steam

“You’re like a frog in a pot”, my dad said, turning into the driveway. “You put a frog in a pot and turn the heat on, it’ll sit there while the water gets warmer, and warmer. By the time the water is boiling—“ he looked at me here; I saw the light from inside reflecting off of his eyes, “It won’t be able to move its body to leap out.”

The implied “pot” was supposed to represent the factors of my life giving me stress, and the implied “heat” was the stress itself. For some reason I thought that this was the other way around, that it was the heat that I was supposed to be staying away from. Not the pot. But no one’s ever put a pot in the freezer to prepare anything.

I’m the most hotheaded anemic anyone’s ever seen, I have to be. I cook from the inside out. I implode. It’s not raucous, it’s almost polite. My mom turned the heat on and off, depending on how she felt that day. Not everyone could, but she did nonstop. That’s why I feel so silly, because some days I would have a break from boiling, and it would make me stay. Next thing you know, I’m up to my eyeballs in steam. I left her house one day, my fingers were frozen to the steering wheel and I was screaming in pain. It came from my chest, my core, the last thing to feel the heat. The snow seemed to melt around my car without touching it, I was driving so fast.

“At least,” I thought to myself, “now everything won’t fall apart.”

“You’re like a frog in a pot!” My dad said from my phone. I was in the shower, washing with one hand, holding my arm out with the other. The steam billowed above the curtain rod where I rested my hand, I watched the steam fog my screen up. How could I say he’s wrong? My feet were pink, I felt the heat after that, prickling and nibbling at the edges of them. Why did I see this before I felt it? Is it too late to change anything?

The snow continues to fall.

Everything is coming together.

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