NEW πŸ“—Story: Radio ❌

Coming to Grips

Tuesday, Dec 1, 2020
feature image
✿ This article was featured in Issue #7 of the Atlantic Bulletin

She would spend a long time by the rivulet that ran behind her apartment. She would do the housework and hang the wash out, then watch the water trickle past in the sun.

She tried to open a jar the other day and started to cry when she couldn’t get it open. She never cried once when she saw those things in America, or got beat to shit, but these days she cried over jam. She didn’t know what was going on. Things were getting worse.

She caught her reflection in the rivulet’s water. It provoked a nausea. She was so tired. What would stop her from plunging her face into the river until she slipped right in? Would she drown and float away, never to be seen again? Or maybe, in a miracle, she might grow gills and fins and swim away, her life-force put to better use as a fish or turtle.

How do you resolve an ache to confess sadness to someone and the instinct to protect your emotions? It wasn’t in her nature to tell people about her feelings. On some level, she looked down on it; every cell of her body told her to suffer in silence. She wore the same clothes every day. Why did she wear the same clothes every day?

It is a fierce thing to discover within yourself that which you despise the most. She watched the foam gather around a stick wedged in the bank of the rivulet. If she’d been born elsewhere, into power and wealth rather than girlishness and poverty, she would have made an excellent thug. She wondered how much management she needed. Why was it so hard to live?

She tasted the water from the rivulet and it was cold and sweet, and said a prayer to the rivulet for its purity no matter what happened to her. The wash was dry on the line.