Bliss is a door

For me bliss is a room with a door that closes in a house where people are. The muffled noises of everyone enjoying themselves. My solitude is fully optional. I can end it at any moment. And I will: just a minute more, and I’ll go back down and join in.

But for a moment I’m upstairs at grandma’s in my teen years with the music playing from the armoire below. Fog rolling in and the foghorn tooting across the bay. Dishes clattering in the kitchen. That last gasp of childhood, when you let older people wait on you shamelessly, when the world is as fresh as a sharp knife.

Or I’m sitting on the twin bed in the low light of my star-shaped paper lamp in that co-op room in college while a party carries on without me downstairs. Slightly tipsy, with a half a peanut-butter jar pour of cheap wine on my desk. Awash in the relief at a break from being slightly overwhelmed.

Or waking up and the coffee is already brewing in the other room. The morning waiting for me to choose it.

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