Where do I go with these feelings…?
I’m supposed to be a good girl and calm down and go to sleep now but I can’t. All I can do is tap one-fingered on this phone app and hope that something can be gained by opening the wound and letting words flow, messy and dripping, like blood.
The Thing is visiting again. The thing we now know to call anxiety. Such a cute little word for a total, life-wrecking bastard
It’s floored me.
It’s attacking my skin, my concentration, my moods – God! My moods!… my heartbeat, my energy, my appetite, my whole body. I am swollen, heavy, tearful, angry, confused, uncomfortable, exhausted – yet wide awake, lost.
Where do I go?
I walk in a circle. And another circle.
I turn on the washing machine. I forget the detergent.
I burn toast. Again. And again. And again.
I look outside. I can’t go out today.
I’m distracted. But distracted by what?
What was it this time? Christmas worries. Money worries. Family worries. There’s no escape for an imaginative mind that one day imagines perfection and can only be disappointed when it doesn’t deliver, and another day imagines discomfort and can only feel vindicated when it comes true.
It’s late. My chest aches. I want my day back, my week back, my life back.
And I have to get up and do it all again tomorrow.
There are coloured beads on the table: yellow, green, pink, blue, purple, red, orange.
I hear something on the radio that’s relevant to the pink beads. It makes me think about the pink beads. I say something that connects that thought, those beads and whatever it is I heard on the radio.
“What about the green beads? You are greenist!” shouts a voice. “Life is not all about pink beads!”
“There’s more to that discussion than pink beads!” shouts another. “You’ve missed out the bit about what happens when you put blue and pink beads TOGETHER! I don’t think you know your beads.”
“Oh, pink beads…” whispers a new voice. “I’m so glad pink beads are your favourite too. Let’s you and me be best friends and only ever talk about pink beads.”
The face in the mirror looks back at me, offended.
Why do you look so disappointed? it asks.
What were you expecting?
I’ve had three children.
I’ve lived forty-three years
I’ve seen great sadness
I’ve suffered many sleepless nights.
I’ve drunk too much wine.
I’ve been slapped by wind
I haven’t let myself go.
I fought hard for this face
We’ve been young. Remember? That was years ago.
Now this face is furnished with the souvenirs of an interesting journey.
Not empty and open anymore.
This face knows things.
We have experience – this face and your memories.
Let’s be friends.
A flash fiction
There’s something about having nothing that makes you feel … well, both heavy and light all at the same time.
There seems no point looking forward or back, ‘cause every time you do you feel sad and kinda hopeless. Life like this just goes on and on and on, and when you see no end to it, no better days ahead, it makes you want to top yerself. But there’s a lot of point in living in the moment. Why not smoke? Why not drink? Why not eat sausage and chips? Small pleasures. Simple things.
My health? My future?
I’m not expecting anything to be honest.
So, I stop the fags and buy some fruit?… What then? I sit here and fiddle with me orange peelings and cry about tomorrow? No. I share a fag with a mate over a cuppa tea and we get a few things off our chest. We can’t do much for each other but we’ve still got that.
And do I tell Benjy he can’t get bladdered with the lads after work on Friday so he saves a few quid? What then? His whole working week is about Friday and his friends. He couldn’t get through it if he didn’t have his Fridays. The rest of the week is bloody miserable for him. You know they don’t even pay him properly because he’s officially still training? What a load of bollocks.
Anyway… What have we got then? Forty quid and some fruit? That can’t get us a car, a new place to live. The fridge is knackered, the cooker is knackered. Megan needs a new bed. There is no future just by depriving ourselves further.
I was looking over this fella’s shoulder on the bus the other day – reading ‘is paper. Some woman had written how people who drink and smoke should pay more for healthcare. I laughed out loud, I did. The man turned and stared at me like I was mad.
I was mad to be honest. “Healthcare”?! Most people I know don’t even bother with doctors no more. We just wait until we keel over with liver damage or breathing difficulties. What’s the point of being told we ain’t living right, huh? “Yeah, sorry, doc, I lost me Waitrose loyalty card and haven’t been eating my pomegranates recently.”
It’d be funny if wasn’t so bleedin’ tragic. You know I know some people who’s not even registered with a doctor?
I think if I did have forty quid and some fruit I’d make a big bowl of punch and have a party. Share a little bit of happiness. We never seem to have any fun these days.
If a butterfly has only a right wing or a only left wing it cannot fly.
If it only has a middle it won’t get very far.
If it has an extreme right wing or an extreme left wing it can only go around in circles.
If it doesn’t have legs it cannot land. After all – flying isn’t everything.
If it doesn’t have antennae it cannot know what is going on around it.
Butterflies need food and drink – too much is not good, not enough is not good.
They need a healthy place for their young to grow and develop properly.
Being a butterfly is by no means all about trying to look impressive.
Balance is everything.
(Photos by me. Please ask if you want to use them)
Plump is a nice word but I don’t want to be it.
It’s good to get your lips around it and make a small popping noise like a lollipop.
But, no, I don’t want to be puhlump.
And also: Neanderthal.
Cacophony, flageolet, pipette. Conglomerate
Wham liked that word.
What the hell’s got into you?
I love the word pudding but I wouldn’t want to be pudding.
If I were a pudding and I ate myself would I be smaller?
Or still plump?
Ridiculous. I’d be that.
Tumble, tears, tumble.
Today I will not stop you.
I gave the sign and now the guide rope has been cut
The ground has been flooded
The shrinking ledge on which I perch is now but a brief resting place:
A hard climb up? A painful fall down?
What is at the top?
What is at the bottom?
If I stay here in this tiny place with only room for one –
One unprepared –
How long before I tumble?