Rusted Coffee Can of Feelings

I want to use adjectives ending in -ent that contain odd combinations of consonants: lambent, nascent. But none of them are pertinent. 

I want to wrap my body around the dollar fifty bottle of Wet n Wild Basic Beach I bought at the dollar store and let it fill the hollow inside me. 

I feel slow, like a personification of the art project of people covered in honey. The CD skips in blatant opposition to this feeling. Mindless Self Indulgence stutters along. 

I had stories to tell but they’ve changed their minds. 

The air smells of poverty and mud. 

Not going to the grocery store for garlic feels less like self-care and more like petty, misplaced passive aggression.  I don’t care; I’m not going. 


Chicken Nuggets and Sadness

I grabbed the sack of chicken nuggets and headed for my closet. My shoe rack was just the right height for a seat when I swept the top row of shoes off it and onto the floor. I could lean back against the wall and be comfortable. I kept an old comforter in there all the time, for the comfort it provided, as its name may have given away. I didn’t bring anything to drink, but I never did. I didn’t need to, because this wasn’t going to be that type of binge. This was just going to be me sitting in my closet, reading a book, wrapped in a comforter, eating enough chicken nuggets for six people.

No big deal.

I kept forgetting that I lived alone; I tried to muffle the sound of the paper bag rattling as I pulled out the first box of nuggets. After a lifetime of never being alone, it was hard to break old habits.

I tapped the light stuck to the wall, and it came on, illuminating just the right area for me to read peacefully. I leaned back, cracked the book, settled the nuggets on my knee, and took a deep breath. I smelled leather and fried food and the pages of my book, all the most comforting smells in the world. It was almost enough to put a smile on my face.

But I didn’t need to feel happy; I felt safe, and that’s what really matters the most. Safety. I leaned my head to the side until it reached the adjoining wall, and with that support, I flipped pages and stuffed my face for the next hour.

I don’t remember when I started to binge eat. I really don’t. It’s there, somewhere, as far back as I remember eating. I don’t really remember that far back, though. I mean, I don’t remember much with any consistency until I was around eleven or so. Sure, there’s bits and pieces from when I was two or three and up, but that’s all it is, is bits and pieces. I can’t string days together, or weeks. I can barely string an hour together—I think the only time I can do that is when I remember watching a movie, something that lasted over an hour with a coherent story. It’s just weird to think about the people who can remember so much of their own lives. I can’t wrap my head around that, at all. And then those who can remember everything? That’s way too much for my brain to handle. I don’t think I can tell you what I had for breakfast a week ago, and that’s remembering food.

If I can remember anything, it’s food. Eating food, and cooking food, and serving food. So much food in my life. And I remember so much about it. The taste, the smell, the texture, the sound in my ears as I chewed it in my mouth.

When the chicken nuggets were gone, I didn’t hate myself enough yet. I closed the book and set it down on the floor in the closet and closed my eyes just for a minute. I didn’t know yet whether or not I was going to cry. The first minute passed, and then another, and eventually I knew that I was not going to cry. This time. I got up and went to the kitchen.

It’s hard to eat ice cream out of the container while sitting in a closet wrapped in a comforter and reading a book, but I’ve worked out a system for it. I finished the half gallon, and it wasn’t enough . I knew it wouldn’t be from the first bite, because I focused on the act of eating instead of even pretending to myself that I was reading.

I dropped the spoon into the empty bucket, and the tears began to fall.

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Hiding From The World

want to curl up very small
in a little tiny ball
and hide from the world.

want to stay in bed all day
not to laugh and not to play
and hide from the world.

want to cry til eyes are red
dampen pillows in the bed
and hide from the world.


Solitude

grinding the details
into an old memory
fading so quickly

lost and gone away
once, then always forgotten
leaves blowing farther


Sweaty Feet and Screamy Pillows

Helen felt the bedroom walls closing in on her, and she pressed her pillow tightly to her face in order to scream without alarming the neighbors. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut, but the sandpaper feeling wasn’t ready to go away just yet. Too many tears, too little time.

She twisted in bed to pull the comforter over the lower half of her body, the cold part. That only lasted half an hour or so before her feet started sweating, but it was too much effort to kick the cover off. So she dealt with it. That’s just how it is now, she thought. Sweaty feet and screamy pillows. The left side of her mouth curved in the biggest part of a smile that she could manage.

The inside of her eyelids was made of wool. They felt like that sweater her aunt had gifted her when she was nine years old, the one her mother forced her to wear to the family get-together, the one that left her welted and red for days afterward. Her corneas felt abraded.

But her eyes still worked. She turned her head and looked at the jewelry box on top of her dresser and thought about the pearl earrings inside. The gift from her other aunt, her favorite aunt when she still had favorite anythings. Helen reached up to fondle her earlobe, wondering if she could even still wear earrings. It had been years since she’d bothered to pretty herself up at all.

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Depression is a bastard. Helen had never gotten over that trip to Venezuela, but that wasn’t the cause, simply the trigger. Helen felt the bedroom walls closing in on her, and she pressed the pillow tightly to her face.

Picture Prompt #52 minus the picture


When Normalcy is Not

I don’t talk about this much anymore, but we struggled with infertility for ten years.

I have PCOS. I menstruate maybe annually on my own. Usually I have to take progesterone to give the lady bits a kickstart.

But in December and February, it just happened. December was no big deal, because it had been a few months. Whatevs.

But last month I cried.

Because I didn’t know how to react.

What’s going on?
Has my body decided to be healthy?
What if I get pregnant?

I cried because I didn’t know how to feel about the possibility of fertility. I cried because I thought we were done with this. I cried because I thought the roller coaster was over.  I cried because I had convinced myself that I did not want to parent.

We do fucked up things to our minds when faced with the harshest realities of life, when we realize that in spite of what we’ve always been told, we can’t do or be anything we want just because we want it.

Sour grapes.

But it was only during that first rush of confusion that I questioned, that I believed the lies that I had talked myself into believing.

I do want to parent, but at the same time, I do love the life we have now, for the most part. It was the sudden flip-flopping of everything that I thought I knew that hurt me so much. And in a way, I appreciate that flip-flopping; it’s just another thing that has helped me be present in my life and be conscious of my own innermost feelings.

And now I understand that I can welcome being childless as much as I once dreamed of parenting. Not just because it’s safe and familiar, but also because I know that I have the capacity to be mindful and simply enjoy today.

Except on the days that I can’t, but I’ve learned that it’s okay to have those days too.

Any day can be a good day on its own merits.