The Thing about Existential Dread

So I saw this illustration on Facebook the other day and it felt so accurate that I am bringing it here, although I cannot find the illustrator. If you happen to see it, please let me know.

existential dread

The thing about existential dread is how it drains

The color from every wall in your head, how it grows past


Every other emotion, the way a shadow can inflate itself

Until it is taller than the thing the light is hitting, whether


Self or other. The trick with existential dread is to move

So that the shadow must run if it wants to keep up:


Vacuum the rug, do cardio, chase the cat through

The living room—the room for living not simply existing—


Follow the cat’s example and live in the present moment,

This present moment, the only one we ever really have,


The one so hard to stay in. Don’t let the existential dread

Set in, don’t let it set in. Make pasta if you must, add pesto,


Eat it with gusto. Shop for a new tie to look dapper in. Don’t

Let the existential dread set in. Don’t let it set in. Keep moving.

Ode to a Birthday Anxiety Attack

Funnya-tiny-potatoMy heart trembles, my stomach trembles.

My hands are asking questions that my legs refuse

To answer. To look at me, you would think

I am calm, whole, demure even. You don’t hear

The chatter that is my body refuting the idea

That I don’t really need to vomit, not now.


Another year older and contemplating options,

That’s what does it, trying to figure out how to get

What I want, and how much I will have to change

To get what I want: to be loved, cherished, even

Just to be held, which would also help right

About now, when even my cat is out of sight.