Weird angel, psychosoma
Almost immediately after it was decided to keep me locked inside my home,
different parts of my body began to swell up abnormally. My left breast was first. I
noticed it the morning after sleeping my first night in captivity.
Two days later, now swollen enough that I couldn’t avoid seeing it in a mirror from
across the room, now sure it wasn’t temporary—I sat in the bottom of the shower,
pushing my spine into the wall and squeezing my knuckles.
After the first week, they covered all my windows with big sheets of adhesive
privacy film, blurring everything outside. I only witnessed the end of this process,
the shadows of workers squeegeeing out the air pockets, then ascending away like
ghosts on the building’s window-washing platform. When it’s bright outside, I have
an opaque gradient from sky to ground, and otherwise, a gray glow without detail.
The right side of my face, from the inner corner of my right eye and across my
cheekbone, had by this time become swollen as well, heavy enough that I could
feel it, the new mass, when I turned my head. Then the underside of my right
forearm, near my wrist, which made it increasingly difficult to eat at a table, then
the middle of the left side of my back, mirroring my left breast. I adopted new
positions to comfortably sit down.
I wrote a novel, like I had always wanted to. I copied most of it from other books I
had on hand. With nothing else to do, I took all the pages into the shower and sat
with them until they came apart. I shower to divide the time, morning and evening.
Each day, the water runs over my body in novel directions.
Gabriel Friend’s recent work can be found on Instagram at @phriendgabriel.