Zazen Day 2 – Infestation

In my position on the floor near my front door, I keep hearing weird sounds throughout the 20-minute sit. I’ve interpreted the snap, crackle pop like Rice Krispies in milk as termites eating away at the wood around me. There is a termite infestation in our apartment; we found the evidence first in the frame of the bathroom window and holes have since popped up all over the floor in the living room. My boyfriend didn’t want to alarm me at first; we had mice in our apartment in Brooklyn and I’ve always gotten disproportionally upset by roaches of all sizes. But mainly those huge ones because seriously, no. So only after a few months in did the termite presence become a spoken problem.

I wasn’t upset about the termites. We don’t own the place so any damage they incur will not be on our property or the repairs on our dime. I’ve never cohabited so peacefully with bugs; the termites don’t bother me, I don’t bother them. But I should care. I should care that my floor is being sucked dry by millions of white ants, if for no other reason than we live on the second floor and I like to jump around sometimes. I mean, our downstairs neighbors are completely bonkers and the last thing I’d want is to literally or figuratively drop in on them. But still, I find it hard to care about the termites. Likely my nonchalance is due to the fact that the damage is not immediate. Eventually, the termites will have to be dealt with, but by that time we will likely have moved on.

Still, damage is being done, on a daily basis. Here is where I make the big metaphor about anxiety. My issues that reached fever pitch over the summer caused no immediate damage; I didn’t lose anything but time. But now I’m wasting more time in undoing what I had failed to stop before it was too late. By not acting, I forced myself into future hard work, and the past is catching up to the present.

So I keep hearing incessant chewing as I breathe and count. It’s probably just the wind – I doubt I can hear termites unless they were miked over some sort of nature documentary close up. But I can’t get it out of my head. Today it was really hard to focus. Probably because this is my last day of a proposed “week off” from writing. Tomorrow the rebuilding starts.

The best online thing I read today: Albums Of Our Lives: Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone by Ryan Werner / The Rumpus

Song I loved today: Prison Girls / Neko Case

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