate and frantic and that never comes out until--

--my fever.

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