Day in the life of…

Say something

No
pleasant music.
No
bright lights.
No
comforting warmth.
No
one around,
except
for the thin girl
curled
around
herself
to give the illusion
of touch,
of connection.

I’m giving up

She rests her cheek against the dirty cool of the dumpster wall and glances up at the sky.

on you

The stars are falling, but she can’t see them for all the lights.

***

Earlier that day, after dropping back in for the briefest of moments – he left a note. “Off thinking” – she went to do some of her own. She found herself in her room, sprawled on the bed, not quite bored, not quite tired.

Restless.

She was worried about him, about that look on his face that she swears had to have been fear. She was worried about the fact that she could feel something crawling closer, something she couldn’t define, couldn’t explain. She was worried that she wouldn’t actually see it coming, and it was going to hurt. And soon.

***

There are many different kinds of tears–

Most people will cry them all at least once during the course of their lives. There are the kind that spill freely, silent and without realization. There are the glittering, beautiful ones that well up in the eyes of those who are shocked, stunned, or maybe even happy. There are the kind that are accompanied by harsh, wracking sobs that tear up the throat. There are furious tears. There are tears of joy. There are tears of terror, of hope, of loss. She has cried them all, so far.

She hates it. Tears are a symbol of childishness. Weakness. And she’s been struggling, for so goddamned long, to maintain that she isn’t. A child. Weak. It’s hard, though, in the face of those who know better. It’s so fucking hard, because she knows better.

I’ll be the one

God, sometimes words can hurt so much.

if you want me to.

She closes her eyes and sighs, shivering in the cool night air, tucked away, hiding from the world.

***

Time passes.

***

Wincing, she shifts her weight against the trash and debris within the bin, and makes a face as she tastes blood and stale alcohol, old cigarettes on her lips, on her tongue. She’s in a sorry state, clothing torn and stained, hands scraped and raw, hair tangled, skin cut and bruised. She’s hiding, not fit to run around on the street like this, not sure where to go.

Anywhere

She keeps trying to look up, but there’s nothing to see.

***

The subject would get changed when she talked about how well she was doing. There would be looks of disturbed acceptance.

All she wanted was his approval.

I would’ve followed you.

She wasn’t sure she could take the fact that it seemed every time she made progress, every time she dared be proud of something she could do, she learned that she was no better than before. No different. She kept thinking she was being more mature. She kept thinking she was doing the right thing. She kept thinking that she should take care of herself and be accountable and be responsible and be less reckless. And somehow in this thinking, she thought she could be proud of herself. Thought that maybe she could finally say she was worth all the trouble she’d ever caused.

***

There was a sigh; she shivered, held herself tight, tight, tighter, grinding her teeth against the way it felt like tension was winding and winding and winding within her until soon the clockwork mechanisms of her muscles and mind would simply come springing out, unwound, undone.

She had to run, like she does. She had to run, because of her own fear. She had to run — she was born to run, built to run; it felt guiltily good to give in.

She had run away. Down the halls, down the stairs, out the doors, into the falling night, through alleys, over rooftops, down streets, over fences, until eventually, lungs burning, she crawled into a dumpster with a bottle of cheap booze, a fierce headache, a broken heart, and lack of understanding.

Say something

Which is where she still is.

***

The bottle’s empty, and the day’s gone. She doesn’t know what time it is, and she’s not even entirely sure where she is. With the distinct lack of good judgement that comes born of fear, exhaustion, and alcohol, she hurls the bottle at the wall of the dumpster – this is no good, as she is within the belly of the beast.

Shattering glass fills the air; the deafening clang of glass exploding against metal chatters her teeth as tiny cuts open on her exposed arms and shoulders.

Rage.
Desperation.
You’re not good enough.
You’re not
what they want
and you’re not
what they need.
You don’t understand.
Such a child.
Drama queen.

Something inside her boils up, furious, trying so damned hard to break free, to get away and live, but ends up simply confronted by the dirty walls of the dumpster, and her eyes widen as she realizes her situation.

“Drama queen,” she tells the night, hearing her own voice crack.

I’m giving up on you.

She wants some comfort, some beauty, in that moment, some anything that might connect her, keep her from slipping–

–but she can’t see the stars, for all the lights.

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2 responses to “Day in the life of…

  1. Is this what you mean by howling? Because this is howling. The structure really got me, the poetry between the prose. And the viciousness, the darkness. You are way dark, Jones. I think this is one of the best ones I have read from you. I still can’t tell if this is you fictionalizing what you feel or if you are pulling characters out of no where, or somewhere in between. It’s impossible to tell.

    Like

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