Some people don’t understand what it is like to be anxious. Nobody really does. I guess, except the anxious. We come in hordes, sending worrying fumes across the nation. One whiff and you’re caught. You worry about worrying. Anxiety is huge sticky rock. It suctions itself to your back and follows you around and whispers sweet nothings in your ear. That person over there is watching you. That’s dirty, it has germs. Don’t touch! You will DIE! If you don’t do this five times in a row, I will steal your family away from you. I will taint your peace of mind, whatever is left of it. It has a low, hollow laugh. Do not mistake it for a person but it is a living breathing organism. You give it life, you feed it. The more you feed it, the more it grows. Like a spoiled child whom gets everything he wants. More cake, more ice cream….more whining, more screaming, more control. Relinquish it. The control. Give it to me. Control is an illusion. Anxiety wants you to think you can have it. It’s almost out of reach, a balloon floating away in the wind….chase…chase….chase
I wash my hands for the 10th time in a row. My hands are chapped, bleeding. I stop and watch the blood seep through the cracks. Life source. Riddled with anxious disease. Coursing through my veins…
“Tristan, you’ve been in there an awfully long time. Are you planning on coming out anytime soon?” my grandmother calls through the door. Disease that runs through the blood.
“Yes, I’m coming. Give me a minute.” I reach for the soap for the 11th time.
It’s not there. Not really. I hear my breath heaving int he dark. Why can’t I breathe quieter? My heart sounds in my ears. Thump thump. Thump thump. I am pretending to be asleep. Slow, even breaths, ragged. Stuck in my throat. What’s that smell? Rancid, like sour meat. Like bad eggs. Like sulfur. I am really here? Is this really happening? My missing eye starts to throb. Almost like an alarm. She is coming. She is near. Pretend to be asleep. Struggle to love her. Pretend you are not terrified. My poor precious baby.
I pry open my eyes, terrified of what would or wouldn’t be there. My room is dark. It’s as if the air was sucked from under the door. I don’t hear a noise. Not a cricket, not the wind. No leaves. Moonlight spills from between blinds and falls on the carpet. I used to think the light was pretty, magical even. Now I think it beckons to the creatures, lighting their way to me. Why me? Why Kayla?
I sit up in bed and run through my memories of her as a baby. She was also so perfect and still. Looking up at me with love in her eyes. I was her world. She was mine. She still is my world. A world I have destroyed and failed in protecting. I wanted to badly to be pregnant, to give life to a soul. Holding her in my arms at the hospital. I start to cry. Nothing comes out, my tear ducts were ravaged in the attack. I feel phantom kicks in my stomach from being pregnant and being attacked. I life my shirt up and startle to see the scars. Proof. This happened. My own blood, my own heart. My love has turned against me.
“Mommy? I’m so scared…can I sleep with you?” She is standing in the doorway. I know if I say yes I will not sleep. I wonder if I even care to sleep again. Nightmares are beckoned by the moonlight and come to life around me. My arms weigh heavily, needing support. Needing to hold my own little soul.
“Yes. Come here.” I move over in bed and let her lie next to me. She reaches up to my eye patch.
“I didn’t do that, Mommy. I love you. I can’t…” I hold her as she silently cries. I look towards the open door. There is no one else standing there. I grieve for my lost child. I grieve for both my children. They are lost. I am lost. I am numb. Eventually we fall asleep, together. I smell rotten eggs in my dreams.
All the lonely people……….where do they all come from………..all the lonely people…….where do they all belong?
The Beatles song plays on repeat on my iPhone. Headphones in my ear. They are starting to hurt. I vaguely make a mental note to replace those spongy things. The wind blows outside. I welcome it. Sweat runs down my back, tickling with it’s slow moving trickle. Where do I belong? At home with my mom and stepdad fighting. Constantly. I replay beer bottles smashing against the wall. Muffled crashes. My mom’s eye, blue and black. Turning in to green and yellow as the lifeless days wear on. I’m not interesting enough to be a reality show, never good enough to warm someone’s sympathetic soul. I am just…forgotten. A lonely person. Hollow insides eat at my heart. I have a hunger nothing could fill.
I walk inside the building when it gets close to my appointment time with Blue. I watch the people in the waiting room. They are lugging emotional baggage behind them, dragging feet and minds. Slouching in my seat, smelling the fear and self loathing permeating through the fibers. It’s almost as if I can soak it up. Take it with me. Add more to my already overstuffed luggage. I wonder numbly how many people sat in these seats that never came back. That jumped off that bridge. That stole the gun. That robbed the store. That got shot by the police…and left behind a broken daughter and a wife who gave up. I shove the thought outside so quickly I drop my iPhone. The Beatles start playing out in the open. I feel exposed, naked. Like I just let someone see into my soul. I grab it up and shove my headphones back into the jack, pulling my hair to cover my entire face. I feel red heat blazing up my cheeks. The world took so much from me I never wanted to give it anything in return. But there it was, the words lingering out in the open…words I can never take back.
Eleanor Rigby died in the church And was buried along with her name…Nobody came…
I feel the exhaustion creeping down. It never creeps up. It starts with my mind. A vise takes over. Trauma after trauma fills my head, until it is so heavy I am afraid it will fall off. I chuckle a little, imagining my head falling right off into a client’s lap. I am numb. I take home pain that is not mine to heal.
I saw Frisco watching me. I secretly don’t mind he stalks. I feel safer. I think no one can get to me as long as he is there. His a twisted tree trunk. I climbed in the branches and got stuck. I don’t want to get out anymore.
I get up to check the window, just to make sure my dark knight is outside, waiting and worrying. Instead a see a boy. A young man. He is watching. My heart stops. I know this face…I have seen it once. My heart knows my blood. This boy can never know what caused him, he can never know where he came from. I tried to save him, but I destroyed him just by letting him be born. Who will take my pain away? Who will listen to me? Who can help me now?
“Ms. Cabot? Are you alright?” my assistant looks at me in wonder.
“I’m fine. What is it?” I sound like cold steel. I cut her. She flinches.
“It’s not important…I just…wanted to tell you that your last client of the day is here.”
“Which one is that?” who recognize them by their problems, their fate, their choices. Karma rules the world with an unfair fist and we judge the victims for it.
“The girl whose boyfriend was prostituting her out while she was pregnant?” She whispers the words, as if they were too loud would make them real and true. They already were.
“Yes, please, send Whitney in. Thank you”. I close my eyes and grief starts flooding my lungs. People don’t understand how you can damage a child in the womb. What happens to that baby can cause damage. We are all damaged people, walking around, trying to find a norm. The world is a cruel and unfair ruler. I cannot fight the world. I have already lost.
The Kayla thing walked around her room. Picking up her things, smelling them. They smelled human. Was she human? The Kayla thing didn’t even know anymore. Was she even Kayla? Kayla tried hard to remember her little sister. She remembered her waddling into her room, wanting to brush her hair. Kayla’s fingers…….my fingers……..I am Kayla………I remember her fingers, fat chubby. Cute. Reaching for my hair brush. She liked it because it was bright pink. I would brush her hair. I sit down on the bed. I feel a hollow space where I think I should have a heart. I will never brush my sister’s hair again. Her smile fills my mind. She was just starting to grow teeth. I could picture her beautiful smile. Her teeth would have been straight and white when she was my age. Beautiful. Like her sister. Like her mom. LIke her mom used to be. What have I done?
I stare at my hands. I could see the blood. The blood was everywhere. It was everywhere. I wipe my hands hard on my jeans. I get up and start pacing, I picture my steps wearing a path in the carpet. Blood that wouldn’t come out of my hands, worn carpet never letting me forget. I can never forget. The things I have done, the lives I have stolen. I feel a burn and see my hands are raw and red. I start picking at them. Maybe I can pick my sins away. My mom’s missing eye, just a socket. My little sister’s face…blue…unseeing….I deserve to have this thing take me away. TAKE ME AWAY! TAKE ME AWAY! Kneeling on the floor, knowing I can’t pray. I am unworthy. TAKE ME AWAY TAKE ME AWAY! I pick pick pick at my hands. Bleeding, raw. Take them AWAY TAKE THEM AWAY!
The Kayla thing takes a deep breath. Stands up slowly. Walks to the bathroom and washes her hands. Her mom stands in the bathroom. The Kayla thing looks at her.
She does this on purpose. She makes me mad on purpose. She knows what makes me mad and then she turns around and does it. I think I’m pretty easy to please. She knows what I like. So why doesn’t she do it?
I’m sitting in my car outside her office building. I don’t know what she really does in there all day. She tells me she works but I don’t believe her. She could be doing anything, or anyone. How am I supposed to know she’s telling the truth? She could be a liar. All girls lie, anyway, what makes her any different. I don’t know why I even bother thinking about her.
I met Blue at my club about a year ago. She looked good or else I wouldn’t have bothered. I don’t know why she listens to people whine all day. Those crazy people. I couldn’t do it. I think if we get married I will make sure she has enough to keep her busy during the day, taking care of my kids and my club. She won’t need this.
“Hey, Frisco, what are you doing here?” I’m caught but play it smooth.
“What are you going here? Aren’t you supposed to be in there working? Why are you out here? Meeting someone huh?”
“Ya know what, Frisco, I’ll see you after work. ” Blue starts to walk off. Maybe I didn’t play it as smooth as I thought I had.
“Hey, I was talking to you!”
“Conversation over.” I watch her hips sway as she leaves me behind. She was probably getting lunch but then how do I know that for sure? All girls lie. It’s all they do. I pull my car away from my prime spot after seeing her go back into the building. I figure she’s going to stay put for now, knowing I’m watching. Can’t trust them once you start slacking. Can’t trust anyone.
You ever watch those movies that were “inspired” by true events? What they mean was, I heard a story about someone eating breakfast and I decided to make a movie about someone eating breakfast who gets attacked by a shark and lived only to get eaten by an alligator while they were eating lunch!
Well, the same with this blog. Take it with a grain of salt. I can tell you, I, the author, am a mental health counselor like Blue Cabot. No, I do not know any priests or have been involved in an exorcism. That being said…
These stories are inspired by true events.
Take it how you will…