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Sinking Feeling

You know that feeling when you’re running late and there’s no hot water and you’re on hold forever because everyone who doesn’t want to pay a plumber time-and-a-half waits till Monday morning to call, and when you finally make it to your car there’s a ticket on the windshield? I have that feeling.

The feeling I got reading Anne Frank’s diary the first time, thinking how hideous it would be for strangers to know when I got my period, and how sad it would be to remain secreted away in an attic with my parents for years, all of our neighbors wanting us dead.

I have the feeling there’s just a few more feet at the amusement park before our roller coaster car careens off the tracks. The feeling the little Dutch boy must have had knowing his finger in the dike was the only thing between dry ground and drowning. The feeling ancient shepherds probably had when hail rained down — that this really was the end of times.

Maybe Alcoholics Anonymous has it right. Serenity. Acceptance. One terrifying, unbearable day at a time. Screwup after screwup after screwup when the truth is clear and we’ve been warned: This is not the selfie God was going for.


Paula Rudnick is a former television writer and producer who has volunteered for nonprofit organizations for the past 30 years. 

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