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  • SARDINES Oil on canvas by Meta McDonald.

    I felt trapped all day feeling the need to make frequent escapes to the only safe place, the bathroom. To cry a little, to yell in a whisper at the woman I work for, to finally stand up for myself in the safety of my own company.

    All day I felt I was grasping for breath, as I used to on those brief and yet eternal rides home on the T in Boston, packed, literally, like sardines, especially if it had been a game night at Fenway.

    The moment I was free of her presence, her house, her shriek... ahhhhh. I exhaled. I sped a little more than usual down Santa Monica Boulevard, heading West, feeling ever better. It has always felt right to me to go in the direction of the setting sun.

    Heading home to my own life, perhaps my own fears and anxieties, because now I have become anxious in my mid twenties, whichFen I never used to be. But at least these are my own fears! My own anxieties! I am not adopting anyone else's. And if only I could pack myself in with them, the many that they are, I'd face them and wiggle around them, maybe jab an elbow in them to reach an exit.

    Crossing the threshold of home, I quickly opened a beer.
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