The fall is holding out against the winter, trees clutching bright leaves before the chill breaks their grips. It’s wonderfully warm among such colours, and we walk in the valleys of Appalachia to take in the smell of mountain air as rustic hands around us work livestock and soil. In old Aramaic, Damascus means “a well-watered place”, a fitting name as the rain soon grows too heavy to be exploring the tiny town, population 981.
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I’ve made peace with this body. It hasn’t been an easy peace to come by, as I seem to get constant reminders about the diminutive size of my stature. Most recently, I met an older Chinese woman who admitted that she thought I looked sick and weak only after she discovered I had colitis. It was as if she thought colitis caused some kind of malnutrition that stunted my growth, and she didn’t want to bring up the fact that I was this size because it would have been too embarrassing unless it was caused by a medical condition.
I’ve been dealing with all kinds of similar comments since I was a kid, so when a girlfriend would say that she liked a particular part or portion of my body, I always thought they were just blinded by love. Eventually I realized that if they could come to love this body, then I could too. It will never look right in anything but slim-fit extra smalls from Mexx. It will never be good enough for my parents. But it will always be who I am, and I’ve learned to accept that.
Over-stimulation is a slingshot moved by the force of company for the sake of self-distraction.
And yet I’ve never felt so alone. The nights are filled with absence, which I try to mollify with indulgence. It’s okay for now cause I know I’ll be okay some day, when it’ll be safe to be alone with my thoughts again.