As of this moment I am worried. I am nervous. Ego sum timiditissus. Years ago, I spent days unable to breathe. I’ve woken with an intense headache, a sign of asphyxiation. Sleeping yet dying. In a dream, will I wake up in The Bardo? Will I wake up to nothing? Does life hit restart? Or is it over, only dark, not even dark but zero. Is Hell real? Do I belong in Hell? I’m tired yet I’ve slept more than I’ve been used to sleeping in thirty years. I pour these anxious feelings onto paper (or screen). I fly between thoughts, and I am distracted by Jeopardy! on the television. I shout “Mr. Burns!” Writing can’t really happen in this room with hearth lit, crackling and popping, pulling my attention. Yet there are words on the page, are there not? I’m a receptacle. An asexual woman who loves her wife eternally, yet lusts for my Muse to rub my muscles both gray and red. I’m a lamp whose oil is over half used up. My nervousness, this actual modern plague. I cry inside. Soon, I fear the tears will flow regularly. The way they did before. I could never stop crying. Now my eyes are too dry. I scratch them, yet no relief comes. On the plus side, I can wear makeup without fear. Women learn not to cry, and I’ve had to learn how to be a woman. We divide our tears, and they drop in drabs when we absolutely must: behind the wheels of automobiles before we leave the dance. I will not beg the Muse, but I will not leave the Muse to wait any longer. I wiped my red and ruddy face only yesterday for today my emotions splash on the page in graphite smears. I worry about disease. I worry about death. But I will not worry about myself if I can. I will work, not the labor of my youth, but exercises in joy, and the relegation of my suffering: a testament to my heart’s desire to make use of the tool that always served me best in every struggle, be it man, society, or virus. I unleash my wit, and fearlessness envelops me. I am the Muse’s plaything, and I feel aroused.