Had there ever been a time when there was so much debris and clutter you couldn’t face it anymore? He swept it away violently from the table and left nothing, just some fractured blue glass, a bottle of ketchup and some wooden napkin holders. He insisted he was not a violent man.
“Clearing the chambers of my mind,” he called it.
He looked over his right shoulder and saw madness eclipsed in a minute: a bright plastic orange bowl holding half-eaten yellow sucking candy, an empty bottle of diet Snapple tea lying on its side, their garish red toothpaste stuck in their cracked sink, without its cap, like cement.
Books in uneven stacks that she had no interest in reading.
She refused to look at them, refused to try to see if she liked them, he bought each one of them for her, knowing she used to love to read.
It was maddening.
Her fear grew, you could smell it, raunchy, like a nasty bacterial bug spreading to all four corners of the room.
I watched her from the bed and saw her stomach clenched with tension, twinges of limbs of trees gnawing as if they grew inside her and were struggling to get out.
“Yes,” I said, to her two best friends, “” I am the infamous Jeffrey”.
“Do you think she settle down on her own or will she need the help of those pills?” the one with the blonde hair, Katie, asked?
One, of the hundreds and hundreds of pills, she keeps in the fake wooden drawers.
I knew better not to answer. I just shrugged my shoulders.
This was her life now with Jeffrey.
It had been this way now for three years.
Waiting, with him, at home, with no structure, wanting change, fearing it.
She was terrified with no reason because of no reason.
She loved him, she hated him just as much.
A double life sword. Get it?
It used to be very different. I used to be very different, she would say in her mind.
I was braver but also weaker, yin and yang.
But our hands still fit, perfectly, she thought. That’s gotta mean something…
The psychiatrist nods her mop of red hair knowingly but she doesn’t look convinced.
I don’t have happy memories anymore or bad ones she said. I don’t play that game anymore.
It is becoming increasingly painful.
Do I need out or in?
I’ve been in so long that it’s like being at home.
I know that when I go out, I can see the speckled orange and red leaves in the waving branches beckoning me closer.
Still, I hesitate.
Why? Physically, emotionally? Both?
It’s hard sometimes to separate.
Yes. It’s hard to separate the two.