| to stagnate (verb) | /stagne/

A bottle of champagne sits in the fridge, awaiting some cause for celebration. Its presence saddens me, but it was expensive, so I fight the urge to mix it with Aperol or sip it aimlessly on the couch. I am tired of cooking two meals a day. I am tired of not finding fresh basil at the supermarket. I suggest buying a basil plant and placing it on the balcony, but Alex shakes his head sadly and points to the phallic mini cactus growing sideways from its tiny magnetic pot on the fridge. Ah, yes. I had forgotten that everything I touch turns to ash. The strident sounds of child play wax and wane as the dull sunlight filters through the living room windows and traverses the linoleum. I attempt to impose upon myself some perfunctory routine, awaking at the same hour each day, sipping coffee, and scrolling through headlines before commencing the soul-crushing process of the job hunt. I hopelessly fling my CV into the ether and compulsively refresh the platforms every few seconds before it’s time to cook. Chicken again. Or eggs? Caprese salad? Fuck, there’s no basil. I read, my ability to devour books the only task that provides me with some semblance of productivity. Then I find myself cycling through the same toxic thought process. I have failed. Look at me. Look at what I have done. Look at what I have failed to do. I am unworthy. What have I done what have I done what can I do who can help me now. No one. Its trite, repetitive tone rings pathetic to my ears. My inner monologue resembles the self-deprecating language of an ascetic zealot grovelling at the feet of some apathetic deity. I try to astral project myself to another time or place, giddily plucking cellophaned hunks of cheese from the 2-euro bin at Monoprix. Or watching the Parisian sky explode in hues of fuschia as the sun sets along the Seine. And amidst all of this, people living their happy lives: promotions and job security and new apartments and babies and boyfriends and girlfriends and home ownership and job offers and the Earth rotating on its axis as I alone remain frozen in place.

About Gabriella

I'm a twenty-something American with a caffeine addiction and chronic wanderlust. I have been living and working in France for the past seven years, teaching students the importance of the Oxford comma and negotiating licensing rights for the Albin Michel Group. I love books and travel more than I love anything else.
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