Even Closer (The Closening)

Weighed in yesterday at 204. Four pounds away, fam. Four. Pounds. Four.

Tried on the size 16 pants tucked in the back of the closet. Most of them fit almost perfectly.

Friday night, Hubby’s birthday, a big snow storm hit our area roughly three hours before his party at a local pub. So, instead of going out and me DD’ing, we stayed home and had some of his friends over who live roughly <1 mile away.

Since we were home and not driving, my resolve weakened to not have any alcohol. I thought hey, why not have a rum and Coke Zero?

Four rum and coke zero’s later, I remembered why I don’t really drink much.

After worshiping the porcelain throne, chugging water, and attempting to eat something, I again revisited the holy shrine. I couldn’t keep anything down until right before bed, where I was shotgunning water bottles.

Despite the water Saturday was, for the first part of the day, absolutely miserable. Hubby ended up curing me with a stomach acid reducing pill. And just in time, because the in-laws came down for dinner about two hours later. Hubby wanted to cook for his birthday instead of go out.

Hubby has mastered two keto meals, the super rich and indulgent keto ramen soup and tomatillo salsa on chicken breast served on a bed of cauliflower rice. So, we had both, just in smaller quantities. Dessert was keto cheesecake. He knocked all the dishes out of the park and my stomach didn’t give me any problems.

Keto ramen is essentially a bowl jam-packed with the most savory, delicious things you can imagine. It’s like the holy grail of umami. Bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, fatty pork, soft-boiled egg, and low carb shirataki noodles in a turkey-chicken soup base. Chuck in two strips of nori and bam, you got yourself a pseudo-Japanese dish. On a cold day it warms you to the gills. Soooo goood.

Second course was a veggie-heavy dish. Cut-up tomatillos and some rice vinegar, spread across a sliced, pan-seared chicken breast, on a bed of cauliflower rice that has been lightly tossed in a hot pan with butter, salt, and pepper. He has a side of peppers and artichoke hearts that go with it.

Keto cheesecake. Rich. Delicious. Unngh. I wish there was some left.

And today, since I forgot breakfast, I went to the Middle Eastern buffet for lunch. Tender strips of beef and chicken, some spiced chicken chunks, arabic salad (diced tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro in some kind of oil) and a small, small cup of baba ganoush.

I have a serious love affair with baba ganoush. Before this buffet, I’d never really had eggplant before. Thought it sounded gross. And I didn’t really like the taste of baba ganoush when I first tried it… And then this switch in my head flipped and I could easily binge on a pail full of it.

Well, um. Now I want to eat again? Why do I do this to myself.


Closer (Keto updates)

The holidays, I took off both Xmas and New Years to eat carbs. It was unsatisfactory. I didn’t get much out of eating carby meals as I did before, even my favorites. There’s that whole addiction thing. The actual pleasure from the meal doesn’t match up with how much I had anticipated.

But, I have lost whatever I put on over those carb days and then some. As of today, I’m at 207- seven pounds away from ONEDERLAND. I can’t wait to be back in the hundreds again. I may start needing to look at size 16 pants. My current pants are starting to be alarmingly loose, though not to the point of falling off. They’re now super great for wearing long johns under. Layers, friendos. Layers get you through winter.

The weight loss rate is slow. Maybe a pound every couple of days. You know what? It’s fine. I’m going to have to start moving my a55 if I want to lose more quickly. Given how cold it is, bundling up under a big down comforter sounds the most appealing form of exercise.

Today’s Husband’s birthday. Guy’s at home, not working, living it up. Everyone at my work is talking about the snowpocalypse that’s happening later today. I arranged a meetup of his friends at the local pub, and now I’m worried people aren’t going to show. I plan to be a DD at the pub. I just don’t care about booze, because even hard liquors interfere with ketosis. Your body’s like,”Hey, this isn’t carbs but I’ll take it!” and it can bork up your weight loss. I’m tired of going in and out of ketosis, I get a little hangry during the 2-3 days it takes for me to transition. I want to go a long stretch, at least several weeks, without breaking keto.

Once I get to Onederland, I’m going to do something awesome. I don’t know what that is yet.


It’s hard sometimes. Being me.

I’ve had some hard truths to accept over the last few years. The realization that I don’t have friends because I am socially awkward. I have never fit a mold that pleases others. It’s a hard pill to swallow, that people being nice doesn’t mean they are your friends. They are, at best, acquaintances. They are polite, they are nice, but they are like that to everyone. It doesn’t mean they accept or even like you.

I knew for a long time that the world is a cold place for people who don’t fit. I just didn’t want to believe it. The part of me that craved acceptance, and still does, has to be managed. That part of me was largely born from lack of acceptance from my father and stepmother. Born from being treated like an unwanted burden from the age of seven on. Not having anyone to rely on.

But I was fooled. I was fooled into thinking I could still be a part of other’s lives. Surely not everyone was like my father and stepmother. Surely, I could matter to others if I just made the effort.

But all the warmth and friendliness in the world doesn’t matter unless you fit. For your efforts, you may be rewarded with polite niceness, which is easy to mistake for friendship for people like me.

My increased isolation may be seen as a symptom of depression and anxiety, and in part I’m sure it is. It’s a blow, realizing that nobody feels anything towards you. That you are a nobody. And while you come to terms with that realization, isolation feels better. Interacting with others while knowing that no efforts you make are reciprocated is difficult. The part of me that still craves acceptance, to repeat myself, must be managed and I’ve been learning how to do that. Not in always healthy ways, as suppressing pain by eating, escapism and.. other means is not healthy. Which is why I’ve been losing weight. Not really making headway yet on the other things, but.. Time passes, and maybe healing takes time.

I feel emotionally stunted. Perhaps due to my childhood. Surely most other people don’t feel this searing divide between them and other people. How do I take care of myself when it seems useless? If people don’t want you no matter what, then why bother? That’s the big question that I do know that others struggle with. I’d love to devote my efforts at connection to others who don’t fit, who can’t fit. I may run into the same problem I have before: even those who don’t fit sometimes only want to be around those who do.

I have to find the strength somehow. To manage this sobbing, wailing need to belong; it may never be satisfied.

I can’t abandon my life. I can’t run away from my failures, even though it is alluring. I can’t start over, fresh. My husband’s patience isn’t quite exhausted yet, but I feel that it gets closer and closer every day. Part of me wants it to. I don’t know if I can ever live up to his expectations. I’m not sure if I want to. But we have a life together, and he tolerates my continual failures to be normal. He is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but I’m not sure if I am the best thing that’s ever happened to him. I am not saying he thinks that. I am a weight that he carries, but he doesn’t fully realize it due to what love still remains despite my attempts to isolate myself even from him.

Standing on your own when no one extends a hand is difficult. For me, it’s beyond difficult. But I must do it somehow.


2017 Retrospective

A bit late for a retrospective. But I’ve been mulling this over for a few days. Not something to post to Facebook, for fear of seeming like some sort of rich-and-flaunting-it thing to people I know. Regardless of the fact we worked hard for it.

In April, five years almost to the day we bought it, we reached a major, major financial milestone: Paid off the house.

That’s right. No mortgage. No ball and chain, no oppressively large debt hanging overhead. Our small home is ours, through and through.

So, 2017 was the year hubby and I reached financial security. The cost for the two of us to live, including utilities, cellphone (for four people), internet, property tax, and home/auto insurance is around $800 a month. If either of us were to lose our job, it would be the most minor blip on the radar. Something to shrug at. THAT is financial security. An impressive feat for a millennial in this country, even as an older one.

In October, I got sick of putting the pounds back on and being a misery sloth. I’m taking the weight off slowly this time, at a much more relaxed pace. One I think I can continue once I get closer to my goal weight. I’m down about 32 pounds, and I feel physically and mentally better eating a diet that nearly eliminates blood sugar problems.

In early November, we got doggo, our now-11 month old pupper. He’s 100+ pounds of goofball. Adjusting to that has been semi-difficult. He, unlike kitties, can’t tolerate being alone. We’ve spent a lot of time with him, as we should. He’s wonderfully derp and sweet, but kind of aloof at times. Our cats are still gated-in to a quarter of the house, though they have easy access to the rest of the house. They never really went downstairs, in the first place, unless I was there. I don’t have extremely high hopes for them ever liking the dog. They are close to being senior cats, and he’s the first dog they’ve ever been around. I feel bad they are stuck back there. Though, the younger of the two is far more bold, and I have some hope for her.

December saw a massive spike in cryptocurrency value. If I were to sell right now, I would make a couple thousand dollars in profit from the small, small amount of cryptocurrency I own. Yet last month was an exciting month. Roller-coasters of emotion as I saw my balance constantly fluctuate, a thousand dollars or more at a time, within minutes. Is it crashing? Is it going to keep growing? It was an excitement I couldn’t help sharing on FB, that I worry has soured more people towards me. I used to think people I knew were happy for me having successfully climbed out of poverty, and maybe they are to some degree, but at a certain point I just need to keep my mouth shut on how well I’m doing, no matter my excitement.

Things that I didn’t accomplish in 2017. Still couldn’t really lift pen to paper, though I did get some digital writing done. I don’t know if I will. Having a husband feels like having a child- you can’t just say,”Leave me alone for two or three hours to write.” Five minutes later, they’ll be knocking on your door asking for a snack. And though you can say,”Please, I’m trying to do this, go away” to a 30-year-old man, it still feels cruel. Guilt kills the creative impulse.

Things I’d like to do in 2018 that would seriously change my life: Learn to adhere to a proper schedule. All of the things that I wrestle with, sleep, housework, hygiene, husband-time, goofing off, writing, it would all be made simpler.
Another thing: learn to tell Hubby to go away in the nicest way possible when trying to write and draw. Maybe, he will eventually respect that constant unexpected small talk does not get creative juices flowing. Being in the flow and having your door knocked on every fifteen minutes just so he can chat for five minutes derails the mental train of thought quite well. It’s hard for me to get back into it. It leads to frustration and resentment that he.. just doesn’t give a sh1t, which he assures me he does. Sigh.

The meanest thing just crossed my mind. Get an airhorn. Tell hubby I am working for 2-3 hours. No interruptions. The first time he tries to small talk during that time period, air-horn him until he leaves. Ha. It’s mean, but it made me chuckle just a bit. Not actually going to do that.

Maybe a vuvuzela instead.

Keto is Meato, No Dorito, No Burrito

It’s Friday and I’ve been back on the ketogenic diet for three days. I started feeling adapted yesterday, after a poor first day or two adjusting back. I actually really, really like the feeling of being adapted to ketosis. It’s a physical feeling I’ve come to be able to distinguish. Hard to put it in words, but my body feels lighter, my thoughts clearer. I know I can’t mindlessly eat, I can’t use food to escape my boredom or loneliness when I’m on keto, but the feelings of utter exhaustion (once adapted) are much lesser. I imagine my pancreas is glad to be on a break again, not having to release so much insulin to counter whatever carbs I shovel into my maw.

I used to think people who talked about keto as a lifestyle, keto as something you do forever, as unreasonable. I mean.. No carbs, ever again?

But now I think I get it. It’s not about NEVER eating carbs again. It’s understanding you have to live with the mindset that carbs are something you’re not going out of your way for. If you’re in a situation where carbs are presented to you, such as special occasions away from the home, maybe. If special occasions are every night, then no. There is wiggle room but you must convince yourself there is no wiggle room. Slopes are slippery.

Haven’t yet weighed myself since being back in ketosis. I know I’ve got some water weight to clear out, but maybe I will weigh myself tomorrow.

A few of my sweaters I bought this year are looking pretty sail-like on me. My size 18 pants I bought a month ago are now loose enough that I can wear thermals underneath. Necessary in this cold snap. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get the snow off my deck, with the temperatures being so low.

Ungh. I want the weight to come off faster, but I know that’s how I burned out last time. All that hustle made the weight come off so fast my hair thinned out on the top of my head. THAT is too fast. I mean, my hair wasn’t thick and lush to begin with, and that extreme calorie deficit I was running made it worse.

Btw, sometimes you can find mega-packs of frozen cauliflower rice at warehouse stores. I found some at Sam’s Club a few weeks ago. I really, really hate ricing cauliflower, it never comes out right. But cauliflower rice is a saving grace for keto. Looks close enough to the real thing. Tastes delicious when gently pan fried and used as a bed for meat and other veggies. I’ve got a keto fried “rice” recipe I’m itching to make soon.

Mmm. Now I want to get lunch.

Return to Ketocence

Feeling extra, extra crabby this morning. Culprit is waking up early after five days of waking up whenever, getting like maybe 6-7 hours of sleep, and returning to keto.

It’s amazing just how unsatisfying those five days of carbs were. They say that addiction is a mismatch between how happy you think something/some activity will make you, and how happy it actually makes you. You keep chasing that ideal happiness you think you’re going to get.

I went and had some of my favorite meals, and went to some of my favorite restaurants. But I didn’t really feel enthused or even particularly gratified by the meals. I just eat when I’m bored or unhappy, and I get nothing from it but obesity and pre-diabetes. Back to keto.

The holiday went well. Husband’s friend D, unexpectedly, bought me a sketch pad and art supplies.

It was nice of him. But it sank me into a pit of despair. The only way I can draw again is if I have total privacy. I don’t have total privacy. Husband can’t comprehend that I don’t want him bursting into my office whenever he feels like it. If I lock my office, he’ll still come and knock. And then I have to tell him,”Please, later, I’m drawing.” Which makes me a bitch.

So, everything has to be *just right* for me to draw. For me to feel safe. To feel like no one’s going to be there to mock or intrude on my boundaries. No one can be around. The thought of someone else seeing my drawings is an immediate hot-button push for my anxiety. I can feel it spike to red-alert levels just thinking about it. Women’s works are judged through the filter of how attractive the creators are, and then the actual merit of the work is judged afterwards or not at all. I don’t want people to connect me to what I draw. I’d prefer no one know I drew at all.

It’s why I have a male/non-gendered pen name planned. There isn’t any way in hell I’ll draw that kind of unwanted attention to myself.

How do I draw when I don’t have privacy? When people crowd in trying to look over my shoulder with no idea of how vulnerable it makes me to show someone something I created? I know someone reading this must be thinking, it’s paper and scribbles, get the fuck over it. I wish I could. I really wish I could.

It all goes back to childhood. Girls aren’t supposed to like comic books. Girls aren’t supposed to draw comic book characters. I’m in one of those moods where I can’t just say “fack it” but instead marinate in the resentment and unworthiness I feel at the same time. Couldn’t I have just been a proper girl, who dutifully applied my makeup and went to cheerleading practice every day?

If I have to tell my husband I’m drawing, to please leave me in peace for an hour or two, then I tend to lose that ephemeral drive to draw and write. It’s just gone, replaced by a feeling of guilt I asked him to not come around for an hour or two.

I don’t like feeling this way.


Trying to feel upbeat today. Woke up and weighed myself today, down to 210 for a total of 31 lbs lost. Today’s also the last day of work before the holidays.

Had a couple of setbacks today, though. I found out my recently-former manager, the one who hired me, who had been my manager for 5+ years and who has always had my back, is leaving the company. There’s very few people here.. No.. There are no people here now that I feel have my back.

It’s.. disheartening. To know that there’s no one to talk to here.

I wish I was more normal and less off-putting.

But what did I say, a few entries back? When I took the path less traveled, I knew it was going to isolate me.

Another setback.. Well.. Not really I guess.. My cryptocurrency’s waaay less valuable today. To the point I’m almost worried. But in the drunken words of the crypto community, HODL. Don’t sell because the value fluctuated. I still keep seeing people commenting on “bitcoin’s a bubble, it’s gonna burst” while other people are like,”bitcoin could reach $400k!” Who to believe?

Anyways. I set most of my entries to private. I keep having the unnerving thought that since I write them on a work PC, work knows about this blog. Not that I discuss anything absolutely fire-able. I just show how unhinged I can be at times. Mild mood swings? That’s a firin’!

Shouldn’t be that way.

Unseen (Part 1)


Part 1 (of a Self-Indulgent Mary-Sue Story)

The sun rose. It dipped over the horizon, bird calls heralding its arrival. The world began to wake, houses slowly coming to life and light as the people within began their days.

Soon front doors swung open, cars were started, windshields scraped in the sharp winter air. The workers of the community saw their children off to school and headed off for their day.

She slept.

At work, cups of coffee were poured. Coworkers chatted and complained about the drop in temperatures, about how hard it was to leave a warm bed. Early morning meetings were held as employees settled into their routines.

Still, she slept.

When the absolute last minute had arrived, the alarm pealed its shrill warnings. Sara stirred in the bed and moaned, resentfully.

Beneath the warm, safe cocoon of her blankets, she pondered calling off, or at the least calling in late. If she stayed in bed another few minutes, she would be late past the absolute limit her work allowed. Part of her knew she must get up and go in. Part of her didn’t care.

Finally she rose, the battle barely won. Stumbling into the dim bathroom, she stared unhappily at her reflection. Her face was wide, with broad cheeks and a square jaw. Thin, dull brown hair stuck up at all angles, mussed from sleep. The poor lighting washed out the image staring back at her, as though she too was a part of the room. Might as well be.

Willing herself, she set into quick action, aware of the passing of time. The mousy hair was brushed, teeth cleaned, deodorant applied. There was no time to shower, only to get minimally dressed and head out the door. Her shower from yesterday would have to suffice.

She draped herself in a large grey sweater and unremarkable slacks. Quickly she put on a minimum of jewelry and then paced into the kitchen, picking up her bag and coat. Time to leave.

She got in her small black car and cursed as she realized the windshield was frosted over. Muttering to herself, she quickly hopped out and scraped the minimum needed to see. Twelve minutes to get to work, and if she was fast enough, she’d arrive right at the 59 minute mark.

Who would even notice if she was late? Surely the receptionist would. The woman had used to say hello to Sara as she entered the building, but put off by Sara’s rushed manner, the greetings had become less and less. It both did and didn’t bother Sara.

She drove aggressively to work, hating every driver who drove under the speed limit. She stared at the clock on the dashboard every thirty seconds or so, wondering if she would be late. Her hands drummed anxiously on the steering wheel as she sat at the light across from her work, waiting to turn left. A truck pulled up in the lane next to her and man inside gazed curiously into her car. Sara glared at the red light, willing it to change.

At last, she was parked in front of her building. Sara grabbed her work bag and got out of the car, striding towards the entrance. She badged in, and waited irritably for the slow elevator to arrive. As predicted, the receptionist didn’t look up and say hello. Only a year ago, Sara would have taken the initiative and said hello herself. Now, she just wanted to get to her office as soon as possible.

The elevator arrived, the door dinging open. Sara practically flung herself inside. In the lobby, the receptionist looked up then paused, a confused look on her face. The older woman with short curled hair looked around the area, then directly at Sara inside the open doors. Her confused look intensified and Sara turned away. She felt herself fighting not to take the woman’s expression as a personal slight. Harder and harder to do these days.

The elevator chugged slowly upwards to the fifth floor. By this time of the day, most of the others at her employer had already been at work for one to two hours, and she suppressed a surge of irritation as the elevator paused at the fourth floor.

Three of her male coworkers entered, chatting among themselves. They were men she only knew by sight, and had never spoken to. Sara wedged herself into the corner as they took up a generous portion of the small area. Saying something would be sticking up for herself, but she knew it would only add to her reputation here. So she said nothing.

The elevator reached the fifth floor and Sara ground her teeth in annoyance as the three men slowly filtered out before her. She practically jogged to her office, hyper-aware of any footfalls she heard that might signal someone would round the corner and catch her rushing.

She pushed her closed door open and set down her bags, staring at the phone on her desk. The pale LED screen indicated she was, as usual, just barely on time. A brief spike of relief filled her mind as she sat down at her PC.

Sara immediately browsed to her favorite news site, then guiltily tabbed over to her work email. She had missed a few meetings by not checking first thing in the morning. A few emails were there, mostly things she was copied on. She barely skimmed over them, deleted them, then went back to her news site.

There was only a half hour until the daily meeting, so Sara spent those precious minutes browsing to her heart’s content, pausing only to get a coffee halfway through. At two minutes before the meeting, she sighed resentfully and got up, her coffee in hand.

Down a floor and across the hall in a stiflingly warm taupe conference room, she found only two of her co-workers assembled. As usual, they said nothing as she entered. They didn’t even look up. Though this meeting happened every day, Sara rarely said anything unless she was directly addressed. It was better that way.

Sara took a seat, several away from her two team members. One, a slim young man named Tom, idly leaned back in his chair and rocked it back and forth as he waited. Susan, a bulldog of a woman who ran the meetings, looked around with irritation in her milky blue eyes.

“Is this all of us today? I know we’re near the holidays but seriously.”

Tom grunted. “I saw Will and Steve in the hallways a few minutes ago, but they had their coats on. I don’t know about Sara or Ray Ann.”

Sara looked over at him in mild confusion. “Um..”

Susan sighed, heaving her large body from the chair. “Well, I guess we can pick this up tomorrow. I need Steve to look at the test lab again, if you see him.”


Sara stood up eagerly, glad to have the meeting unexpectedly abbreviated. It was almost enough to cancel the slight of being completely ignored. Sometimes, Sara wasn’t even sure why she had to attend this meeting. It mostly consisted of Susan questioning each team member about the previous day’s work. Half the time, Susan became caught up in discussion with her chosen person and skipped her entirely.

Still. A canceled meeting was a canceled meeting, and it buoyed her spirits a little as she trudged up a flight of stairs back to her office. She shut the door as she went in, and plopped back into her seat. Sara took a breakfast bar from the box on her desk and ate it slowly as she returned to her news site, feeling no urgency to begin work.

She had always felt anxiety over this practice, but it was countered over increasing apathy. When she had first joined this project a year ago, she had met with her team lead Will, a man who had been maintaining the project largely alone for six years, to learn about it. There was little enthusiasm about having a subordinate to train, and Sara had never fully gained full understanding.

Gradually her responsibilities diminished, her work on the project was deferred or barely glanced over, and any attempts on her part to change this were unfruitful. She worked on what scraps she was given, and tried to get through the long days the best she could. Sara clicked a link, looking at a picture of a cat with a mustache, then hit the back button. Seven more hours to go.

After another hour, Sara realized she had not yet looked in on GiraffeChat. The chat room her friends posted in every day. Friends, she supposed, was too strong a word. Rather, they were people she had known at school. Yet she felt a surge of warmth as she read the group’s posts, feeling for a little while like she was one of them.

Jackie90: Good morning everyone! ❤
AudiFan: Hey
MrDingo: Morning
MrDingo: Hows it hanging AudiFan
AudiFan: Good. Got too much to do this morning. ::overwhelmed::
AudiFan: Who’s watching the cup this weekend?
Jackie90: MrDingo and I will! Beemer Joe’s pub?
SalaciousD: I’ll do Joes
AudiFan: Sounds good. Tomorrow at 5
MrDingo: Jackie90’s mom can watch the kid so yeah we’ll be there

Sara greedily soaked up their words, feeling once again like she was a part of their world. She had always been eager to be a part of a group, perhaps pathologically so. She had never learned what it took to do so, however, and had finally realized she was a clinger. Someone who hovered on the edges of groups.

She caught herself mid-rumination, and tried to derail it. That was nice, that they were meeting up on Saturday. She hoped they had a good time. Perhaps she would read about it in the chat on Monday. She looked away from the screen, staring at the floor for a moment, then pushed her chair back from the desk.

The coffee made itself known. She made her way to the women’s bathroom, passing co-workers in the hall who stared straight ahead, and pushed the door open. She passed the large rectangular mirror over the sink, not bothering to look as she headed towards the stalls.

The mirror blurred.

She caught it from the corner of her eye and stopped dead in her tracks.

Sara’s heart skipped several beats. A chill went over her entire body, raising the hairs on the back of her neck.

She could see herself in the mirror. Just barely.

In the bright corporate bathroom, she should have been able to see every flaw in solid, high definition. But what stood in the mirror was a transparent, shadow image of herself. Sara began to tremble, and rose her shaking hand to her face. It too, was perfectly transparent. She could see the faintest fleshy pink outline of her fingers, palm, and wrists, but she could also see the sink through it.

Letting out a terrified gasp, she looked at her body. Tasteful tan wallpaper and creamy ceramic tile was visible through the grey of her sweater and the black of her slacks.


She pawed frantically at her transparent body with transparent hands, finding it reassuringly solid.

The bathroom door opened. Susan walked in, and Sara turned to her.

“S-Susan! I don’t know-.. I need- ”

The older woman moved right past her. Sara turned, jaw slack, and shouted this time.


Susan opened a stall, closed the door, and Sara heard her grunt as she settled down onto a toilet.

She backed up, hitting the solid wall with her body, her breathing fast and shallow.

It wasn’t just dark in the bathroom this morning.

The guy in the car and the receptionist didn’t stare at her funny.

The men in the elevator.. Her coworkers at the meeting..

They didn’t ignore her.

They couldn’t see her. They couldn’t hear her.

And yet, she could somehow vaguely see and hear herself.

She.. couldn’t be a ghost, could she?

Sara clamped her fingers to her wrists, and felt the pounding of her heartbeat. She rose her hand in front of her face and breathed on her fingers. She felt the warm, humid air gust around them. She pinched herself, for good measure, and her semi-transparent face winced in the mirror.

She pulled away from the wall, thoughts flying a mile a minute through her mind. How did it work in movies? People died, and then didn’t realize they were ghosts? She immediately discarded this notion, but then thought over her morning.

Most of it was a blur, made so by the break-neck pace she took to get to work on time. She remembered the drive, yes? Sara patted her pockets, finding her keys there.

She took the time to pace her breathing, slowing it until it was nearly normal. She certainly felt alive. This was the most alive she’d felt in ages.

Taking one last deep breath, she turned and pushed open the bathroom door, making a beeline for the stairs. She took the stairs at a pace even more rushed than her morning be-on-time death march. Going down five flights of stairs, she encountered another co-worker whose name she did not know.

“Hey! Hi! Hi!” She paused on the steps and directly addressed him. He breezed on past, head in the clouds. Hesitantly, then more boldly, she reached out and tapped him on his retreating shoulder.

Solid. Definitely solid. He stopped in his tracks, turning around in bewilderment, looking down the steps then directly up, as though something might have fallen onto him.

Sara watched him appraisingly as he shook his head and muttered to himself. “I can’t tell if I need more coffee or less coffee.”

Her test subject resumed climbing the steps and then Sara thundered down the rest of them. She was solid. Ghosts didn’t breathe, didn’t have heart beats, and weren’t they unable to touch people? This was crazy. She didn’t even believe in ghosts!

She zoomed through the front lobby and out into the parking lot. There, dingy and dull just like her, was her car. Sara shivered in the cold and went out to it, looking closely. There was no damage. Nothing. No indicator she’d been in an accident and was now in some sort of spectral state.

She was.. just invisible.

Standing in the bitter cold, Sara started to laugh. It made sense. Somehow, this all made perfect sense. Unseen by others, she had actually become unseen by others. The awful comedy of it twisted in her mind, laughter turning to terror and back again.

Finally she took charge of herself again, shivering, and felt a dozen different questions looming in her mind.

How long does this last?

Can I turn it off?

Does it damage my body, my mind?

What are the limits?

..Can I turn it back on?

She felt herself stand up straighter, her arms fall down by her sides, and her eyes narrow as she contemplated the very last question. Her lackluster life, her unfulfilled needs and loneliness all fell away at the implications.

…What can I do with this?