"NO problem," I think, "I'll get a rag and wipe it up."
The next thing I know I've scrubbed the entire floor of the apartment on my hands and knees, and as I get to the corner office zone I hear my damn grandmother's voice in my head, calling fat and filthy.
I'm finding outdated paperwork and wondering why I still have it. I'm losing things in my hands while I hold them. The only thing I can think of to get her toxic echo out of my brain is to move to a different part of the apartment.
I pass the chest of drawers in what passes for a closet here…and then I hear my father's voice in my head. It was one of the more unforgettable taunts.
"Look at this shit. You live like a fucking hamster building a nest."
As repeated thought loops of "Unclean, fix it" went through my head I ripped the shelf apart and flipped a suitcase open. Several things fell from this case: a rope, my "I'm travelling overnight and don't want to make laundry for my hosts" towels (ironically, the towels I usually reserve for post panic care because I keep them fragranced and they're like extra floofy) and my sgian knife.
For a quick moment, clarity returned. The day I got that knife, with its fine black leather handle and beautifully simple blade, I formally considered myself ready to call myself pagan. It was the same deep clarity I felt that day—whoa, thirteen years ago now.
And I realized as I held the simple knife that this panic was fucking irrational. I took a couple breaths. I remembered that Pops can't, er, pop in because my misadventure with the elevator has allowed me to ninja the spare key back.
I wrestled an out of season blanket into the suitcase, clearing space. I wrestled out of season clothes into a blanket holder that was too small the blanket in question. Stopped to pop a couple kava caps because I was still a bit on edge.
I can finish this. No one is here to hurt me.
I'm going back to work on it now.