Saturday, February 04, 2017


When you lay face down in the bathroom sink and your tears and drool are circle down the drain with the escaping water, your eyes see a semi-colon. Your arms tremble and go numb with the strain of holding yourself upright. The tooth brush drops from your tingling fingers and you think, “All you have to do is rinse out your mouth and you can go on.” Eons pass as you try to convince yourself you have a reason to go on, yet no good excuse seems to come to you. The white sink, the clear water, the lit room all seem thick and black. Reality has no bearing on what your brain sees. Whining, like the bird call of a wild fox echoes and drones on in painful stabs inside your ears. You feel phantom blood worm its way over cartilage, down the column of your neck and over your collar bones, drip and stain the porcelain bowl.

Once the guilt of twenty-eight minutes of wasted water seeps into your brain, you stand, look at your puffy eyes in the mirror. The red mark on your forehead and your red nose also make a semi-colon.

This might not be you, but it is me.

It’s funny the things that keep me going.

I need to shut off the water running into the drain.
I can’t leave the car with an empty tank of gas when the temperature drops below 20 degrees.  
No dying in old underwear.
My password list isn’t up-to-date.
The upstairs closet is full of twenty year old papers.
There’s one vanilla cupcake left.

The darkness recedes.

I rub my forehead, look into my eyes. I never seem to remember that they are green.

I pull worn black jeans over my worn, cotton panties. A soft, gray t-shirt goes over my two year-old bra, the long sleeves cover my scarred wrists down to the knuckles of my fingers. Black socks and black storm trooper boots go on my feet. A deadly-sharp switch blade and my wand go in the left back pocket of my pants, in easy reach of my dominate hand.

I check on my stash of heroine in the medicine cabinet. Still there, just in cases.

I brush my blonde hair and gather it into a black scrunchy. I won’t pay it any attention again until tomorrow morning. One green and two clear crystal studs go in my ear lobes. Four stack rings go on the ring finger of my right hand. I read the words on each as a morning mantra as I slip them on my finger: live – one – more – day. I slather balm on my chapped lips. I take a deep breath, watch the silver pendant stamped with a semi-colon rise on my chest. I hold the air in my lungs for the count of seven and let it out to the count of nine. Rites, routine and ritual and I’m ready for my day.

It’s time to go out and kill something.    


  1. I haven't cried in a long time. It's like my insides have gone numb. I used to cry my eyes out in the shower or while watching a sad movie. I don't know which is worse, crying all the time or not being able to cry.
    I agree, some ass needs to be kicked.

    1. Given that this was fiction, that comment was probably too much of a personal reveal. Feel free to virtually slap me with something.

  2. Wow. This is powerful. Definitely should be published.

  3. Why is it the things that keep us going always seem to be so mundane? Great writing, once again, Vanessa! I don't know how you sleep with all the creativity stomping on your brain cells.