WAKING LIFE

June 2nd, 2020

Words & Art by Grim Hunny

Quarantine has allowed me to face myself through several different waves of emotion. Panic eventually gave way to peace during mundane moments, but the news of mass injustice has woken me again as this period takes on a new shape. I'm still trying to process it all with care, and balancing it with moments for myself.

Again​

I watched my sister lean out the window

facing where the smoke was dark

where the smell was coming from the worst

The noise

the thickness of the tension mixed in with summer and sweat and broken ACs 

       hanging outside of windows 

“It’s happening again,

they’re being mean,

they’re being wicked,

they’re spitting on Us,

they’re standing on the only thing that matters,” 

The flames grow.

Glass breaks.

Bones crack as another one of us screams That Phrase. 

“they’ve taken Him,

and Her,

And Them.” 

We add names to the growing list of People that look like us - that we will never see 

       again

unless it’s in news articles or shared stories

or through family left behind 

“they’re taking Our voice,

they’re taking Our bodies,

they’re hosing Us down.” 

I had fooled myself into thinking enough time had passed between the first and last

incident 

We should be indoors

We should be away from the streets

But they’ve called us back for more

Before We have had a chance to rest or process or grieve 

“We’ll be okay.”

She says, closing the window and walking out the door.

“We’ll make it right.” 

No Sunshine

My ceiling still has holes in it so I can always hear the rain starting on the roof

It’s coming in large scattered drops that simmer on the tiles outside and bang off the 

      metal from the construction next door

The workers call it a day, shimmying off of the ladders and into their cars 

The rain is picking up

It’s all dark and grey

The children are screaming and laughing from across the street as their mothers and 

       aunts try to chase them back indoors

I keep forgetting what that was like 

I’m still at my desk, working

Still waiting for it to get heavy enough to justify wrapping myself in a blanket and binge 

       watching tv

My cat is already asleep on the corner of the bed, unbothered 

I’m waiting to achieve that level of zen

But I’m worried about a lot

About the shift of the world 

At least the rain came

Even though the WiFi is going down

At least it’s drifting the smell of wet dirt through the windows

At least it’s shaking the trees and giving me something else to hear 

The power went out

There’s thunder in the distance

It’s coming at its own pace

The lightening is already here

Shining white in the sky

I’ve always been a little afraid of both

But I know only one can hurt me 

I’m wrapped up tight 

Amateur

I’m certain it’s been an eternity I’ve spent in this kitchen

Pinching and mixing and rolling

Hoping whatever is in the bowl turns to bread or pasta or some form of cake 

I’m full of flour and eggs and energy drinks accumulated over the last few months

I’ll laugh the extra weight off over Zoom with friends

I’ll sit on my floor and scroll until I fall in love with another recipe 

I pretend I’m on a cooking show

Rushing around as my cat side eyes me

He’s looking for scraps

I’m looking for some form of stability

Unsure if it’ll come because I’m yelling at my oven again 

I could have sworn I preheated it before I started 

I wait with a podcast that is talking to me about how amazing I am and that I should 

     also buy a mattress that unfolds itself 

I dance through a song that has a fun beat but belts out that I need to escape 

I go back to the podcast because sometimes it’s better to not have an existential crisis 

    while cooking in your pajamas 

Another eternity moves by

And my masterpiece is done

Some golden brown mass that I will definitely douse in cheese or frosting or jam 

It’s only beautiful because I made it

And that’s my favorite part 

Grim Hunny is a painter, illustrator, animator and crafter based on Abuja, Nigeria. You can find her @grimhunny_art

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