Not forever

But somehow you are still afloat, buoyed by words and arms and, wherever you can find them, reassurances of an eventual return to normalcy.

So Monique makes you dinner (when, at last, you are able to choke more than applesauce down) and coaxes from you your first laughter in days. Paula reminds you, One foot in front of the other and You're still strong at the core. Erfert offers a ride on her gentle blind horse (which, she says, will clear your mind of anything but the sudden realization that you are, in fact, on a blind horse), tells you that she's been where you are three times over her years and has lived to tell.

Dana, lately returned from a visit to Francesca in Toronto, gives you a KitKat and reminds you, You are here, alive, in front of me. Otis takes you out among the gay boys, buys you a ginger ale (sans whiskey this time), leads you to Walgreens to advise you on your tissue purchase ('No, baby, you need the ones with lotion. Blue box or green? Ooh, or peach?').

Val makes plans to take you to a documentary on a Fundamentalist Christian haunted house. Kris tells you she would banish heartbreak from the world if she could. Your wonderfully crazy design cohort Kumi, knowing only that something this week has made you sad, sends you a still from My Friend Totoro, a wordless reminder: there is so much rain, there is so much rain, but you have an umbrella, and you are not alone.

And when nothing else seems to work, you dig up Sylvia Plath's journal entry from August 22, 1952, and hope she was right:

"You have taken a drink from a wild fountain... 'and all the wells of the valley/will never seem fresh or clear/all for that drink of mountain water/in the feathery green of the year.' Not so, not so, for in parable the wells are sweet in their ripeness, and I will not cry forever, over the young wild spurting fountains--not forever."