HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

The weather is very different this morning than it was on this day precisely one year ago. I'm told that my memory is eerily accurate, clinging onto minor details and sensations lingering in my mind for years to come. I have to admit that there is truth in that; that my neurological obsessions insist on my remembering every tiny fragment. The first thing that I remember about today is that last year's October 21st was sunny and the air was crisp. The next is the waves of regret and wrongness that overwhelmed me as I drove up the road to my new home. The hospital stood proudly at the top of the hill, covered in places in ivy and burning orange and crunchy leaves scattered across the grounds. Even the windows still had bars on them, which only added to the historical creepiness that blanketed the campus. In spite of my own conviction that I didn't belong here, I couldn't deny that the hospital was enticing, and intriguing in it's seclusion. The breeze held a chill much sharper than the southern winds that I was accustomed to, but the sun continued to warm my skin.


Today, the leaves don't crunch at all. Although they are still burning orange and yellow, they are soggy and pasted to the sidewalks. The constant drizzle has painted the road with a thin and shiny layer, reflecting the northeast autumn colors in a blur. The air is cool but wet, much different than the crispness of that first day in Boston a year ago. Although the weather is different, some things are quite similar: the nightmares that continue to unfold in my brain now are the same obsessions from last year (and the year before that). My inner monologue still has that same stream of counting and numbers too. Some of the very same intrusive thoughts, and rituals from then continue to haunt me now.


And then there are all of the differences: the room that I woke up in is very different than the unfamiliar hotel room outside of Boston from last year. This time it was in my own bed, in my Boston apartment, decorated and made messy by my own habits and punctuated by my cat's chirpy meows. Instead of preparing early for an admissions appointment, I got dressed and went out for coffee and music. When I started reflecting on this day last October, I thoug