Grinning she fills her hands with cupcakes and her pockets with candies. There’s no bringing her down. Her head is in the clouds full of happy dreams fed to her from a tv screen. She’s one positive guru with her bad feelings black and charred secretly tucked in the base of her Medulla. Her secrets barbecue her unbecoming. Shhh… she’d say anytime someone mentioned the smoke drifting from her ears. She’d have nothing ruin her day or force her smile the other way….
Empty sex, soulless endeavors and failed attempts at trying to find ourselves somewhere buried beneath all the shit we were drowning in. He called me a bitch in front of the kid and I didn’t like that so I reached out and socked him right in the chin. “I don’t need this. Why am I even here?” Only I knew why I was there. He had this freedom my tiny inexperienced little fingers just wanted to grasp and never let go of. Only thing is his freedom came with a price he wasn’t willing to share. The previous day we were all cuddled up watching Nemo. Snacks mingled with kisses. Things were quiet and I told him why I liked him and he told me why he liked me. It’s for reasons I can’t recall because there’s something about toxic relationships that make the good times fade much quicker than the worst. You gotta dig a little deeper to find the nice girl hidden behind the slutty bitch. There was this one time we made dinner together, daughter in high chair, music on, and bare feet tapped against the black and white tiles. We danced and sang terrible lyrics and smiled in fear that tomorrow was nipping at our heels. And it nipped. I tell him he’s useless, he tells me I’m a whore. We go back and forth till the socking happened. Shitty, I know. That may have been one of those nights I lost a handful of pearls on the floor of some other guys bedroom. We just wanted the release, you know. I’m not sure either of us ever got it.
I walk in after speeding to get my daughter’s cake which was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen since Willy Wonka, and notice the tables aren’t ready. The plates are still in plastic wrap and so are the table clothes. Panic struck me like a piano falling from a third floor apartment. I hate dishing out commands, but it had to be done as quickly and gently as possible. I’m at least trying to have cake table ready because that’s the thing these days. But plastic wrap and boxes and purses keep appearing on there. My mind is everywhere trying to do everything at once. Finally got the table set and the cake table decent. Kids are every where and since it was three or four different communities some kids were left out but so goes life. I finally get the cake table decorated with gifts (which I’m super grateful for). We round up the kids and prepare for the feast to begin which is a giant subway grinder neatly divided between four tables. The tables are adorned with a fairy, blue, and gold theme. You’d think feeding the beast (beast as in a mass of children shoved into a small room) would tame it, but let me tell you I’ve created a monster. My daughter (of course) begins some chant that sounded something like “pop-the-balloon” and you should have seen the fear in the adults faces when they came together in unison. My plan was to keep it moving by lighting the candles on the cake. So I grab the cake which was pretty heavy and lug it over in front of my daughter. The chanting grows louder and there’s an air in the room (which would properly be described as fear) of what was going to happen next. And somehow it shifted, it was no longer about popping a balloon. I pull out a match and whoosh a gust of wind which I think came from the thunderous chanting, blew out the match. I now realize why people can’t light things in horror films. I search the room for my closest friend who mind you has military experience and she gives me these eyes. They were big and I gave her the eyes like Save me. And I waved the matches as if they were a white flag. She (eventually) came to my side and we lit the candles together and the chanting slowed. Because fire does that. And then together they sang happy birthday in a way I was much more comfortable with. Thank God for best friends and creating monsters, because without them stories like these would never be written.
The words to save me are trapped inside my lungs. Yes, I have them, but my lack of intellect has shoved them into place. It’s not the intellect itself that I lack it’s the motivation to use it. Words words words they’re art. They’ve got meaning even without intellect. See. Who needs to think.
Sleepy from nothing. Just sleepy. Maybe from thinking. Or maybe I ate the wrong thing but I’m too sleepy to care enough to figure it out. My brain is foggy and my eyelids are heavy. The future is weighing me down but the past doesn’t bite too bad anymore. I could have just adjusted to the bites. But it’s no problem. I ate my veggies and naked chicken. I did eat a White Truffle doughnut. Shame, but I made sure to eat it early. I tried to reach my 10k steps but I’m just so tired. It really weighs down on me. Is this complaining? I think it’s complaining. I’m happy with my life I tell ya. I love it very much. But this sleepiness just won’t shift. Is it depression? Have I not gotten enough sun. Maybe it’s my period. It was probably the doughnut.
curled up on the floor, surrounded by toys, crawling under your daughters blanket just to try and be close to the things you love the most, and it’s still only you, alone, smothering beneath the coloured comforter, neck at a harsh angle, face burning against the coarse carpet, willing and wishing for something, anything to come fill you up, but you’re still empty, like the crib, like your cupped upturned hand, like the passing days with no child or partner to hold on to, to help you hold on. vision is rope. and the further you try to make it extend the more frayed it becomes. 20/20 summed up when all is said and done is 40. that’s only a few more years from now and the rope seems pretty thin and faulty on certain days. days frequently named “too often”. “all the time” in the parlance of childish over-exaggerated speaking. if there are even words. not just mumbles. whispers. thoughts which never quite reach the mouth to find their way out and you no longer comprehend the difference or the fact that these things only are spoken in your head, and you wonder why no one hears you anymore. did they ever? if a person falls for longer then a short rest, do they make a sound anyone can hear over the raucous din of their own lives?
will we even notice the passing of one another as we travel on our journey? or do we not recognize the ones who’ve lost direction until it’s too late?
loneliness burrows deep, undermines the roots of trees, the foundations of structures, the will of even the strongest souls.
so much of life is the slow dirt crumble waiting for the cave in.
Michael Morlock, a father, artist, and time traveler from New England. You can find him @themancalledmorlock