Whiplash. That’s the best word to describe how I feel today.

At this time last week, I was sitting in Zilker Park, listening to Belle and Sebastian sing along with the Barton Hills Elementary Choir. Actually, I was half listening to the show, half lying back in my chair, watching the lights dance in the sky. They mesmerized me, those lights, moving together to kiss, then back away from each other again, over and over, like nervous teenagers trying to figure out how to say ‘I like you’ without getting their feelings hurt if the other said ‘oh. Well, that’s nice.’

The dark was sweet relief from the sweltering heat and relentless sunshine we’d had all day. I was sticky and smelly and burnt, right down to where the hair parted on my scalp. The sunscreen I’d tried to pat there didn’t take well, so my scalp burned as much as my face, and the sting I felt as sweat trickled down my neck was a hurts-so-good reminder that I was playing hooky from life, getting lost in a city that’s not mine and in music that let me tune in and out at the same time.

For a few days, I didn’t cook meals or yell at anyone to finish their homework or ask if they’d brushed their teeth. I didn’t vacuum a floor or unclog a toilet or drive myself from point a to point b. For a few days, I got to sleep until I woke up, ate Tom Kha Gai and Tiger Cry instead of homemade macaroni and cheese and didn’t think twice before drinking a second—and then third—hard apple cider during happy hour.

And now I’m back in reality, smothered in snuggles and bombarded with requests for cookies and favorite meals, and I’m juggling bills and stopping at the corner gas station to fill my tire with air before I head to the grocery store because I’m terrified it won’t get me from point a to point b.

Whiplash.