I never splinter my mind into fractals of dark and light. It’s all just gray. There is no definition to it really. It’s all even. Everything is in balance. Until I reach out and feel the truth there. It is no longer a trick of light and shadow – it is real. Concrete. Tangible. And merciless.

At my appointed time, I round the corner and enter the office. I wrap on the textured, plastic window. It is opaque. Cold. Devoid of any emotion. My new spirit animal.

The woman hidden behind there slides open the divider, revealing the results of too little sleep and too much coffee. I robotically give my name and take a seat to be called.

I don’t want to be here. Nobody does.

There are voices growing louder from behind the door – you know, THAT door – and they seem friendly enough. A boisterous trollop from Queens quickly quashes any notion of peace on today’s visit. How can people be this way? So proud, so loud. So suffocating, even from the other side of that door.

I bite my lip. I need to be kinder, less jealous of others. It is how Scully says I’ll make it through.

A burst of laughter and I’m awash in it again. The painful absurdity of this whole thing. Relief spreads through my clenched teeth as the trollop and her boisterousness fade back into bowels of the inner office.

I finger a magazine on the table beside me. Somebody famous and their vapid mush is splashed upon the cover. I use it to mask my self-consciousness. My eyes drift over an article on speed dating. Is that still a thing? Look at the abs on that guy. Probably gay. Again, I am admonished from afar by Scully. But still, those abs.

A clock ticks away it’s steady rhythm against the downbeat of my empty heart. I want to lash out. I inhale deeply. The air here is cold, but it comes out of my body hot as if from a blast furnace. Johnny said anger is an energy. My lungs are a testament to that.

I am aware of shuffling behind that door now, shadows breaking up the fluorescent beam that runs along the bottom. My appointment is nigh.

“Mrs. Kilbourne?” asks the nurse. She possesses a twang that somehow divides my married name into three syllables. I meet her eyes and nod, returning the magazine to the pile beside me.

I don’t want to be here. Nobody does.