Sunday, March 21, 2010


Standing in the kitchen, as still as possible now, she reviews in her head all the things she could have missed, but so far hasn’t found them. It is no matter. Whatever she could fix will be replaced by some other discovery of a mis-step. She will be an irritation. She has resigned herself to that. Yet still, religiously, methodically, each evening she tries to figure out and fix what might be discovered. The rocks build up inside the shell that is her, and her mind, very soft now, is the air between the rocks. It goes so deep that when the noise of the garage door opening whacks her backside into the present, she nearly passes out from the confusion wrought from the transport from inside to outside in zerotosixtyinlessthanasecond. Inhale, sharp, reflexively. She cannot give up the attempt to start things out right. Why does she find herself asking the same Godamn question every night: “How was your day?” It’s so automatic. She doesn’t really want to hear the litany of the things gone wrong. The wrong things done to him. The people who let him down, most likely including herself. Her happiest fantasies involve a different answer: that the world was good today. That he was happy out there and happy to return. She gains a few seconds between the sound of the garage door and the entry to the house as the beverage refrigerator is on the garage side of the door and he will have stopped to arm himself with a cold one before he enters into her presence. She actually appreciates those few seconds, even if it means he is feeding his habit, another source of irritation for her. Because it is a few more seconds where she is outside of his polluting presence. She forces herself to turn to the door as he comes through it. She thinks she hates him. And in so doing hates herself. Months later, in a rage, he will be holding their wedding picture, shaking it at her face, just inches away, growling “what the hell about this then?” as if this alone should change her behavior. “Then” she says, “back then I did not sign up for this. That is a picture. It is nothing more than a picture. Fuck it. And you too.” (her real self, her original core, did not use this kind of language. It was something he built in her)

In her world she used to see colors. Lots of them. And texture: the more the better. She used to notice the amusement the world had to offer and the synchronicity tied around the gifts hidden in plain view. Her senses were alive and aware of connections that were hidden from those around her. She understood her place in the world and was good with it. She could taste food with her eyes and nose, touch emotion with her hands and taste, see inside things that were otherwise hidden. But that had become foreign to her. Eroded so slowly that she hadn’t noticed it was gone until one day when she had a flash that so much was missing. What was now normal was not how she was born or made to be. She was gone and in her place was a woman who stood at the sink and knew nothing but dread.

Escape was found in fantastical fantasies involving poison, pillows held over sleeping faces, cut brake lines, guns even. It became a wonderful way to pass time that had once been spent in more creative, artistic pursuit. Often her thoughts scared the hell out of her. Eventually it became a matter of two options: numbness or helluvfire fantasies that became too scary to even imagine.

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