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Margarita Cruz

How am I? I am usually watching Gilmore Girls but not today.

Gilmore Girls (GG) stays on my television despite what I’m doing - as I wash dishes Lorelai is fighting with her mother. As I check my email, Rory falls in love with Jess. As I pour water into the Dash and listen to it boil for morning coffee, Luke is already pouring it for the Gilmore girls. I’m on a second watch through this year, which makes for a total of 14 times rewatching the same pair of fast speaking, fast moving women tangle their lives again and again. I know every decision they make and what their reaction will be but I am still invested.

This time around, I’m listening for the audio and background noise. There’s something comforting about sounds I didn’t remember hearing, like the man washing dishes behind Sookie suddenly is given a spotlight and I hear plate against plate. These days, I have to do a lot more listening - listening to my sometimes arrythmic heart, to the helicopters that pass over my house to the hospital, to the way my sister’s voice sounds slightly different over Zoom.

Today I feel weighty. I turned off the television and am sitting on the porch. There are no Loreleia’s here. I am listening to all the sounds of my house and neighborhood and feeling them weigh in on my body. My heart is thumping differently these days - I wish I’d listened more closely to it before The Scare ™ and even more before the pandemic.

A few days ago, I’d had a real phone call with a friend who ended the conversation by asking how I was. I was fine, I told him. I was present, I was secure for a little bit, and I was in need of this. Or maybe the universe was telling me to do it.

And he told me it was okay to let myself be not fine somedays. Today I am listening to his words. Instead of running around checking off things to do, I have nothing to do but focus on just my writing - something I haven’t experienced in years. But I am also focusing on my body. There are parts of it that don’t remember it’s own strength, parts that don’t remember how to use oxygen.

In GG, Lorelai decides that instead of being hurt and upset, she’s going to amuse herself. So I have decided I am going to amuse myself. Even though I can’t do much here, I want to. I can write. I can seek out friends and check in on them. I can do small things like save the bees around my house. I can finally write the Gilmore Girls essay I’ve been wanting to.

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