It’s been a whole year since I’ve been seen in public – except for the odd grocery run, and the book launch party I had in November, I haven’t really been going out much, and you know what?

After not going out for a while, suddenly deciding you want to get dressed up is easy, but then when you get where you’re going anxiety kicks in. Can I walk that far? It’s been a while, can I breathe okay? Are really just contradictions because the answer to both is no, I can’t do either very well anymore. I also can’t talk to people as easily as I used to.

I have lots to talk about but I find that when I start talking I ramble and for years I didn’t know what the fuck that meant about me – I struggle to communicate with other adults because I don’t really feel like an adult, you know?

The world hasn’t exactly been very inviting to people like me, and so lots of folks struggle with communication. It’s not easy, because the way we communicate isn’t the same as everyone else. I use my toes when I am quietly thinking – as in I’ll lie down and whenever I want to say a specific word I’ll flex my toes to help me control my thoughts.

I used to go for walks all the time, I used to go out into the forest or the park and yell it out, until I felt better, or sometimes I’d just talk to myself, talk through the shit that I was going through, I did that for years. From the time I was about 10 until about 2 years ago when the pandemic hit.

I don’t know how to go back to that. I don’t know how to go back to literally choosing to be in the darkness by myself anymore, because I no longer feel safe. I felt safe before when I didn’t tell anyone anything before folks knew who I was. Now I see danger around every fucking corner, and I’m legit just over it.

It’s not my fault. The world has gotten exponentially more dangerous since I was a child. I’ve never, ever run into another person when I go on these walks, but I just don’t feel safe, and I resent that because that feeling of safety only came at the expense of everything I was so other people could be happy.

I’m really angry these walks I used to go on have been stolen from me, and before you ask, the point of going on night walks was to remind myself that I was a superhero, and now I don’t much feel like that anymore. The men took that away from me and I don’t know if I’ll ever get that secret part of me back, so I’m writing about it in hopes that I do get those walks back because those are the times I learned more about myself than ever.

I suppose I could take my walks in the day, but it’s just not the same as feeling like I have the world to myself. That’s what those night walks gave me. I wonder seriously if I’m ever going to get that back.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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