February 8 – today on that couch

February 15, 2022


Natalie Mix

Lorelei sitting on the couch in question under that knit blanket

Today on that couch

I felt warm

the kind of warm that has me carrying a blanket between classes,

finds me with at least three blankets on my bed at all times,

never being far from my knit cardigan and a pair of long socks.


Today on that couch

I was warmed by the vivid knit patchwork

of the blanket tucked into the cold spaces around me,

warmed by the nearly empty bowl of soup on the table

steadily cooling next to the still-full chai,

warmed by the cat curled up on my chest,

the children’s movie playing on the tv screen above the fireplace.


Today on that couch

I felt nearly just as warm as I do with arms around me,

my head on someone’s chest,

I felt warm

I felt full 

I felt e n o u g h.


Today on that couch

I thought about home,

about saying “I love you,”

about not wanting to move because everything is as it should be for a moment.


Today on that couch

I cried,

but in a way that let go of today,

frustrations that ran off my skin with the suds in the shower later,

and today on that couch,

Lorelei gave me advice—

advice that I laughed off—

something about a plateau and the wilderness,

the whole world,


but I’m writing about it now.


Eighteen is just a number

Nothing changes except that I’ll buy a lottery ticket next Tuesday.

But it’s one step closer to the edge of the plateau,

to parachuting down,

seemingly alone,

to abandoning safety and familiarity.


But I’m not alone,

and Lorelei’s right: there’s a whole world beyond the edge of this plateau

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