I am sleeping lightly upon a leather loveseat covered in blankets. In my dream, I am laying awake looking at my cellphone as it vibrates and rings in its little melody. Suddenly, I irk awake and look to my phone. Nothing. Seconds later, it rings. In the passage of one afternoon, this happens three times.
It is a few days earlier. As I cross the mighty Androscoggin river, I look to my left and wonder about the fate of the old Cowlan mill building. Contracts have fallen through and that historic landmark, now gutted, silent, and looming simply exists to uphold its own history — an icon of sorts for all the memories of the textile past. I know that it will not make it. Today, an inferno raged inside of the building and within the span of two hours destroyed all that was left. Floors caved in, walls collapsed into the river, the entire place came thundering down. Over 150 years of history was enveloped in fire, each year screaming as it died, sending fireballs and cinders from the building all over downtown Lewiston.
I pick up my pen, put it to the page, and then it falls over, leaving a sploch of black ink on the page. I am drugged with hopes of my condition improving, yet I have vomited almost everyday, and even water makes my stomach churn. I sit back, weakened by persistent fatigue, and imagine off into another place while my muscles lose their tone, while my body softens and my strength is undermined. I sit with a patch over one eye, too dizzy even to stand.
It is audacity that gets me through this. Boldness shielding an inner determination that strengthens my core, enlivens my willpower, envokes a sort of rage against all that is holding me back. My soul infuses with the whole of my body and I can conquer any obstacles that are presented. A little audacity is what keeps me alive through times when even reading is a challenge.
Each breath. Stronger.