It’s over. Done. The last stretch sprinted clear through the finish line. The explosive finale bursting through retinas and eardrums only to fall—blind and mute—as spent, acrid ash.

What, then, comes next?

There should be withdrawal symptoms. There should be the pain, the void, the post-stress collapse, the binge sleeping. There should be the obnoxious absence of what had previously tyrannized my time, the overcompensation of a battered immune system jerking the body back to homeostasis. I feel them, looming in the distance. Brief, imperceptible throbs of panic growing steadily, threatening to crescendo, threatening to commandeer my sanity.

And yet.

A deep breath, eyes closed. I can control it, curtail it. Exhale, exhale. Focus my mind, find new pursuits. Exhale, exhale. Diversify my interests, dally in more leisures. Exhale, exhale. It’s time to distract myself from life; it’s time to live my distractions.

Fin,” says the French film.

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